South Beach Divers is an excellent choice of dive trip organizers in the Miami area. I've been diving with the shop twice now - in early 2007 and again in 2012. The first time was for an open water dive, the second was for a refresher course. Both times I was impressed but the professional, knowledgeable, friendly and helpful staff. The shop is well run, their equipment is in good condition, and the trips are well organized. During the dives for my refresher course the instructor, Laurent, clearly emphasized safe diving practices and made sure we enjoyed the dives and saw some amazing underwater life during our time in the water.
I started diving with South Beach Divers in October 2011 after returning from Nassau, Bahamas where I did my first dive. Many friends recommended me to SBD. The crew is super friendly and very thorough and serious about learning the rules of diving. I have now moved on to my advanced divers certification. I highly recommend SBD!
I received my advanced open water certification in August and I have already booked another trip back to dive with them this January. The instructors were kind and informative. They showed concern for both our learning and safety as well as having a truly great diving experience. By the end of the trip we felt like a part of the family... I have even been inspired to get a part time job in a shop just like it where I live in NYC. Much thanks to South Beach Divers looking forward to seeing you guys again very soon.
The shop was perfectly located in the heart of South Beach Miami. We both had a fantastic experience whilst trying to be certified as an open water diver. The training lessons were very professional and in one of the best locations. Our instructor Laurent provided just with some great knowledge on safe diving, what to do and what not do. The diving was absolutely magical. The only one thing that was off putting, was having an instructor from a different company trying get pass me under at 20feet for the first time and not having his BCD installed properly, whilst his student was trying to get his attention, but still ignored his student. However, our instructor was always fully focused and could answer any question we had. It was very important to him for us to feel confident with what we were doing. Apart from this, the whole SBD team was very friendly and it was great fun to learn all these skills.
We would definitely book our classes again with south beach divers as we did not only get professional instruction but also had great fun with a very motivated team.
The customer service was excellent. Diving is an excellent activity that anyone can enjoy. The instructors work patiently with each individual until they can master each skill, making it one of the safest activities. Everyone is really friendly and makes you feel welcome. I would definitely return to this dive shop. The only negative is the prices are a bit expensive but it is well worth it. If only I lived in Miami!!
Diving as a sport is a blast! You should definitely invest in this life long hobby. It is well worth it. With regards to South Beach Divers, I would recommend the institute and Laurent to future diving enthusiasts with some disclaimers.
Disclaimer 1: You must buy goggles, fins, and mask (the cheapest set is $115 total) at the Dive Shop. You are not allowed to rent equipment even though they have equipment to rent. This policy somewhat frustrated me since they make no exceptions.
Laurent has a solid sense of the process of preparing for a dive . Disclaimer 2: You must complete tasks his way. He's very particular about this but it is for your own
safety. Although initially a little abrasive, Laurent grows on you. He took very good care of me and I felt secure with his instruction.
Overall, positive experience. There were only 4 people in our dive class. I felt very well taken care of and prepared for the open water dives. Disclaimer 3: you have to carry your own tank and equipment. It's heavy. Be prepared to grunt.
I was flying into Miami for a week and contacted several dive shops to arrange a PADI class to become certified. Of the three I contacted South Beach Divers responded most quickly and were by far the most flexible in arranging classes to accommodate my schedule at no extra charge. Sacha, the owner himself, called me and helped arrange a program with the on-line e-learning program that allowed me to structure my class in three back to back days to cover all essential requirements to obtain an Open Water PADI certification. The e-learning was especially impressive with constant reinforcement of key learning points to make sure that all divers that complete the class had all the basic academic knowledge to enter into the dive training phase. As a 15-year officer in the U.S. Navy - I found the training very well designed and implemented and would fully endorse South Beach Divers to all my friends interested in learning to Scuba dive. The dive sites were fantastic at both Key Largo and Miami Beach Reef "Neptune" dive site. You are assigned a personal instructor who works with you throughout your three day dive training - my trainer Laurent had extensive experience and obvious love and enthusiasm for his profession. Bottom line - interested in getting your PADI - go to SoBe Divers!
Happy I chose South Beach Divers for my first experience scuba diving. Not only was fun, but I felt safe at all times. I got PADI certified with them and it was a very smooth way as they guide you step by step in the learning process. Nice and experienced instructors and fairly good equipment. The diving spot in Key Largo was beautiful!
If you are like me, one of those people that always loved the ocean, always wanted to experience underwater live, and waited so long to take your scuba certification: don't wait no more !!! If you are just in for the fun and learning experience: South Beach Divers is the place to go to get your PADI certification. You will find a great team of professional divers that will guide you through three days of unforgettable experiences. Mind you this is a class, a training and certification course, so you can be on your own in the future. They take special care in emphasizing all the things that are crucial for your safety. You may repeat the same gig a few times till it comes 'natural' to you. It's a bit like learning how to ride a bicycle: once you got the hang of it you'll never forget! The added bonuses for this course is that you will practice in the reefs of Key Largo and in a wreck off the coast of Miami. The marine live at Key Largo is beautiful!
Weather you are vacationing in Miami or you are a local, I highly recommend the experience of scuba diving with South Beach Divers. The staff is attentive, cordial and nice, the experience priceless !
Don't forget to bring your gear if you have it such as mask, fins, wet suit... If you don't some of it can be provided to you as part of the course, but some items you may need to purchase and/or rent. I recommend you check with them before you go to see what will you need.
Hope you enjoy the spectacular underwater of Miami and Florida Keys!
I had planned to learn scuba diving for many years but never found the time to do it yet, so when i decided to go down to Florida for a couple of week last march ( i am from Canada) i looked on the net for a place to take the open water course, South Beach Diving Center offers 3 days PADI certification where you actually had the chance to learn scuba diving while diving on reefs and a wreck.
I liked the fact that we were a small group, this way Laurent our trainer could spend time with each of us explaining the right way to do it. I had the chance to meet nice people from different part of the USA. The first days was in an outside swimming pool, the kind of place you want to take your vacation.
The second days we went to Key Largo to dive on the Mollasses reef, it was great, it was like swimming in a fish tank, i had seen footage of scuba diving in the middle of school of fish but honnestly i didn't expected it on my first dive. There was about 20 persons on the boat going to dive, our class of 6 another class of 6 and some diver who joined for the days. It was well organised, everyone was please with the beauty we discovered under the water. Coming back i had the previlege of seeing a dolfin jumping out of the water afew time behind the boat.
I taught that would of been the highlight of my trip, i didn't know that the third days would be even better. Diving with Miami beach on the background, we went on the Belcher Barge that was our deeper dive, everything was done to do it safely, our trainer was with us at every stage of the dive, bringing us down to the barge and assisting us coming up.
The real highlight of theses 3 days was the last dive, on the Neptune Memorial. You can see some clip of this site on you tube it is amazing, i had the chace to see a Stingray flying...sorry swimming... down there, that was cool.
I was taking the scuba diving course to eventually go down to some resort in the Carabean but honestly i change my mind, i will instead go back to Florida to dive again with South Beach Divers, i was not aware that there was such beauties close to shore of South Florida, i want to see more. I will be back and might bring some friend from Canada with me, Thanks South Beach
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