More Mermaids scuba diving instructor and PADI Dive Master testimonials of Mermaids CDC Pattaya Thailand. Let the divers say their piece…

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I know that there are a lot of places out there that you can do your diving education, trust me I researched most of them. I went with Mermaids for several reasons. I have had 2 friends come up through Mermaids who still speak highly of it to date, but mainly it’s the communication. Many dive centers out there when you send an e-mail if you get a response, it’s a week later and it’s some form e-mail that parrots back what their website says and doesn’t answer your questions at all. Peter really went out of his way to get back to me within a few hours (amazing considering the 14 hour time difference, Peter do you sleep?) and he had etailed resposes to my many questions.

Upon arriving I was met the next morning and given a tour of the dive center and introduced around. I have to say the instruction I received there is by far the most in depth and professional I have ever received. As well the friends I made while there are friendships I will have for the rest of my life. I guess that’s why I stayed an extra 6 months and signed on for MSDT and Staff. Course director Russell is amazing it’s like diving and learning from Yoda! The other Staffies and MI’s really made my IDC a worthwhile learning experience.

I now work for Nekton Diving Cruises operating in the Bahamas and St. Croix. I dive daily in 60 – 100 ft vis and 84 degree water. I love what I do and you all had a big part of getting me there so thanks guys, thanks for everything.

Eric Loske
IDC Staff Instrutor (2007/8)

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I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Mermaids dive school. They run a very tight ship to other dive operations that I have dived with. All of the courses that I took were taught above and beyond that of average. It’s definitely an internship that I would recommend to family and friends.

Thanks you Mermaid’s Staff.

Maddy (2006/7)

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I arrived at Mermaids on January 4th 2007 for 6 months and although i had a headstart on info (due to a friend studying there 6 months prior), i was still anxious when i arrived. Within a week i was settled and already felt like i was at home – the place is so adjustable!

I stepped through the ranks and finally made it to OWSI. I looked back at the end of June and it was the only time i ever thought to myself that i wish i could rewind and do it all again. I don’t think i appreciated it as much as i thought i did and in retrospect, i would have done double the amount if i only knew what i know now!

In particular, PJ, Russell, Desi, Ian Barr, Derek, and not forgetting the insatiable Mr Crowley – these guys are the life and soul of Mermaids. I hated nearly all of them at times but left Thailand with a love for them all. That, along with the other interns i met and grew to love, this was an experience that i will look back on every living day of my remaining life.

Those of you thinking if this is the right thing for you, don’t think any longer. If you want a career in the industry or even just fancy a break to do something different, get there and do it. I learned so much and took away with me so many memories that could take years to fill up a book of memoirs and made enough friends who would take years to round up. In the words of Bryan Adams “these were, the best days of my life”

Goodbye Mermaids, miss you every day…

Scott “Taffy” Smith-Golding (2007)

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Arrived back from Australia a couple of weeks ago (25th Sept 2006) and now after reflecting on my journey away I have wrote this. Hope fully I can return in the near future, I know of a couple of the others are heading back next year, so I will try and go with them – it all depends on who and where I get a diving job. Any way I will recommend Mermaids to anyone in the future as I have been doing in the past.

Well, where do I start. I wanted to become a dive instructor and had very little experience. I researched into many companies around the world and chose Mermaids because of the overall package. PJ’s was also quick to respond to any questions, and is always there to help. Felt a little nervous sending a large deposit from myself and a friend to PJ be he assured me it would be ok and it was.

Arrived and had a warm welcome from the start. Great accommodation, and invited out straight away (by Katie and the girls) where we met all the others at the dive school and excepted straight away in the group. From then on I made so many friends with my time at Mermaids and its one of the best experiences of my life. I could name you all but it would take so long, so I would just like to say thank you! I hope I had a positive effect on everyone’s time there as everyone of you did on mine. I would like to personally thank the instructors. Manx for talking me under his wing, Russell for his experience, Nori for her knowledge, Charlie (what a character), HMS, Lance, SB2, Claus, Tom, Mermaids extreme’s Steve and John, and of course SB1 (the boss). Plus every other instructor that stayed on after making it that helped. And believe me I have taken something from all the teaching methods of everyone that has made me a confident instructor and I feel so fortunate to have had so many excellent instructors all in the one place.

To sum the place up then is it is very professional, great location (you can see the surrounding countries very cheaply while you are there, visa runs, like I did and the trips were amazing!), cheap cost of living, and what myself and all the other interns have all said in their write ups – the friendliness. You feel comfortable, like a family and if anyone wants to contact, meet up or needs assistance on something with me then my email address is Where ever I am in the world, I will look forward to meeting up again with people from the Mermaids family.

What A place!

Thanks – Andy Statham (Stayth)

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Well – what can I say?

Fantastic People

Warm Welcome

Cheap Drinks

Great instruction

What more could you ask for?

Matt Hayward – PADI OWSI (2007)

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John D (Check IDC December 2005)

After deciding upon starting my dive training to Open Water Scuba Instructor, I had to weigh up the costs of various different Dive Schools. Once I had made my choice, evidently ‘Mermaids’ Pattaya, I then was confronted with the fact that I was sending just short of 4000 GBP to a place I didn’t even know existed. Upon checking in detail with PADI, both at their office and on their website, I was happy that it did exist. Upon speaking with Peter Scott, (Pj) over the phone in Thailand to clear up any worries and concerns I had, I finally transferred the payment and began the ‘The Diving Life’ Internship.

I arrived in Pattaya on 18th April 2005 , which happened to be in the middle of the Thai New Year Festivities, namely ‘Songkran’. I didn’t know what to expect of Thailand , as although I’d traveled extensively, had never visited South East Asia let alone experienced Songkran. The morning after my arrival I decided to go down to the Dive Shop, to introduce myself and begin my training. I hadn’t got more than 20 metres before someone had thrown a bucket of water over me; then another. When I got to the main road, people were throwing water everywhere. Everyone was soaking wet, including me. What I didn’t know was that Songkran was a festival that celebrated both the New Year, but more traditionally, the coming of the rainy season! It is a very old tradition and is celebrated in good humour (I bought my own water pistol very quickly). Mermaid’s closes on only 2 days of the year; New Years Day and the Thai New Year (19th April), which happened to be my first day.

It wasn’t long before I’d been given my Diving Equipment and was on my Open Water Course. Soon enough I’d completed my Advanced and Rescue Courses and was on my way to Dive Master. The diving around Pattaya is good and bad. Some Dive sights have stacks of aquatic life and are a real pleasure to dive. Others are less pleasurable, with less visibility, but require more skill in your diving, so are in a way, equally beneficial. – The training is superb and the conditions being so diverse will stand any diver in great stead no matter where they are off to next.

Pattaya itself is… an interesting place to live. It’s main industry is it’s nightlife, with hundreds of bars and clubs; from Rock n’ Roll and Jazz clubs to nightclubs and Go-go bars (some of which are an acquired taste). It is certain to say that you’re never without something to do in Pattaya of an evening. Life itself is very different here and although very westernised in parts, respect of many of the Thai’s cultures and beliefs, even learning a little of their language can make life a lot easier.

It is easy to take advantage of Pattaya’s proximity to Bangkok too, as numerous times, to have a break from the diving; I have ventured both North to Chon Buri and Bangkok and South to the beautiful Islands of Koh Phangan and Phuket. When visa runs have been needed, it has given me the excuse to go as far as Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia . I have found that travel within South East Asia is very cheap. Wherever I have wanted to go, there has been someone training here, who has been there, and could advise on the best/cheapest way to get there.

Coming close to the end of my time here at Mermaid’s and indeed Thailand, I have greatly benefited from the training I’ve received here. Having these qualifications, backed up with other experience, has given me a Passport to travel the world whilst working (if that word is accurate) at something I really enjoy. To compliment that, I’ve gained unimaginably from living in yet another country and culture for just over 9 months.

John D

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Training is top notch, diving can be a bit dodgy in places. Listen to the dive instructors like Russ, Desi, Iain and Crowley and enjoy the nightlife.

Steve M (2007)

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I feel that I have gotten an experience as close to a real divemaster as possible in an educational environment. My time has been both enjoyable and productive.

Patrick G (2007)

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6 months at Mermaids and I completed Open Water, Advanced Open Water, Rescue, EFR, Enriched Air, Deep, Wreck, Search & Recovery, Night, Divemaster, EFRI, Open Water Scuba Instructor, 7 Instructor Specialties, DSAT: Tec Gas Blender and Tec Deep Diver, over 200 dives in the end.

There are some great instructors at Mermaids and lots of opportunity to gain work experience at a busy dive centre. After the training received at Mermaids I feel confident about going out and pursuing work in the dive industry. I am glad I stumbled across the Learn-in-Asia Web site. It was time well spent.

Paul Pierobon – OWSI (2006)

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Steve, Thanks for helping me out on the specialties. Diving here in San Diego has been amazing. I am working for Dive Connections on the weekends as there head divemaster on the boats. during the week I teach Independently, and give guided tours of San Diego’s underwater world, Kayak Diving is becoming popular here as well and I am making good money with those tours. I am starting to get used to my wetsuit and the cold water diving it has been about 9-11 C here lately, BURR. Sure miss that Thailand diving. anyhow, 2 things, First, I got an IDC course evaluation questionnaire. as you know, I was extremely impressed with everyone who helped on that course and it is because of there excellent teaching and willingness to help, that I was able to learn so much while going through the IDC. I want to give credit where credit is due, but i do not know all the names of everyone who helped out. so i am asking you to help me with the last names.

Second, I wanted you and Peter to know. When I came to your Dive school I was only open water with 18 dives. and your school was the only one I had been exposed to really. now I am home and I have been to every Dive shop in San Diego. They send me there overflow. and I sometimes work with there teachers on the boats I run on the weekends. what I am eluding to, is now that I have seen how well at least the dive shops here are run. let me tell you. MERMAIDS is a TOP dive school. I am constantly getting complements on my dive knowledge and diving skills. I attribute 99% of that to the intern program as well as the instructors who taught me. I had to save at least 1% for me I am not a total dummy. I have already recommended to several people here to look into the intern program and will continue to do so. I miss the program already, or is it the warm water? LOL

Dana (2006/7)

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I highly recommend the Mermaids diving life internship. During my 6 months here I have gone from never having dived to Open Water instructor.

The learning environment is very flexible, it is entirely up to you how much or little you wish to learn. Any time you are looking for a little extra tuition or even have a small problem the staff are always there to help. Everyone is made to feel very welcome. The staff are very friendly and helpful.

There is a very good social life here and all congregate after the diving in the local hangouts.

I definitely recommend coming to Mermaids.

David – PADI OWSI (2008)

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Although the diving is not the best in the world and conditions can vary it allows for excellent training. There is an excellent opportunity to gain valuable and essential experience in all areas of diving. you’ll get to log many hours underwater and dives in total.

Overall – an excellent experience. I have had better pleasure diving but the training ground is unsurpassable.

Anonymous (2008)

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After 7 months with Mermaids I can truly say that I have had an amazing experience. I came out to Thailand to take the “zero-hero” course – open water diver through PADI open water scuba instructor and I’ve done it!!!!! Not only that but I have taken so many other dive courses and had lots of fun doing them – Mermaids everything to offer.

On the social side you could not ask for anything more – amazing people, endless parties, and lots of laughs!! I’ve made friends for life, we’ve all got a common interest and love diving together! There’s a really happy, relaxed atmosphere at the shop and on the boats and in the bars:-) I have had the time of my life and would recommend this to anyone. You will NOT regret it!

Vicky Murphy – PADI OWSI (2007)

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My name is ONE – a Japanese diver. I came to Mermaid 3 year ago. I had my open water and then trained from Advanced through to Open Water Scuba Instructor. now I am taking the PADI/DSAT Tec Deep Diver Instructor training. I am very interested in technical diving and wish to work for Mermaids full time in the future. It is great here.

One. – PADI OWSI (2006/7/8)


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