Review of Thailand Liveaboards
Spent 4 days on the MV Peter Pan, a liveaboard, the first week of January 2015. Parts of the trip were terrible (-5) and other parts were great… hence the 1 score. First the terrible – was assigned to the basement level – a windowless corridor below the waterline accessed by a grungy circular stairway around where the garbage was stored. My room (VIP 101 – seriously!) smelled like a diesel oil spill and thought the fumes would kill me. Ended up taking my bedding and sleeping on the roof deck – thankfully it did not rain.
Bad enough being “gassed” but when mentioned to Dive Director (Gordo) he said “no one else has complained before”. Brought down fellow divers to check out the room and they all agreed it was not a safe place to sleep. Asked the director to come down to the room and now he admits he brought it up to the owners and they are the only ones who can fix it. What was really discouraging was not once would he actually come down to check the room out himself nor do anything to help improve the situation. He cared so little about the welfare of his passengers – he just ignored the problem. Unfortunately this man ignored a lot of issues but this was the most serious one (i.e. nitrox, equipment problems, etc.).
On the positive side (yes, there were some good things) here are a few highlights:
1. The Thai crew were wonderful and very helpful
2. The cook did an amazing job feeding 20+ people especially given that his work area was not much larger than 2 phone booths
3. The dive sites (particularly Richelieu Rock) were great
4. Our group’s dive master (Neil) did a great job
This is not a 5-star ship – it is not a 3-star ship. But if you can avoid the “dungeon” (basement level) and Gordo the Dive Director, who really does not care and lacks people skills of any kind, this may be a good “budget” boat to consider. If you can avoid the terrible parts this ship, it may be worth pursuing.
Review of Dive Supply Co., Ltd.
Best place to buy dive gear on the island. Huge selection and best prices. No need to go anywhere else. PS. If you are not buying wholesale then you need to go to their shop in Patong.
Review of Andaman Ocean Safaris Co. Ltd
We had a fantastic 1 day, 2 dive day trip around Racha Island. The trip was so well run and organized they arrange a return transfer to and from our resort. The boat was clean, spacious and looked well maintained. There was a light breakfast and lunch prepared on board by the cook, the crew helped us put on our dive equipment and Daniel the dive master was knowledgeable and gave us confidence as we had not been diving for a while. It was a fairly early start but worth getting up for and meant the traffic was was reasonable. Full marks, we could not fault.
Review of Sea Bees Diving @Chalong
A professional run operation, they asked about my diving experience and to see my dive log book. Left from Chalong Pier. Diving was ok saw fish but the coral was not as good as we were expecting
Exploring life underwater off the coasts of Phuket is a thriving activity. With excellent dive sites, coral reefs and marine life to view, scuba diving is readily available through many companies in Phuket.
Several offer extended trips to the Similian Islands, off the coast of Myanmar and liveaboard options are available.
Several offer certification courses to prepare divers for their first adventure under the sea.