Sipadan Scuba
Sipadan Scuba
Semporna, Malaysia
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Sipadan Scuba
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

195 reviews
Very good

1 contribution
Apr. 2019 • Solo
The equapments are quite old. One of my friend (not me) can not breath under the water and he did CESA!!!! The coach even ask him or care about how this happened.

My experience is also not good. I asked for the DM for recording my dive log, and he is busy hooking up with another student (which is my buddy) !!!!
In the end, I have no dive log recorded which I pretty need for starting my DM study.

Another DM of the day, he also tried to hook up with a Chineses girl who dive with us that day. It seems the coaches are not only good at teaching, but also good at fishing girls.

I think the DM and the equaments need to improve, a lot !
Written June 5, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Johannes R
Växjö, Kronobergs Län, Sweden10 contributions
May 2019 • Couples
+ sipadan was beautiful. Matter of time before totally destroyed unfortunately.
+ boats and captains are nice.
+ shop is close to jetty.

-read below, long text.

First semporna. The whole place stinks. Kids are getting high on glue in the alleys when not rudely begging or making comments on girls walking by. The ocean is so over polluted with plastic so the boat engines gets entangled every 50 meters soon there will be only plastics left.

The drive to Semporna from closest airport is palm oil plantation's mile after mile. We made the mistake to book the company's affiliate hotel: holiday dive inn. Avoid at all costs. The room is dirty, falling apart and smells toilet.

All personnel except one local dive master and the boat captains think they are the coolest thing on earth. They are rude, lazy, VERY loud and don't care when their Chinese students destroy the coral or poke and disturb all living under water. They play loud music from start to finish. And believe they are gods and we pay them not for diving but to be close to them.

Provided lunch is horrible just barely eatable after long wait at jetty and dives.

They say be there before eight but you can arrive at 9:30 and still have time over before departure.

Bring your own equipment. Provided equipment leaks, has holes in and is falling apart.

Have to go now. Almost missing my flight because booked taxi was 30 minutes late and wanted double the agreed rate.

Glad to have experienced Sipadan but never going back
Written May 6, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jacob T
Dubbo, Australia5 contributions
Apr. 2019 • Couples
We booked with these guys and sometime later became concerned after reading negative reviews we hadn’t seen when we booked.

We made attempts to contact Sipidan Scuba to speak about our concerns (mainly regarding safety and integrity of equipment)but there are no contact options. We then tried to phone their Hotel, which they make you stay in, the Holiday Dive Inn. The phone went straight to message bank and even though we left a message we were unable to make contact.

The Hotel is dilapidated and the rooms smell of sewage. The towels are thin and grubby and we did not feel safe within this ‘hotel’.

We spoke with others about Sipidan Scuba and their reviews weren’t flattering. When we chose to not dive with this organisation they seemed unfazed, made no enquires about why we chose not to and no refund was provided (this was for three days diving booked). When asked why this was the case we were told because we booked online. We weren’t expecting to get a full refund but thought as we were literally in the accomodation for 15 minutes and did no diving we might get some back, or a better explanation at the very least.

We ended up staying down the road at Sipidan Inn 1. This accomodation was basic, but fine and the staff were very lovely.

We chose to dive with Scuba Junkie Sipidan and were really impressed with their organisation and environmental focus.
Written April 12, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Victoria, Canada53 contributions
Mar. 2019
We chose Sipadan Scuba since they had openings and book online since we didn't hear back from some of the other companies. It was definitely easy booking. The Holiday Dive Inn (associated hotel they help book through) left a bit to be desired but was ok. The dive master was a bit flakey. Friendly to your face, but underwater he would wander off and there were a couple times we stopped to look at something cool and he was gone (not too far, but out of visibility). Plus, he would continue to dive after we surfaced, leaving us in the boat, even though some of us still had air and would have been happy to continue diving (we think he may have been fishing but hope not since it is a marine reserve). They were friendly about carrying our gear even though we usually do that and even cleaned it for us when we got back. Some of the gear is pretty warn though and I was happy to have my own shorty and mask. We had several leaks in our gear over the two days, and one of us had a blowout underwater and needed to come up early; it's possible the gear isn't well maintained. Check your gauges to make sure they don't have salt crystals in them (indicates a leak) - we had to send back a couple. When booking online, I ordered a vegetarian meal but they were all the same (chicken). Food was good the first day, not sufficient the second day, and they didn't seem to have water on the boat even though they said they would. I probably wouldn't go with them again but it wasn't horrible.
Written March 22, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

1 contribution
Dec. 2018 • Couples
We arranged for a 4 day dive package through Sipadan Scuba with two days at Sipadan. The first day we were at Mantabuan with day 2 and 3 at Sipadan where we had a top notch Dive Master, Ozman, who went above and beyond to take care of us. The turtles and sharks we observed were in huge numbers and wonderful to watch. Our 4th day we went to Mabul and that's when everything went bad. We had a new Dive Master that did not take our safety into account and did not seem to be familiar with the dive sites. On our first dive of the day we got caught in a strong surface and subsurface current that carried us a very long distance from our start point. The Dive Master did not listen to signals about air levels which put me at a very low air volume when I surfaced. My wife and I opted out of the last two dives of the day as we did not feel comfortable with the DM or the sites as it was all sand bottom with very strong currents.

If you are going to book through this company use extreme caution, especially if you are a fairly new or inexperienced diver. The equipment is not well maintained, to include the boats, and unless you ask they do not have spare equipment on board. The hotel was a two star at best and not kept very clean, even by Malaysian standards.

Enjoy the dives but be careful, ask questions and don't take chances.
Written December 27, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Canadian Content
13 contributions
Dec. 2018 • Couples
This is my second time diving Sipadan with this company - and this trip was much better than the first (which was about 8 years ago +/-). The only reason I even considered diving with them again was I would never come to Semporna without having guaranteed Sipadan diving and as far as I could find this was the best way to get multiple days (3 days at Sipadan with a 5 day package) with the only option being that you stay with their hotel / hotel partner, Holiday Dive Inn (reviewed separately).

The non-Sipadan dive sites I have been to here have been a complete waste of time - although I have heard that Mabul can be good. Our first day here we dove Gaya sites, unfortunately much of what we saw was dead. We counted hundreds of freshly dead fish that we were told was mostly likely the result of cyanide or blast fishing.

We dove our first day and the three Sipadan days and walked away from our last day of diving and hotel. That should say it all.

Diving at Sipadan itself was great although some of the coral is in poor condition compared to my first visit perhaps due to bleaching or major storms that have hit the area. Visibility was limited and the pier to the island was still out as a result of damage from the massive storm that recently did so much damage to Indonesia. In spite of that the dive experiences were amazing.

In general, the dive equipment we received was in decent shape with the exception of the fins. They were complete crap - dollar store specials. I had no idea that they came in my size. Our dive guide brought me a separate pair for me to use the last couple of days and that was greatly appreciated. I’m not sure where he got them but the shop did not have alternate pair for me when I told them I didn’t like them.

As with the hotel customer service is not their thing. My inquiry regarding airport transfer made at the time of my booking was not answered until I had already arrived and checked into the hotel. Three individuals sitting in the office one playing a video game, another watching a video on their phone, and the third not in any obvious way “working” - and none of them would bother to answer any of our questions because it was two days before our first dive and not the day before. This is not to imply that they are not likeable (some of them are). The work ethic and / or customer service training however is pathetic and is 100% consistent with those working at the hotel. With a little prodding you can expect them to do the bare minimum required in the hotel, on the boat, and in the shop.

Other miscellaneous notes - the food sucks. Period. If you enjoy drinking cooking oil however you will love it; comes in egg, chicken, rice, and noodle flavours. Every guest who dove with the company while we were there brought their own food if not on day one then on subsequent days. Most of the meal trays went back untouched or minimally touched. If you go take food.

The captain knew how to read the waves and pilot the boat smoothly even in rougher water and our dive guide, while not overly enthusiastic, knew the dive sites well and where to take th group to show us what we wanted to see even if they all seem impervious to work induced stress.
Written December 16, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

George G
Hersonissos-Crete40 contributions
Apr. 2018 • Solo
Be sure you get early your permissions for to dive in Sipadan. You can lodge is Seborna or Mabul. Sipadan is grate experience and one of the best diving sites in the world
Written August 10, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Singapore, Singapore408 contributions
Jul. 2018 • Friends
I had amazing dives with them, instructors like Alvin, Adman, Kent are all friendly and fun to be with. They are knowledgeable, flexible and always have our interest and safety at heart. I look forward to the dives.

Food wise, sadly not the best i must say, but good enough for divers who are always hungry. Boat was in good condition. Gear is iffy, so I always bring my own gear for diving if possible. It is not a problem just faced by them - other agencies as well to be fair.
Written July 29, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Glasgow, UK30 contributions
Oct. 2017 • Solo
I did not feel my experience offered value for money compared to other diving experiences I have had.
The customer service is poor, I have yet to receive replies to my email & multiple text messages I sent to the company.
My actual dive time was 30 minutes. My time on the boat was over 7 hours.
What I did see in the short time in the ocean was beautiful.
The hot tea was delicious.
Shop around and don't dive with this company.
Written December 5, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jan. 2017 • Friends
Visited for my AOW and a few leisure dives in January.
1) Good location in Semporna town. Food and hotels all nearby. A small Jeti directly behind hence easy boarding/unboarding.
2) Dive boats in good condition. Boat captains are experienced and friendly (Im local Malaysian, speaking the language makes those 5 days diving with them much for fun and informative).
3) Excellent OWSI Instructor, SanSan. Instructor Jazz and DMT Chris was also very helpful.

Not so good;
1) A lil disorganized in the before&after dives at the shop. Alot of waiting and not knowing what to do.
2) Equipment room has no drying space. Some minor faulty equipments luckily detected by instructor before entering the sea so please check.
3) Equipment counter employee was rather unpleasant. A) they were out of S size BCDs, I was told to just take a M or else no diving. B) He seems really disinterested, annoyed and unhelpful. C) I spoke politely, no need to show atttitude in my opinion.
4) Food can be abit better, not asking for Michelin star rated, but just slightly more efford would be great.
5) Keep in mind there is absolutely no adjustment in price and booking time. So be sure that you can 100% be there or lost your money.
Written May 5, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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