from 3 reviews
PADI Dive Center
28th September 2012 by 06david90
WORST diving experience i could possibly imagine
Visit Date: September 2012
To start the day off we were picked up from our hotel in a timely fashion. On arriving at the diving centre not a single word was spoken to us or anyone around, we were simply marched onto the boat following a silent guy with his hand in the air. Once on the boat health forms were handed out. One member of my party has an existing health condition requiring specialist attention before being allowed to dive. I can only assume the forms were never looked at as no-one picked up on this fact or attempted to communicate with us. Following this we were given an indtroductory briefing, which did cover the basics of scuba diving, hand signals, what to expect, etc. When we arrived at the diving spot we were then informed we were "Group 4" and should move to the back of the boat when our group number was called. We then sat for 2 hours waiting. When our number was finally called, we proceeded to the back of the boat where we were given a pair of fins, and told to swim to shore. We did as instructed, and were then given the necessary equipment by different members of staff in complete silence.
On first doning the equipment an instructor came around and asked me to put my head under the water. I believed this to be his way of checking i was comfortable with breathing underwater, however, when I raised my head after a few seconds wondering where he had gone I was shouted at and pushed back underwater. My dive had begun.
At this point i began to wonder what stage the rest of my family was at. We have a mixed amount of experience between us, my step-dad is PADI approved but joined us for the family experience, I myself have been on 5 dives, mum has been on 1, and my sister (with the aforementioned health concerns) was a first timer. My sister was no-where to be seen. I learnt afterwards that she had panicked when she went under the water, and, like me, had been roughly pushed to the bottom of the sea when she attempted to rise. This happened to her several times and each time she literally had the mouthpiece pushed into her mouth and then pushed under the water. This is undoubtedly due to the time not being taken to read her health form and there being no professionalism or compassion, or attempt at understanding her situation. For a trip that was supposedly catering to first-time-divers they showed a shocking attitude towards anyone who was not entirely competant the instant they touched the water.
At this point we were lead by an instructor holding a camera along the bottom of the sea floor. However, since we had done a beach start and there was zero co-ordination between any staff members, other divers were still being ushered into the water to perform the swim to the beach. As one such person made there way to the beach, my mum got kicked fully in the face. As she has had a little experience before she managed to rectify herself, however no assistance was offered and it fell to myself and my step-dad to ensure she was OK. Whilst doing this the instructor in front of us began to bang rocks together to get our attention, and when we turned back to him he simply continued to point a camera. The dive was around 4meters deep and lasted around 10 minutes, a far cry from the 25 minutes advertised.
The second dive was far worse. This time we begun the dive from the boat. My sister was so shaken by the earlier experience she unsurprsingly didn't want to join in anymore, so we got added to another small group to bulk up the numbers and make it more cost and time efficient for the company. No pictures were taken this time, and with good reason, since there was literally nothing to see. The five of us were once again pushed to the sea floor and then begun to follow the instructor. We were not allowed to look in any direction other than straight ahead, doing so resulted in him banging rocks together once more, not an approved scuba diving signal so far as im aware. Since no time had been taken to correct anyones bouyancy, i found myself pulling myself along the sea floor, whilst my step-dad could barely keep himself from floating upwards. With five people following one instructor he was continually attempting to 'herd' us together, presumably so he could see us all at once. However, in doing so on at least 2 occasions a young girl we had been grouped with got hit in the face by other scuba divers attempting to group up as instructed, and had her mask dislodged both times. On both occasions the instructor did nothing to help the young girl, but instead attempted to reprimand the person who had caused the accident through what can only be described as aggresive hand gesturing. Due to the number of people on each dive and never being allowed off the sea-floor the sand was continually being kicked up and never got a chance to settle. The visibility was less than 1m and the dive was approximately 3 meters deep in an empty area circling the bottom of the boat. It lasted approximately 5 minutes.
The facilities onboard the boat were non-existant. The changing room was a toilet in a cupboard. At one point we were stood at the back of the boat, attempting to discover what had happened to my sister after the first dive as we hadn't seen her since. We were then told to "MOVE I AM WORKING HERE YOU CANNOT STAND HERE".
The entire experience was a glorified photo shoot. We had to pay for the privelage of being there and was then expected to pay for the photos. The staff were unprofessional and rude, the dives themselves were farsical. The second dive was described by my PADI approved step-dad with many years of diving experience under his belt as "the most pointless and worst experience of his diving career". For a first-experience I wouldn't be surprised if my sister never wanted to scuba-dive again, and based on how she was treated i wouldnt blame her.
At the end of the day we were all given a certificate, congrulatulating us for completeing two 7 meter deep 25minute long dives. My sister recieved the same certificate.
Despite the length of this review there are still many more things I could mention. This was simply the worst diving experience imagineable, and I feel sorry for anyone else who is tricked into paying for this by a travel represntative like we were.
28th April 2012 by Frad23
NOT safe and NOT professional
Visit Date: April 2012
I went to Kemer with a plan to get my diving certificate at Aqua Age but they didn't offer the course on the day I arrive–luckily!
I went on their diving tour to make a use of my trip to Kemer. I had dove for fun before but the staff here were not professional. The first thing which was safety was simply disregarded. They didn't take the time to explain to the first timers how things worked under the water and left with the first group after a 10 minute 'introduction to diving' which was mainly around the photo/video CD that they'd sell after the dive. I shared my little knowledge about breathing and mask clearing for the other two groups on boat.
Out group which was the last waited for about 2 hours before getting into the water as there were only two instructors for about 15 people there and one of them was only taking photos/video the whole time.
For the second dive they took us to 12M down in a group 6 which surprised me. There were two guys who got panicked and went up. One simply because of water in his mask and the other I don't know. But what matters here is safety. Those people should've been informed how to go up, clear the mask, equalize, etc. None were even mentioned.
My experience AquaAge Diving Centre was pushy sales and lack of attention to the divers specially to the first timers.
Under the water they grabbed a guy's camera while he was filming and hit my GoPro intentionally to show their disapproval of camera's under water to sell their own at the end.
I gave them two stars because I tend to eat a lot when I do physical work and they provided lots of pasta and bread which was nice.
13th May 2011 by NorfolkDiver
Enthusiastic crew but average diving
Visit Date: April 2011
Just back from 2 weeks of sun in Side, Turkey. During the visit I tried 2 dive centres, this outfit was my second.
Aqua Age have 2 dive centres, one at Kemer, the other at Okurcalar 20 Km south of Side. I booked Okurcalar via email from their website, there was a prompt response checking my requirements.
Pick up from hotel was OK, with about 1/2 hour transfer time. The boat was a bit tatty, accessed via a run down rusty jetty. The dive kit was well used with perished hoses on the regulators and leaking valves on tanks - seems regular service of dive kit is not commonplace in the area if my 2 experiences are typical.
The crew however were much more professional than the first outfit I dived with, they checked registrations, set up buddy pairs according to experience, and ensured proper pre-dive checks were carried out.
The diving in this area was nothing special with rocky seabed and sea grasses with little marine life to see, a few mini islands to swim round and visibility was about 10 metres max, water temperature 20 degrees in May. There were some pleasant dives if you just wanted to relax and enjoy yourself underwater.
The emphasis seems to be on the try-diver revenue - day outings booked through reps and local tour operators. They did try to interest the more experienced divers, and on the 2nd day when the weather prevented access to some of the dive sites they actually offered free dives the next day if I wanted.
Probably wont return to the area as we try to arrange holidays so there is something for both of us, and there just isn't any diving worth doing for me.
Hope this helps anyone planning to dive this area on their holiday - but don't expect any challenging diving, and take your own kit.