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“long overdue review but we had Fun Fun Fun”

Diving Dominican Republic
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Family run PADI certified dive boat operation in Bayahibe, on the Caribbean coast of Dominican Republic, specializing in private scuba diving, scuba lessons and trips. The schedule is done completely by the clients (weather / sea conditions apply). For about the same price you can enjoy scuba diving and trips only with your family or group of friends. You’ll choose the dive sites, make your own schedule, nobody will rush anywhere. We do not limit the dive times, the only limitation is the air, bottom time and the weather / the sea conditions.
Reviewed January 9, 2014

I felt honored when I was down there in October, as I was Vlad and Denise last customer on Sep 30 th and Jerry's first customer on October 1st. such a smooth transition you never would know until they told me. My Experience with them was out of the norm, they were training dive masters and since I am a NAUI instructor I was kind of a training tool for Pierre and I knew this going in. (sorry if I got you in too much trouble :) ) My overall time with this organization was like we were all old friends with a lot of joking around on the surface but very focused on the sites underwater. I felt like not only did I make the best decision to use them as operators but felt they all shared a esprit de corps about their company and profession. If your staying at one of the resorts near the La Romana/Bayahibe area of Dominican Republic like I did, dont waste any time with the operators on site, book your time with the Crew of Sharky's where you get to decide what you want to see at the depth your comfortable with. Jerry, I hope you make it up to West Palm Beach so I can show you those Goliath Groupers (Mero) we talked about.

2  Thank BrittD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
demi56, Public Relations Manager at Diving Dominican Republic, responded to this reviewResponded January 14, 2014

Thank you for taking your time to write the review, it's never too late for that :)
It was great to have you, Vlad and Pierre had lots of fun diving with you. Hope to see you in Bayahibe in the near future.
Thanks again for booking with Sharky's crew
Denise

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"dive shop"
in 41 reviews
"dive master"
in 44 reviews
"day trip"
in 22 reviews
"dominican republic"
in 33 reviews
"dive spots"
in 9 reviews
"private groups"
in 4 reviews
"personal service"
in 8 reviews
"bayahibe area"
in 10 reviews
"private service"
in 3 reviews
"punta cana"
in 17 reviews
"dive package"
in 7 reviews
"the reefs"
in 11 reviews
"amazing week"
in 3 reviews
"puffer fish"
in 5 reviews
"open water"
in 10 reviews
"great instructor"
in 6 reviews
"boat driver"
in 4 reviews
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124 - 128 of 245 reviews

Reviewed January 3, 2014

If you like the idea of a private charter so that you are just diving with a few friends and not 35 strangers, then definitely go with Sharky's. We did two days of diving and wished afterwards that we had booked more! One great thing is that with a small group, your diving is limited by your air (and possibly your bottom time) and not by a pre-set limit. Many of the big charters limit the dives to 45 minutes, then haul everybody out and go to the next spot. Pierre, our dive master, said "as long as you have air, we'll dive"...and our first dive ended up being 75 minutes. Gato is a great captain and Jerry helped organize everything and answer all our questions. It's so nice to be able to customize your dive trip to exactly what you want. We corresponded by email to set up all the details, paid via PayPal before arriving, and then just relaxed and enjoyed all the sea life.

And not only did they help with the diving, they were able to give us recommendations on places to stay (I definitely recommend the Bayahibe apartment, if it's available) and arranged our taxi ride to and from Punta Cana (we stayed in Punta Cana for 2 days, Bayahibe for 5 days, and then back to Punta Cana for 2 days).

We are definitely planning to go back and bring a group of diving friends next time! St. George wreck and a night dive is on my list.

PS - Sharky's makes their own Mamajuana (local rum & honey concoction) and it is tasty! :)

1  Thank Victoria S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
demi56, Public Relations Manager at Diving Dominican Republic, responded to this reviewResponded January 6, 2014

Thank you for taking your time to write this nice review. I am glad you enjoyed having your own schedule and private diving. Hope to see you back in Bayahibe in the near future.
Thanks again for booking with Sharky's crew
Denise

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 28, 2013

Enjoyable dive, interesting sites, crew very helpful, willing to answer questions and tips about the wreck

1  Thank Patrick K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
demi56, Public Relations Manager at Diving Dominican Republic, responded to this reviewResponded January 6, 2014

Thank you for the review, I am glad you enjoyed St.George wreck, it is one of the most popular dive sites in Bayahibe area.
Thanks again for booking with Sharky's crew
Denise

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 24, 2013

We're vacation divers who certified 2 years ago. We chose the La Romana/Bayahibe area of Dominican Republic in order to consider it for our wedding in a year. As we like to dive on holiday we did lots of research to chose a dive shop and book ahead. While I was considering another local shop which had good reviews, I instead decided on booking with Sharky's Crew for a few reasons: they do private valet diving where you are the only customers on the boat, and they look after all your gear which makes for relaxing vacation diving; they have excellent TripAdvisor reviews; and finally when I made contact to start planning the trip, Denise was wonderful at answering our questions and even questioned some plans and gave us her opinion, which was invaluable. She helped specifically with our dive planning but was also happy to help with our general DR tourist plans.

After several info-packed emails from Denise, we were booked for four days of diving at the beginning of December and paid through PayPal which was easy, and settled upon doing our Advanced Open Water Certification along with some other dives, including a day trip with lunch. We bought our AOW books and did our reviews prior to our vacation so as not to take up any precious beach time.

Our diving began the morning after arriving at our All-Inclusive, Dreams La Romana, and Sharky's shop was just a short and scenic 10 minute walk south down the beach to the small fishing village of Bayahibe, and very easy to find after Denise's clear instructions. The shop is only open when they are going or coming from dives and she thoughtfully warned us of this in case we wandered by the day before our dives and wondered why they were closed. Vlad, Jerry and Pierre were waiting to greet us on the first morning and we learned that Jerry is in the process of taking over the business from Vlad and Denise. Pierre will stay on as the DM. Vlad and Denise are Czech by way of Vancouver for 30 years and have been living in the DR for about 7 years. We understood they'll stay living in the area, but now will have some more free time to visit their kids and their families. Jerry has recently moved from Saskatchewan, and Pierre is from Belgium and took over as DM from his brother David. They were all very warm, welcoming and fun and we immediately knew we'd made a great choice for our week of diving.

On our 4 days we dove Viva Shallows, Dominicus Reef, Parque 1, Coca Reef, El Penon, the Aquarium (south, not at Catalina Island), and the 2 wrecks Atlantic Princess and St. George. For our AOW we chose Deep, Navigation, Wreck, Night and Peak Performance dives. Vlad planned out our dives perfectly so we started with some easy warm-up dives as we don't dive frequently, started our AOW with Peak Performance, which helped us better enjoy the later dives as our buoyancy got better and better, and saving the day trip for the end where we could just dive, relax and not worry about any more learning. Vlad was a great instructor and we had a lot of fun while learning tons and gaining confidence. He and Pierre obviously both love to dive and were great at finding lots of interesting reef life. We saw lots of the usual caribbean Sergeant Majors, parrotfish, french grunts, trumpet fish, blue chromis, blue-headed wrasse, butterflyfish, blue tangs, yellowtail snappers, rock hinds and squirrelfish. Less common and therefore more enjoyable to find were honeycomb cowfish, boxfish, sharpnose pufferfish, porcupinefish, flounders, sand divers, spotted drumfish, flamingo tongue snails, stingrays, green and spotted morays, lobsters, crabs, blue-banded coral shrimp, tiger tails, a barracuda, a turtle, and unfortunately lionfish. We were surprised not to see any angelfish or triggerfish. And while nurse sharks, spotted eagle rays and seahorses are sometimes found, we weren't lucky this time.

Our diving highlight was our night dive. Night diving was a bit nerve-wracking for me to contemplate, but by the 3rd day of diving, I felt so comfortable with this crew that it was no big deal at all, and it was an incredibly peaceful experience. As is the usual advice, we went back to a previous dive site, Viva Shallows, so we had a bit of familiarity. We got lots of tips from Vlad to make the dive more enjoyable, like not shining our lights directly at the parrotfish as they sleep in a protective mucus bag they they form around themselves for protection. We kneeled in the sand at one point and blocked our lights so it was jet black and we could see the bioluminescence as we waved our hands. We found a moray out of it's hole and were super excited to find four octopuses and watch them shape and colour shift. We both look forward to lots of night diving in the future.

We loved diving privately, having the boat (Sharky) to ourselves, and being able to dive to our air limits. By the end of the week, we had an 80 minute dive which was awesome. On our day trip, we could choose where we went and decided to forgo Saona Island and the crowds that are almost impossible to avoid, and went to the Piscina Natural (natural pool with red starfish) after checking out the mangroves. It was our furthest boat ride at about 25 minutes. Lunch was delicious and some Brugal Rum cokes helped end our dive week in fine style. We weren't rushed at all and Pierre was great company while we traded stories.

What else can I share? The boat captain Gato only spoke Spanish but was great at his job and pleasant. Always close by when we surfaced and helping haul our gear and us on board. The boat was clean, well-maintained and stocked with lots of water. Everyone at the shop was happy to hang out and chat and share info about the area. Jerry was kind enough to drive us back to the resort beach after our night dive when it was a bit too dark to want to walk it. All the gear was in great shape, and when I got toe blisters from my own closed fins, Pierre lent me booties and open fins for the rest of the week. If you collect dive shop shirts, they have a cool Sharky's logo. Another nice touch is the photos they take of their clients and upload to their facebook page on a regular basis, so your friends at home can see what you're up to on holiday. All in all Sharky's crew gave us a great dive experience where we were impressed by both the big and little things.

5  Thank SteveLis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
demi56, Manager at Diving Dominican Republic, responded to this reviewResponded January 6, 2014

Thanks guys for an amazing a very detailed review. It was fun to have you, Vlad and Pierre had great time diving with you. Hope to see you back in Bayahibe for your wedding, if not then at least for more diving :)
Thanks again for booking with Sharky's crew
Denise

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 27, 2013

A place in Dominican Republic whit one of the most beautiful coral reefs and plenty of choices for diving if you prefer a big group or more relaxing and private diving.
A realy good choice for diving whit a realy good visibility and most of the time calm water.
I realy enjoy the diving here is relaxing and full of surprises.

1  Thank Andrea Nicte-Ha M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
demi56, Public Relations Manager at Diving Dominican Republic, responded to this reviewResponded January 14, 2014

Thanks for the review, most divers say that scuba diving in Bayahibe is the best on the island. I am glad you enjoyed the marine life and the good visibility too. See you for more diving in our area soon!
Denise

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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