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View Full Version : Fort Lauderdale, Fl a big disappointment



coldincanada
03-22-2008, 12:31
I went for March 5 to the 12, 2008 to Fort Lauderdale staying at the Bahia Mar and diving with Dream America II.
The weather was around 72 all the dive shops told me I needed a new wetsuit as i brought a 7 mm full from Canada and they told me i would cook,,,,,,,,,not. The bottom temp was 70 and i was the only one not shivering so they jjjjjust wanted a quick sale.
The dive charter America Dream II associatred with Fort Lauderdale Diver shop sucked as well as the diving. Mostly students two groups of 6 and the other divers had no c card all saying they forgot, a big no no in all the books.
The dive had low visibility around 40 ft and high currents and rough on the surface
Pro Dive is gone due to mismanagement i am told and i did not feel like traveling a half hour to the nearest alternate charter as a was so turned off to the shops in Fort Lauderdale
I stopped in at SeaXp i think it is they did not have the time of day for me when i related i was looking for a chater in the area.

So much for Fort Lauderdale

Bigg_Budd
03-22-2008, 13:56
I've dove FTL about 2 dozen times. I've had nothing but awesome experiences. If you ever go back, and it sounds like you won't, try out Force-E Scuba. Good shop, and a great network of charters.

Scubastud16
03-22-2008, 15:09
You're the first person I've ever seen of have a bad experience with Capt. Todd and American Dream 2. I'm sorry you think you had a poor experience, but I love that charter. I've had nothing but awesome experiences and awesome diving.

This time of year most of the locals are in 5mm, that's why they were trying to get you in one. Not to mention you're from up north, and you are used to much colder waters.

Students, yes...there are often students on the boat. The LDS I work at uses him as well, he's a great captain on a big boat that's easy for new divers to get used to. I've never had them interrupt or ruin my diving.

Sorry to hear you had a bad time, but you're the first I've ever heard of.

Wolfie2012
03-22-2008, 21:13
I've dove Ft Lauderdale more times than I can count and I've never had a bad experience. I have used American Dream 2 and they're great, but have become pretty loyal to Parrot Island Scuba lately. Sucks that the OP had a bad time, but hopefully he'll give it another shot. Bad diving is not the norm down there.

Grin
03-23-2008, 07:45
I dove Ft Lauderdale yesterday on forum member No-Misses boat. Vis was about 30-40 ft and temp was 70. I consider that pretty good. We caught 3 limits of lobsters and then I took these pics (I know they are amateur pics, but I am no photographer). I consider Ft L a great place to get some easy and great diving in. The current of about 1 mph eliminates you even having to kick. How much easier does it get than that(not mentioning the whopping 2 mile run from the inlet).

Splitlip
03-23-2008, 08:26
Sorry you had a bad time.
Not much any dive op can do about conditions on a given day. I am surprised any shop or op would be rude. No shop or op has a monopoly in South Florida and my experience is they are pretty helpful. Especially considering there is another one right down the road with which they need to compete. Must have caught somebody on a bad day.
As for the 7 mil suit. I would agree it is too much suit here any time of year.

coldincanada
03-23-2008, 22:17
most of the divers i was on the boat with came up cold from a first dive.
i lasted 40 the dive was only 70 ft bottom and i know most of the students came up after 25-30

the second dive was a 30 ft reef and i lasted 45 mintues a saftey diver from the area who also had a 7 mm. Most people came up cold again.

i think they push not to wear proper protection so the dives are shorter

Once again Dream America and Fort Lauderdale was a big disappointment.

I am a active diver having done cozumel, playa, b.c. and never had such a bad time.........glad to hear others have done better in Fort Lauderdale

coldincanada
03-23-2008, 22:18
i will try force e next time

Dive-aholic
03-23-2008, 22:48
So what exactly about American Dream II "sucked"? You don't really mention anything specifically. You mention the shop tried to get you to buy a thinner wet suit. Well, ADII isn't a dive shop. When I dove with ADII, we could stay down as long as we wanted. In fact, IIRC, our longest dive was over an hour and there were no complaints from Capt Todd and crew. So, please, provide the specifics.

eyezz
03-23-2008, 22:50
Great pictures, Looks like you had a nice dive?


I dove Ft Lauderdale yesterday on forum member No-Misses boat. Vis was about 30-40 ft and temp was 70. I consider that pretty good. We caught 3 limits of lobsters and then I took these pics (I know they are amateur pics, but I am no photographer). I consider Ft L a great place to get some easy and great diving in. The current of about 1 mph eliminates you even having to kick. How much easier does it get than that(not mentioning the whopping 2 mile run from the inlet).

eyezz
03-23-2008, 22:58
Wow! Sorry to hear about the bad experience I know a lot of friends that come from the north including myself and had no problems, Like the guys said I hope you will try Force-E.

Grin
03-24-2008, 08:35
Many will tell you what wetsuit you should wear. It's up to you to be prepared, and have what you think is neccessary. I know they told you 3 mm, as I hear that all the time. I wore a 5 mm suit Saturday and was glad I had it. If I were you, I would bring a couple suits on every trip. Alot of people are new to diving and temperature doesn't seem to effect them. They are so excited and sucking tanks dry in record time. I consider 70 degrees cold. But in a 5 mil suit it is not hardly even felt. A 7 is probably a little overkill, but I'd rather be in that, then a 3 mil suit. Ft L is a great dive location and the water is very warm most of the year. 3 mil is a good only suit for Ft L. But your going to freeze a few months of the year in a 3 mil, and March is one of those months. I brought a 3 mil and a 5 mil Staurday, and was glad I had the 5 mil with me, that I thought I was not going to need.

ReefHound
03-24-2008, 11:52
Sounds like the real problem was your expectations. Here are a few comments I have.

- When you sign on to a general public charter, unless you have been specifically told the roster will be of a certain skill level, you have to expect students, beginners, and occasional divers. Take it easy, go with the flow, and deal with it. Otherwise, go with a pre-arranged group.

- I didn't hear exactly what sucked about the charter. You mentioned they accepted divers who forgot their c-cards. You know c-card status can be checked online, right? You speculated that they want divers to be cold so dives are shorter. That's nonsense. Charters want their divers stepping off the boat at the end of the day delighted and ready to return again.

- You were annoyed that the shop tried to sell you a wetsuit. Ultimately, the only one that can know your cold tolerance and your wetsuit needs is you. Better you should feel good that you resisted their sales pitch and made the right choice.

- I do not consider 40 ft to be poor viz. Maybe for Coz or someplace that boasts of routine 100 foot plus viz but certainly not in the U.S. Sea state and currents are beyond the control of any dive charter. You can better your odds of good conditions by research and planning but any given day is a matter of luck.

- Better luck next time.

coldincanada
03-24-2008, 21:30
all good
I had a bad dive experience with dive america II and fort lauderdale so lets move on. I stated my beliefs for the service i received and do not feel i need to defend them. i will dive fort lauderdale again having gained from my experience but will not be diving with the same charter. I will try e-force as mentioned. Just was hoping for a fun day or two of diving with no issues......to my own disappointment!

i am use to 15 ft of vis: on my last dive in canada at 58 degree with a two pc 7 mmm that was nov 1. at a depth of 80 bring our first dive. I was cold by the end of the second dive let me tell you. Did i mention that there was 6 inches of snow on the ground as we drove up to the dive site. The other three divers and myslef had a blast but two fellow had dry suit and two of us drove wet. The next week i was in the shop trying on a dry suit but still have not purchased as i am still having fun diving wet.

So 70 degree is warm for me but i found a 7 mm just right and i am always warm. If i had a 3 mm i would have wanted a hood and gloves as the other dive masters who dove that day. the 40 ft vis was also great for me at diving dark water is never fun.


Next month i am in campbell river b.c. for wreck diving with a group of very experienced divers from canada.
Hoping for all fun and there for a week of just diving

Dive-aholic
03-24-2008, 22:16
all good
I had a bad dive experience with dive america II and fort lauderdale so lets move on. I stated my beliefs for the service i received and do not feel i need to defend them.

You stated you had a bad time, but you didn't state why. Unless you can justify your complaints, it's best to keep it to yourself. If you truly had a bad experience because of something they did then let us all know about it so we can avoid that operation in the future. If you're just whining, then...

coldincanada
03-25-2008, 14:26
rob get real
i related i had a bad time do not want to relive it for you, so get a life

I am into fun not worring about if the guy next to me has a c card or just a a few minutes instruction from a friend. I was looking for a nice fun dive just to splash in Fort Lauderdale.
I am not into being told to dive with less dive suit then i need. I am not into it. Going on a charter were they tell you that a 7 mm is specifcally to much and to dive without. Then have every one, freezing when they come up from their dives.
Capt Todd as someone mentioned as at Capt was not on his boat on this day maybe made me have some concern as well.


I can tell this not a fun place to relate experiences. Not a place in regards to helping to other divers have fun
so i will move on

ReefHound
03-25-2008, 14:47
I am into fun not worring about if the guy next to me has a c card or just a a few minutes instruction from a friend.

That's funny since you seemed worried about it enough to notice it and mention it in the first place.

You still don't seem to get that the shops telling you to buy a new wetsuit are not one and the same as the charter providing the dive trip.

You complained that the "dive had low visibility around 40 ft" and later said "the 40 ft vis was also great for me". Which is it?

Maybe you had a miserable time but there is no logical reason to blame the dive op. Although perhaps it's their fault that they haven't yet equipped their boat with the Wave and Current Dissipation Device, and they apparently were fresh out of the Hundred Foot Viz magic dust.



I can tell this not a fun place to relate experiences. Not a place in regards to helping to other divers have fun
so i will move on

No, what you see is this is not a place to spew baseless allegations without logical supporting evidence. This is indeed a place for helping other divers by ensuring they get the full story and separating the wheat from the chaff.

This is also a public forum where other people get to voice opinions as well as you. If you are wanting a soapbox from which to deliver a one way rant then post a review on tripadvisor or something.

coldincanada
03-25-2008, 17:13
Well as freedom of speech has it in your country. I related i did not have a good time on the dive charter American Dream II and or great experiences with the Fort Lauderadale dive shops. If you feel you would like to go ahead and try then out let me know as other divers have related that they found Capt Todd and American Dream II to be a good dive boat


As for again any way in justifiing my options alalalalalalalalalal
Have a great day

If you would go to other forums maybe you would see both positive and negative options on more topics like not having to justify ones opion until your in a court of law.

And as for chaff maybe a dive shop in fort lauderdale could sell you a power for that when and if you go

Dive-aholic
03-25-2008, 23:40
rob get real
i related i had a bad time do not want to relive it for you, so get a life


So the personal insult come out. Thanks for qualifying your answer.


As for again any way in justifiing my options alalalalalalalalalal
Have a great day

And the childishness! This is classic... :D

coldincanada
03-26-2008, 07:33
sorry if you feel your chaff is offended. Not my intent

cgvmer
03-29-2008, 10:22
I dove 4 times this week already, out of Pompano and a shore dive in FLL wearing only a skin. Deepest was 83, most were shallow 35-45 I felt fine, all the locals were wearing 5-7mm and telling me I was crazy, coldest temp recorded was 70.
I am going on American dream II in a couple hours for my first time. I will give a full report when I'm back home, probably Monday.

scubasamurai
03-29-2008, 11:56
it all comes down to being comfortable. i had guys wear shirts and shorts in 60 ft water with temps in the 68-70 range and i was wearing a 7 mil. i also dove in 72 degree water in a 3 ml. so just depends on your comfort zone.
next time post your rant in the trips/travel section

cgvmer
03-31-2008, 10:30
Ok my son and I dove from the American Dream II and both of us thought the boat was VERY well setup, little or no diesel fumes even when going into reverse. Staff was very professional, looking out for each of the divers from my son and i that were with an instructor, to the couple diving by themselves that had not dove in a while, to the 4 rebreather divers.

When compared to the Parrot Island boat, with extensive diesel smell, I vote for the American Dream much better as for the staff they were laid back (good, just relaxed ) on parrot island.

LiteHedded
03-31-2008, 15:21
i'm confused by this thread.
I don't see anything here to warrant avoiding the city of ft lauderdale...or that dive op
btw I wear a 7mil semi dry in 70 degree water :P

cgvmer
03-31-2008, 15:28
Just downloaded my computer, our 108fsw dive had a minimum temp of 75. I wore a skin, my son wore a 5mm. His next dive he which was 77fsw, he wore only a bathing suit.

Scubastud16
03-31-2008, 20:49
CVGMER,

What sites did you guys dive on?

Danny

Black-Gorrilla
03-31-2008, 21:06
the water is that warm already?

No Misses
03-31-2008, 21:15
Less than 2 hours left in Lobster season. Go forth, you cockroaches of the sea, and multiply. You have just 4 months to replenish your ranks. You may laugh at us bubble blowers, But come August and it is on!!!

Oh ya. I almost forgot. Conditions were good Saturday. NOAA was calling for East winds 15-20 mph. If you listen to NOAA - you no goaa. Seas were ~2 feet. Water temp was ~73 F on the 3rd reef.

Black-Gorrilla
03-31-2008, 21:25
73... almost there. 2 weeks should be enough to get that extra degree so i can start diving again... shorts and rash guard.

cgvmer
03-31-2008, 21:31
My son(15) and I spent the week with an Instructor CAT, we were working on our AOW and RESCUE certs.

Monday did a night shore dive at NE 21st out to the 1st reef then down to Lifegaurd stand 18. Shallow dive 25ft 73 degree water but it was our 1st shore dive and 1st night dive
Tuesday Blue Heron Bridge, very windy, very swift current, low vis but we a good place to "practice" underwater searches, rescues, and the other activities for rescue.

Friday night we did 2 night drift dives using Paradise Island.
The 1st dive was on the 3rd reef, (don't remember the site name), max depth 83ft min temp 75. (few bugs seen none caught)

2nd dive on the 2nd reef only my instructor and I dove as the fumes on the boat got to my son, max depth 42ft min temp 70 (5 bugs caught)

Saturday the three of us again dove, this time we used American Dream II.
The 1st dive was to the REBEL, nice dive max depth 108ft, min temp 75. When we hit the bottom CAT had us do a square search pattern, we both did pretty well not narcosis issues.
2nd dive my son decided his 5mm was too warm so he doe with just a bathing suit. We dove hog heaven, max depth 73ft, min temp 75 and found an anchor.

Overall an exhausting week with the EFR course, lots of book work and pushing each other to get throught the courses

My son did awesome, since at 5'10" 160lbs, he had to rescue me at 6' 5" 330lbs. I feel better each day diving with my son as my buddy.