On an island that is centered around diving you have many choices. I chose Crystal because I liked the tone, speed and slight personalization of their email responses (plus they had good Tripadvisor reviews). I was not disappointed.
Sasha, Phil and the rest of the team did a wonderful job in taking care of me. Given I have not dove much, but I was made to feel at home. Over three days we dove Red Rock, White Rocks, Green Rock, Japanese Gardens and Chumphon Pinnacle (the best dive). These dives included work on gathering my adventure dives, including my deep water certification.
Unlike many dives in the past where the boat staff prepare the tanks and gear, this is a divers experience. The boats are big and had at least 40 divers. Each group was 4 persons or smaller. Each person assembles their own gear, but fear not there is always someone around to refresh your memory. Diving with such a big boat was a different experience, but not unwelcomed.
The diving was clear, low current and the water was warm. We saw great reef life, turtles, schools of barracudas, spotted rays and trigger fish. Alas no sharks our time of year.
I did come across a few faulty o rings which led to some small leaks, no big deal. Other than that equipment seemed fine. BTW – they have what seems like hundreds of different packages and pricing levels. Be sure to dig around to find one that works for you (some include lodging, return guests are lower rates, more dives are lower rates). Crystal does lots of dive classes so you will encounter people working on rescue dives, dive instructor and various other courses as part of the trip
In the end the staff made the difference. I am not one to repeat vacation spots, but if I did I would dive with Crystal
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Crystal Dive offers PADI diving courses from beginner to advanced, Koh Tao diving for fun divers and the full range of PADI Specialty courses. We also offer our unique all-inclusive Scuba Diving Internships, the modern style of dive training courses all the way up to Professional Level, both PADI Divemaster and PADI Instructor. As one of the most established dive schools & resorts in Thailand, Crystal Dive has built a reputation of professionalism, first class customer service and 5 star PADI diving education. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Crystal Dive Hotel Koh Tao