My friend and I recently took a trip to Panama City Beach for some time to relax and to take Open Water Diver Class to get certified. A few months before coming, we contacted Capt. Pat Green to set everything up. He mailed the books to us so we could begin studying the academics in our free time at home.
A day or two before our classes were to begin. Tony, our instructor, gave me a call to touch base with us, setup a time to meet, and to answer any questions we had. Once we were in Panama City Beach we began our training with a review of the academics and complete the final exam. Tony made sure we understand all the fundamentals and concepts before we started confined water training at the pool at Frank Brown Park.
The confined water training went very well! The rental equipment provided was in excellent condition and performed well! Tony spent as much time as we needed to make sure we were comfortable completing the skills before moving on to something else. Always open to answer any questions we had along the way.
The open water training far exceeded my expectations. Tony took us to Morrison Spring, about 40 minutes north of town for our first two open water dives. Took us down to the training platform, we practiced our skills that we had learned in the pool, and spent some time swimming around in this new world to us. The water in the spring was quite cold, in the 60s, but Tony made sure we had 5-mil wetsuits with hoods so we would stay warm underwater.
After the first two dives, I didn't think anything could top that. We completed our final two open water dives from the company's dive boat, The Steel Slinger. Tony had us arrive 45 minutes before the boat was to depart. This gave us ample time to become familiar with the boat operation, get our gear ready, then sit and enjoy the 45 minute boat ride out to Black Bart. Diving off the boat was quite different than a short entry at Morrison Spring, but the training Tony provided had us prepared for the experience. We dove the Black Bart, saw TONS of marine life and had an excellent dive despite poor visibility of 7-10 feet. After our surface interval, we dove Bridge Span 14. Yet again, an excellent experience.
The boat operation was top notch! Had drinks and snacks on board for you to help yourself to. They even had a pineapple cut up for the divers to enjoy after the second dive. A very nice touch!
The dive shop is fully stocked with everything you would ever need. The staff is always available to offer advice on purchasing gear based on your needs and experience level. They also offer a 20% discount on dive shop merchandise to their students!
I came home from vacation with an awesome experience, and open water certified. I cannot see any other company able to top the level of service and professionalism that Panama City Dive Charters offers, whether an experienced diver or someone looking to start their journey. The next I am in town on vacation I will use their services for gear rental/purchase and dive charters.
Great job to Pat Green and staff at PC Dive Charters!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC