I have only just returned from a great dive holiday on Aruba in the Caribbean Sea. It was a wonderful week on a beautiful island and with amazing dive adventures. On a recommendation from a friend I booked all my dives with Searuba Fly'n Dive. Below are my experiences with this dive center and the review. You'll notice I use the word 'beautiful' a lot, but I just don't know any other word to describe the island.
Staff (expertise/ professional / friendliness)
Each day started with a cup of coffee at the beach looking out at a nice bay and the boat from the diving
The main boat from the dive center center. Afterwards you would sign the boat release, get your gear and set it up on board of the boat. After a final check it was time for a second cup of coffee. 'Relax' is the main word in the Caribbean. On the boat we would always get an introduction about safety regulations on board. The dive center has three boats with the largest one having enough room for a big group of around 15 divers. Furthermore they have two smaller boats for smaller groups. The boats are totally adjusted to dive equipment. It's easy to put your gear on, jump in the water and change tanks.
As I had three different guides the briefing before dives varied. Two of the instructors gave extended briefings and where strict during the dive. Which I think is a good thing when diving with a group of mixed experience. The briefings of the third instructor where to short, which resulted one time in a chaotic wreck dive. The instructor hadn't warned about the extreme current which resulted in a slightly panicked OW diver. As we didn't knew what the instructor wanted the dive was also very short. After 28 minutes I was already back on board, a shame because it was a nice wreck to see.
All the staff where very friendly and helpful, always in a good mood and in for small talk. I did miss the group drink after getting back from the boat. Everyone was always quickly gone. But this is just my social
side, because I love to drink a cold beer together after a dive and share 'strong' diving stories. As the dive
center is located in a beautiful bay with a beautiful beach it offers a lot of potential for entertaining your dive guests. A group BBQ once a week was the first thing that came to mind. Perhaps something for in the future.
A bonus is that beside the dive center there is a really good restaurant, a beautiful beach and a beach club. So if you partner doesn't want to dive, he or she has a great place to wait for you till you get back.
Since I brought my own gear with me I didn't need to rent anything. Of course I saw the rental equipment of other people around me and that was all well maintained and in order. At the moment they are building a new storage facility for the equipment. The dive centers offers the possibility to store your equipment during your holiday.
Price versus quality
In my opinion this was really good as all dives where boatdives and these included drinks (water and juices), fresh fruit and sandwhiches between dives. Also I had the change to compare the prices against other dive centers while exploring the island and Searuba Fly'n Dive wins this comparison.
Momentarily they are in the middle of expanding and rebuilding the dive center. Afterwards they will open a new dive shop.
The boat is shored only 20 meters from the dive center and is supposed to leave each day at 09.00 am. However during my week this was more between 09.30 and 10.00 am. Again the word 'relax' comes around, everything happen in the Caribbean way. All boat dives are in the morning. This means you have the rest of the day free to explore the island. Usually you are back at the dive center around 13.00. Course and shore dives are usually in the afternoon. Night dives are also from shore.
All though Aruba has shore dives the most beautiful dive sites like Sonesta Airplanes, Antilla, Jane-C, Fingers, Harbor and many others are only accessible by boat. My only shore dive was the night dive.
The Sonesta Airplanes was my favourite dive site, but they where all beautiful and with loads of marine life. My most special moment was when I encountered a turtle which just lay in front of me and stayed there for almost five minutes before taking off.
I definitely recommend this dive center. I had a great time here with great people and amazing dive adventures.
Name: Searuba Fly'n Dive / Divefactory
Telephone: +297 588 1150
For video's or photo's off marine life and wrecks take a look here: 'Aruba - the Caribbean dive adventure'.