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Just stay away, far away! Florida Keys Dive Center of Islamorada is a horrible dive operator. They jam divers onto their boats like sardines, with zero room to set up/store gear. I understand they are trying to make money, but there is no reason to stuff twenty five (25) divers onto a single dive boat. To top it off they had a second dive boat tied to the dock that they were not using. The entire boarding procedure was a chaotic mess and the dive boats left on average of 45 minutes late. To top it off some of employees were a$$holes. I arrived at the dive shop early, so few customers were there. I asked an employee if I could use a pressure gauge to check my tank (which I had the dive op fill). I always check the pressure in my tanks prior to diving. The employee completely flipped out, yelling about how he was so busy and it was a giant inconvenience for him to hand me the gauge which was not being used by anyone. I explained that ‘it wasn’t a big deal, just a pressure gauge”, and the employee continued on about how it was a big deal and so on and so forth. I decided to go onto the boat and unpack my own reg to check my tanks instead. I’m not saying all the employees were bad, some were friendly and helpful, but one or two bad apples can ruin the day. When I pay decent money to go diving I expect to be treated as anyone would want to be treated, fairly. Is it fair to stuff 25 divers on a single boat? Is it fair to yell at a customer for no reason? I don’t think so, and that is why I am warning anyone that is considering using this dive op. Stay away!
For him to provide you with his pressure gauge, he has to stop what he is doing and watch you use it less it vanish as tools so often do. He felt it has already been checked by his staff. Using your reg & spg was appropriate since he was trying to get a big boat ready to go.
Otherwise, if you don't want to dive from cattle boats - then don't book them. There are plenty of small boat operators around the Keys, but then they are not as well inspected.
Last edited by DandyDon; May 29th, 2012 at 12:00 PM.
How many divers was the boat designed to handle? How many other divers came up to the shop to ask to use their equipment to check the tank pressure that they have already checked? I have seen, and been issued, short fills before. A full tank is provided from the extras brought on board.
I think your thread is unfair.
If boats are certified to take 25 people, I see no reason for them not to, most actually are certified for more than what they take, they limit their reservation for 2-3 less in case last minute or mistakes, that way no one is left on the dock.
Have you consider paying for an additional 2-3 spots on the boat for some xtra room for yourself? How about a private charter? Did you ask not to be on a full boat when you booked your trip? There are operations with 6 pack boats out there, if that is your priority.
I do not like full boats at all, the less people is much better, in fact if they could bring just my buddy and I... but, weekends and holidays are most always full boats, I choose not to dive then, I tried to avoid the places and times when the boat is full, but to come here and bash the operation for that is just wrong.
As for your tank pressure, the employee should not be rude, however, there is always 2 sides to every story. I don't know the circumstances but I can see many reasons to be annoyed by your request too.
If you are paranoid about your tank pressure (I have friends like that) buy yourself a tank pressure checker or simply use your reg before the boat departs, there are numerous ways to keep better track of your tanks pressure/content as well
FKDC runs 2 46' Newtons These boats are certified to carry 36 divers. I go out with several ops in Florida that run the same boat. Is it nicer to have fewer divers on the boat? Sure, but there is still plenty of room on a Newton. Like a lot of people said, maybe you need to stick to 6 packs.
I stopped at Fl. Keys D.C. in the last week in Feb. The long hair,(I don't mind polite long haired people), working behind the desk was irritated with our questions about the dive, no. of divers on the boat etc. He treated us like our questions were stupid. The winds were strong and waves high and their boat can handle 10 footers so they go no matter what 10' or less he told us. Well 10' waves make diving not fun for me anyway. We ended up diving with Ocean Divers of Key Largo. They were professional, answered our questions and even recomended we not go on 10ft. wave days. They have a 46ft. dive boat staffed helpful people and they go with just 2 paying customers. I guess some days they loose money if only 2 divers go. Their $100.00 2 tank trip is about the same price as the other dive shops. We had people from South America on our trip so I guess $100.00 for them was not too much. I'm retired from Florida and not wealthy so I don't go to the Keys much as the dive price is getting to be to much for me to afford and then add tips. So, I covered 2 subjects w/ 1 post and hope it helps anyone going to the Keys.