A Selection of Some of the Best Comments From Our 2020 Travel Awards Nominations
In light of the difficult times in which the DIVE Travel Awards take place this year, we asked readers to write a little review telling us why they loved the destinations, dive centres and liveaboards they've chosen to nominate, and so here, and in no particular order, are some of the best
The 25 comments below have been selected at random and copied and pasted, with only minor corrections, exactly as they were posted. They don't represent an operator's position on the leaderboard, they're just 25 of the nicest comments. Don't worry if your favourites haven't appeared in this article, there are thousands of comments; we are going through them by hand and we'll publish more in the coming weeks.
Some dive centres and liveaboards have extremely loyal and loving customers and we could fill an entire magazine with the number of reviews we've received for just those centres alone, but we'd like to give representation to a broad range of operators, big and small, so we can't publish them all. It is also apparent that a small number of owners and managers have written themselves a glowing review and then had all of their staff copy and paste the exact same comments many times over in separate nominations. We think this is – especially given the current climate – rather unsporting, and will not be publishing any of those.
For a listing of the current Top 25 destinations, dive centres and liveaboards, and to make a nomination for, and comment on, your favourites, please head to our DIVE Travel Awards 2020 Nominations Page.
Scuba Scuba Seekers, Dahab, Egypt
I've been diving with them for years and they never fail to make me feel incredibly welcome. It's like being part of an extended family who love the oceans and everything in it. They have taken the lead on diving conservation too by running educational events and courses, regularly organising clean-up dives and setting up the Egyptian chapter of Ghost Diving to remove huge, damaging ghost nets from the oceans.
– KL, United Kingdom
Scuba Junkie, Komodo, Indonesia
We have been to scuba junkie on Komodo twice. The first time I had never been diving before. I dived with Audrey and the experience was amazing. Had 1on1 lessons and soon picked everything up and passed everything. The dive sites even when learning were mind-blowing. The resort itself was breathtaking. Have brilliant memories there. We returned as part of our honeymoon. The resort is amazing, the staff are fantastic (including lots of locals), the food was perfect and I can't wait to go back. The whole booking, traveling, diving experience was top, 10 out of 10
– JH, United Kingdom
Mafia Island Diving, Mafia Island, Tanzania
On a poor, underserviced island bordering Tanzania's only (and lightly-dived) marine park, Mafia Island Diving delivers service that equals any dive centre I've used. Superb staff, always-helpful management, and a spectacular marine environment that never ceases to amaze. And, to top it off, the dive boats are traditional African dhows outfitted for diving. You set out under power, and return under sail. Stunning!
– DP, Canada
Uber Scuba, Komodo, Indonesia
How often does it happen that you travel through an area and do some (fun) dives? Quite often you remember the dives, but not the dive centre or resort. Well, I personally will not forget Uber Scuba in Komodo. Not only was the diving among the best I've ever done, the crew was amazing (I can still picture their faces, I've forgotten names), and their boats and trips are great. Especially for someone who suffers from seasickness sometimes. The food and care were great, and it's just one of those rare places where you book in a day's diving, but I kept going back for more and more :)
– TV, Australia
Dive Into Lembeh, North Sulawesi, Indonesia
My group and I had a spectacular time at Dive into Lembeh resort. Nothing was beyond the staff who looked after u so well, Serving delicious food and excellent cocktails. The bungalows all faced the sea with a private plunge pool for relaxing too. Our dive guides were outstanding and found, almost, everything on my extensive critter list. Definitely will return for another top-notch experience.
– SA, Spain
Atmosphere Resort & Spa, Dauin, Philippines
The Atmosphere Resort at Dauin is my favourite, because the staff and the whole team is so friendly and happy all the time. They love to make the stay for the guests very special and unforgettable. The dive guides know every spot exactly like they never are somewhere else and it is great and fun to go diving with them. I will come back soon!
– JF, Germany
Raja4Divers, Raja Ampat, Indonesia
Raja4divers: such a lovely remote location, with the best diving spots close to the resorts. Normally going in a resort will make you miss out some great, remote diving spots. Not here though! The crew and owner (Maya) are so lovely, make it feel like a home away from home. Make everyone communicate with one another, without giving you the feeling you have to! Next to that, Maya is such a lovely lady that she will go out of her way to make your dreams come through!
– TM, Switzerland
The Dive Bus, Curaçao
The Dive Bus Curaçao has the best staff! They're knowledgeable and safety-minded, and also a ton of fun. It's such a chill dive centre, groups love to hang out and dive for a week-long vacation - or more! It doesn't hurt that shore diving is easy and beautiful.
– WB, United States
Thalassa Dive Resort, Manado, Indonesia
The entire dive team and staff has become my family and makes me feel at home whenever I visit. Having this warm feeling during a vacation is very comforting and makes each trip more enjoyable. I have learned so much from everyone there and am grateful for all the friendships I have made and still have until today. :) Can only recommend!
– OH, Switzerland
La Galigo Liveaboard, Indonesia
My time spent on La Galigo Liveaboard was amazing, the crew, food and overall experience was very memorable. The price I feel was spot on for the product and services that they offer and will definitely be heading back to join them on another trip
– RY, Indonesia
Kalimaya Dive Resort, Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia
Kalimaya Dive Resort, because it's a brand new diving destination with epic dive sites and away from the crowds. The guys deserve a lot of recognition because they are the pioneers and are finding new sites daily, helping stop fisherman bombing and educating and employing only staff from the villages near to the resort.
– CB, Isle of Man
Blue Corner Dive Nusa Penida, Indonesia
I spent an amazing three months with Jason and the team completing my Rescue and Divemaster courses. The knowledge and hands-on experience I was provided with was second to none. Every staff member at the dive shop is unbelievably well versed in the field of diving, I felt privileged to have spent so much time there soaking up all of their various expertise. I finished my courses knowing I wasn't only a capable and safety-conscious Divemaster, but also that the education and experience I was subject to was very rare and will be hard to top.
– TH, Australia
Dive Central Gili, Gili Trawangan, Indonesia
I did my Dive Master at Dive Central Gili, Indonesia, where I also did my OWC. I love it there because the people are like a family. Everyone is welcome and no one is left behind. I love the chill vibe, wonderful people, quality of the courses and great dive sites! I made friends for life there :)
– MH, Indonesia
Elite Diving, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
Elite Diving is a family-run centre who properly welcome you and look after you. You become part of the Elite family and you go to visit your friends rather than go to a dive centre. They really know their stuff as well. Super safety conscious with a fabulous team on their boat.
– AB, United Kingdom
Walindi Resort, Kimbe Bay, Papua New Guinea
Walindi is one of the most incredibly diverse experiences one can have not just as a diver, but as a human being. Where else can you learn and discover so much about our world both under and above water? That it is family-run, community centred, and ecologically responsible makes it the no-brainer choice for me.
– TL, United Kingdom
Manta Dive Gili Trawangan, Indonesia
I love the Manta Family of Manta Dive Gili Trawangan! The quality, the service, the people, the weather, the underwater life, it's a unique package! Can't wait to go back!
– JC, Netherlands
Rocket Frog Divers, Playa del Coco, Costa Rica
I will choose Rocket Frog Divers. This dive centre is in Costa Rica in Playa del Coco & offers dives to the Gulf of Papagayo, the Bat Islands & the Catalinas Islands.
It is a 5* Padi dive centre with different boats, the staff is amazing, passionate & really professional. They have good equipment, offer courses in up to 4 languages. The customer's service is impeccable. Everyone does everything to make the diving trip unbelievable! So this is my first choice!
– MA, France
Oceans 5, Gili Air, Indonesia
We (my husband, two friends and I) took our Padi Open Water course at Oceans 5 on Gili Air, Indonesia. People were very friendly and smiling. Gili Air it's a small very relaxed island, and the instructors were professional and very skilled, we felt safe and had an awesome experience. I highly recommend Oceans 5 on Gili Air.
– V, Denmark
Anilao Photo Academy, Anilao, Philippines
I love Anilao Photo Academy because it treats you as a family. All the dive guides are camera certified-Certified Photo Guides, If you have trouble with your camera they can pick it up underwater and redo setting or make suggestions. They are outstanding spotters, you never go that you don't find new or unusual. The Owner Master Tim Ho teaches photography, and how to individually use you camera. He loves to teach. weather you are are a beginner in photography or have been doing it for many years you can always learn something new and different to take you up to a new level. I feel that all the staff are the upmost professionals from the cooks to the wonderful people that load and unload your gear on and off the boats. I have been diving for 42 years and been many places, but APA is my second home.
– MB, United States
Blue Manta Liveaboard, Raja Ampat, Indonesia
The most impressive level of service I've ever experienced. They have thought of everything. From the assistance and cleaning of gear to the dry camera and spare batteries and air to dry your camera, amazing food, the best bathrooms of any liveaboard I've ever experienced, 3D dive briefings, environmentally conscious, and massages on board. I will absolutely dive with them again - God willing they survive the pandemic.
– EC, United States
Wanderpus Liveaboard, Komodo, Indonesia
Wanderpus liveaboard in Komodo Island was one of the best experiences of my life! The diving is out of this world (sharks, mantas, you name it) and the crew on this boat are so professional. The dive masters are experts and take you on amazing dive sites, avoiding crowds and tracking the tides closely for the best timing.
– BP, United States
Emperor Divers, Port Ghalib, Egypt
My first Red Sea visit was in November 2018 and three repeats since because I have always felt supported by all the staff whether in the office, the crew, the instructors and guides. For a solo female who only qualified 4-5 years ago in that well known UK quarry Stoney Cove, my confidence has come on leaps and bounds. They are extremely well organised, professional and have high standards I feel like I am coming home when I revisit and the first place I am going to post lockdown is there!
– PN, United Kingdom
Evolution Diving, Malapascua, Philippines
Evolution Diving in Malapascua is where we learned to dive and where we continue to return! The diving is stunning, especially the thresher sharks. The staff at Evolution are so professional, welcoming and knowledgeable! It's a beautiful island, amazing people and a brilliant dive centre, we can't imagine any better!
– NM, United Kingdom
Scuba Junkie Penida, Nusa Penida, Indonesia
Lovely eco-friendly resort. The resort has a Mango nursery, comfortable rooms with balcony great relaxing area to have a beer and do logbooks after diving, lots of local restaurants, fantastic managers and staff!! Super fast and comfortable dive boat and staff, great dive sites, small groups for diving. From first email inquiry to arriving at the resort, everything was taken care of by Dani and Matt the owners. Instructors have great local knowledge of the dive sites and are great fun.
– LH, United Kingdom
Rock Island Aggressor, Palau
Rock Island Aggressor, apart from the great crew, fantastic diving, and yummy food, the highlight of this boat has to be the dive tender as it is on a lift and you enter and exit from the dive deck, it descends and ascends with you onboard and as you exit, you are presented with a pre-ordered drink and a hot towel, now that's stunning service.
– L&S, Australia
Keep an eye open for More Tales From the DIVE Travel Awards - coming soon! Click here to nominate your favourites and post more lovely comments.