from 5 reviews
PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Center
PO Box 458
Lot 36, Block B
20th January 2012 by jimjones88
Visit Date: May 2011
I took my dive master here after doing a few weeks diving with these guys. Everything was going really well until I handed over the cash for the course. Then it became a hell hole, the staff treated me like a piece of S**T and our regular names became DM-tards adapted from the name Dive Master Trainee. The staff were rude, un-accommodating unless it befitted them and worked the hell out of you. If you are thinking of doing your DMT here, think again it was 4 months of hell. The only grace I got is when I heard half of it burnt down, that made me smile.
14th July 2009 by mispule
Very poor services with too high prices
Visit Date: May 2009
There are 2 different things that it´s necessary to divide. One is the dive center and the second are dive sites. Because without any doubts the area around Semporna has a great unbelievable diving. Especially Sipadan island with a famous Barracuda point is a real nature miracle.
But Scuba Junkie it was a big disappointment for us. You pay really big money in Semporna, so you expect to get a really professional services. But it´s not like that. The divemasters are guys from England etc acting like having holiday there and you´ve been honoured to go with them to dive..I didn´t feel with them very well. Also their boats go quite slow, so you´re stuck on the boat only with a break for lunch with no possibility to go to toilette etc. Also their dive center in Semporna is all mess and their hostel is totally disguisting place full of rats and cockroaches..
1st July 2009 by Salambo77
There are better bases for Sipadan Islands
Visit Date: June 2009
We dived with Scuba Junkies for 3 days.
It's a really big diving-base in Semporna. We emailed them 3 weeks in advance to get a permission to Sipadan Island. They replied, that they are fully booked, but that there is a big chance to get a permit via the waiting list.
But thats not true, as they have only 7 permits a day and a lot of people on the waiting list. I mean, it would have been ok if they have told us in the email, how small the chances really are - but they pretended them to be bigger, just to make us diving with them.
Rental Equipment is quite bad, often really dirty (i.e. mouthpieces).
Guides seldomly looked after the buddyteams.
They have only few guides, that stay there for a long time. Most of them are shortterm freelancers, that cannot know the reefs as good as a local guide.
Whats really disappointing about the waters around Mabul, Sibuan, Mantabuan etc. is that there is a lot of garbage in the water. We have never seen so dirty oceans in whole southeast asia. It becomes even worse, as we spotted two times our Scuba Junkie Boatcaptain and one female Divemaster throwing garbage into the water (pieces of plasticbag, tape from the tanks).
Sure, Scuba Junkie are one of the cheapest choices at Semporna, as we know now. If saving money is your main interest, they'll might be ok. For those, who look after quality: go to Northborneo Divers.
The Sipadan Inn Hotel is a good, clean, cheap choice for staying in Semporna, we stayed with them.
30th June 2009 by sstroeer
great diving & people, but bring your own gear if you can
Visit Date: June 2009
I spent a week diving Mabul/Kapalai and Sipadan with Scuba Junkie, and had a really good time overall. The diving was fantastic & the guides were fun to be around, generally well trained and attentive. Their prices are very reasonable for Sipadan, and the accommodation choices are basic but very good value for money. If you can, avoid staying in Semporna (the gateway/port town) b/c the town itself is unpleasant & the accommodation pretty worn (the dive bar is fun though); instead, stay at the new Scuba Junkie resort on Mabul which was just opened in the spring of 2009.
A word regarding the equipment... their rental gear is in pretty bad shape. If you have to use it, always make doubly sure to go through a proper buddy check. I had serious issues with my regs on two separate dives - on one of the deep dives my second stage was breathing so stiff that I decided to switch to my alternate which had worked fine on the surface but the diaphragm was worn out so at 25m I was breathing water... no fun. A couple days later I had another issue with a different regulator, where apparently the first stage spring gave up during the dive and I had to come up on the DMs alternate.
23rd February 2009 by samgirl
Good instructors, helpful staff, meager amenities
Visit Date: February 2009
The amenities are bare, and you'll most likely dorm with 6-10 other people, but hopefully you're spending minimum time in the room. I got my PADI certification and the staff at SJ were very helpful, flexible, and knowledgeable. I feel like I got top-notch instruction. I didn't get the feeling they were just in it to take my money - they genuinely seem to love diving and want others to experience it.
With so many travelers coming in and out, you can't expect perfection. But if you are flexible, you'll really enjoy your experience with SJ.