Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Diving Operator: Scuba Caribe Rating: 1 Star
While in the Dominican Republic we stayed at a Riu hotel which had a diving operation located at the hotel's beach. The diving operator was Scuba Caribe who is either the largest, or one of the largest diving operators in the Caribbean. Not that the Dominican operation was the largest, I am referring to the company's overall operation throughout the entire Caribbean. For such a large operator one would expect a high level of professionalism. However, that was not the case. The dive instructor who also worked as the divemaster, quickly indicated that he preferred cash and offered a discount if we did not use a credit card. Clearly the money was going into his pocket rather than the company's pocket. We did not bring our own equipment. Instead we utilized their rental equipment. Although the instructor boasted about how well they took care of their equipment, most of the equipment that we used was in need of maintenance. Several of their tanks had bad o-rings which were not discovered until we were out at sea. Wet suits were well worn and fins were closed heal and some were cracked.
There was no dock. That itself is not a problem. A dock is just more convenient. Therefore, after wading out to about waste deep with the equipment, all of the equipment was then placed into a small open boat which we rode in out to the dive boat. The dive boat was narrow and only allowed for movement along the outer edge rather than the center. It was only a short distance to each dive site, so the boat ride was short. No dive briefing was provided. Upon reaching the dive site the instructor hurried everyone off the boat. When I say hurried, I mean hurried like herding cattle. I am not sure why. However, I believe it is because the narrowness of the boat allows it to rock heavily which would be highly conducive to sea sickness. No assistance was provided to any diver. After surfacing, the instructor's helpers switched out each diver's tank. Unfortunately, twice in four dives they switched out an empty tank with another empty tank.
For a little more cash, the instructor offered to certify my family members as advanced divers even though none of them had any instruction from him, nor had they completed the number of dives necessary to be advanced divers. Needless to say, he and I had a harsh exchange of words.
This is by far the worst diving operation I have ever experienced. On a scale of one to five stars, I give it 1 star only because a zero is not an option on a scale of one to five. I highly recommend staying away from this dive operation in Punta Cana. They are reckless and unprofessional and do not show any regard for diver safety or enjoyment.