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What our clients say...
I’ve been diving for 16+ years so I’ve seen my share of operators in both cold and warm water locations. I’ll keep my review as straight forward as possible. I’ll start by saying I HIGHLY recommend Octopus Diving.
Shop – the “storefront” is just down from the secure parking lot by about a block (<1 min walk). Thankfully Octopus Diving has signs posted on the winding little roads of Grand Case that in the states would be called alleys. There are two roads that lead right up to the shop. The secure parking lot is where the boats and “gear locker” and owner’s home is located. The shop was adequately stocked with whatever you left at home or whatever you need to start diving and open during business hours for walk-ins.
Crew – Nothing but praise – the DM’s are friendly and competent and made a point to learn everyone’s names. I watched as the DM’s interacted and assisted divers of various experience and skills. They were efficient and practiced but unhurried. I was with them for 10 dives. Their feedback to divers was professional, helpful and encouraging. The crew was the same five or six DM’s who took turns rotating responsibilities on the boat or at the dock. Each of them were always friendly and appeared happy with their employer. The DM’s allowed reasonable exploring just be a responsible diver and remember they’ve been to many of these sites before and have a good idea of where they might find some interesting sea life.
IMPORTANT REMINDER – DM’s are in a customer service industry that relies heavily on tourism. If you get good service tip accordingly. There’s a tip box that’s on one of the tables at the “dive locker” that is apparently shared amongst the crew. I recommend $5 per tank as a minimum or if you’re diving for a week tip out appropriately when you close your bill. As a customer don’t be bashful – walk over in front of everyone and show your appreciation for a good dive with good DM’s and put your cash in the box – it might be the appropriate reminder to other customers to remind them to say “thanks”.
The internet and dive magazines have been silent on Saint/Sint Maarten which is unfortunate. Having been to Belize, Bonaire, Curacao, and Cozumel etc I didn’t know what to expect. If you’re diving here come with an open mind prepare to be pleasantly surprised. If it swims in the Caribbean you have the chance to see it in Saint Maarten. I saw two of the largest lobsters I’ve seen in 16 years here. One dive at Tintimarre 5 turtles and two nurse sharks for example.
The fact that there’s a marine reserve is also to be complimented – although there was an unmarked/non buoyed lobster pot dumped my some local on one site.