from 3 reviews
PADI Dive Center
National Geographic Center
The Dive Shop
Serendipity Beach Road
14th January 2011 by r_a_bannister
A slightly different story
Visit Date: January 2011
I must admit that I hadn't read the reviews on here when I stumbled off my bus and into The Dive Shop; if I had, I probably wouldn't have gone in which would have been a huge shame.
I spent a couple of days doing my advanced open water and was really impressed with the care and guidance I was shown. I am naturally rather curious and ask a host of slightly inane questions, yet my instructor made a real effort to both address them and to ensure I understood not only what I needed to do but why. On my last dive pre-Cambodia I had been down with a slightly crazy American who despite having being dive master (a few years elapsed no doubt) completed freaked out and left me feeling a little worried about diving again. The instructors at the Dive Shop made me feel comfortable and in control - most importantly I left with a far greater understanding of the sport and a real desire to do more.
The island is remote but for me that is part of the charm. It was great to meet the people doing conservation work in the area and I really liked the fact that the local community is so involved.
A long time has passed since these last reviews and whilst I cannot comment on the experience they had I can say that I would recommend this store based on my experience – a really good team.
6th July 2010 by sep313
Save your diving for Thailand or go with another operator.
Visit Date: July 2009
See the previous review and that about sums these guys up. I think the dive master barely introduced himself to me and on day 2 when it ended up just being me and the dive master, i found out that the DM hadn't really been in Cambodia that long and got the impression that he wasn't really very familiar with the dive sights we were going to. We got onto a little rickety speed boat with a Cambodian driver. The DM was spanish and could not communicate with the boat driver. We drove to a dive spot and the DM stuck his head into the water with his mask and popped back up saying 'i may have done this site before, i'm not really sure' then tried to ask the driver about it (unsuccessfully as they spoke different languages). We then tried another spot that he felt more certain about and did the dive. Luckily it wasn't very deep but the vis was poor and i did feel a bit anxious as if any emergencies did transpire we only had this rickety speed boat back to the shack on the beach that we'd overnighted on.
The people at the HQ seem to talk the talk but either i was given a total rookie or they really hype up not only themselves but also diving in Cambodia. Not a place or an operator i would revisit for diving.
Management Response from The Dive Shop:
Good morning, i am just back from Holiday, and found a complain a bout us one your Web site. We never have a Spanish Div Master working for us and we do not one a Speed Boat to take our Diver out. Most important for us i don't see any Day at our History going out wit only one Diver. We do not have Beach shake , we do have fully equip t Bungalows one the Island of Koh Rong. I don't know where you been diving but for sure not with us. Rudy Managing Director The Dive Shop Cambodia.
Note from Scubadviser:
Following the management response from The Dive Shop in Camodia, we contacted the reviewer to confirm that their review was definitely for The Dive Shop. They have now provided us with a copy of their credit card statement which clearly shows a payment to 'The Dive Shop' dated July 2009.
24th May 2009 by MaddyM
Save your time and money!
Visit Date: April 2009
Did two (2) fun dives here back in April. How did this dive outfit become not only PADI certified, but 5-STAR certified?
I took a 2 hour boat ride to one of the islands off Sihanoukville, and stayed at the dive centre dorm over night.
The equipment was not properly sized for most divers.
1. Except for fins, which were sized in the dive shop, masks were provided on the boat, where each diver chose a mask that typically did not fit. Most of us complained about constant leaks and sore noses, but were told by the owner that we were, "...all soft!"
2. We were sized for wet suits, but some of us got the wrong size once we were on the boat.
3. The air connect to my BCD was steadily leaking air. Luckily, the deepest dive site was a meagre 7 metres deep (one big 'safety stop'), so I was sure I would be safe on air.
4. The visibility was very poor and the dive master was readily out of site. Us divers stuck together trying to find her most of the time.
5. There was nothing to see! Sandy bottom, no coral, no fish except for the occasional giant crab, cuttlefish and some small fish.
6. No place to clean the equipment once we got back to the island. There is only one small fishing village and they have priority over the fresh water. If water is scarce, the dive equipment does not get cleaned. No cleaning tanks or an equipment area was present anyway. There was a very disorganized dock and room that was shared with a local family to store used equipment.
7. The boat to the dive site/island only had proper shade on the lower deck, where the motor was. Breathed constant fumes for the 2 hour ride. PLUS, the tank air was not that clean, and I said so before the dive but was told that it was fine. I knew it wasn't. Ended up with a headache that put me to sleep for over 12 hours that night.
8. Dive briefing? Nope.
I survived, but was not pleased. One diver did his OW course and was very, very nervous. The points listed above were part of his nervousness. I don't blame him. If I had never dived before, I'd be scared, too.
My advice: if you're in Cambodia, save your diving time, money and energy for Thailand, just a short trip away!