In the summer of 2012 me and my girlfriend made a road trip alongside the Adriatic Sea, where we visited Slovenia, Croatia and Italy. A trip I can recommend as it’s really beautiful and fun to do! In this story however I’m not going to tell you about my trip, but about a horrible experience I had with divingschool ‘Nemo Divers’ in Portorož, Slovenia. As I usually check other persons reviews of diving schools when diving abroad, perhaps someone else will benefit from this story. I know that the review is very negative, but then again I really have nothing positive to tell about this specific diving school.
How it started
On the recommendation of the campsite where we were staying I visited Nemo Divers. I had agreed with the owner / instructor to meet him at the diving school at 09.00 am. After 15 minutes of waiting. Without an apology or introduction he just started talking about the dive we would make that day. I could join him on a discovery dive with two Russians and in the afternoon we would make a blue dive on a wreck just outside the coast of Portorož with an other group. As I really wanted to go diving I agreed to go along. After some negotiating we agreed on the price of € 25,- for two dives, as I had my own gear with me
Dive 1: Fiesa
Our first dive took place on the dive site Fiesa, a 15 minute boat trip. Once in the boat I met the other divers. In total three Russians from which only one spoke English. This guy was also making some fun dives and joined our group on the last moment. He had been here before while getting his OW and he was my buddy for the upcoming dive. When we reached the dive site I was told that I would dive alone with the English speaking Russian, so no discovery divers and no guide. Because there were no currents, it was a shore dive and I had my own compass with me, I didn’t object. But to let us go without a guide…?? However this isn’t the reason for writing this post. That becomes clear while reading about dive number 2.
Dive 2: Mahona
The second dive was a blue dive on the wreck Mahona. Beside the English speaking Russian two Germans joined the group this time. On route to the dive site we agreed to the following rules for the dive:
1. We would descend and ascend by the anchor chain.
2. The instructor (guide) would remain hovering above the wreck while we would be free to explore the wreck.
3. When reaching 100 bar, you would inform the instructor and the whole group would ascend.
You can guess already that the dive didn’t go as planned. My irritation started when reaching a 100 bars. I informed the instructor as we had agreed and while expecting that he would gather the group for our ascend, he waved me away and continued hovering above the wreck. As this wasn’t my first dive I knew I had some time left and I didn’t want to make the ascend without the others. So me and my buddy, the English speaking Russian guy, went on with exploring the wreck. However, reaching 70 bars, while still being on 20 meters, it was time to begin our ascend. I signaled my buddy that I wanted to find the other divers. After 5 minutes of searching and finding no one, I signaled my buddy we would make our ascend together. To my big surprise the instructor was already in the boat, merrily chatting with the Germans. In my opinion you never, really never, leave as an instructor two divers behind in the water. That’s even beside the point that he had let an OW diver dive on a wreck on 25 meters depth and broke his own diving rules.
After reaching shore I washed my equipment and wanted to pay the € 25,-. I was totally done with these guys. At that time the owner/ instructor had already left and the person helping me told me to pay € 50,-. After my experiences I wasn’t about to also let them rip me off. In the end the instructor came back, said we never even discussed a price. After refusing to pay the € 50,- he ripped the € 25,- from my hand and told me to get my gear and get lost.
Below are the specific contact information, so there is no misunderstanding which diving school this review is about.
Diving school: Nemo Divers