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Dive Review of Robert Klein Merlin Divers in
Thailand/Andaman Sea

Robert Klein Merlin Divers: "terrible dive operator", Dec, 2015,

by David A Lawlor, NY, US ( 2 reports with 2 Helpful votes). Report 9339.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations N/A Food N/A
Service and Attitude N/A Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation N/A Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments [None]My son and I visited Phuket, Thailand this past Christmas to dive on the Manta Queen 2 for three days. I contacted Robert Klein of Merlin Divers, Kamala Dive Center to make our reservations. At that time, six weeks prior to the trip, I should have been concerned about Robert and his operation as he didn’t give adequate answers to my inquiries regarding equipment, itinerary or review of dive certification cards. I told him I was presently ordering replacement certification cards as ours had been left at home and he merely replied “first of all don't get stressed out about the cards - you will need to sign some papers that you have a certificate”. So when we arrived at his Merlin Divers Kamal Dive Center two days before our departure, I made sure that he had a good, long look at our dive cards, my NAUI scuba diver card, my PADI enriched air diver card, my son’s PADI Open Water Diver card and his PADI enriched air diver card. After looking at our cards, he never mentioned that the dive boat would require Advanced Open Water Diver certification for my son to dive deeper than 18 meters. After our trip, I confronted Robert Klein as to why he failed to give us this critical information. He responded that he was unaware that Manta Queen 2 had this restriction, that they must have recently changed their policy as he had sent many Open Water Divers to them who had never encountered this restriction. It was a terrible mix-up but how he could be held responsible for the dive ship’s procedures? I told him that it was his responsibility to be aware of the regulations.
Besides the mix-up with the dive cards, Robert Klein of Merlin Divers, Kamala Dive Center sent us off with improper gear. The only piece of equipment that Robert had us try on was the fins; we didn’t see the shorty wet suits until the day that we left. The dive bags, which he just deposited outside his shop for us to pick up, contained wet suit, regulator, bcd and fins. I was surprised that he was not present at the shop for our departure as I was concerned about the wet suits. He had picked out a large for me and an extra-large for my son. He did arrive at the shop before we left because a potential paying customer had phoned him. When I told Robert Klein that the wet suits were too large, he assured me that the sizes of the wet suits ran small and they would fit us. He said that he could look at us and give us the proper sizes. Once at the boat, it was apparent that the wet suits were too large for both of us. The dive ship was able to provide me with a medium and my son wore the large from Merlin divers. Robert never suggested that we try the wet suits on at his shop as he seemed to be too busy with other customers. A more serious problem than the wet suit was my regulator from Merlin Divers. Although it was not apparent to me on the first dive, with the second dive, I noticed that my bcd inflator valve was leaking. The dive instructor on board attempted to repair the leaky valve but was unsuccessful. He finally loaned me another regulator to replace the one from Robert Klein of Merlin Divers, Kamala Dive Center. After the trip when I complained to Robert about the faulty regulator, he said that it was a minor leak and it shouldn’t have shortened any of my dives. I told him it was a serious leak that had impacted three of my dives. He didn’t seem concerned that he had sent me off with a defective regulator.
Also, Robert seemed to lose interest in answering questions that we had before going on the trip. Prior to paying for the trip, he was all attention; the next day when we went into the shop to look around and ask questions, he barely gave us the time of day. My son and I were dismayed that he was so cavalier in his treatment of us. Hey, we just paid 47,000 Thai baht to you yesterday and now you don’t want to talk to us.
So in summary, Robert Klein failed to give us critical information about certification requirements for the ship that he booked us. Supposedly, he doesn’t know the restrictions placed on divers by the dive ship. He doesn’t give us the opportunity to try on the wet suits, saying he can visually measure us for the proper fit. And he was wrong. A more serious problem with his rental equipment surfaced when he gives me a defective regulator that “only has a little leak”. I could not believe my ears that a dive operator would ever make such a statement. And his attitude changes completely after the financial transaction has been completed.
The island of Phuket is full of dive centers; there is another one in Kamala beach so my advice is to look somewhere other than Robert Klein, Merlin Divers, Kamala Dive Center.
Websites Robert Klein Merlin Divers   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Virgin Islands, Cebu, Philippines, Hawaii, Thailand, Aruba, Bonaire, Cozumel, Florida Keys
Closest Airport Phuket Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather Seas
Water Temp -°F / -°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility - Ft/ - M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals N/A Tropical Fish N/A
Small Critters N/A Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]
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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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