Terrible customer service and questionable safety standards. Worst diving experience I've ever had (I've dived 20+ times around they world). They actually put me off diving Azores - it was a huge disappointment. Problems in ascending order of severity:
1) The dive master didn't speak English when I was under the impression I'd have an English speaking dive master.
2) The dive master didn't point out anything of interest other than the devil rays.
3) The dive sites were boring with nothing much to see (other than the devil rays which we saw for 2-3 min after waiting for 30 min seeing nothing else), especially given how expensive the dives were. €136 for 2 dives! (I had better diving for $25 / dive!)
4) The group size was way too big - 8 divers with 1 dive master (all my previous experiences were 4:1 and I'm aware that other dive operators in the area also have smaller sizes). Whilst waiting for the devil rays to appear we all hung onto a vertical rope. As I was at the top of the rope all I could see was bubbles and more bubbles, which made me feel dizzy and disoriented, and when the rays finally arrived there was a frenzy of movement amongst the divers I couldn't fully appreciate the sighting.
5) I had serious safety concerns due to the large group size and the incompetency of the dive master. Towards the end of one dive we ascended very quickly before we did the safety stop and I couldn't stop myself from ascending to the top. The dive master simply signalled for me to come down but did nothing to actually help me even though it was clear I was struggling. I never did the 3 min safety stop and may still have nitrogen in my body. He didn't seem concerned at all. Oh and when we initially boarded the boat I realised no one had given me a mask and thought maybe it's on the boat already but I thought I better double check - it turns out they had completely forgotten to give me a mask! How can I trust to dive with these guys again?!
I actually gave them a chance to respond to my complaints before I posted this review, but their appalling response made it even worse. They called me "demanding" because I was specific about wanting to dive Ambrosio (for seeing the devil rays) and caves, and "extremely demanding" because I wanted a good fit for my wet-suit and boots. Instead of apologising for forgetting to give me a mask they said it's my responsibility to ensure I have all my equipment. Their whole response was not taking any responsibility. Even more shocking is that the dive master was actually the owner - he clearly did not care about customer satisfaction, either that or he was not a very competent dive master as he failed to come to my aid when I needed it during the ascent for fear of "putting his safety at risk" (risk of ascending?)! It's a heartless business.