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“Add this to your bucket list!”
Review of The Dive Academy

The Dive Academy
Ranked #7 of 17 things to do in Las Galeras
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Attraction details
Owner description: Las Galeras' premier Scuba Diving School & Water Sports Adventure centre. English is our first language but we also speak Spanish, French, German, Danish, Swedish and Italian. We offer everything from Try and Tandem Dives to Instructor Courses, guided qualified dives over beautiful corals and the world famous 'The Tower'and Tibisi; all inclusive sailing & water sports day excursions - with skiing, snootering with our DPV's, diving and lunch on a beautiful sail boat to mini Live Aboard breaks. First Class Service with Economy Class Prices. We offer our clients professional and friendly, safe and affordable FUN.
Kakabeka Falls, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Add this to your bucket list!”
Reviewed December 2, 2013

Our family spent 2 days with The Diving Academy and learned how to scuba dive. Great instructors, very knowledgeable and able to teach even the most skittish of learners. Kids (ages 17 and 19) thoroughly enjoyed checking out the ocean bottom and seeing the sea life. My husband went out on the last day of our stay to go spear fishing. After catching some lion fish they prepared a small feast of the catch of the day. Totally recommended.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Donna W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tda-adventures, Manager at The Dive Academy, responded to this review, January 27, 2014
Hi Donna

Thank you for taking the time to write a review for us, it is appreciated.

Conducting the NAUI Passport course that your family undertook was so much fun - even with the seasickness. They were keen to learn and explore so it really was a pleasure.for us.

The lionfish we speared was delicious and Carl needs to hurry up and come back to spear some more

Looking forward to seeing you all again

Diane B
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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80 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    75
    2
    2
    1
    0
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Bedford
Level 6 Contributor
72 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 309 helpful votes
“Our family outing was disappointing, but probably great for divers.”
Reviewed August 31, 2013

I can completely understand why TDA get such consistently excellent reports for divers, but unfortunately our own experience was less happy. Diane is most helpful and easy to contact in advance, and arranged our pick up by taxi from El Portillo in Las Terranas. When the taxi turned up, we waited in reception but the manager came up to explain that they could not allow it onto the premises. When we got to the gate and saw it we understood why, a complete rust bucket, no seat belts, apparently made of bits and pieces, and bald tyres. For the life of me I cannot think why we were so mad as to get in it, we should have called a halt to the trip there and then. It appeared later that Diane and Paul were the victims of a scam by the taxi company, and had expected a decent vehicle. After a slow trip we arrived at Las Galeras, and admin took place in a sort of shack, which did nothing to increase our confidence in the outfit. What we did not realise, and were not shown, was a perfectly well equipped Dive shop across the road, also part of TDA. Had we been received there we would have felt happier. On walking to the beach, we were taken to what seemed a very small boat, and at this point our son wanted to take his kids straight back to our hotel as he was concerned for their safety. However Diane explained that it would be a "20 minute trip, maybe 30'" and we could return on their "bigger boat" . So we embarked. Soon we met serious crosswinds and to say we were scared is an understatement. Diane repeatedly assured us the the driver knew what he was doing, and they regularly went out in worse weather. With two vomiting kids and as it turned out our Brazilian Catholic daughter in law praying continually for our deliverance, after an hour and ten minutes, not the promised 20, we arrived at a beautiful cove, with sadly a less than beautiful, tiny, rocky, litter strewn "beach" . Paul and Audrey had gone ahead and set up a barbecue, with chicken kebabs salads etc, rated highly by those whose appetite had survived the trip. The planned diving trip was discussed, but by this stage our two divers were reluctant to go out in the boat., so we we stuck to snorkelling in the cove, where the coral was amazing, and TDA rightly claim that it is far superior to anything around Las Terranas. Everyone loved the sea scooter, especially the kids.
For the return trip, we were split into two groups, using the "bigger boat". Not much bigger! The trip took a mere 45 minutes, and was slightly less scary.
After being given the nicest drink of the whole holiday, involving rum and melon made by Diane , a proper taxi took us home.
I will not pretend that it was a good experience, Diane and Paul are absolutely lovely, and our divers would havec happily dived with them had their confidence not been sapped by the amateurish aspect of the taxi, the reception shack and the small boat. They really miss a trick by not receiving guests in the smart and professional looking dive shop. I honestly believe, and said so to Diane, that it was totally wrong to take small children out in the sea conditions that day with seemingly no means of summoning help if needed.
Because the trip was not as we had arranged which was a couple of hours dive and snorkelling then lunch then snorkelling again and snootering off the beach, Diane and Paul were very fair in adjusting the cost of the outing.
I have given TDA a low rating because the day was, overall and for us , not good. I am sure though, and our two divers agree, that under normal circumstances diving with Paul and Diane of TDA would great, and we wish them all the best.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
5 Thank MissFitts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tda-adventures, Owner at The Dive Academy, responded to this review, January 27, 2014
Firstly, apologies for not responding to your review earlier and secondly, thank you for taking the time out to write it for us. We do appreciate all the feedback we receive as this is the way we improve our services to our clients.
Your understanding concerning the taxi scam we were subjected to was, and still is, appreciated. We now regularly use the driver that took you back to El Portillo.
At no time was there any danger although it did turn a little choppy but our skippers are the best around. We have now refined the whole excursion, based in part on your comments, and have now conducted several very successful ones and I am sure these clients will post an honest review of their experience too.
The rum punch is equal measures white rum. fresh melon, orange and pineapple juice poured over crushed ice,
We do hope your family are all well

Regards
Diane B
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clayton, Missouri, United States
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Dive Shop in Galleras great for students”
Reviewed August 24, 2013

Paul, Diane, and Audrey were terrific people to train us in beginning diving. We had 7 novices doing the try dive and two certified divers doing a shipwreck. The experience was great. Paul is patient, funny, and very professional. Thanks again. Roger D. Lewis, PhD

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank Roger L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tda-adventures, Owner at The Dive Academy, responded to this review, August 27, 2013
Hi Roger

Thank you for taking the time and trouble to write a review for us, it's always good to get feedback from our clients.

Your group were great fun to work with and we hope that you enjoyed your visit to Samana so much you will want to come back again and again!

Diane B
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buffalo, New York
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Amazing dives, amazing people”
Reviewed August 7, 2013

My main goal on vacation was to go diving. After shopping around the dive centers, TDA with Diane and Paul are a cut above the rest. I immediately felt comfortable with them and they do everything they possibly could to accommodate my schedule while making sure I had optimal diving conditions. Easily the top diving experience I've had. Also great people with whom to hang out and chat. If you plan on going diving, this is the only place to consider.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank steve k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tda-adventures, Owner at The Dive Academy, responded to this review, August 8, 2013
Hi Steven

Thank you so much for taking the time out to write a review for us about your dives here. We really do appreciate getting feedback from our clients but do understand that sometimes it can be time consuming!

You were great fun to dive with and seriously good fund to chill out with too! Just a couple of days ago we were going through your photo's again (one of which I have posted on our TA profile page) and we really hope you can come back and see us and dive with us again soon!

Diane B
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Great People and Gear”
Reviewed August 1, 2013

Oh, how happy we were to find TDA! Diane and Paul could not have been more kind, welcoming, and helpful...throughout our stay in Las Galeras. We rented snorkel gear for 2 days while we were in Las Galeras. The gear was in great condition and is a must-have for this area. If you don't even like to snorkel or scuba, go here to hang out :)

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank j w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tda-adventures, Owner at The Dive Academy, responded to this review, August 2, 2013
Hi Paul and Jaimie

Glad to hear you travelled safely home (you know I worry lol) and thank you very much for taking the time and trouble to write a review for us. We really appreciate the input we receive from our clients.

It was great fun meeting you and we are so glad you enjoyed the snorkelling here. There is such a lot to see - if you know where to go - that's why we give free advice to visitors, we like to share our 'local knowledge'

Let's hope you make it back this way soon

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

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