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“A fair and honest review”

Oceans Unlimited Scuba Diving
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Oceans Unlimited is a PADI 5 Star IDC and Technical Dive Resort on the beautiful central Pacific coast of Costa Rica. They provide a fun, safe and high quality scuba diving service with local diving trips and dive and snorkel trips to Isla de Cano. Oceans Unlimited offers PADI dive training with courses for beginners right up to PADI Instructor Level and beyond, with professional level internships throughout the year. They also have the largest selection of technical scuba dive programs in Costa Rica with both TDI and PADI courses on offer. Their friendly instructors and dive staff are enthusiastic ad safe to give you the best underwater experience.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed April 13, 2013

I booked a snorkelling trip with Oceans Unlimited (OU) to Cano Island after doing my own research and a couple of email exchanges with OU. Cano island is often renowned for its clear waters and since it was the dry season I thought visibility would be good, obviously this can never be guaranteed. I booked the trip by visiting the Manuel Antonio base for OU and a v helpful young lady explained what the trip would be about and to meet the staff and other members of the party at the dive centre in Dominical. I was quoted $125 dollars for the day trip (not inc transfer for Manuel Antonio). We arranged our own transport that cost $120 dollars by taxi as the price quoted by OU was more than this for pick up at the Mariposa in Manuel Antonio.

We joined the party at Dominical at 7 a.m. First gripe introductions were limited, the only person I was introduced to was Christian. The gear was loaded to a beat up old van as we waited for other members of the party some of whome didn't show up (I wondered whether other feedback posted to Trip Advisor about timings had been an issue for the no shows). Second gripe, I imagine the beat up old van that you use in Dominical keeps profit margins healthier but it doesn't really inspire your customers with confidence when the guys struggle to close and open the door!). We met the boat at the beach after a 10 minute drive or so and whilst being told you wouldn't have to do a thing the diving leader said if we felt like giving a hand then help out loading the gear - from a customer perspective if you want them to help load gear make it clear at the start and don't pretend everything is done for you - of course people will naturally want to help out and myself and other members of the party were happy to do so.

One of our party booked on the snorkelling trip for $100 and we were charged $125. If you are partnering with other dive shops then surely the price should be the same? Any chance of a refund on the difference? Regarding the other snorkeller I was surprised to find that she had never done snorkelling before and didn't even know how to put a snorkel in her mouth - I had to show her minutes before we started snorkelling. This particular snorkeller went in the water with no instruction or checking of her ability and the conditions were challenging for a first timer with some currents on site. This member of the party returned to the boat after 10 minutes and it was only then that the crew realised she needed more support in the water. In anybodys book this is not good form and you should check everyones ability before they enter the water.

The boat was good and powered by 200hp and I was impressed with the crews handling of the vessel when we were getting onboard on a beach break and there was due care and attention to everyones safety while boarding which gave me confidence in the overall trip out to Cano at the start. 20 turtles, 2 hammerhead sharks and 1 dolphin later we arrived at Cano. The trip out had me really excited for the snorkelling. Upon arrival it was clear we weren't the only ones out there snorkelling and to my surprise we were dropped off amongst the other snorkellers. It was somewhat chaotic to say the least and I clashed with a number of other snorkellers in the water as we all clutched our lifejackets (a requirement of the islands warden). Once in the water it was clear that the fabled visibility was not going to present and vis was a poor 10-15ft at best - I fully appreciate this can never be easily predicted but some expectation management from your base staff might have been helpful as this was a big disappointment to me and the only reason why I booked the trip was to get away from the nearshore coastl vis problems.

A specific mention has to go to Christian who did his best to keep an eye n everyone and did warn me on a number of occasions to be wary of rocks, thanks for looking out for us Christian.

The second snorkel trip was much better, the crowds had gone and the guys managed to find a very large langustine which was impressive and suggested that the islands protective status was working. I also spotted a white tip shark in the gloom, a highlight of the trip. The two divers in the group didn't fair much better with poor vis.

Overall it was an enjoyable day out and the marine life we saw on the way out to the island was fantastic but I score poor on the basis of value for money, poor evaluation of skills in the party, a very poorly organised first snorkel, the need for more customer focus and a bit more investment in transport kit - we joked at having to climb out the windows at one point when the guys could't open the van door!

1  Thank Roger P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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183 - 187 of 281 reviews

Reviewed April 13, 2013

Make sure you get dropped off at the right place, as the dive shop moved in March and the taxi driver took us to the old shop at the bottom of the very steep, long hill. Thankfully, the guys at the tour place next door drove us up the hill to the right place. The staff at Oceans is great - extremely helpful and nice, especially for beginner divers like me and my daughter. The visibility was a little disappointing, but you never know with the ocean, so we dealt with it. Our dive master pointed out an octopus and sea stars and some interesting fish at The Canyons site, which was at 40ft or so. The second site, The Bull, looked to have better visibility, but the swells were very strong and we didn’t see much of anything. So, we would highly recommend the staff at Oceans Unlimited for taking very good care of us and giving us the best dive they could, just know that the conditions at Manuel Antonio are widely variable.

Thank RYC88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 10, 2013

I booked a dive trip for my both my daughter and I during our recent visit to Costa Rica. Everyone at Oceans Unlimited was fantastic from JT to Paul to Katie and of course our dive leader Brent! The visibility wasn't the greatest due to red tide but Brent did his best to still ensure that the trip was enjoyable. The rental gear that was provided was in excellent condition and I especially liked the attention to detail from JT on checking our certification cards prior to us being able to board their vessel. My daughter and I felt very safe and I would highly recommend diving with these guys! Again, I would like to thank everyone at Oceans Unlimited for a great time.

Thank Jerry S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 5, 2013

28 February I dived with ocean unlimited. I indicated that I had not been diving for 2 years and like to take a dive before I would go to cano island. I went with only divecrew on the boat and made the trip with great pleasure. My experience was leading and I felt very at ease! The crew is very professional but also very nice and fun! During the second dive a nursshark seen! Super!!

Thank Ritavl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 28, 2013

My sons did their scuba training here in Colorado and when we went to Manuel Antonio for vacation we arranged their open water certification with Oceans Unlimited. The online process was smooth and easy. The staff was cordial and very professional. Thank you Alec, Brent, Paul, JT and and Ed for a great time. I highly recommend this dive shop - they made the trips fun, safe and an experience we will never forget.

Thank read1623
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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