This outfit claims to be Key West's largest full-service dive center and who's to argue? Reef trips for diving or ... More
Subtropic Dive Center
This outfit claims to be Key West's largest full-service dive center and who's to argue? Reef trips for diving or snorkeling aboard the company's fleet leave at various times every day, so there's a good chance one will fit into your schedule. Subtropic knows where all the great reefs and hot diving spots are. The staff will make sure your adventure into the mystical tropical waters will be a memorable one.
Disappointment All Around
I have used Subtropic on previous trips to Key West and had very positive experiences with them.
After this last trip on 12 August 2011 I will most likely NEVER use their services again.. The customer service was nowhere to be found, the dive times and dates were not what was paid for nor agreed to during the reservation process. After the dives we had our tanks filled and the fills were short, when we asked the shop personnel to top off the tanks we were ignored and treated like we were just a bother.
Also the Boat that was used was packed to the limit and took between 1 and 1 ½ hours to reach the dive sites.
I made reservatons to dive the Vandenberg with Subtropic for a Sunday morning. I gave them my cell number with my reservation. I drove 350 miles on Saturday to get there. I got there Saturday afternoon. I decided to stop in the shop and see if I could do the paperwork for the next day. The young man who was staffing the shop was seemingly surprised. He said they were not diving on Sunday because I was the only one signed up. Since they had my cell number, a call to this effect would have been good thing. The young man did try to find another dive company that I could go with, but after trying many companies, there were none. He finally thought of a company who had not been running lately. He called them, and they said said they could take me. I visied that company, and after seeing their operation, passed on the opportunity to dive with them. I give the young an kudos for his attempt to rectify the situation, but my overall thought for the company is very negative. I ended up driving over 700 miles, paying for two nights in a hotel, and didn't even dive. I know they can't control how many sign up, but a call to advise the situation, and allow sufficient time to make alternative arrangements would have been appropriae. I will advise my diving friends to avoid this company.
The current was really strong the day we dove. Our first dive was on a reef and we were getting thrown all over the place. Our second dive was supposed to be on a wreck. Well, the boat was anchored away from the wreck and we were told which direction we had to swim to get to the wreck. We were both really tired from the first dive, but decided to give it a try. We kept swimming and swimming and we never reached the wreck. We came up to check our position and the current had carried us in the complete opposite direction and now we were really far away from the boat so we decided we would just swim back to the boat. We were so tired and we weren't getting anywhere with the current. We ended up getting separated because my husband's respirator started taking on water and I had been swimming with my head down but looking up every so often because the tank was hitting the back of my head. So we both had to give the "lost buddy" signal (which was embarrassing enough), and the boat had to come pick us up. I will add that we were not the only ones who had to be picked up by the boat. I think only one couple actually made it to the wreck. Once we were on board, we were harrassed by the captain for getting separated. He should have never allowed that second dive! Needless to say, we will not be going back to Subtropic.
Dove the Vandenberg last week with Subtropic. The dive boat was adequate for our 12 divers and staff. Cooler was stocked with water and juice and the head worked. Had several company dive masters on board who led the way and felt the experience was positive, safe, and worth a return visit.
We visited Key West a month ago, and were recommended to Subtropic by one of the locals. These guys were great! Fantastic customer service, very friendly and knowledgable- all around a great operation! We'll definitely go back to them when we go back down to dive the Vandenberg. :-)
Subtropic is a great dive company, we've been to Key West 3 times and each time went out on several trips with Subtropic. The staff is professional and helpful, they make the trips effortless and fun. They are the oldest dive center on the island and the only dive center with the boat right next to the shop. One stop shopping and diving!
You will not be dissappointed.
I loved my instructor, Karen. She was patient, fun and a really good teacher. I also enjoyed the rest of the staff on the boat. The diving was really great! I got to see a shark on my first dive(it was small amd i wasn;t even afraid)!!
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