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“Low Key offers a rushed, shallow depth scuba diving experience in St. John.”

Low Key Watersports
Ranked #16 of 42 Tours in Cruz Bay
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Diving, snorkeling, Boat Trips, concierge, and island information
Baltimore, Maryland USA
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Low Key offers a rushed, shallow depth scuba diving experience in St. John.”
Reviewed 20 December 2009

We would NOT recommend LowKey Watersports of St. John. LowKey is not low key. If you want a relaxing scuba dive experience, choose another company. If you want rushed, shallow dives, then LowKey is your place.

With 27 years diving experience all over the world, we know good from bad dive companies. Ann Marie Estes and Bob Shinners are co-owners of LowKey. Ann does a nice job running the shop, is friendly and welcoming, and Bob captains the boat. Bob is really the drag on the business: he is moody and unprofessional, and it's pretty clear Bob wants to do the absolute minimum.

Our experience: All divers were on board the boat for over 15 minutes cooking in the sun waiting for Bob to show up and run the boat. Bob showed up late, never said hello to anyone, and with his mood the dive masters clearly avoided him. Bob selected the dive sites, and he choose shallow dive sites close together for our 2-tank trip. This Bob's MO: shallow dives where there is no surface interval time needed between dives so he can get back home ASAP. Bottom time was 35 minutes, while most dive operators give you 45 minutes or until air runs to 800 psi. Bob rushed everybody off the boat into the water. As we were climbing back on the boat, Bob sat there, refusing to help anybody with cameras or heavy gear and he let the dive masters scramble around and do all the work.

For our 2nd dive site there was strong current to get through a coral canyon and Bob commented to us before the dive, "It's okay to cheat. Just grab on and pull yourself along." (We were horrified because everybody knows you never touch coral because it can injure or kill the coral). Overall, Bob gave us the distinct impression he was bored, burned out, and didn't care about the dive experience people had.
September 2009 Baltimore, Maryland USA

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8 Thank 1AdventureTraveler1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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348 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Stayton
Level Contributor
27 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Great value, great people!”
Reviewed 24 September 2009

I'm not shy about giving negative reviews when deserved, but LowKey Watersports in St. John far exceeded my expectations! Not fancy - no loud calypso music, no watery "rum punch", etc., just high quality equipment and helpful, experienced guides. I'm a fairly new diver (9 months, 19 dives), but they made my dives there the best I've every had, and their service was way above and beyond what I paid for. The day dives were great (6 tanks, three days), but the night dive (1 tank) was even better. Typical dive: 40-60 minutes per tank, with 5-10 minutes at the end just to explore a bit in the area below the boat. I also didn't mind that their prices were among the lowest in the area. Will go back next year (I hope!).

Helpful?
Thank Doc503
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Great Dive Company!”
Reviewed 22 September 2009

We were a group of six, three of whom were interested in diving and three of whom were interested in snorkeling. We contacted Low Key a couple weeks before arriving on the island and made a reservation for six AM dives and a night dive. The owners, Ann Marie and Bob, were very helpful in setting up our reservation and arranging transportation to and from the Westin (as long as you are willing to ride with Cooper - a very well-behaved lab). The prices were very competitive with other shops on the island and all the gear and tanks were in good shape (although we brought our own gear).

The dives were great; the sites were all enjoyable for both snorkelers and divers. The crew was very helpful in helping set up our gear and gave a great briefing of the dive before entering the water. On the dives, our guides (Jeremy and Erin) would generally guide us around the site for 30 - 40 minutes, then give us 10-15 minutes to explore on our own. Since we were diving multiple days, we stored our gear in the shop which was locked at all times.

My only suggestion for improvement would be that the guides consider the dive profiles for 2 tank dives and make sure an adequate SI is available on deeper dives. During one trip, our first dive was a max of 65 feet and the following dive was about 45 feet. We only had a 20 minute surface interval and therefore had to ascend during the dive in order to keep within our NDLs as calculated by our dive computers.

Overall, this the best dive company we have worked with and plan on diving with them on future trips to St. John. The crew is great, we saw tons of interesting life on all the dives, and the owners are very dedicated to the business and work hard to ensure you are satisfied with the dive experience.

Helpful?
Thank joshhenle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
charleston, sc
2 reviews
“Low Key WaterSports – The only way to get PADI Open-Water Certified”
Reviewed 27 July 2009

At the last minute, Anne and I decided to include getting scuba certified during our 1st Caribbean vacation (during the 3rd week in July, 2009). We had both been wanting to get certified for years, but taking 4 weeks to just get to the open water dive proved to be too much of a scheduling problem. After a few internet inquiries, we decided on Low Key WaterSports in Cruz Bay, St. John.

Anne and I are in the 45-55 age category, so we had a few concerns. From our initial inquiry, Ellen made us feel at ease. We signed up for the 3-day PADI Open Water Course, starting on a Monday. This is the course where you do E-Learning type homework in the evening, and then actually practice what you’ve learned the next day. We had our scuba in the morning, and were free to explore the island on our own the rest of the day. St. John is the perfect island to explore like this!

We picked up our PADI materials the day before (Sunday), at which time Sandwich (yep, that’s her real name) was extremely helpful. On Monday morning, even with a busy dive shop, Sandwich, Mary and Ann Marie were very helpful, getting us our equipment, making sure we were properly fit. Terry, our dive instructor, oversaw us the whole time. We went out on the boat, and by late that 1st morning, we were easily, and safely, breathing 30 feet under water! After each days training dives, we had about a 90 minute classroom session with Terry. Terry was very patient walking us through the intricacies of scuba diving, following the PADI manual. We also had about 2 hours of homework after the Monday and Tuesday sessions. On the boats, Terry (our dive instructor), along with Jeremy, Mike and Forest handled us very well. We both passed our final PADI Open Water Certification right after Wednesday’s dive (although Anne was much better on the test than I!)

As Anne and I marveled about our accomplishments, we wondered why anyone would want to do all the pre-dive stuff in a swimming pool, typically taking 4 weeks, and then go to the ocean to get your open water certification? We had just done, in 3 days, what a lot of folks do at YMCA’s or community swimming pools. And, we had six(6) open water dives at four different locations under our belts! We were both amazed at just how awesome scuba was. And to get your open water certification while swimming with sea turtles and countless other aquatic life, is just unbelievable.

However, it was clearly the folks at Low Key WaterSports that made it happen. The cost is very competitive with the other St. John dive shops, and we couldn’t have been treated any better. The shop is perfectly located on Cruz Bay, making it very convenient. These folks are very good!

Helpful?
Thank grf12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston
Level Contributor
26 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Dive Low Key, Cruz Bay”
Reviewed 27 May 2009

Five of us took a morning dive trip with this co. In rough seas they took us to a location they hadn't dove in 4 years. Apparently this was at the special request of a couple others on the boat. We were not consulted. By the time we got to the dive site, one of the dive masters was so ill from the rought ride he almost couldn't go in the water. Prior to the dive, we were never asked about our experience. Although we were all certified and 3 of us had a refresher course, one of us hadn't dove for 28 years and for another it was his first dive after getting certified. The dive master knew none of this. They never asked. After jumping into the rough seas, I lost my mask 5 times before I was able to decend below water. During our dive, we were NEVER asked how our air supply was doing. We were NEVER asked if we were OK. The newest diver was left as alone as the rest of us. No effort was ever made to point out hard-to-spot sea life.

Getting back on the boat in high seas was very difficult and hazardous. I actually considered giving up diving, the whole experience was so bad/unsafe.

At the second dive spot (in a very calm bay) two from the boat couldn't dive because they were too upset from the rough experience they'd had. During the 2nd dive, we saw the dive master for maybe ten minutes then he disappeared. We were on our own until we desided to surface and find the boat.

The experience was unbelievably bad. I will give them credit for doing a good job handling the tanks and equipment and the boat was in good shape.

Fortunately, 3 days later we "got back in the saddle" with Down Under Watersports and our joy of diving was reborn. They did a great job, delivering everything you expect in a dive trip. We all gave them 2 big thumbs up.

Helpful?
6 Thank susan531
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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