Dive Concepts Bali
Dive Concepts Bali Tulamben Reviews
Good Price and local dives - Avoid Robert Sep 19, 2011
Dive concept definitely offers a very good package for local diving in Tulamben. 7 dives is $145. In addition, they also have basic accommodation that you can stay in for 50,000/night. They also serve food as well. They also offered us pickup from Kuta Beach for 100,000 Rupies.
They are located in Tulamben, which in itself is fairly small, and has very little to do outside of diving. Dive Concept does their local dives which can either be reached by simply walking to the beach across the road, and or they have a mini bus that can take you to shore dives within 15minute drive. They also do dives in Ahmed as part of their “local dive” package. The shore dives are interested. It is a rocky beach so some may find it difficult walking as rocks vary in size. A night dive on the USAT Liberty Wreck, is also included in the package, including a torch.
The shop has you fill out liability waivers, which I haven’t seen any other shop do since our trip began, although they do not actually check your cards. When we arrived, the shop seemed very disorganized. We did meet Robert, with whom we had already been emailing with. He was quite quick and to the point with us, although there was no formal orientation or information given to us regarding when we would be diving, what the schedule was like, where our rooms were, anything about the food or meal times. We just felt pretty lost once we got there and waited until we were told to grab gear (roughly an hour wait) There is internet there although it is closed to their guests????
The local dives are great. We visited Coral Gardens, USAT Liberty Wreck (awesome!), Canyons (which is a site they found. It’s a really great morning dive, Drop Off, and Kelibitu. When we went to Kelibitu, we had to pay an additional 40,000 each as we used a local boy guy to drop us off and pick us up. The diving is really beautiful, colorful and houses many schools of fish. Sadly things like sharks and turtles are missing. On most dives you can find humphead parrot fish, sting rays and if you’re lucky, ghost pipe fish.
The equipment was good and seemed to be taken care of. The booties though, are not the best booties for the shore diving they do. You literally feel every rock you walk over because they are so thin. But everything else is good. The only thing is, if they are offering dives to Nusa Penida where the temperature dropped to 17 degrees Celsius, they need to have proper wetsuits and hoods. We doubled up 3mm wetsuits, but even those are well worn down and probably only 4mm put on together. Just unsafe and really unenjoyable on the dive when you are freezing your buns off.
I found that the majority of the DM/Instructors to either be fairly new to the industry, or green to Tulamben. This kind of made it frustrating, because you know there are cool things to see there (small stuff), but the guides didn’t know where to find them. Andrew was good, while Suzanna was ok. If you dive with Andrew in the afternoon, he tended to be unorganized and left to the sites too late. Both our 4pm dives were quite a bit later than planned, which in turn meant we were doing dusks dives. We had to dive the USAT Liberty twice because there wasn’t enough light to fully enjoy it the first time. They really need to set a schedule and try better to stick to it. And you do feel slightly rushed because driving to and from the sites take time, then gearing up and walking the beach to the shore entry takes time… and yes while a bonus, diving 60-70 minute dive takes time as well… So things do feel rushed and go go. Hour to hour and half surface intervals on most dives – 4 dives a day…and usually deep dives.
We went to Nusa Penida with Robert, who already we did not like from the previous two days around the shop. He is not only rude and abrupt to his fellow colleagues, but he was rude with his students and guests as well. At one point my boyfriend misplaced his weight belt, because Suzanna had not told us where to group our gear…. Well my bf accidentally placed it where Robert was having his group leave their gear and when my boyfriend mentioned this to Robert and went to grab it, Robert basically said, if it’s in our area, it’s ours and you’ve lost it… Seriously! He’s diving with 3 girls all of which are clearly not using the same weight as my bf, and Robert is not going to allow him to take it? Robert also on several occasions spoke in front of the guests poorly about the staff and too the staff as if it was appropriate for us to hear. Robert just did several things throughout our stay there that just made us shake our head. His level of professionalism is probably one of the worst I have seen yet.
So he took us to Nusa Penida with 2 other divers. When we arrived in Sanur, we waiting well over half an hour for our lunch to arrive, as it somehow didn’t occur to him or possibly on any of his previous day trips before, to order our lunch the night before and have a pick up time prearranged so A) not only is it one motion to arrive, pick up the lunch and get on the boat and B) again we don’t have to hear him on the phone with his staff member complaining and being rude about our lunches and how they won’t be ready on time for us to leave when he had planned.
The trip out to NP was very rough. In fact I was surprised they even took boats out on the sea in conditions like what they were. (Today we learned online that a boat of 36 passenger/crew capsized their boat the day before we went. 11 killed, 14 still missing) So maybe there should have been a judgment call consideration for the sea conditions. Although our captain was very good and I was impressed at how he navigated us there. When we arrived, Robert did an ok job at our dive briefings. He did have some communication problems with us, as with his DM, which I could go on with the story, but long story short, he tried giving us crap for descending when we jumped in the water even after he had told us to. I told him to give better instructions next time. The Crystal Bay dive (the one with the dangerously strong down current) he actually took his personal camera down. Divers die on this site monthly and go missing, and here he was diving, way ahead of the group and using his personal camera. Sorry, when I’m paying for you to guide, you guide and point things out, you don’t use our time as your personal time to capture video and neglect your guests. Unprofessional, yet again.
We didn’t really eat too much at Dive Concept as we went to Safety Stop around the corner because they offered free wifi. But the Spaghetti Carbonara was awful. The Megorang and Nasi Goreng was awesome and really good portion as well.
Accommodation was good. Clean, decent bathroom, cold shower and just a problem with little ants, and big ones too. But overall still a bargain.
Part of the Backpack SEA and Aussie Round 3 travel blog
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