We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Nobody Does It Better”
Review of Cayman Marine Lab

Cayman Marine Lab
Ranked #11 of 30 Tours in Seven Mile Beach
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: 27 Years experience as the only diving marine biologist in the Cayman Islands. Experience and knowledge are your ticket to the best small boat diving vacation in the Cayman Islands. I look forward to spoiling you and your family very soon.
Reviewed October 29, 2012

If you are looking for an incredible diving experience, look no further. Tom Byrnes @ CML is the man. I have been visiting Grand Cayman for the past 15 years & refuse to dive with anyone else. Tom knows the island, knows his fish, knows how to avoid the crowds, and knows how to make the best of everything. If you want to dive in a large group or have a college kid as your dive master or if you want to wait for everyone to get in the water, go dive with a big shop. If you want the personalized service and attention that you get at your resort, call Tom. He is a marine biologist and the owner / operator of CML. We plunged 100 feet into Trinity Caves on our first morning dive of the trip and never looked back. Tom took us around 7 Mile Beach as well as the North Wall. He gets the job done !!!

1  Thank markkoneill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (345)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
All reviews
"tom byrnes"
in 68 reviews
"lion fish"
in 38 reviews
"north wall"
in 35 reviews
"his son"
in 20 reviews
"dive master"
in 46 reviews
"dive sites"
in 40 reviews
"great diving"
in 29 reviews
"adventure diving"
in 6 reviews
"big stuff"
in 5 reviews
"dropped anchor"
in 5 reviews
"his knowledge"
in 13 reviews
"his assistant"
in 8 reviews
"dive buddies"
in 4 reviews
"old friends"
in 7 reviews
"weather conditions"
in 6 reviews
"experienced diver"
in 8 reviews
"eagle ray"
in 5 reviews

211 - 215 of 345 reviews

Reviewed October 17, 2012

My wife and I, along with another couple, joined Tom and Danny for a week of diving last week on our first trip to Grand Cayman. I have to preface this review by saying we had originally heard about CML from someone we met in Baja while watching the gray whales. When he mentioned Tom had a degree in marine biology my interest was piqued. We checked out his web site and decided to try them. I'm so glad we did. As experienced divers (all of us have close to 300 dives)2 dive instructors, and photographers, we often find dive operators being too restrictive for our tastes. Tom obviously picked up from the conversations our experience level and after our first dive, the dive briefings often were no more than a couple of minutes telling us what to expect, that he would turn and head back to the boat after about 30 minutes and we'd be left to explore and "DON'T get bent". hahaha We managed not to.
One of the aspects we most enjoyed of our trip was asking Tom a question about something we had seen. He would go on to give a disertation ( as a PHD often does) and explain what is was, how it works, and why. Truely educational, informative and entertaining. Since he has lived on the island for 25 years he has seen many changes, both good and bad, and isn't afraid to share his opinions. When our only request for diving was to dive the Kittywake wreck he somewhat grudgingly agreed to take us to the "Kittylitter". hahaha As usual he was right again, as the wreck has almost no growth after 3 years and was swamped with divers(25-30). Give it another 10 years and save your diving for the reef or wall.
Tom has an obvious passion for the sea and sincerely believes in protecting and saving the Cayman area.He removed many lionfish during our visit and even shared the cleaned fish with us one day. Delicious....I want to get licensed!!
In short this operation is an experienced divers dream. They are punctual, and concerned that the divers have a good experience. He closely kept track of the weather system that was nearby and knew exactly when the north side was no longer a viable option because of wind and we moved to the best sites on the other side.
Let Tom guide you and you won't be dissappointed.
Steve R.

Thank divenride
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 11, 2012 via mobile

I was really impressed with Capt Toms knowledge. My kids really enjoyed our 3 days of diving with him and his son.

If you are coming to dive in Cayman and want a lesson on Marin biology as well as a laugh I highly recommend you use Cayman Marine Lab.

Thank Captmatt28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 15, 2012

Spent a week in Grand Cayman last week and went out diving daily with Tom Byrnes. The diving is world class!!! Most days went to the vibrant north side of the island. As usual, Tom provided expert leadership on the dives never failing to find and point out marine life everyone would have missed. He also He likewise never let us down with between dive entertainment, sharing stories of various dive adventures and even marine biology classes. Recommend for anyone looking for diving with experienced leader.

Thank Dlinn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
See more reviews
Reviewed August 10, 2012

Would never recommend this operator...stay away. Dangerously un-prepared, no check of c-cards, as a matter of fact one of the divers with us did not even have his c card with him. But they never would have known this because they never asked or checked. No release forms. No one asked what everyone's experience level was. We had brand new divers. We had 10 divers and one snorkeler one board. There was absolutely no room for anyone to move around the boat. We originally were sitting on the edge of the none-dive boat. When we boarded the boat, we were not given a safely briefing, nothing about the emergency equipment on board. Our captain Danny and dive guide (who was 19 years old) had to move all of us forward and hold on to each other to get to the dive site. Very uncomfortable and actually dangerous. All entries were a backward roll, as all divers entered at no point were they checked for the ok sign. Equipment on at least two divers were visibly leaking, and Danny the guide, said oh don't worry, that leak won't even equal one breath, I promise. When we arrived at our first dive site, Danny's briefing was weak at best, said we we go to the wall, one hundred feet, 30 minutes max. Enter with a backward roll, go to the front of the boat and wait for him at the decent line. One brand new diver asked what we could expect to see on this dive, and Danny's first response was Fish. Then said well we usually see turtles on every dive, and eagle rays. But this is "eagle ray pass" (actually the first time we had heard the name of the dive site), so we will be jinxed and will probably not see any of those on this dive, he was correct on that account, no eagle rays. We had another relatively new diver that had trouble clearing his ears, and he and his dive buddy were left on the decent line, while he took the remaining 8 on a small trip to the wall and then we all returned back to the decent line to pick up the other two divers to go back to the wall. At no point was any marine life pointed out to any divers by Danny. Bottled water was on the boat, not on ice, just in a 5 gallon bucket. No rinse tanks were one board, (actually there was absolutely no room for rinse tanks) not even for cameras, (I did not bring my camera thank goodness, because I could not have rinsed it. They do not have a dive shop, so I would not have been able to rinse it until I got back to the hotel.

On our arrival at the second dive site, we never got the name of the dive site, and was then told that this was a non guided dive, but a buddy dive. They briefing was even worse than the first one. We all thought that both dives were guided. We were told 60ft max, for 30 minutes. We were told dive right around the boat, or if you want you can go that way for 2-3 minutes to the mini wall, follow the sand fingers which run perpendicular to the boat, go out 15 minutes then come back. I was the only one with a computer and a compass, so I was pretty much the one that had to lead the group of 9 divers. Very poor dive operation, we were all under the impression that we would be diving with Dr. Tom, actually we never met him, we saw him leave on the other boat in front of us, and that was as close as we got to him. I strongly would not recommend this dive operator.

5  Thank b2fromindy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cmlcayman, Owner at Cayman Marine Lab, responded to this reviewResponded September 2, 2012

Thank you for taking the time to review your experience and let me say I am truly sorry that it was not what you expected.

I have been taking people diving for over 25 years and this is the first time that any of my divers have had such a negative experience and it concerns me so I truly do thank you for your feedback as I take this as an opportunity to review your input and feedback to consider changes and improvements.

It is clear that we need to take action on several items you mentioned and I will make sure that Danny is counseled on his dive leadership and customer service.

Sometimes it does get busy and unfortunately I cannot dive with both boats and obviously in this case wish that you all were diving with me so you could have had an incredible dive experience.

In the world of consumer and customer satisfaction TripAdvisor works well to give everyone many sides of the story and their personal experience so that people can read through the many reviews and make and informed decision as to whether this report, the worst we have ever received, is a trend the norm or potentially a one off.

As you can imagine being that it is the first and only one of its kind, we will be monitoring Danny's performance and our operation as whole to ensure we continue to give you divers the amazing experiences and professional services that we have done for over 25 years.

Thanks again for you feedback and apologies that we fell short of your expectations.


Dr. Tom Byrnes

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Cayman Marine Lab also viewed

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman
Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman
George Town, Grand Cayman

Been to Cayman Marine Lab? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing