Dive Trip Report to Key Largo for Deep Wreck Diving
Conch Republic and Ocean Point

This trip was a Down Under Dive Club (Melbourne, Florida) sponsored dive trip. I was the point-of-contact for organizing the trip. Our goal was to dive the Bibb and Spiegel Grove wrecks. We contracted with Conch Republic in Tavernier for the dive trips. They recommended and made reservations for us at Ocean Point . We had reserved three rooms for Friday and Saturday nights (Sept 6th to 8th). With two separate bedrooms and a fold out couch, this gave us room for three divers (or groups) per room. The published information on Ocean Point looked very good - lots of room and fairly new. Most of the other Key's places were built in the early 1900's and still look it!

Since this incident, I've talked to many divers that have gone to Ocean Point. Everyone else had a good experience . But, that does not cover up for the very poor quality of service that we received. And, it's one type of insult for your group to have a problem, it's another for a personal friend to have a problem!! And, since Ocean Point has seen fit not only NOT to apologize for thier incompetance , but to accuse us of stealing from their rooms, I have no recourse but to add Ocean Point to my NOT RECOMMENDED LIST !

Upon our arrival, we passed through a guard gate and then a 1/2 mile drive to the reception building. Again, it was very impressive - boats on trailer all over the place. We had no problems getting our rooms. They were on the second floor of a big 4 floor building. The elevator was very welcome as we had one person along that had surgery the week before and could not climb steps.

We arrived at the rooms at 10:00 PM on Friday Night. The room smelled like they were closed up for some time and the air was just turned on (*1) . One club member found a condom on a door handle (several divers had their children with them)! But, at first appearance they looked very clean. We were all looking for some Maragatas and were very glad to see a blender in the room. But, there was NO ICE!! (*2) Again - maybe the room was just turned on for us! There were no problems Friday night, we were all tired and wanted to crash! Items for the fold out couch were readily available.

On Saturday morning, several of our club members went to the free "Contential Breakfast" and wanted to take the muffins with them. They needed to leave for the dive boat and want to eat on the way and take our wounded one something to eat. The people on duty would not let them take any food with them! That was not very Diver Friendly (*3) . You would have thought it was a Nazi Concentration Camp and they were protecting the Gold of Fort Knox! Our club does not put up with the Nazi attitude of any dive boats or other organizations that we deal with. This attitude will get that organization on the shit list of this dive page and will have the information forwarded to all dive members throughout the state!

I was surprised to see only two bath towels in the bathroom (*4) . Most places give a bath towel, several wash towels and face cloths. Strange!?. Saturday morning while making some breakfast we noted some new interesting times. The last time someone made coffee - the grounds were still in the coffee maker (*5) . The dishwasher was still loaded with dishes (*6) - clean ones though. Later that day it was noted that dishes that were put away still had food on them. (*7) Although these by themselves were minor items, put together they show some major incompetence in the house cleaning. The lack of towels upset me as we were in a rush to leave Melbourne and did not pack any other towels!! Later we found there were several items that they stated they would have in the rooms and they were not there! (*8)

Well, the divers headed for the wrecks and our wounded one (operation earlier in the week) stayed at the apartment with three kids!! She was supposed to take several warm baths a day in order to help the curing process for her incision's. On inspection of the TUB, IT WAS DIRTY WITH HAIRS et al (*9) . With fresh stitches, she did not want to take a chance of taking a bath in a dirty tub. There were no cleaning supplies at the apartment (*10) . She called the front desk many times between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm asking for some cleaning supplies so she could clean a dirty tub. The front desk assured her they would be delivered. The cleaning supplies were not delivered and there were no return calls . (*11) You would think the front office would investigate when the get several calls from the same room for the same problem over the course of a day!

Finally around 5:30, a boy in a golf cart delivered a vacuum and some glass cleaning Windex (*12) . Did you ever try to clean a bathtub with Windex?? The vacuum was so filled (*13) it would not pick up any dirt. The Windex was useless for tub cleaning. When I returned back to the apartment around 8:00 PM, and noticed the dirty tub and lack of response, I was very furious. I had brought home some tub cleaner which I had purchased at the local Winn Dixie.

The next morning, I notified the owner of Conch Republic of the problem and asked him to call the women involved and listen to her story! Art not only did that, he went out and purchased cleaning supplies, a Chocolate Cake, and flowers. He delivered them to the apartment himself. BONUS FOR CONCH REPUBLIC, MINUS FOR OCEAN POINT!!! He also stated that he would talk to the owners of Ocean Point.

On our checkout, the reservation clerk on duty denied that he had agreed with the owner of Conch Republic to give us the one room for free (*14) . He also stated that he did not know anything about the problems (*15) and that he would have to talk to his manager the next day.

Monday, 9-Sept, I called Ocean Point and talked to "Cheryl". She stated that Ocean Point tried several times to have someone go over to the apartment to clean it but were refused entry. No one had gone over to the apartment! There were four people in the apartment and no one came over! She also stated that the cleaning people found several blankets were missing. (*16) Well, this apartment was occupied by The Irishman, others and the Club President. I doubt very much that any of us would want any souvenirs from Ocean Point. She stated that she would look into the problem and get back to me. She did not offer any refund or apology!!! An APOLOGY would have very far at this time rather then an accusation that we stole some blankets!

Our Recommendation: DON'T GO TO OCEAN POINT. Maybe as fellow divers, you could send them an e-mail ( sales@oceanpointesuites.com ) stating that you don't like the way the treated a fellow dive club member! There's lot's of other places to stay in the Keys!!

Last Updated: 18-Sept-2002

The Irishman Software's, West Melbourne, Florida
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