from 1 reviews
PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Center
Adventure Scuba - New York
1737 York Avenue
New York City
16th November 2011 by lcbeachster
Visit Date: September 2011
My husband and I took the Open Water Referral executive course prior to our trip to the Cook Islands.
Prior to the one-day course, Adventure Scuba mailed us two books and a course DVD for our review. We read the book and answered all the knowledge questions. However, when we tried to watch the DVD, we realized that the second part (there were two parts) did not work. We realized this the day before the course, so we were unable to contact Adventure Scuba and get another DVD on such short notice.
On the day of the course, we met our instructor Tony, who at the time seemed competent and even mentioned having been certified since 1993. The only red flag raised at the moment was, he kept insisting that we would need to purchase wetsuits, despite admitting to the pool temperature being around 75 degrees. We politely refused the wetsuits (really, we're NYers, we can do 75 degrees!) and he even laughed and said we would definitely regret our decision not to buy them. We also mentioned that the second part of the DVD course didn't work and Tony did not seem overly concerned about this, so we figured we would catch up by practicing. Once in the pool, we went through the first two modules with no obvious problems. The afternoon session was more intense and I had a hard time completing one of the skills before running out of time, whereas my husband completed all of his confined water dives within the time frame. As we expected, wetsuits were completely unnecessary! So we go back to the dive shop, Tony hands me my referral for the 3 modules completed and my husband his for the entire 5. He told us to take the referrals to the Cook Islands (where we were to continue our certification) and we would have no problems with our next PADI center.
Imagine our surprise when, on Open Water Dive number one in the Cook Islands, we realize that Adventure Scuba gave us all sorts of wrong instruction! To start, we were taught that if we were wearing purge masks, we only needed to know one method of clearing our masks. Also, Adventure Scuba neglected to teach us to properly descend by holding the BCD deflating hose at its highest point and instead insisted that we descend by pulling on a cord on the right side of the vest! To say that we were vastly unprepared for our first confined water dive is an understatement! Our PADI instructor was so concerned with our safety and lack of competence that he decided to abort the rest of the dive and instead go over the skills we were supposed to have learned at Adventure Scuba. He said he has never seen anything like this and he worries that Adventure Scuba is signing referrals for people who are clearly not in a position to do an Open Water dive yet. Eventually, we were able to learn these skills with the help of a very patient and competent instructor in the Cook Islands, and get certified as PADI Open Water Divers, but it took going back to the basics and learning everything we were supposed to have learned at Adventure Scuba.
After coming back from my vacation, I contacted Adventure Scuba and told them about my experience. I was screamed and yelled at by Seth who claims he's never heard of anything like this happening and even argued that his rental equipment does not have a deflating string on the right side of the BCD. This is a lie and he knows it. Instead of an apology or partial refund, I was told that it was the fault of the PADI instructor in the Cook Islands that we didn't know what we were doing in the water. I find this lack of professionalism unacceptable, and hope that people considering Adventure Scuba for their certification find a better PADI center to spend their money.