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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
We just got back. A group of 12 of which 10 are Divers. The trip had been arranged for over 6 months. We had arranged via the Dive centre to be collected at the airport and transported to our villa and from there rent cylinders and weights. We had our own instructor base and declined to opt for a guide from the centre. The Dive centre were to arrange our hire vehicles for the week namely a mitshubishi pick up and a 4 X 4 to transport us and our kit about. We were promised help and advice daily on which sites to visit as well as upgrades to 15 L cylinders and the loan of an O2 kit.
We were also advised that we could opt for boat diving at cost namely £16 per day for 2 dives.
It all sounded great...............
We arrived at the airport to be met by a guy with a 10 seater mini bus for 10 loads of dive gear 12 sets of personal luggage and 12 tired people. No prizes for guessing that there was not enough room.
We sent as many as possible ahead in this vehicle whilst 4 of us waited in the airport car park for a second vehicle to arrive. An hour later it did and we all eventually met up at the ferry terminal for the crossing to Gozo.
The taxi driver was supposed to ring the dive centre and advise of our impending arrival on Gozo so that we could be met. He did not so i did.
We were met and took charge of our hire vehicles. We were shown to our villa.
In fairness it was nice no complaints on that front.
We drove down to the dive centre to sort our cylinders and weights. We took our qualifications with us. Surely someone would want to see them? besides we had novice divers with us so we thought we needed a permit for our instructors to take charge of them.
Apparently not the dive centre said no permit was required as the law had changed. I do not know if this is right or not anyway we did not apply or get a permit. It mattered not to us as we were well qualified to look after our own but it cast a seed of doubt.
Anyway our qualification cards were looked at and taken away i assume to be photocopied. I had to laugh as half the lads produced their SAA membership cards which are not qualification cards merely membership cards no where on the card does it show any level of qualification just name and membership number. The qualifications are in the books and a bit like a driving licence both parts are required for them to be valid. Not to worry surely they would ask for the books. No apparently these were not required either.
Ok next the O2 kit was a £5 a day to rent and the 15L Cylinders an extra £3 a day. Funny this was n't mentioned when we booked but never mind.
The next day the diving commences we roll up at the centre. Only a very young DM in attendance. We load the cylinders. We ask for a Dive briefing and advice on which site to visit. The DM starts to oblige us enter stage left obnoxious instructor promptly bollocks young DM with the words " They haven't paid for guided diving they are not entitled to a briefing."
Next words from his lips are "No smoking can't you see the sign." points out small inconspicous sign on the wall and storms off in a tantrum.
Excellent first impressions don't you think?
Hook up O2 kit to check it 100 bar!!! mention it but told nothing could be done about it as no O2 in the banks.
Go diving. Instructor dude turns up bollocks us again for leaving the hire vehicles unattended at the top of the cliffs despite them being devoid of any gear. Now this guy is either having a bad day or he has some serious personality problems.
Day 2 turn up am instructor dude smoking not near the compressor shed as he had bollocked us for but inside it.
load up go diving. Instructor dude turns up again we ignore him. This is starting to get on our tits a bit at this stage.
He clears off at dinner time. We get lost en route back to the centre we were supposed to be back by 17:30 every day but we were going to get back at least 10 mins late. We call the centre and inform them.
We arrive 15 Mins late. Dive centre owner in attendance throws major tantrum stating the boat dive would be delayed the following day due to our tardiness in returning the cylinders.
We hired the boat twice it was OK but rushed with only an hours suface interval between dives. We would have liked longer intervals and better briefings by the dive centre owner who was also the skipper but alas they were lacking as were any customer service skills. Furthermore whats wrong with anchoring up on the dive site and not 200M off it thereby enforcing a long approach. The cynic in me would suggest it was to ensure the gas ran out quicker thereby getting the boys back on board that bit quicker and the skipper home for 2PM.
The cheeky bastard even charged us for taking his O2 kit onto his boat when he should have been providing it anyway for boat diving.
This coupled with no one being at the centre at the end of the day so that we could swill our gear and hang it in the lock up was just taking the piss.This happened 3 times and no reply to telephone calls.
We tried ringing the guy several times in the mornings but could never get hold of him as apparentley he didn't do mornings.
The guy has his fingers in too many pies namely jeep safaris,fishing trips,sight seeing trips etc etc as a result his customer service sucks big time. His staff appear to have no customer service skills either.They also don't seem to be able to fill a cylinder above 180 Bar.
Don't get me wrong we had a great time and some good diving but we sorted it ourselves and didn't really trouble the owners time very much at all.
It was a shame really it would not have taken any effort from him to keep us sweet as it was any effort appeared to be too much effort.
And guess what on the return trip the mini buses failed to appear at the ferry terminal giving us all an hour's wait before we got en route to the airport summed it up really.
Furthermore he won't be getting any repeat business from us. I won't name this dive centre but if you want to know PM me and i'll let you know.
If anyone else can guess then at least i'll know our opinions are not unique.
We only paid £80 each for the cylinder and weights rental so i suppose we can't complain that much all i am saying is that it could have been better and all the guy has suceeded in doing is making sure we go elsewhere next time.
 

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Bashing head against brick wall
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Thanks for the report. Sorry you appear to have a less than ideal experience on the trip :frown: What's the issue with publishing the name though? In true YD style I think the more these places are named and shamed the better, and if someone has an alternative point of view, including the owners, they can rebut them on the same thread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Don't get me wrong we had a great time. The accom was good as was it's location. The instructor guy did lighten up but unfortunatley first impressions stick.
It was a series of minor irritations that lumped together pissed people off. I have no intention of complaining to the dive centre. We have agreed to put it down to experience and avoid this centre in the future. I have no desire to start a slagging match. If anyone is planning Gozo i'll happily pass on my experiences via PM. In honesty i am a little unsure as to how the centre would react to the negative comments.
As an aside if you had divers who had misnavigated and surfaced 200M from the boat in open water and all other divers were out of the water and on the boat would you pull the anchor and recover them?
I would, no more needs to be said does it.
 

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Beach-bum-Blonde Mafia ;o)
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Put it this way ....

I know who it wasn't ;)

Did anyone get any good pics Daz?

And did you see the massive dark green grouper just before you got back to the Blue Hole or did it run away and hide again?

Yes folks, we have just ascertained via PM that we did actually cross paths (less paths, more rockpools and crevices really), and Daz has been duly told off for not letting me know he was on the island. ;)

So, anyone coming over to Gozo - let me know and we can do :beer:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sorry:embarassed:

Yes loads of photos but i don't know how to post em:embarassed:

No didn't see the grouper

How is it you can drink loads of that "Cisk" stuff and not wake up with a bad head?
Whats the secret?
 

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Beach-bum-Blonde Mafia ;o)
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Sorry:embarassed:

Yes loads of photos but i don't know how to post em:embarassed:

No didn't see the grouper

How is it you can drink loads of that "Cisk" stuff and not wake up with a bad head?
Whats the secret?


Stop apologising ;)

There's a post somewhere that is an 'idiots' guide - I shall look and edit this post later. Ah! Clicky here!

The secret? I have no idea, but I rarely drink Cisk - I shall have to have a session and find out ;)
 

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Beach-bum-Blonde Mafia ;o)
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Jesus i have enough trouble opening my e mails isn't there an easier way?

Is that not easy? ;) I'm blonde and I managed it :D
 

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Thats MISTER Blue Boots to you....
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If you are not happy then I would say name them, as we always name when we are happy.... :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)

Starboard entry to the swim through at the Bow of HMS Maori St Elmos Bay


HMS Maori swim through depth of 12 to 13 M


Deck Hatch HMS Maori



Rear portside view in swim through of HMS Maori



Starfish seen at Lantern Point Comino





Comino Caves



HMS Maori



Cathedral Cave
 

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I also know which centres is was not, but I can guess who it was, (I’ll have to PM to satisfy my curiosity). I think you should complain to the centre before putting things on the internet though and if they do not care, then name and shame.
Just on the point of law here in Malta to take novice divers, you need to be a registered instructor, and that involves the centre having a copy of a current instructor level medical, insurance, cert card that is renewed and being given and registration id that has the instructors photo on it from the dive centre.

Cheers
Richie King www.scuba-kings.com
 

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Gozo trip

Sorry to hear you had a bad impression of the dive centre, hope it has not put you all off visiting our islands again:frown:

Simone
Malta
 

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As a regular visitor for past 25 years I can say you were unlucky as most of the schools on Malta and Gozo are well run and very obliging.
You should name the school as not doing so casts a shadow over them all. As with all these outfits they are only as good as their worst Instructor.
 
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