First of all this review is purely related to the diving part offered by the company and not the accommodation (found in an alternative review)
Operations : With transfer booked a few months in advance, we were apprehensive if the company had remembered, especially as we did not reconfirm prior to arrival...however it was a relief to see the driver waiting with a name board for you, upon arrival. Mode of transport to Semporna was via a mini bus, taking just over and hour to reach our destination. The bus was shared with other guests works out to your advantage, lowering the cost per person. Payment was made directly to the driver upon arrival in Semporna.
Following an overnight stay in their accommodation, registration with Scuba Junkie was conducted across the road in their Semporna office, with forms and proof of your diving license required (albeit they can look up your details from the PADI database). Once registration was completed, you were introduced to your dive instructors for the day and led onto the jetty with your bags. Transfer onto Mabul takes around 40-50 mins, your bags are transferred to the resort, once docked, meaning you could concentrate what you were there for... DIVING! Upon checkout, baggage is also delivered to the pier for you, again maximising your diving time... Outdoor rinse showers are available on the pier as well.
On a daily basis (if you stay in Mabul) they have a whiteboard schedule informing you of your dive sites for the following day and the time you need to be at the pier, in addition your dive instructors as highlighted along with the lead Dive Master of the day.
Dive Masters: These guys & gals really do live upto the name of the company, their jubilation and excitement is evident after each dive. Each dive instructor have their own knowledge and preferences of diving types (e.g. muck diving) as you would expect. However they are always open to your suggestions of what your interests are. Over the four days, we had various dive masters, we were lucky to have Ted, Anthony, Ben and Cat as our guides. I couldn't praise these guys more, always coming across professionally and prior to each dive, giving a briefing of what to expect to see and the background to the dive location.
Dive Sites: We dived around Mabul, Siamil & Sipidan. Let me start about the other sites before I come to Sipidan. Although everyone talks about Sipidan, other dive sites around the area are still vibrant with marine life. Whilst we were there we were lucky to see Devil/Blue Ribbon Rays, Turtles, Reef Sharks, Sea Horses, Wonder Octopus and more!! Some divers take a life time to be lucky enough to see some of these and yet these can be encountered within close vicinity. As for Sipidan, I've never experienced before the ability to dive in such a rich area of marine life with one of the best examples of coral beauty to be seen. It does make you wonder and provides a prime example that by purely respecting the marine life, the ecosystem just works!
The company: Scuba Junkie do really seem to care about the environment, organising beach clean up days, marine charitable assistance etc.
Final thought: Some people may view the dive masters as strict, i.e. when they say no touching the turtles and corals... they mean it! I do see their point: how would you like to be touched by strangers all the time, or seeing your home trampled over??
If you are planning to go to Sipidan/Mabul etc... I would not hesitate to recommend Scuba Junkie