Big thanks to the entire Euro-Divers Team at Vilamendhoo for a wonderful Dive holiday!!!! Fantastic... read more
Big thanks to the entire Euro-Divers Team at Vilamendhoo for a wonderful Dive holiday!!!! Fantastic... read more
Great trips out. Good equipment to hire but the guides were simply great, all of them! The guides... read more
Excellent instructors, allowed you to enjoy your dive whilst also being "in control" of your dive which was Fantastic and something we have not really been able to do as much with other dives in other countries. All the gear we hired was excellently clean and in great condition.
What a great review! Thank you so much for your kind words about our team and the dives you have done while here with us on Vilamendhoo. I will ensure that your praise is passed to our team of instructors, as well as our compressor tenders who work so hard to clean and maintain both our shop gear and our divers' personal equipment.
One of the main reasons we come as a family to the Maldives is for the marine life. The Vilamendhoo hotel delivers on this front very well with a very good house reef. It also has a very professional dive centre.
To begin with, this is a busy dive resort with as many as six boats going out a day, as we were here in the peak Easter season. Despite this, like most Maldives centres this is a very organised setup and every diver is allocated a numbered box to store equipment. This then turns up (washed and ready) on your dive boat. Keep everything in there and the system just works.
I completed 18 dives with this shop and I think dived with all but one of the professionals in the centre. The briefings were excellent, both in terms of explaining the dive sites but also the safety measures employed. On some of the sites the currents are both strong and complex so these briefings were invaluable to the plan. What you also need to be aware of is that the currents in this area are capricious and can change easily in the course of a dive. I see other reviews complain about the lack of current knowledge but I don't think this is fair. These guys really know the sites and brief the divers well; in some cases they had actually mapped out the sites themselves so knew them intimately.
This is a key point. The dive shop marks down dives as Medium and Difficult for a reason. When you do these dives you need to be both comfortable with your skills and crucially your buddy. My wife and I enjoyed this extra sense of freedom and responsibility as we would often manage our air to the maximum limit (60 mins in the Maldives). If you are used to being shepherded around a site with someone checking your air, deco time etc then stick to the easy dives. All that said the dive masters were always "there" if you wanted to stick with them.
I'd also say the standard of divers on the medium+ boat dives was almost universally excellent which makes everything easier too. I don't think I saw a diver not on nitrox once for instance.
There were a couple of glitches, but nothing that was a huge problem. I had Nitrox fills at 25 and 28 on my AM dives once but this was fixed the next day after the problem was alerted. My watch got lost from my box once (and was promptly found before we left) and my fins went missing once or twice. Just check your box for masks, fins, wetsuit, computer etc before you leave the dock!
Bear in mind that diving in the Maldives is expensive. Very expensive. You'll be spending roughly $50 a dive even on the cheapest package and to add to this you need to add a boat fee ($31 for a 2 tank) and then equipment hire if you need BCD, reg, wet suit etc. My advice here is bring your own gear of you have it. Especially a wet suit as you don't need much protection here (bottom temp was 27-28 degrees) so a cheap shorty will do and pay for itself in about 3 dives.
As for beginners, my 2 girls (11 and 10 y/o) completed their PADI open water here with Caro. She helped them pass no problem. They found even the easy boat dives a challenge but loved the shore dives. I took them out on the house reef twice myself and it was a great experience for all of us. You just book your date/time, choose a reef exit point and the dive centre do the rest, including getting your gear out and taking the kit to the right entrance point on the reef.
In summary, I loved diving here and saw some amazing sites including many sharks (large and small), rays, turtles and some beautiful underwater scenery. My fav sites were: 1) Kudah Rah for its HUGE schools of blue striped snapper 2) Reethi Thila for its challenge and incredible swim throughs and 3) Vilamendhoo Thila for its beauty and sheer variety. I dived this site 3 times and it each time it was completely different in current, difficultly and marine life.
So thanks to Rafa, Roman, Lenica, Andy, Niels, Filip & Caro. I had a great set of dives with you all.
Parting words: this is a very professional dive shop but it ain't cheap and match the right dives to your skills.
Wow, what a thorough and fantastic review! Thank you so much for taking the time to write such kind and thoughtful words regarding our service and the diving here in Vilamendhoo. I was very sorry to read about the small issues that happened during your stay with us, but extremely pleased that all problems were resolved in a timely fashion.
I will ensure that your positive feedback is passed to the whole team, and we hope to welcome you back to paradise soon.
Just got back from a 10 night stay at Vilamendhoo. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay from the bongo drum reception through to the end. As always there is room for improvement but more on that later.
-The overall environment in Maldives was unreal. Having visited the Red Sea often we have seen some nice areas, but the wildlife here is something to be experienced. I like taking pictures of the environment to share with friends and family and this was the first time that I have experienced were it seemed that fish want to be photographed. Way cool!!!
The boat crews were very helpful and seemed knowledgeable; helping and guiding while exiting and entering the boat, swapping out of the tanks along with disassembling the gear while heading back to port.
Now time for the improvements.
-We made some observations-as follow up to our briefing on the identification for the exits on the house reef, which some are no longer visible-kinda a safety issue in my view and it was like talking to the wind.
-Another, we had asked a question and were told that they would find out, basically from another dive colleague on site and when we heard no response after a day, we asked said the colleague the question and it was the first they had of it.
We felt as if we were not taken seriously-it seems like the staff does not talk to each other.
- Determining the current correctly can make or break a dive, and on multiple dives it was either determined incorrectly as toward the direction, or the strength was way off - what should have been a somewhat easy drift ended up like being on a German ICE train or in the other direction kicking and kicking while making very little forward distance.
-On a dive the guides only cared that you showed back up on the boat-I was told this in no uncertain terms. No pointing out of the highlights of the area and limited to, no attention to the people they are guiding. There had been at least one (non-life threatening) issue underwater, it wasn't noticed until back on the surface. As a professional diver, if I am a guide, going down with 8 and surfacing at the end with 7 is not cool to say the least and ever worse if you have no clue as to what happened to the other diver.
The attitude seems...brief the dive, then see who shows back up onboard. Harsh but that is the impression I got.
Other than the issues we pointed out, and some smaller ones that don't seem fit here, we were overall happy with out stay at Vilamendhoo. It was the picture perfect island resort that we were looking for and have already recommended it to some friends.
Firstly, thank you very much for taking the time to review your stay on Vilamendhoo and your dives with Euro-Divers. We are very happy to read that there were many positive aspects to your stay, including the incredible underwater world and our fantastic boat crew.
With regards to your constructive criticism - safety is of the paramount importance to us, and as such upon orientation to the dive centre, guests are given full briefings regarding how to check the current while diving independently on the house reef, and tide charts are printed up on our sign up board for all to see. Your comment regarding the worn entry and exit markers has been taken into account, and steps are in place to replace as many of these as possible - some have already been completed.
As to the guide who was with you on that day - I can assure you that there have been some changes made to both the way in which the guides brief the dive and mind their charges underwater, but also the team itself. We pride ourselves on running a safety-conscious and aware dive shop, as well as one that provides a fun and relaxed diving experience, and if you return to Vilamendhoo, I am confident that you will see some positive changes here in the dive school.
Thank you again for taking the time to write, and I hope that we can welcome you back to Vilamendhoo in the near future.
Fantastic experience with an excellent guide. Even saw a soft coral lure and eat fish, an octopus travelling across the reef and squid which gave us a wonderful light display.
Thank you for such a wonderful review! I shall be sure to pass your fantastic comments to the whole team and congratulate them on a job well done and a satisfied customer.
We hope to welcome you back on Vilamendhoo soon.
Fourth visit to Vilamendho and Euro-Divers, Excellent diving and snorkelling. Had some close encounters with Manta rays, sharks, turtles, moray eels and much more.
Some admin not quite as slick as previously, but all the guides/instructors do a great job. The dive center manager seems to keep out of the way and does not interact much with divers, which is very different from the previous manager and assistant manager who were very friendly and approachable.
On one dive, the dive master/guide's girlfriend was also diving and seemed to take his mind off leading the dive, not very professional.
A few people lost diving equipment, some of which was found as it had been put into the wrong box, some never to be seen again.
A bit pricey as the boat costs are in addition to the dive costs, and then 12% tax is added on top.
Firstly, thank you very much for taking the time to review your experience with us here on Vilamendhoo. It is great to hear that you are a repeat guest of both the island and Euro-Divers, and we hope that this will continue.
The concerns you have addressed in your review are taken very seriously indeed, and have been passed on to our senior management. Both the Dive Centre Manager and Instructor in question are no longer working with us on Vilamendhoo, and we have received good comments regarding the flow of admin and dives in recent months.
With regards to the prices, it is widely acknowledged that the Maldives is not the cheapest destination, for diving or otherwise, and the tax placed on items by the government certainly does not help in this. Hopefully your 15% discount as a repeater of Euro-Divers assisted somewhat in the final calculations upon departure.
Once again, thank you for taking the time to write and we hope to welcome you back to the Euro-Divers family soon.
I have dived with Euro Divers several times. They are professional and pleased to help and offer assistance. Equipment is all clean, modern and in good order and the centre well run. The dive sites all vary and are of different degree of difficulty but the team do assist you in picking! Happy times!
Thank you for sharing your 5 star experience with our team. It is always a pleasure to read such a complimentary review, it is certainly our intention to please our guests. We appreciate the time you have taken to write such an outstanding review and it will be an inspiration to our team.
Your Euro-Divers Vilamendhoo Team