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“Fantastic dive trip”
Review of West Coast Divers

West Coast Divers
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Welcome on board M/V PAWARA, our luxurious custom built, steel hull, Similan Islands Liveaboard, refitted especially for this season.Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai, Richelieu Rock, the ultimate way to explore one of the worlds top ten dive spots with one of the longest standing Dive Centers in Phuket
Reviewed January 29, 2013

I'm a new diver, and this was my first liveaboard dive experience. I loved it, despite missing half my dives, due to not being able to equalize and feeling sick! The Thai crew was excellent, making me ginger tea to help with my nausea, despite the seasick pills (it was clearly not seasickness I experienced), and helping to zip up my full wetsuit, and hauling me out of the water after each dive! The dive guides are friendly, knowledgeable, and experienced, and are very particular about dive safety. I made friends with all the guests, and by the end of the trip, we were a big happy family! I'm glad I made the decision to book the trip on the Pawara!

1  Thank Envir0ment
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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111 - 115 of 137 reviews

Reviewed January 27, 2013

My husband and I had our first liveaboard experience on MV Pawara - a 4 day/4night trip to the Similian Islands, Koh Tachai and Richelieu Rock.

Though we're experienced divers we'd stayed away from liveaboards thus far because we both tend to get sea sick and also weren't sure we'd like being stuck on a boat for 4 days with the same people, same food, etc.

Our experience on MV Pawara was just fantastic and put to bed all our concerns. The boat itself is very big and really beautiful both on the outside and in terms of the layout and decor. Every part of the boat is spotlessly clean and looks exactly as shown in the photos on the West Coast Divers website.

The common areas of the boat are really nice and spacious, from the dining area to the sun deck to the lounge. The sun deck on top of the boat is beautiful, partly covered, and with both wicker loungers and padded mattresses. The indoor lounge is really nice, air conditioned, with a big screen TV, DVDs and even wifi that works on and off depending on the location. Best of all, none of the rooms feel damp or smell musty because the crew are fastidious about keeping them dry and ask the guests to do the same.

We stayed in the best room, the master deluxe, which has windows looking out onto the sea and the front of the boat. Though the room is not very large, it has a double bed and is cleverly designed to maximise space. The bathroom is small but again adequate and there's always hot water in the shower.

Sea sickness pills are always available in the dining area and the lounge. My husband and I took one every 24 hours and that seemed to do the trick for the most part. When the sea got a little choppy I needed to take another. I'd feel a little queasy for an hour until the pill started to work and then I was fine. After 3 days my husband didn't need to take any more sea sickness tablets, though I still did. Not getting sea sick was a big deal as this was what had kept us from going on liveaboards. But I will say that the sea was quite calm for our entire trip, and I did feel like everything was moving when I was back on ground for almost 3 days! Still, I'm now comfortable enough to go on another liveaboard, and that's a big change.

The meals were very good and plentiful. Coffee and tea before the first dive, a big breakfast after, a snack after the second dive, then a big lunch. Then nap time on the sun deck :-) Then a snack after the third dive, and THEN dinner which is early but you're ready for it and ready to crash soon after. The food was really tasty without being overly spicy (not that I have a problem with spicy food but they have to cater to a wide audience). Some meals were Thai, others more Western, but all good.

The dive masters were all fantastic, all super interesting guys, and great guides. They're very particular about safety and the dive briefs were detailed and very clear. The diving itself was good to great, depending on the dive sites. Having dived in the Maldives and Micronesia, we found the diving in the Similians to be good, not great. But we loved Koh Tachai and Richelieu Rock, the latter of which had the best and most diverse corals we've ever seen.

All the crew on board were very helpful and always smiling. From gearing up for us, hauling us out of the water and hot towels after the evening dive :-) to lots of delicious snacks and clearing our plates for us. Our fellow guests were all great. Interesting and fun people. You never know who you'll be stuck with on your live aboard but we couldn't have asked for a better bunch.

Overall we had an absolutely fantastic time on MV Pawara and found it to be very good value. The proof is in the pudding, as they say, and we've decided that this won't be our last liveaboard - what better endorsement that that! Highly recommended.

9  Thank Pokkstar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 12, 2013

I booked a liveaboard with this company via an agency. Sadly I got very sick just before it was to depart and I asked the company if they would be able to move me to another date or hold the money as a credit so I could dive with them in the future. They would not allow it. No refunds, no changes. The only offer they provided my travel agent was to go on a boat trip with them a few weeks later (but I was already back in the States). So I'm out $1000US. Sad really, because I love the Big Blue outfit in Koh Tao. But with this sort of service, can't take a chance on booking with them in advance.

1  Thank TravelinShane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Coast D, Public Relations Manager at West Coast Divers, responded to this reviewResponded January 30, 2013

Dear Guest,

We are sorry to hear about your experience.

As per our terms and Conditions, published on our website, we do not offer last minute refunds, but we do offer a replacement trip when possible, or a credit for a later booking.

It seems that your problem originates from the agent's handling of the situation, rather than ours, so we would appreciate if you can contact us directly with more detailed information's.

We will then contact the faulty agent and try to fix the situation.

Best regards,
West Coast Divers.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 17, 2012 via mobile

Great days diving with a great crew,large boat but a little slow but you don't mind when the scenery is that good

1  Thank Marc F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2017
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Thank patrickdelignieres
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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