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“Open Water Certification”

Santorini Dive Center
Ranked #3 of 10 things to do in Perissa
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Santorini Dive Center has the best setup with easy and quick access to all the dive sites around the Caldera and the Volcanoes. The Dive Station is located at Caldera Beach, a small remote beach with traditional caves below the cliffs of Akrotiri village nearby the ruins of the ancient city overlooking the Volcanoes. Our Minibuses will transfer you there from your hotel. The station offers an easy and quick access to all the great volcanic dive spots because all of them are few minutes away. The divers can board from the small pier on the 9m spacious fibreglass fast diveboat able to carry 20 persons in order to start their dive trip. We have an office also in Perissa, at the southeast part of the island and is located in Perissa Camping in front of the famous Black Sand Beach, between the Camping's Beach Bar and Yazz bar.
1 review
“Open Water Certification”
Reviewed 6 October 2013

My girlfiend and I have just returned from Santorini where she gained her open water certification. Pavlos, Willi and Nikos were excellent guides and instructors and the whole outfit was very friendly and professional. Highly recommended.

Visited September 2013
Thank andrewjohnsmith68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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202 reviews from our community

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Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
45 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Excellent fun!!”
Reviewed 29 September 2013

We decided on a whim to try diving whilst on holiday and it was an amazing success!! The team at Santorini Dive Centre were extremely professional and helpful. As a couple of newbies, my husband and I had the pleasure of being instructed by Jamie Walsh our dive master and he was incredibly patient and relaxed with us. We enjoyed the entire experience and hope to complete our dive licences to return to Santorini for an open water excursion with the dive team.

Visited September 2013
Thank UshanthaN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great Experience”
Reviewed 22 September 2013 via mobile

I recently had the honour of taking the Open Water Diver course with the Santorini Dive Center. With the help of Willy, Pavlo and Nikos, I not only successfully completed my course, but had an incredible experience as well. The instructors at this center are truly competent and passionate about their profession. They assure that you not only understand the theory but can also perform it comfortably underwater in mock emergency situations. I truly would recommend this dive center to any divers (experienced or introductory), as it was a fantastic experience for me.

Thank you Willy, Pavlo, and Nikos.


Ben (the Canadian)

Visited September 2013
Thank Vitamix77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“great time”
Reviewed 1 September 2013

i have just returned from santorini where i was pleased to have completed my AOW cert. with the santorini dive centre. i found the staff extremely helpful and very friendly. The professional staff made for a safe diving environment with some great diving for a diver of my limited experience. great house reef wreck and deep dive locations. when i return to santorini i will have no hesitation to dive with SDC.
Thanks to paul , nick willie and the rest of the team

Visited August 2013
Thank tom h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Old, worn down equipment and unprofessional staff”
Reviewed 23 August 2013

I just returned from a trip to Greece where I went on 4 dives, 2 of which were with Santorini Dive Center. There were several issues which would prevent me from returning to this dive center in the future:

- Equipment: All equipment given to me and the others in my dive groups were in below average condition. All the wetsuits had rips, tears and frays in them. My particular wetsuit didn't have a seal for the zipper at the top (did it rip off?) and as a result the zipper kept creeping open every few minutes during my dives. On the 2nd dive my primary regulator starting taking in water (see my comments on "Safety" below for more details). The equipment was good enough, but if you're looking for top-notch equipment, look elsewhere.

- Safety & Professionalism: There were several signs that this dive center is not as serious about safety as they could be. We and other divers in our group were PADI certified, but the staff did not ask for nor verify our PADI cards. They also did not ask us to fill out the standard PADI health survey; they only asked us to sign a waiver indicating that we are certified and absolving them of any responsibility. When we prepared for the first dive, they encouraged me to carry extra weight due to the high salt content of the water. When I got in the water, I failed the surface buoyancy test - even with a fully inflated BCD I could not keep my head above water without swimming. I notified the staff and demonstrated the test to them, but they told me to just adjust my BCD and change weight on the 2nd dive. Needless to say, I was fighting with the weights and my buoyancy the whole dive. On the 2nd dive I fixed my weighting, but early in the dive my primary regulator started to take water in with each breathe. I was able to clear it on the exhale, so I tolerated it for the duration of the dive, but it was clear that the regulator valve had an issue. When I returned to the dive center and informed them about the issue with my regulator one of the staff laughed at me and told me "that's what the octopus is for!", referring to the backup regulator. Lastly, the dive center requested payment before, not after, the dive, which is always a concerning sign. Too bad if you're not satisfied when it's over, because they already have your money. Good luck getting it back while they are laughing at you about your equipment malfunctions.

In comparison, our experience at GoDive Mykonos was delightful. PADI certifications and health checks were verified (for our safety) before diving. Our equipment was all in near-new, excellent condition and had no malfunctions. The staff took measures to ensure correct equipment setup proper weighting, adjusting in at least one case before descending. They took photos of us underwater and emailed them out later that night (for free!). They took payment after the dive was over. And so on.

Overall, dive centers like Santorini Dive Center are "good enough", but my advice would be to look elsewhere.

Visited August 2013
10 Thank Jack L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PaulSDC, Owner at Santorini Dive Center, responded to this review, 25 August 2013
Dear Jack, partner of Natacha77NYC

Let me answer to both of you:
Natacha wrote that you are experienced divers.

An experienced diver is a demanding diver, always checks the equipment and if something is not good ask to change it.
We asked you to check your equipment before the dive and you didn't say that is “old and defective”. Because of the “old and defective” equipment, Natacha wrote that she had a “dive accident”. I spoke to the instructor who guided the dive and as far as his memory goes, we found that Natacha forgot to deflate (or didn't do it properly) her BCD during the ascent from a wall and she went up to the surface.

About your weights: “Needless to say, I was fighting with the weights and my buoyancy the whole dive” We give out weight belts with 6 or 8 kilos to most of the divers. In your case you may have gotten a 8 kilo belt instead of a 6 that you may have needed. I don't think an experienced diver will fight for his buoyancy with 2 extra kilos.

So, after the first dive you came back, had a break and did a second dive with the same equipment without mention something to us about the “dive accident” and “old, defective” equipment.

“On our second dive, they made us start from the beach”
What do you mean by made you? The second dive took place at the reef in front of the station, we don’t let people fish there and is the only spot on Santorini where you are surrounded by fish.

“When I returned to the dive center and informed them about the issue with my regulator one of the staff laughed at me and told me "that's what the octopus is for!",
I remember this very well because it was me. We met at the shore just before you come out of the water, you told me about the 2nd stage, I tried by breathing from it, I told you that you are right and that I will check it, I asked you if you used your octopus during the dive and you told me NO, I advised you that is good to use it in such cases and to remember it for your future dives. I never laughed at you, I might have smiled to make you feel better, because this is something you learn during your Open Water Diver Course.

Advance payment: Despite the transfers we do, many divers are coming by their own. We do all paperwork and payments in the beginning because after the dives the divers split up and go at the beach, at the tavern, continue driving in other places and stay at the station only the divers need to drive them back. You think is easy after the dives when all of us disassemble, rinse and store the equipment to look for the divers and get payments? Believe me NO!

Paperwork: We do what exactly the Greek law and PADI ask. The waiver is mandatory for all activities and the medical statement only for the courses and the introductory dives (discover scuba).

At the end, Natacha and Jack, why did you leave without talking about the issues you had.

Most of the times when you actually talk about what’s bothering you, you end up with a lot better conclusion than this.

Diving for 30 years, having the dive center in Santorini for 15 years I care more about the people than making money.

Wish you to enjoy diving around the world.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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