Stay away!!! Unprofessional, unsafe instructor and unacceptable staff behaviour.
With a CMAS 2 and over 70 dives across several seas I have never lived such a bad experience with a diving centre that clearly has no respect for divers and worst for safety.
Briefly summarised; cruel safety issues, lies seems to be common and we were finally mocked and threatened by the staff...
Aware of difficult dive conditions around Nusa Penida (strong changing currents) we decided to change diving centre to one that seemed to be safer based on comments and recommendations. We started by booking dives at Octopus with Thea, the manager, who seemed at 1st to be nice and professional.
The manager Thea simply books divers on sites that are appealing without consulting its staff/instructor.
We came in the early morning and started by waiting for 1,5h with no explanation until the rest of the team showed up.
We were met with an angry diving instructor, Stiva, who was overworked and has clear anger management issues (he simply lost it by the end).
Stiva didn’t really want us there and seemed quite pissed off by Thea.
We were then informed that the initially announced dive site “manta point” was actually not at all planned and ended up in Crystal Bay where we lived had had done lots of snorkelling. Quiet disappointing but after waking up early, driving across the island, waiting 1,5h and being assured by the team they would insure good and safe dive conditions we decided with my wife to go ahead.
We ended up diving with a family of inexperienced open water divers who brought along their own instructor who acted like a body guard and you’ll soon understand why.
During the 1st dive Stiva the lead instructor from Octopus Dive only checked the 6 divers air level once and we ended the 1st dive with one diver empty of air. But that didn’t put an end to the dive, the “body guard”, second instructor brought by the family, acted like an air support for 10 to 15mins before Stiva even decided to put an end to the dive.
When asked if that is normal practice Stiva laughed again stating that this is completely normal.
But that was just the beginning.
Still on the 1st dive, we ended up at 25m, way under legal limits allowed by Padi open water level which were also confirmed prior to the dive. When confronted the instructor started laughing not caring at all. Their manager Thea started lying saying my wife wanted to see the Mola and they therefore took the decision of going below limits.
Stiva then decided to take us to a 2nd dive location at SD point for a drift dive. Once again with 5 open waters that had never drift dived before.
I had never seen such strong currents drifting you in all directions, the 2nd instructor spent his time pushing family members back into safety and we quickly lost 2 divers, the “body guard” instructor and a family member.
In such extreme conditions and untrained, one of the remaining family diver ran once again out of air Stiva not checking air levels regularly and as you can guess we made our 2nd dive with one on octopus air support for another 10 to 15 mins before ending the dive to ascend.
Upon return we tried to explain how unsafe we felt and asked very politely and calmly for explanations to Stiva.
For him diving deeper than limits was normal as was ending all dives on octopus or losing team members.
The day after we informed both the manager Thea and the dive instructor Stiva, we still felt very unsafe and cancelled all further dives. At the same time I personally asked when I could come over to settle the bill for our 1st two dives mentioning that their conduct was clearly irresponsible and unprofessional. At that point we were met with aggressive replies from their team and were threatened by text by Stiva, the Octopus instructor.
When meeting up at the centre to turn the page and pay them. Stiva came up aggressively and threatened us both physically and verbally to pay immediately. Ridiculous behaviour as I came pro-actively to settle the bill. Stiva simply lost it and made no sense…
We paid the full amount which I mentioned was unfair following their lack of security and communication issued but asked calmly in return for a few answers.
When asked if divers safety was of their concern he replied with other divers in the background that this was a business made for profit and that he didn’t care at all as long as he got money for putting divers to sea.
As you will understand, I will highly recommend to stay far away from their structure and really hope that none of their customers will be injured by their bad practice.