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“Open Water Course”

Divepuertoprincesa Dive Center
Ranked #2 of 26 Tours in Puerto Princesa
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Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: DIVEPUERTORPINCESA’s approach to diving is one of safety and professionalism. Dive courses, lessons and fun dives are efficiently handled by dive pros with PADI credentials. Whether you are just a first-time diver or are already certified, we are dedicated to let you go scuba diving in Puerto Princesa as safely, and as enjoyably as you can get. Scuba diving for almost 17 years has enriched our passion for this sport. Our commitment to quality service and diver safety still stands out to this day. Which is why remain as one of the more reputable contacts for diving in this side of the Philippines. Scuba dive in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, and see one of the country’s most beautiful and pristine seascapes. Down south, the underwater life is diverse and abundant. Divers and tourists from all over the world would surely love to feast their eyes on such a breath-taking undersea treat! Driven. Professional. Personal. No BUDDY does it better, you bet.
Reviewed 22 August 2017

I took my open water certification course. It was great! Rommel was very professional and divemaster Pat was awesome! He made sure to check in on me every few seconds during our first dives and I felt very comfortable with him. Would recommend!

Thank Taylor J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Romel C, Manager at Divepuertoprincesa Dive Center, responded to this reviewResponded 24 August 2017


Thank you for the good review. We are again inspired to do well. By the way, the nickname of Divemaster Napoleon is NAP, not Pat.


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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (69)
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"open water"
in 7 reviews
"el nido"
in 7 reviews
"amazing experience"
in 4 reviews
"interesting things"
in 2 reviews
"boat driver"
in 3 reviews
"the reefs"
in 2 reviews
in 14 reviews
in 7 reviews
in 11 reviews
in 5 reviews
in 9 reviews
in 8 reviews
in 6 reviews
in 2 reviews
in 2 reviews
in 3 reviews
in 4 reviews

7 - 11 of 69 reviews

Reviewed 1 July 2017

Romel the owner and I exchanged emails, which will be part of the evidence I will be submitting to PADI, where I explicitly informed him that my girlfriend had just been certified the day before and this would be her FIRST dive without her instructor (Fifth dive in her life as proved by her Diver's Log which I will also submit to PADI. He personally picked us up at the hotel and brought us to his shop nearby where we filled out the medical forms, and listed our experience as divers (me a lot, her ONLY 4 dives during her training course 2 days before). AFTER paying and getting fitted for equiptment, he for the first time said he would not go with us but would send his "divemaster". I looked at the certificates on the wall and ALL were in Rommel's name.

Bait and switch, but it only got worse. We went out to an offshore seamount where the "divemaster", whose English was minimal, gave the most cursory "briefing"(using the term loosely) I've received in almost 30 years of diving in over a dozen countries. Turns out the reef started at 24 meters, despite the fact that divers only certified as Open Water are limited by PADI regulation to no more than 18 meters. Then there was the fact the current was at least 2 knots requiring descend down the anchor line, TOTALLY inappropriate for a novice diver.

While the "divemaster" escorted her down the anchor line, once at the bottom he took off on his own, not even pairing with the other advanced diver in our group. I burned up my air quickly as I was doing most the kicking against the current while dragging my girlfriend along. So When I got to 70 bars I needed to get ready to go up and do a safety stop due to the depth of the dive. I had my own dive computer but no safety sausage as usually the divemaster has one. Well he did but when we ascended he was nowhere near us. Luckily the seas were not rough nor were there waves so the boat driver saw us and came and got us.

When I told the divemaster I was displeased with the EGREGIOUS breach of safety rules for a diver on just her FIRST dive EVER without an instructor, he said "Rommel never told me she was a beginning level diver". When I asked why he abandoned her once she reached the bottom he said "well I saw you were there near her.

I also note that the regulator I was issued made a wheezing noise like an asmatic struggilng to breath. This made me nervous as well. It was obviously NOT well maintained as I've not heard a noise like that and I've used 100s of rented regulators.

The diving itself was OK. Personally, I'd suggest saving your money and time for diving in the North by El Nido or San Fernando (near Qi Resort)

7  Thank NewWorldSurfer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 11 April 2017 via mobile

When I saw that there are only two reasonable due shops in Puerto Princesa, I thought that diving is probably not very good. I was surprised by the beauty and variety of the reefs. Definitely try night diving if you can, it's awesome.
Three shop itself is very small but friendly, you feel as part of the family pretty fast. I did a couple of fun dives and my PADI Nitrox course with them (as prep for my Tubbataha liveaboard).
Thanks to Rome (instructor) and Nel (divemaster) for the cool experience!
I will definitely go with them if I end up in Puerto Princesa again.

1  Thank Stefan D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 1 April 2017

My husband and I were planing to dive in the Philippines, but my husband had to do his Padi Open Water first. So we decided to stay in Puerto Princesa to do the dives and it was the best decision ever. Romel was very professional from the beginning until the very end. His team is really nice, DM Nap was the best. I also did a little refresh on my skills, as I did my license a few years ago, and it was great. The equipment is good and the team is very calm and understanding. If we ever come back to Puerto Princesa we'll definitely dive again with Dive Puerto Princesa.

3  Thank izabellagabriela
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed 22 March 2017 via mobile

Contacted this dive shop by email and was directed to their very engaging website and received hotel recommendations. Arrived the island and went to the vety conveniently located shop to greeted by friendly and helpful staff specifically Elisa who assisted me to book for the next available dive trip. Bought a nice shirt with shop logo.
Dive crew (Divemasters, Boat Captain, transportation driver) have been professional yet friendly and very accommodating.
Did two day dives and one night for two days and sites were hand picked by crew and were fantasticb as it takes less than 5 minutes to get to the dive boat which is loaded with tanks and pastries and fresh fruit for surface interval snacks while the crew prepares the divers gears.
Owner Rommel Carbonell is exceptionally professional and very hospitable with a very homely designed full service dive shop with air conditioned classroom for those needing certs or additional certs.
Prices are very reasonable too.
Would definitely recommend to friends and family.

1  Thank Norman S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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