“Absolutely EXCELLENT diving operation – 100% recommended” 312 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community
I am a 20+ years PADI DiveMaster and Master Scuba Diver, with over 400 dives. I mention this so that you can distinguish this review (with every respect) from one from someone new to diving who might be thrilled with rather less.
I dived on three days (6 dives) with Mermaid, with my wife (who is newer to diving – OWD with 20 dives) in May 2016. From our very first interaction with the company when we booked our diving online in advance, it was clear that this was a well-organised outfit.
We went to the dive centre (which is just off the main 1A/B road) the day before our first dives to look it over, and to fill in our waiver forms. We met the business owner Carlos, who is an out-and-out diving professional (commercial diving background). The centre is lovely with small pool, seating area, and BBQ (see photos). The shop is reasonably well stocked, and the rental kit in very good shape. We were offered free hotel pick-up, but chose to drive to the shop each day (for our convenience).
Mermaid does two dive trips most days – a two-tank in the morning and a one-tank in the afternoon. Each is preceded by an intelligent safety talk from Carlos. It is factual, helpful, and (frankly) overlooked by some companies I have dived with. You are made to feel REALLY safe. Carlos’s took us in a beaten-up minibus from the shop to the boat, which is located in Oranjestad harbour 10 minutes away. The dive boat is my favourite sort – big enough, but not too big (hate RIBs for diving). It holds 8-12 divers perfectly. It has a fresh-water shower (hose), marine head and easy access points at the rear.
Hubert drives the boat (really nice man) and there are a couple of dive leaders. We thought that Caniciou was a truly FANTASTIC 5* dive leader. Really knew his stuff, and where to look for interesting sea life. He taught me to spear-fish for (the hated) lion fish, and we caught three – which he fed to morays.
There are some great dive sites here – we liked the DC-3 wrecks the best. But all six dives we did were excellent with lots of sea life to enjoy.
When all was done, we stamped our dive logs, and Carlos gave us a Mermaid t-shirt each (free) as a souvenir. In my opinion, this is a perfect dive centre and I highly recommend it to you.
If my review has informed you, please reward me with a “Helpful” vote – thank you.
Visited May 2016 / 312 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community