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Dive Review of Sea Bees Diving/Marriott Phuket Beach Club in
Thailand/Phuket

Sea Bees Diving/Marriott Phuket Beach Club, Apr, 2010,

by Steve Giles, CA, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 7 reports). Report 5464.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving California, Bonaire, Cozumel, La Paz, Loreto, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Bahamas, Palau, Fiji, Roatan, Guanaha, Hawaii, Costa Rica, Belieze
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm
Water Temp 88 to 91 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 1
Water Visibility 30 to 150 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Depth limits were suggested, but not strictly enforced. The only thing strictly enforceed was a no touch policy with respect to all sea life - no exceptions!
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 5 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Both of the Sea Bees boats that we dove accomodated photographers with separate rinse buckets for cameras and asssistance for photographers in getting camera equipment in and out of the water.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Phuket, Thailand had been recommended to us as a destination by a diving friend. Having never before traveled to Thailand, we booked our lodging with the Marriott Phuket Beach Club on the island of Phuket. This turned out to be an excellent choice. The rooms are first-rate and the grounds are beautiful. The resort boasts several excellent restaurants on site.

Since we knew very little about diving operations on the island, we decided to place our faith in the concierge at the Marriott for a suggested dive operator. Our past experience has been that Marriott takes very good care of their guests when it comes to recommending athletic endeavors, side trips, etc. We were not disappointed.

Sea Bees Diving has a small shop located on the beach of the Marriott resort. This shop handles dive trip bookings, equipment rentals, and the purchase of small miscillaneous articles of dive gear, t-shirts, etc. The staff at the shop is cordial and accommodating. Sea Bees has a fleet of dive boats inclusive of one live-aboard.

Our stay in Thailand allowed for six days of diving. We booked two trips aboard the M/V Excaliber. The first to Shark Island and Anemone Reef, (two dives);and a second trip to Phi Phi Island (three dives). Additionallly, we booked four two-dive trips aboard the M/C Stingray which traveled each day to the Similian Islands.

Sea Bees arranged ground transportatioon each day via air- conditioned van for our drive (one-hour each way) to and from the harbors where we boarded the boats. Diving the southern dive sites aboard the Excaliber, we found visabillity to vary from 30-60 ft. Diving The Similian Islands aboard the Sting Ray, visibility was considerably improved: 100-150 ft. In both dive areas, water temperature was pretty much a constant, bath-tub warm,91-degrees F. The only exception to this was that interrmittantly on a dive we would encounter a current with a blast of "cold water". However, a check of dive computers revealed that this cooler water was 88-degrees F. It got to where we would look forward to finning into the cool current as it was a refreshing break.

Sea Bees assigns four divers per divemaster, thus my wife and I and the couple we traveled with had a private tour each dive. During the week we dove with Nigel, Duong, Giles, and Nadia. All were knowledgable and attentive to our needs.

A diving day aboard the Sea Bees vessels includes breakfast (eggs, bacon, sausage, toast)prior to your first dive, lunch between dives (various Thai dishes), and an after dive snack of fruit, pasteries, etc. In the waters of Phuket, lion fish abound as do many other varieties of tropical fish. We encountered one very large jelly fish, one very large octopus who was not the least intimidated by divers, and several sea krates (snakes). The Crown of Thorns starfish in Thailand waters are a beautiful iridescent purple. The highlight of the Similian trips were Manta Rays (on one dive at Koh Bon, we encountereed a squadron of 5)as well as a dive at Koh Tachai where I would have to describe the diving experience as being similiar to being dropped into an over-sized, well-stocked aquarium. Every variety of sea life imaginable could be found inclusive of one Manta, a school of Albicore, Jacks, numerous other schooling fish, Potato cod, Barracuda, Lionfish, Stonefish, Scorpionfish, Batfish, Angelfish, Clownfish, a Leopard shark, Moray eels, Krates,and Mantis shrimp amongst a cast of thousands.

Traveling divers should be aware that the Similian Islands are closed to boating, fishing, and diving traffic during the months of May-October each year in order to allow the reefs to regenerate.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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