If you are considering doing your courses with Princes divers, they probably not differ from other schools so much.
If you are looking for fun dives, make sure your guide is experienced also with experienced divers and she/he has experience with divers with camera, divers with gloves and divers with pointers.
Also it might be good if your guide/instructor has done diving somewhere else than in Thailand.
One star is coming from good food and spare equipments on the boat.
Am I going to be returning diver again? If I will come back to Phi Phi it will be sure that I will be returning diver and have meeting with Mr. Chay to collect our refund/compensation.
My experience doesn’t differ much from another Terrible review on Aug 8th 2013, just bit more explanation.
My buddy is OW diver 4 dives (last dive 2010) and Im returning customer with 200+ logged dives.
We were diving Aug. 10th 2 days and we post to have fun dive in four different spots, we did only three.
Boat is nice and spacious, and boat briefing was good. Food was delicious and not too spicy.
My buddy’s equipments were in good condition and there were also spare equipments available.
1st day we were diving within separate groups and second day we were only divers in our group.
All things started to go wrong already during the first dive. Before the 1st dive I asked Belgium guide to keep slow pace, so Im able do shooting, normally 2-5 pictures per objects. The guide told me to not worry about it; because she is slow diver.
During the first dive the guide lost her diver several times, because of her pace was way too fast from relaxed fun dive. Also our diving pattern was more or less bunch of zigzags and circles with in 50 meters area rather than nice straight discovery line. Diving condition 0-2 current and +/- 1m surge.
During the surface interval I gave feedback and the guide promised to lower the pace.
Second dive; same story, but when the guide lost her diver second time during the dive, I signalled to her that her pace is too fast, she replied OK, and few minutes later the guide lost her diver again; few times. It was again time to get feedback at the surface.
2nd day we were able to dive with my buddy without other customers. Also we got Swedish DMT with us. 1st spot was same as day before, but we decided to dive anyway. Surface condition where bit more rough than day earlier. Exactly same story happened again with few additions, after 2nd lost, the guide got mad at me and started protest by signalling that she will stop the dive if we as a group are not able to keep on her pace. The guide didn’t lower her pace even when asked it.
We had slight 0-2 current with +/- 1,5m surge, which indicated bigger waves on the surface.
On the surface, buoy line was thrown from the boat, I realized my buddy didn’t know what to do with it, and she had big problems with waves. I swam over to her, crabbed the line and took a grip from her arm, and boat crew started to tow us. DMT also brought the buoy to her other arm.
During the tow, my buddy accidentally kicked my straps open and I lost my fin.
I had to shout three times “I LOST MY FIN, I JUST LOST MY FIN!!!”, and 10-15sec.later the guide understood to wear her mask and look after the fin; it was already too late, the fin was gone.
BIG Thank you for the Island Divers to save 1400 HKD from my wallet by finding the lost fin.
At surface interval there was a time to give a feedback of the pace and what was happened at the surface. The reply was something what is not belonging to this forum.
2nd dive with same lost diver stuff with couple new additions; no currents nor surge, nice and easy dive.
Descent to 10m, following a slope to 20meters, a lot of 90 degree changes in direction without signalling them, back to 10 meters, and then back to 20 meters.
During the dive we did two stops at the sandy bottom where the guide stopped and signalled “Do your pictures while Im hovering with my arm akimbo”; probably there would be something to see if sand were not kicked up and creatures scared away before hovering.
During the second time in 20 meters my conservative computer gave me 2 minutes bottom time. I signalled to the guide that I will follow the group above them.
2 min later when I hovered above the group the guide freaked out, she shout with her hands and with her body “WHERE THE [--] THE DIVER IS!!!”, the guide lost her diver again.
When we were on our safety stop, the guide signalled me to come up to her level (3m), I replied back that I will follow my computer and she should come with the DMT and my buddy to my level (4,9m), and finally they came.
At the dive shop the guide summarized to my buddy what she saw; proper way to do summarization is use fish plates when you are dealing with a customer who have just finished her 8th dive.
Also I personally think that the comments “Im not going to show you smaller stuff (like nudies) because you are not advanced diver and you don’t know how to manage your buoyancy” is not a comment what you will tell your customer when you are doing one in one dives.
When I asked from my buddy what she saw during the dives, she replied that she was only focusing to follow the fins of the guide and she saw only one big fish, but she doesn’t know what it was.
Also it is dive guide responsibility to give briefing what to do if buoy is thrown from the boat, especially when there is a beginner diver in a group in harsher surface condition. Also the comments “after all it is her own responsibility to survive from harsher surface conditions, not yours “(as I was a buddy) will drive the company out from business.
I was amazed how much Japanese can eat dirt by tolerating low-grade behaving, just because they don’t want make a number of cheap unprofessional behaving..
Also thank you for the lies where two other companies verified later on that diving with hoodie and with clipped thumb and index finger gloves is not prohibited if your intention is not to touch animals or corals. The professional should know that diving with clipped gloves doesn’t differ from bear hand diving almost at all, and also what is real purpose of using these kind of gloves.
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