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“Want to dive Sipadan? Liveaboard is the way to go” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Dive The World

Dive The World
Pulau Sipadan 91307, Malaysia
+60 (0)16 830 8290
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Attraction details
Owner description: Sipadan diving experts. We are a diving travel agency with local expertise in Sabah. All you need to choose and book your Sipadan resorts or liveaboard at prices no more, and sometimes less, than booking direct with the operators. Sipadan, Mabul, Kapalai, Lankayan and Layang Layang dive resorts. Plus Sepilok and PADI dive courses in Kota Kinabalu.
Denver, Colorado
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Want to dive Sipadan? Liveaboard is the way to go”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2013

I booked a 7 day trip on MV Celebes Explorer and had a great experience. The information provided beforehand by Vic at Dive the world allowed me to plan my schedule my trip to include visits to Sandakan (Sepilok) and Kota Kinabalu. Sipadan limits the number of divers per day, so staying on at a resort on Mabul or Kapalai may enable you to dive one day for every 3 days that you stay at the resort. The diving at these resorts cannot be compared to the diving at Sipadan. As passengers on the liveaboard we dived 6 days (all but the first day which is a morning pick up at Semporna that doesn't allow travel to Sipadan the same day). The boat travellled from Mabul to Sipadan every day and enabled 4 dives at Sipadan and a night dive at Mabul (which after 2 nights got to be very repetitive). The dive guides on the boat are very experienced and good at finding small critters. For each meal there were usually at least 5 diffrerent dishes and the food was tasty and plentiful. The major downside to the trip is that the boat is very old and the sleeping rooms have a VERY STRONG diesel odor. A number of passengers chose to sleep on deck rather than in the rooms. In addition, the intake for boat's compressor for the dive tanks is located directly above the boats engine exhaust - quite amazing really. Apparently a new boat is being built and the crew indicated that it maybe operational in "about a year" (which if true would be July 2014).

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Portland, Oregon
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Just say NO to Diving with Vic and Dive the World at SMART”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2013

I booked and paid for a week's trip to Sipadan this year that Vic screwed me out of. It was to occur during the uprising by the followers of the Sultan of Sulu. The Malay government killed over 100 insurrectionists camped out between Semporna and Lahad Datu, and the US government advised against travel. I informed Vic I would not be going and he talked about rescheduling, but when I tried to do just that - he said I was being treated as a no show and he kept my entire payment in full. Neither he nor SMART, where he had booked, was willing to offer me a visit at another time. Vic and SMART are just in it for the $$ - expect NO service, no support, no sense of honorable business. Get smart - Try anywhere else!!!!

Visited March 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
divetheworldwithus, Manager at Dive The World, responded to this review, July 26, 2013
We appreciate all reviews.Even the bad ones since we can sometimes learn from them how we can avoid problems in the future.This is not one of those reviews.
The reply below assumes the booking was under the name of Marlene (we cant be certain from the details on Tripadvisor).
You sought to cancel your booking 5 days before the trip began. 5 days. Obviously this means you are subject to cancellation terms if you choose to cancel. SMART and every other resort and liveaboard in the world have such cancellation terms because if people cancel last minute they lose the booking and the chance to fill the space.
Yes there may have been a travel advisory issued by your country of domicile but there were many guests who travelled to Sipadan during that time.The resorts operated as normal. We have heard no reports of tourists seeing anything unusual at all during this entire time. The location where the insurrectionists were hiding out is deep in palm oil plantation territory. You didn't travel because you made the choice not to travel. Very few people made the same choice.The US and UK governments often have travel advisories for the whole of Sabah's East coast in place. This does not entitle people to change their plans last minute without contractual consequences.
We communicated to you on 10 March SMARTs offer to re-schedule your dates otherwise you would be treated as a 'no-show' but heard nothing back from you.
We also know you sent an email to Sabah Tourism board to complaint about SMART regarding a demand for a refund after you chose to cancel. The board insisted that it was safe to travel to Sabah and confirmed that they had not sent out any traveling advisory.
I don't know what more we could have reasonably been expected to do. As I say there is little we can learn from this.
If you are going to cancel trips in these circumstances then perhaps you can learn something and should consider having travel insurance which pays out for cancellations on the broadest possible terms.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Great dive site, plenty to see”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2013

One thing you'll love about Sipadan is the great diversity in its waters. Never have I gone to a place where I could see whale sharks, sea turtles and barracudas all mingling at once! Must dive it for sure.

Visited August 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Like in a dream”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2013

I've always wanted to visit Sipadan, after all the reviews I heard about it being one of the best places to dive and a must visit destination. And so I decided to plan the trip last month, for my honeymoon.

Though I didn't get to dive at Sipadan, because during that period we weren't certified divers yet & was only taking our diving course while we were staying at Mabul., we did go to Sipadan as part of the snorkeling trip our resort offered. And it was a magically almost dream-like experience.

The beauty of sipadan & its marine life is beyond words, the place is serene & peaceful. The snorkeling we had over there was unforgettable, we saw a white tip shark, a school of green bumped parrotfish, green turtle but the best of all, we were surrounding by a massive school of fish that I'm not sure what they are called. Managed to capture a few videos & photos of that experience with our GoPro Hero3.

Now that we are certified divers, we will for sure dive at Sipadan one day! Looking forward to it! This is a must island to visit at least once in your life!

Visited April 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
around the world
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
22 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“One dive/one paradise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2013

There are few places on Earth where a diver can see schools of whirling barracuda, a dozen sea turtles of varying species, a handful of sharks, and a teeming reef of angelfish, triggerfish, morays and gobies all on one dive. At Sipadan such sights are common, with lucky divers bringing home stories of whale sharks, manta rays, and schools of hammerheads. Sipadan is well known as a hotspot for biodiversity with over 3,000 species of fish and hundreds of coral species calling the waters off this island home.Sipadan, an underwater paradise populated by strange creatures in Malaysia. Dive before you die:)

Visited April 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
divetheworldwithus, Manager at Dive The World, responded to this review, May 5, 2013
Don't go dying just yet Esra! There are lots of other great places to dive. Sipadan is still right up there in terms of underwater encounters - no doubt. Come and see us again for your next dive adventure and we will try and send you somewhere just as good if not better. Plus you can get money off the price with our returning customer discount.
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