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“Good course and great dives”
Review of Divers Den

Divers Den
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Great Barrier Reef Diving and Snorkeling Cruise from Cairns
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Divers Den is the right choice for visiting the Great Barrier Reef. Divers Den has operated from Cairns, Australia for over 30 years, making us not only the largest but also one of the longest established Cairns Diving and Snorkeling companies in the area. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced Diver or Snorkeler, your safety and enjoyment is on the top of our list when you visit the Great Barrier Reef with us.
Reviewed 6 September 2009

I just completed the 4-day open water padi course with deep sea divers den (DSDD) in cairns, and chose the option which included one night aboard Ocean Quest, sleeping out on the reef. As per earlier posts on this website, it is definitely worth the extra $$ to spend at least one night on the reef, as it makes it a truly unique experience.

First 2 days of course at the DDSD included pick up and drop back to accommodation. Note that there aren't many food outlets in the area around the shop, so recommend you take your own. Instructor was a little stern, but glad that the instruction was rigorous and safety oriented.

On day three there were two dives off the day-trip boat before joining the overnight boat (Ocean Quest) after lunch. Ocean Quest is large and comfortable, with big healthy meals and friendly service. Lovely large sun decks for relaxing between dives, but the good thing was that there are so many dives on each day that you don't really end up just sitting around too much. I am not used to being on boats, but found the stay on Ocean Quest quite comfortable - not too much rocking. On the 4-day openwater, you don't get to join the other divers for a night dive (nb. although if you stay on board for an extra night then you do). On day four, you undertake your third open water (ocean) dive, and then typically have one 'fun' dive before heading back to cairns on the day-boat.

The dive vests (bcd) and wetsuits at the shop/pool in cairns were a little ratty, but you are only using them in a pool and it was nice to see that the equipment on board the boats for ocean dives were in great condition (fairly new).

Overall, beautiful scenic dives, quality training and supervision, lovely weather.

Thank Little-old-me
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 22 August 2009

We took a 5-day PADI Open-Water Diver course with Deep Sea Diver's Den in August 2009. The course consists of 2 days in the classroom and pool, and 3 days (2-nights) on their overnight ship the Ocean Quest II.

We found the staff very friendly and knowledgeable. Everything was very well organised -- despite dealing with lots of customers at different levels (certified divers, students, and snorkelers), everything ran like clockwork and the crew was great at improvising to handle different situations that arose during our 5 days with them. The staff and crew have a genuine interest in diving, teaching, and the reef. Our instructor, in particular had a passion for diving and teaching, which was great.

The 2-day classroom and pool sessions were very good. Excellent instructor, very safety conscious, and after the 2 days on land we felt well-prepared for the 3 days at on the reef.

The 3 days (2 nights) on the reef aboard the Ocean Quest II ship were of course the best part of the course. After our 4 certification dives with our instructor, we were free to participate in all other dives onboard. In general there are 5 dives/day on the liveaboard -- 1 early morning, 2 morning, 1 afternoon, and 1 night dive. The ship moves to a new spot on the reef 2-3 times a day, so there are always new places to explore.

The facilities on board the Ocean Quest II were great. Lots of space, modern and clean, nice staterooms, comfortable beds, hot (ensuite) showers, good food, nice sun decks. The ship crew were friendly and service minded and, once again, everything was very well organised and ran like clockwork.

There was a nice mix of passengers on board. All ages, nationalities, and levels of experience. Very friendly and casual atmosphere.

Regardless of which tour operator you choose, we would recommend at least 1 overnight on the reef. If you only take a day trip, the travel time (1.5-2 hours each way) really eats into your time on the reef, leaving only 2-3 hours for rather hurried dives/snorkeling/lunch.

Our only minor objection to the course was the rather hard-sell during the middle of day 2 to buy our own masks (from the school shop). A good mask is of course very important, but for beginner divers who haven't actually tried diving yet, the $100-200 for a good mask is quite an investment. A better way to do it would have been an optional shop visit after the course on day 2; that way students not interested in masks could leave, rather than sit around for an hour in the middle of the course waiting for others to try on and purchase masks.

Thank Steven M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 August 2009

My wife and I had a 5D4N dive trip to the Cod Hole and Osprey reef on board the Taka boat, run by Deep Sea Diver's Den. We must say that it was a really well organised trip and the crew on board the Taka took great efforts to make our dive trip a comfortable and safe one.
The cod feed and shark feed were highlights of the trip and we can be sure you won't be disappointed.
Just before the cod feed, the crew had noted strong currents running and had delayed our dive for an hour and a half. During this time, they actually set up mooring lines from the ship so that we could use the ropes to descend safely into the site without being swept by the current.
Dive guides are also readily available when requested though the instructors will take turns to guide so you may have a different guide each dive
Facilities on the boat is more than adequate and meals are great, especially the desserts.

Some downsides though: the boat is REALLY rocky especially during the travel out to the Osprey reef, so make sure you bring along motion-sickness pills (the boat actually ran out of them during out trip). The rockiness will also affect your sleep as everything in your cabin will be running left and right, up and down with the ship's motion.
The dive schedule is kind of tight (4 dives a day for 3 days and 2 dives on the last day), it's great if you're really a avid diver but it wore us out in the end.

In summary, you won't go wrong if you pick Taka.

3  Thank jetlkh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 June 2009

I chose to spend one day with Deep Sea Divers Den while on Cairns for business d/t their schedule (I wanted to go to Sunday Mass before leaving). The boat is moderate-sized (for the location) and had a somewhat bumpy ride, but was a little better than the boat I had been on the day before. However, someone prone to seasickness might prefer a larger boat with a smoother ride, despite the crowd. On the day I went, there were about 20-25 passengers, with a few certified divers and the rest split between students and resort divers, plus a few snorkelers. I chose the "guided" dive option because I wanted to see the most with the least stress, and because I was traveling alone and did not want to be assigned a novice dive buddy for whom I would then feel responsible. Unfortunately, this did not work out well for several reasons. First, it became clear in the dive briefing that the company was not using the guides as guides, but rather as supervisors to watch inexperienced divers. They reviewed dive logs and paperwork and told people that they needed to get a guide- not a bad idea from a safety standpoint, but not exactly fair to those of us with experience. On top of that, they paired me up with an inexperienced "buddy" on each of the three dives, a DIFFERENT one each time, and also gave me a different dive guide on each dive. I have no idea why. This resulted in a lot of wasted time both in and out of the water. The guides were nice but were given a horrible situation.

The day trip boat was also used as a "ferry" to take divers out to the live-aboard. We stopped off at the live-aboard on the way out, apparently to drop off food and supplies, and stopped off again for about 20 minutes on the way back, to drop off divers and pick up other ones. This would have been less annoying had it not been for the fact that it shortened the time we had on the reef considerably. Lunch was served while we were doing our second dive, so that everyone else was finished when we came out of the water. We had to wolf down our lunch while listening to the briefing for the third dive, and then get immediately back in the water.

I would not use this dive operator again unless they change some of their policies.

Please see another review I wrote of a different company for comparison.

2  Thank ExPatinNica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 May 2009

We had a lot of fun. We are scuba divers & that is this boats main purpose, I think the company with the boat named Osprey did a much better job with the snorkeling aspect. But if you are a diver this is a good boat choice for you. We did the one day-2 dives trip. Take an anti-motion sick pill like Dramamine or Bonnie 30 min before getting on the boat. There are serious waves getting to the reef. Glad i was prepared or I would have been too sick to enjoy it. Even my boyfriend was getting sea sick & he never does.

Thank robin r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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