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“Avoid Loïc like the plague!”
Review of TOPDIVE Fakarava

TOPDIVE Fakarava
Ranked #3 of 17 things to do in Fakarava
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: The best of scuba-diving in Fakarva. 2 Diving centers in Fakarava located in Rotoava village, and on motu Penu close to the south pass. 4 Dives a day - Fun dives, introductory dives and certifications. Free Nitrox and free pick up.
Reviewed 29 December 2017 via mobile

If you want a great dive in Fakarava North and you’re not a confirmed diver with at least 500 dives experience, avoid the instructor Loïc like the plague.
I went into panic mode under water and not only he had a go at me for not using the proper hand signal, but he then went on making me feel like a piece of dirt even though I had just gone through panic mode. This guy is horrendous, he has no care for his more junior clients. He cannot take a single criticism and gets angry and aggressive when you try explaining why you felt so bad. I will never dive with him again, he is just the rudest instructor I’ve ever met.
On the other hand, I dived with Mana the day before and he was excellent. He noticed when I was getting a bit worried and he found the right gesture and attitude to make me feel at ease under water despite the strong currents. He really made me feel safe the whole time. I did not panic once because he managed to anticipate my anxiety. Another fellow diver felt the exact same: Mana managed to make us both feel fine.
But Loïc is simply a no-go.
TopDive should keep their customers at the heart of their concern, yet Loïc just made me feel awful. I sincerely do not value him a single bit, his attitude is vile and arrogant.

Date of experience: December 2017
3  Thank Julie K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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in 8 reviews
"dive master"
in 11 reviews
"strong currents"
in 6 reviews
"north pass"
in 16 reviews
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"french polynesia"
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"great dive"
in 5 reviews
"day trip"
in 4 reviews
"my wife and i"
in 5 reviews
"boat ride"
in 4 reviews
"top notch"
in 4 reviews
"world class"
in 2 reviews
"free nitrox"
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in 2 reviews
"reef sharks"
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10 - 14 of 314 reviews

Reviewed 4 December 2017

I spend 5 days in Faka and dove with top dive in the North pass.
The dive center is very nice, the taff is very friendly and prod, and very accommodating
Nitrox is free
The dives are great, very nice coral, wall of sharks, Mantas.
It was a great experience

Date of experience: November 2017
2  Thank alex_surfeur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 November 2017

My husband and I went to Fakarava during our honeymoon to do some great diving... and it surly didn't disappoint. I remember coming up from our first dive telling my husband that it was one of the best dives we had ever done, and how pristine the coral was (and we have both done over 2000 dives). The wall of sharks is incredible.

Our guide, however, was not so incredible. He was rude and treated us poorly. To give you a couple examples, he gave me attitude when I asked for a mask (it's quite hard to dive without one), could speak english but chose not to when doing dive briefings so I never really knew what was going on, he would go under the water and start the dive without signaling to my husband and I to go down, and we hardly ever saw him during the dive. Luckily, we are instructors with a lot of experience, and so I understand we don't need as much attention under the water, but his demeanor made me uncomfortable to ask anything. And this isn't even the worse part. On our last dive 4 of us became separated from the group which is no surprise as we hardly saw him, in a very strong current. We had to crawl across the bottom floor to get to the spot we had been on previous dives where we knew it would be safe to ascend. We couldn't go up right there because of the ripping current that would have taken us to the deep blue, hence why we couldn't go up after 1 minute. Once we did get to a safe place we went up and our guide and the rest of the group was no where to be seen! He didn't come up until another 35 minutes and just shrugged it off like it was no big deal. I am confident that if I did not have the training that I have, something seriously could have gone wrong!

Bottom line is it's a great place to dive, but be careful who your guide is and it helps to be an experienced diver.

Date of experience: October 2017
3  Thank jessiegriffin1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 November 2017

We are a couple with more than 2000 dives each and I can tell you in terms of marine life I had some of the best dives in my life in Fakarava South. The wall of sharks is definitely something you shouldn't miss as a diver. However make sure you don't dive with Eric! He was the most unprofessional, grumpy and rude dive guide I have ever dove with in my life. To start he was upset when I please asked him to exchange my regulator coz it was free flowing hard from a second stage. You could hear the hiss of the air even 2 meters away from the tank. Then he proceeded to refuse giving the dive briefing in English so had to guess what we were doing in that dive. Did 4 dives with him, Saw him about 2 times underwater during those dives. On most of the dives we would go under without warning us at all. But the worst was saved for the last dive. With an outgoing current and really bad visibility the group got lost. Luckily since we have some experience and had dove the site 3 other times we manage to cross the pass dragging ourselves at the bottom with a ripping current trying to send us into the middle of the Pacific Ocean, meaning that if we had come up straight away like the 1 minute rule states we would be being dragged out in the middle of the Ocean. Once we got to a safe area, more or less after 5 minutes after we got separated we came up, got picked up by the boat and no sign of Eric. He eventually came up about 35 minutes later and the only thing he told us was "oh great you made it to the safe zone" ... I honestly think this guy shouldn't be working as a dive guide! Had we had less experience and I'm not sure if I would be here to warn people. Please make yourself a favour and ask do not dive with Eric!

Date of experience: September 2017
5  Thank André F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 18 October 2017 via mobile

Went to the South Pass on Fakarava for a rendezvous with the black tip reef sharks that live there. The boat ride from Raimiti Pensionne is about 45 minutes to the Pass and TopDive Fakarava. There are sharks everywhere you look, in the shallows around the dock and in the Pass, hundreds of sharks. TopDive is first rate and took us on a ride through the pass with the current pulling us through. The only way to stop is to grab onto a piece of coral and hold on. Not only did we see sharks, but lots of groupers, eels, spotted eagle rays and very large schools of various fish. Very happy with the dives to the South Pass, a once in a lifetime dive and would recommend TopDive to anyone thinking about going to Fakarava to dive.

Date of experience: August 2017
Thank celestewest10s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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