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.

“Great Dive Experience”

Blue Marlin Dive Gili Trawangan
Ranked #5 of 44 Tours in Gili Trawangan
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Blue Marlin Dive is the original and longest established PADI dive resort on the beautiful Gili islands. Set up in 1992 by renowned technical diver and instructor Simon Liddiard, Blue Marlin has grown to be a successful PADI 5-Star Instructor Development Resort and TDI technical diving facility. We offer daily recreational and technical dive trips for certified divers, a complete range of PADI recreational courses from beginner to instructor level and a luxury diving liveaboard based in Komodo national park. An award-winning TDI and IART technical facility, we specialize in Enriched Air Nitrox, Tri-mix, Buddy Inspiration and Evolution, and JJ Closed-Circuit Rebreather training. We have a full service dive resort with a restaurant, bar & on-site accommodation. Let our clear warm waters, swaying palm trees and no-motorized traffic ensure your holiday is a memorable one.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed August 27, 2013

From the shop to the dives, the staff, and the other divers, Blue Marlin was an awesome experience to get my Advanced Open Water Cert.

tl;dr: Great place to hang, to party (on Mondays), and to dive. Instructors are fun and staff are helpful.

Everyone at Blue Marlin was cheerful and friendly, even the locals and staff after long days. On several occasions I had to make changes to my gear (or find my own among the other gear), and every time they were accommodating and went out of their way to help me.

My dives were fun, but I've read here about others having lame experiences. We can't particularly blame the staff for that though, because they are accountable for other divers safety and progression. At times it could seem slow in the water, but they care about safety a lot here and that's better than the contrast! (Heard other shops don't do group equipment checks, expect everyone to know how to handle themselves, etc.)
My dives were also quite small, having two or three buddy groups. In fact, my brother got to do PEAK with the instructor alone, which I heard was an awesome and rare experience. I have doubts the classes are often that small anywhere else. Blue Marlin also has several boats ready to go, along with the gear you need and soap (to use as a defogger for your mask). If you have any of your own gear though, they welcome you to use it!

My brother and I had an Daniel, a dive instructor, and he was a incredibly fun to dive with and would make sure we went through every hoop we needed to in order to get our Advanced. We both wanted to go on a night dive, but the water was too rough for the next several nights. On the night before we left and on a day when Blue Marlin doesn't even do night dives, Daniel arranged for us to use the boat so we could complete our certification doing the dives we wanted!

I was lucky – The other divers I had were fun and really cool. It was a pleasure diving with them, and it made the experience even more fun, even if some of them didn't pick up on the skills as quickly or kept bumping me in the water.

I did not try their dinner or lunch food, but I had a salad and coffee there and both were pretty good.

I can't account for their Open Water program, or the rest of their food, but I think this is an awesome place to hang at and be apart of. Good luck and have fun in your time in Gili!

Protips:

1) All the staff are extremely cool, and will even get drinks (sometimes) after a long day of diving.
2) I've heard that most of the dive shops talk about prices, so nearly all of them are around the same price. Might as well go to a place with awesome staff and great equipment.
3) Monday's are BIG party nights here! One of the divers who is photographer and videographer in the day, DJs at night and is pretty good! Head over ~11pm or later and the party should be getting going!
4) Really family-friendly, but if you're going with a group of fun people there's a lot of fun back-and-forth between the dive instructors and the other staff.
5) If you have a specific dive you want to do, or plan to do, ask the staff! They are understanding and helpful.
6) Everyone is incredibly trustworthy there. They have places to store a small bag and towels, but you share them with other divers. I never felt unsure about leaving my stuff unattended there, though. No sketchy people here!

Thank Nick N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BlueMarlinDive, Manager at Blue Marlin Dive Gili Trawangan, responded to this reviewResponded August 28, 2013

Hi Nick,
Thank you very much for taking the time to review us here at Blue Marlin Dive. We are glad to hear you had a great diving experience and that you enjoyed your Advanced Open Water Diver course with our instructor Daniel. It is lovely to hear that you found our staff to be cheerful, helpful and friendly, and that you felt we went out of our way to help you.

It is encouraging to hear that you enjoyed the small group experiences, and that your brother really appreciated the chance to get some on-to-one instruction on his Peak Performance Bouyancy dive. We are glad that you appreciated the multiple boat options and the availability of little things like the mask defogger on the boat. We are happy to hear that you found us to be extremely professional on the boat and with the equipment, and that you understood our avoidance of night dives for a few days was about safety. We are also glad that you did appreciate the decision to go night diving again when conditions improved and that you felt it gave you and your brother the personal attention you deserved and allowed you to complete the option dives you wanted for your advanced course.

It's also nice to know you enjoyed hanging out at the dive centre in the evenings and having a drink with the instructors and your fellow students and that you had fun at our "famous Monday Night Party". We hope you will share your good experiences with fellow travellers and encourage them to check us out here at Blue Marlin Dive and that maybe we will see you again some day for more fun diving adventures.
Kind Regards
Blue Marlin Dive Team

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (1,143)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages

864 - 868 of 1,143 reviews

Reviewed August 26, 2013

My husband and I did our rebreather course with Blue Marlin. We were impressed with the dive centre setup, the staff and the restaurant.

The centre has a large classroom, a well provided tech room and compressor facilities that can give you any mix you require. The dive boats are very comfortable, and the underwater scenery is beautiful.

Our instructors (Simon and Will) were extremely good: making sure that we become safe rebreather divers, while not forgetting that we dive for fun. They also took the time to help us overcome individual challenges that we encountered during our course. (buoyancy - really different from open circuit!)

Our course took 6 days, and we did some fun diving afterwards.

Most days we took our lunch at Blue Marlin in a beautiful setting: they have tables at the beach, overlooking the sea and the surrounding islands. Food was good with plenty of healthy (and less healthy) options. In the evening there is also a BBQ.

Thank karoh h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BlueMarlinDive, Manager at Blue Marlin Dive Gili Trawangan, responded to this reviewResponded August 28, 2013

Hello Karoh,

Thank you for your wonderful response to our dive centre, we are extremely pleased that you found it to be a pleasant and fun experience. We are happy that you were impressed with our facilities, the air-conditioned classroom, the technical service room, and the compressor set-up. We are happy that you found both Will and Simon to be good instructors, who gave you time and space to learn and become safe rebreather divers whilst also still having fun. Becoming a rebreather diver after years of open -circuit is definitely a challenge so we happy to hear it was also fun. Both Will and Simon take a lot of pride in delivering the highest quality technical diver training in Indonesia and have invested a lot of time and money into the rebreather training division of our dive centre.

We are also glad to hear your enjoyed the restaurant facilities, the food varieties and also the setting. We hope that you will return to us here at Blue Marlin Dive in the future to develop your rebreather diving skills and continue your rebreather training.

Kind Regards
Blue Marlin Dive Team

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 26, 2013

Blue Marlin restored our faith in diving at the Gili's. We were there in high season, every dive shop seemed stretched to the max. Blue Marlin was able to cater to many different abilities in a pleasant and professional manner. Although at times it seemed chaotic, it was organised and safe chaos. The team knows what processes and procedures to adhere to and it shows.

The good:
- Front office very well organised (Donna doing a great job)
- Knowledgeable, professional and friendly dive masters
- Safety conscious, including proper site briefings, boat safety briefing, current checks, roll calls on and off the boat, etc
- Friendly boat crew

All in all, the most professional outfit on an island where clearly demand exceeded supply when we were there.

Thank soleni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BlueMarlinDive, Manager at Blue Marlin Dive Gili Trawangan, responded to this reviewResponded August 28, 2013

Hello Soleni,
Thank you for taking the time to review our dive centre, we are happy to hear we restored your faith in diving the Gili islands. You are completely right, August is the busiest season here for everyone, and for the first few weeks of the month many dive centre's are "full". We are one of the bigger centre's, able to cater for a larger number of clients with many sets of equipment and a big staff, but still with limited space, so yeah for sure, the dive centre can seem packed. However, we do try our best to ensure all our customers still get the personal attention they deserve by offering them small groups suitable to their abilities and experience levels, separate open water, advanced and nitrox fun dive groups, a good variety of dive sites with multiple boats offering alternatives, and personal interaction with our staff.

Its fantastic for us to hear that you felt we dealt with the busy time well, that it was well organised and that proper processes and procedures were done properly. We take pride in ensuring we offer a superior service so its fantastic to know that all staff adhered to offering boat and dive site briefings, current checks upon arrival to the dive sites, and roll calls before and after the dives.

We are glad to hear you found us to be the most professional shop in the Gili islands, and that our staff, both local and western were still fun and friendly. We hope you return to us again, we would suggest April/May for a quieter time when the diving conditions are superb and there are less people so boats are more relaxed. We also hope you can recommend us to fellow travellers and divers who might be thinking of visiting the Gili islands.

Kind Regards
Blue Marlin Dive Team

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 26, 2013

Quite a bad experience with blue marline diving center. During our second dive, named "secrets" between Gili meno and Gili air - very nice coral dive though - it ended after 35' only, 130 bars left...
Then waited at least 10' at surface with rough see before boat came to pick us up. After a first and a second group pick up, the boat finally came but due to see condition impossible to get in with the boat approach.Then the engine of the boat broke down. Heavy current didn't help neither and we just started drifting away quite rapidly in the Lombok direction... It took quite some time - at least 50' to be rescued. Of course a broken down engine could happen but I'm strongly doubting of the daily boat maintenance. Last but not least, the manager didn't make a big deal out of it - "like it could simply happen and we never lost anyone"... I have around 100 dives so I am not considering myself as an expert but do have some experience and do feel comfortable under the water and I have never had such a bad experience.
The staff seemed friendly though and the center had a lot of teaching and was quite crowded, maybe too much actually if you're looking for a high quality diving center to my opinion. Last but not least, I had the chance to scuba dive in Gili Trawangan in January 2001 and enjoyed it very much, but didn't find the same quality this time... To finish on a positive note, we saw two giant turtles in "turbo" - quite impressive...

Thank pcandolfi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BlueMarlinDive, Manager at Blue Marlin Dive Gili Trawangan, responded to this reviewResponded August 28, 2013

Hello There,

Thank you for making a review of our dive centre, we are sorry to hear you did not find your second dive with us to be a positive experience. As we try to meet the needs of our customers in every way we can, we actually changed our original dive plan of Sunset Reef and went to Secret Reef at your request. We did this for you because we do care about our customers getting the most from their diving experiences, and try to tailor to our customers wishes as best we can.

August is windy season here at Gili Trawangan, which means bigger waves, particularly in the afternoons, which does make the journeys to and from the dive sites and the diver pick-ups a little bit more slow and difficult, and Secret reef is further away and more challenging than Sunset reef. However, ten minutes is a very reasonable time for the boat to come and pick up your diver group if it was also picking up two other groups just beforehand. In this instance, a freak wave then damaged our engine, which meant that the boat could not steer properly to pick-up your diver group at the end of the dive. As soon as this happened our crew contacted us back at the office where we immediately sent our staff and cargo transport boat out to help. It was much safer therefore, to keep you in the water and keep the damaged boat remaining beside your diver group rather than to try and pick-up and cause a possible accident, in the knowledge that another boat was on the way. Staying in the water was by far the safer option, and the temperature is 28 degrees so getting cold is not really an issue, and our divemaster, boat and crew were with you at all times. The rescue boat was there in twenty minutes which is the length of time it takes to get to the dive site and your diver group was picked up immediately and brought straight back to the dive centre, which takes another twenty minutes. You were already back here at 4.30pm, which is our estimated return time anyway from the dive, having left to go for the dive at 2.30pm so the situation was dealt with swiftly and efficiently.
This incident could have happened to anyone, it was caused by waves, and the way to measure the dive centre is by how the situation was dealt with. All our other customers complimented us on both the professionalism and speed with which we handled the situation, and the way we prevented any accident from happening. Furthermore, the fact that the staff and management stayed calm is surely a good thing. It should show that we knew what we were doing and were efficient at organizing solutions, it would be much worse if we seemed panicked or worried.

I would like to add just one note on the dive itself. We are very happy you enjoyed the reef, it is indeed very beautiful. When there is current, a 35 minute drift on Secret Reef is perfectly normal, remember the Gili islands are small so the drifting reefs are not long. After that time the reef slopes down deeper so unfortunately it is impossible to stay on the reef. You are obviously very good on your air, but it would be a little pointless to stay in the water just because you have air, if you are just in blue water with no corals or fish to look at. Any dive centre in the Gili islands can verify this fact. If you wish to stay on this reef for longer, then its best to dive secret reef when there is no current which is actually quite rare, or alternatively face into the current a little in order to slow yourself down and make it a 45 minute dive.

It is also good to hear you enjoyed the huge green turtles at Turbo reef, we are extremely lucky here in the Gili’s to be surrounded by turtles. Finally, it is true we are a busy dive centre with many students, but you have been here in August which is the busiest time of the year. There is less people here at other times of the year so perhaps if you return at a quieter month you would enjoy the experience more. We would certainly be happy to see you return and see how professional we are.

Kind Regards
Blue Marlin Dive Team

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 20, 2013

My husband and I decided to spend a week of our honeymoon diving 2 weeks ago.

As we are the backpacker kind of people we did not think of booking a hotel room in Gili T.

I contacted the Blue Marlin and they were very helpful and managed to find us a room for a whole week which saved us!

When we arrived Donna and Nora were both super helpful in suggesting what the right dives would be for us.

Robin and I also decided to try Nitrox dives and we felt really comfortable with the advice given to us, sat our test and made the most of our dives.

I cannot thank everyone enought for making our week so great, we truly had a blast.

There is a great atmosphere between the instructors, the local staff and I have no doubt that this contributes to the atmosphere.

Not having done too many dives before going to Gili T(circa 10) I can say that thanks to them I have gained more confidence and I would recommend this dive centre to anyone whether they are beginners or experienced divers as their safety procedures are spot on.

Thank Sophie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BlueMarlinDive, Manager at Blue Marlin Dive Gili Trawangan, responded to this reviewResponded August 24, 2013

Hi Sophie,
Thank you so much for making such a fantastic review of us here at Blue Marlin Dive and congratulations on your honeymoon. We are super happy to hear we made your week feel special, it is important to us that our customers get the best from their experiences. We are glad that from the outset of contacting us for accommodation, through to the advise and response you got at the office to the actual training and fun dives that at all levels you felt the experience was professional. It is great that you noticed the positive atmosphere we have between all the staff and that this contributed to a good vibe. It also good to hear you felt our safety procedures were spot on and that you would have no hesitation in recommending us to others. We hope to see you back here again to continue your dive training.
Kind Regards
Blue Marlin Dive Team

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

Travelers who viewed Blue Marlin Dive Gili Trawangan also viewed

Gili Trawangan, Gili Islands
Gili Trawangan, Gili Islands
 
Gili Trawangan, Gili Islands
Gili Trawangan, Gili Islands
 

Been to Blue Marlin Dive Gili Trawangan? 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