August 18-25, 2018
VIP Diving was recommended to us by our dive shop at home. Overall we were very happy with the services they provided. Before our trip we arranged a package including two guided dives (refresher course of sorts), the buoyancy course which entailed a full day of instruction and two dives, equipment rental – BCDs, shorty wet suites and weights, and unlimited tanks. They were very responsive providing us detailed answers to our inquiries.
We had the same instructor, Ron, for both days. He was professional and friendly. On the first day of refresher dives he did not provide much overt diving instruction but rather observed what we were doing and offered minor tips and answered questions. We dove the Salt Pier and Bari Reef.
For the PADI Buoyancy course, we were given a booklet the afternoon before to read and answer questions, including a test at the back of the book. It took us about an hour and half to complete. The day of the course we watched a video covering the same material and went over any questions that we had answered incorrectly.
We then did two dives, Invisibles and Tori’s Reef, where we first determined proper weighting and then practiced buoyancy control i.e, maintain a position in the water using only your breath including as we did a mask clearing exercise. After the exercises it became a normal guided dive on which we were encouraged to practice buoyancy in different positions to better observe the marine life.
An additional advantage of a guided dive is the guide’s ability to spot marine life. With Ron we saw sea turtles and an octopus swimming at the Salt Pier and found another octopus under a morning block and moray eels at Bari Reef.
Everyone we encountered in the dive shop was friendly and attentive and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend their services.