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“Got lost in the shuffle”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Big Blue Diving

Big Blue Diving
Ranked #3 of 90 Tours in Koh Tao
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: One of Koh Tao's longest established Dive Centers offerring a full range of Scuba Diving Courses from Open Water to Scuba Instructor. Also specialists in Freediving, Technical Diving, Instructor Training & professional Underwater Videography and able to teach in all major languages & all courses including PADI, SSI, BSAC & TDI. Big Blue Diving, Koh Tao also offers FREE accommodation on days spent diving in shared AC dorms making it the most affordable dive center in the world! While also offering private AC bungalows on the beach as well as basic old skool style backpacker bungalows on the beach for those who'd rather pay a little extra for privacy. Awarded numerous prizes from all diving organisations & travel agencies & websites Big Blue Diving is everybodys favourite dive center.
Useful Information: Food available for purchase
Fort Dauphin, Madagascar
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Got lost in the shuffle”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 9, 2014

I had high expectations for Big Blue after reading all the rave reviews, and after visiting there I would say my feelings are mixed. Overall, Big Blue is a great dive school with worldclass instructors and divemasters. I completed my Open Water course with them and really enjoyed it and the instructor was great. But, Big Blue seems like a case of a small dive school that has gotten too big a bit too quick..things were always a bit hectic and my boyfriend and I ended up feeling quite shuffled around when we had a question or complaint and that definitely put a bit of a damper on positive diving experiences. The dorms seem to be well-priced, but I found the private rooms to be bit overpriced. This may just be Koh Tao prices though!! We visited at the busiest time of year, and things were definitely a bit hectic, but I think they could put a little more effort into their service since its grown to be such a big and popular dive school and destination.

For diving courses and fun dives, Big Blue is a solid choice but it may be worth looking at other options too when it comes to accommodation/service. It's also worth mentioning that they really encourage Open Water students to go for an SSI certification, which is excellent and equally as known and reputable as PADI (I did SSI)! But if you are set on PADI, make sure you speak up to the instructors when you arrive.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
Thank Monica S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
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  • English first
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English first
1 review
“Diving”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 9, 2014 via mobile

I came alone with no booking at all but the staff (G!!) was friendly and so organized, I got a doorm bed and started my open water same day I arrived. I had an amazing time, my instructor G was very enthusiastic and made me feel confident in the water. My dive buddies were awesome!! Clean quiet rooms.
Unfortunately visibility was not that good while diving but otherwise 5/5! Thank you all, I'll be back!
G-spots x
/janice

Helpful?
Thank Janice A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mumbai (Bombay), India
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Big Blue Diving - Dave Ashmore ( Great Diver, Instructor, Angel )”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 8, 2014

Recently me and my friends did our Open water diving course at Big Blue Diving. Our entire experience right from arrival to departure was fantastic. The way they conducted everything at the dive center was amazing and professional. Our instructor was Sir Dave Ashmore from Yorkshire, England :). He was very committed towards ensuring that we are making progress in our diving skills and graduate to get our Open water divers license. During our first dive we did panic under water and it was he who helped us realize that we can do this. We can handle the situation, he motivated us and stayed with us through out. At the end of the course we got our license and it was a great moment for us. Dave also shared great stories and experiences from his dives across the world. He has completed more then 1000 dives so you feel very safe (especially if you are diving for the first time) The accommodation was basic but good. Also the food at the big blue 1 and big blue 2 was great. We stayed their for 5 days and every day was fantastic. Any one looking forward to learning to dive... i would highly recommend Big Blue Diving and Dave Ashmore ( it has to be him). Looking forward to returning to this beautiful island and doing few more courses.

A big thank you to the entire team of Big Blue for inspiring us to become divers.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank AVK84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
34 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“First dive and it was amazing, great instructors”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 8, 2014

I did a Discovery Dive with Big Blue and it was amazing. The instructors are great at taking you through all the training prior to diving and look after you every step of the way. I panicked at first, thinking I couldn't get enough air, however the instructor, Chris, was wonderful at calming me down and from then on, it was a piece of cake! Even saw a Nemo or two, amazing! Clearly a professional set up that is well worth a go! Thanks so much Big Blue, and particularly Chris!

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
Thank Sparkle_and_shine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nuremberg, Germany
Level Contributor
15 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Review: Courses”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 7, 2014

I spent 6 weeks on Koh Tao and at Big Blue, doing my OW, AOW and the Eco Conservation Internship. So here is my review:

Accommodation:
The bungalows are clean, nice and cute but avoid bungalow Nr. 1 next to the shop/office - it's very noisy at night (party at Lotus + Cancoon Bar) and in the morning (gathering point for the morning dives).

Dive equipment:
Even when the equipment room seems shabby and a bit musty all the gear is in good condition and the equipment guys are very helpful. BUT: Due to the fact that BB is a big dive school with many customers, never let any of your personal equipment (mask, fins, socks, etc) in the gear bags, not even overnight if you're doing a morning dive.

Ships:
The ships are quite big and well equipped. You get tea, coffee, biscuits/cookies and fresh fruits between your dives, there are toilets on the ship, sometimes even a shower and a sun deck.
You have to set up your gear by yourself (a fact which I appreciated) but of course get help, if needed.

DMs:
All the DMs, DMTs and DIs (John H., Lizzy M., Steve O., Rod, Molly, Mel, Björn, Mike) I went with during the 6 weeks were friendly, very professional, responsible and patient. I always felt very secure, well guided and comfortable. The groups are very small (never more than 5 people) so the DMs are able to take care of everybody - and they do.

Courses (OW + AOW):
I did both courses with DI John Huntington (sadly he moved to the Caymans - all the best, Mr. H :) ) and was very pleased with his style of teaching. He was a funny but also strict and calm teacher who paid close attention to the basic skills. That´s absolutely the right way (in my opinion) because whatever happens on your later dives (without your DI) you always feel secure that you could handle nearly anything under water just by bethinking yourself on your basic skills. This knowledge gives you a wonderful serenity and made me feel very comfortable under water at all times and in any situation. I got nearly 60 dives now and could always manage any situation so far.
So thank you very much for this lessons, Mr. Waterman!

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
Thank TesaA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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