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“Bad management, poor equipment”

Croatia Divers Vela Luka
Ranked #2 of 8 things to do in Vela Luka
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Owner description: Diving in Croatia on Korcula with Croatia Divers means a choice out of more then 35 fantastic diving sites or for the non-divers; doing an introductory dive or a enrol a PADI course to explore the amazing underwater world of Croatia! Vela Luka has good hotels, nice private accommodation such as villas and apartment on the sea. All can be booked with Croatia Divers a PADI 5*Gold Palm IDC resort number one in the diving field regarding experience, professionalism and fun!
Reviewed September 29, 2013

We, as a group of 6 people, have visited the dive school for a 10 day period of time to dive. In the beginning the owner was directly after our money; we had to pay and plan all dives at front. Multiple times he repeated that no refunds are possible and we had to pay as soon as possible. He doesn't care about the divers; he only sees the money they carry in their wallets. This is also visible on the equipment; the Nitrox compressor is broken for months; 2 out of 3 boats are broken and the state of the equipment is very poor; SPGs can't be trusted (reading 240 bar while tanks are filled to 190-200 bar. Needles are only moving when tapping on them), depth meters aren't working and all regulator sets were leaking everywhere. The torches used at the night dives are more like candles. It is a shame they ask 6 euro rent for a light which can be bought for 20-25 euro elsewhere.

As a group we've payed over 3.000 euro to the dive school. It's a shame they charged us 1.50 euro when one of us needed small bottle of water. But again; it's them all about the money.

The dive school is advertising to have 35 different dive places. They only visit a few, therefore we have visited some spots 3 or 4 times. Main reason to visit these few is that they are close to the dive school which saves fuel for the boat. The manager decides which spot is visited by the boat, not the divers which are his customers. And as the manager doesn't care about the divers but only cares for the money they've payed it isn't a surprise only the dive sports close to the dive school are visited..

Two divers had to pay well in front for a night dive. As it was not profitable to send the boat out for a night dive for only two people both got a refund on their payed money. So a refund is possible, but only when it benefits the manager.

The good thing about this dive center were the divemasters and instructor/boat captain. Although the divemasters were still in training and were not experienced (less than 100 logged dives) they really want you to have a good and nice time with nice dives. The sad thing is they are very limited by the management; they don't know all dive spots and are almost used as slaves in the dive center as they have to work 6-7 days a week and have to work 10 hours a day. But nevertheless they are nice people, multiple times we have eaten together and drink some beers. It's sad they have all finished their internship and all have left the dive center..

So as conclusion about the dive center; they equipment is in a very poor state or is broken. Management only cares about money. Only good thing is the divemasters and instructors. Sad thing is most have left the dive school because of the management...

The dive spots visited are nice; nice reefs caves and lots of small animals. Unfortunately there is no big fish in the water; a 30 centimeter grouper is the biggest we've found. Of course this can't be blamed to the dive school and this doesn't influence my rating of the dive school.

So as final conclusion I can't recommend this dive center nor will I visit it again. Dive spots are nice, divemasters are nice lads (most have left the island) but both can't compensate for the management and poor/broken equipment. If the management was more for customer satisfaction and equipment safety and less greedy for money it could be a nice dive school worth visiting again. But as it is right now I only can recommend to go elsewhere.

13  Thank The_Divers2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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73 - 77 of 123 reviews

Reviewed September 28, 2013

I did my OWD and AOWD with Croatia Divers. The town of Vela Luca is a very beautiful little town and provides a great setting to spend a few days diving in. The dive centre and the team that work there are both fantastic. All the staff were friendly, fun and professional. Whilst it is not the most abundant array of aquatic life in the world, it makes up for it with a stunning underwater landscape. Overall I had a really great experience with Croatia divers and would like to thank Bobby and his team (especially John 'the Turtle') for making it so memorable. Thanks again guys!!

2  Thank Smitty777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 17, 2013

How this operator has not had a death is purely luck! The equipment is old, not well maintained and did not appear to be particularly hygienic. We brought our own, luckily. We were hoping to do some nitrox dives while there, but were informed that the nitrox compressor was out of service. We found this particularly interesting since their website advertised 2013 as the year of the Nitrox Speciality. Unfortunately 2 of their 3 boats were also out of service. This meant some of the dives were over capacity. The dive masters (interns) were nice enough, but were not what I would class as professional. There were no buddy checks, no one paid attention to the okay sign after doing a backwards roll off the boat, and they were clearly not prepared for emergencies - evidenced by the fact that one of the divers, when doing the Blue Hole, failed to grab the line in strong current. The Dive Master did nothing to help, instead we waited for 10 minutes for the man to finally swim back to the boat. Exhausted, he failed to complete the dive.

But the worst dive was the night dive - well, really nothing more than a dusk dive. It was a very boring site. I got the impression that they couldn't be bothered to take us anywhere exciting. We started before sunset so the dive master could check out one of the 4 divers who had not yet dived with them. Fair enough. But the disappointing thing was that the other diver had been trained by Croatia Divers and was completely under weighted. She struggled with buoyancy the entire dive and had no awareness of anything around her, evidenced by the fact that she kicked off my mask at 18 meters. The criminally negligent part though, was that the torches provided by the dive center were nothing more than candles (despite the halogens advertised on the web site). There was no safety stop done at the end of the dive and, in fact, the strobe line was raised from the water when the dive master and first two divers surfaced, leaving us to do our safety stop by ourselves, with no orientation. It's a good thing the moon was bright.

7  Thank Kseeling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2013

My husband and I took a ferry to Korcula Island from Split for our first dives since we were PADI Open Water Certified. Bobby and the crew at Croatia Divers were great. We felt very safe and well looked after. Email communication prior to our arrival was quick and responsive. We were able to pay a little extra in order to do two Adventure Dives that would apply towards our Advanced Water Certification - we did not know this was an option and were extremely happy that it was offered. There is not a tremendous amount of colorful aquatic life in the area but the AWARE and Drift dives were very enjoyable and we had a wonderful time diving in an environment that was perfect for our level of experience. Our dive guide Rogan (from Scotland) was terrific and when we returned to the dive shop, the crew was extremely helpful in getting us to our ferry in time and assisting us in figuring out bus transportation back in split. We would definitely recommend Croatia Divers to others and look forward to visiting the cute town of Vela Luca again.

1  Thank EYoshida21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2013

We originally chose to undertake the Open Water Diver Course here becuase 1. We were holidaying in Croatia anyway and 2. It is one of the cheaper places to learn. I have to say we really enjoyed our training there, all our correspondance with the center prior to our arrivial was prompt, friendly and helpful. Having accommodation sorted for you is another bonus and I couldn't fault the apartment we were put up in for 4 nights just a couple of minutes walk from Croatia Divers. Our instructor John was really great with a warm and friendly approach to teaching and took the time to know and explain individually the areas where we were weak to help progress us through the course. I think this was key to us enjoying the process of learning to dive with the center as much was we did.

Billy was a star too, really approachable and friendly, helping us get the most out of our stay with information on local bars and restuarants etc and also arranging travel to our next destination.

We were not chased for money once either, if anything we were pestering Billy about settling our course fees as he seemed so relaxed about it all.

2  Thank Stephen B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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