Diving Life interns testimonials for Mermaids Career Development Center Thailand. Please hear what the divers have to say…The testimonials on this page are for divers that were here in mid 2006 through to the current day.
Well what can I say really? I have immensely enjoyed my time at Mermaids Dive in Pattaya. The training has been absolutely top class and I have gained a wealth of knowledge to add to my scuba diving career.
I would urge anyone thinking about coming here to stop thinking about it and do it! If fact stop reading this right now and get your shoes on, down to your travel agent and book a flight.
Pattaya is an excellent base for those of you that want to travel South East Asia also and Mermaid’s will support you and guide you through doing this. Please do not be put off if you are a single girl and have not really done much traveling as S E Asia is very safe.
Lastly I would like to say thank you to all the staff at Mermaids for giving 110% of their time, effort and dive instruction / teaching skills. I have made many friends here that I will have for life.
Sonja Collyer – a testimonial from a Brummy Lass (and lone-female traveler)
I have had a great 6 months dive training. Met loads of great people and made some very good friends. I have learned so much about diving and the business of scuba diving. I am currently staying on to take my MSDT (Master Scuba Diver trainer). I am looking forward to teaching and letting others experience the great time that I had.
I Arrived in Pattaya in April 2006, hot confused and doubting my decision as the reality of the choice began to sink in. However, a few hours later and I was surrounded by friendly faces and cold beer:
When I had picked my jaw up from the floor and acclimatized to the culture and environmental differences, I fell right into the swing of things.
I would compare life here to being similar to my life at university. You get out of it what you put in. Either chose to submerge yourself in the often chaotic daily routine of early mornings, running boats and socializing into the early hours over a large bottle of Sangsom or relax in a deck chair after a pleasure dive and head for home for a massage and good meal.
When I started getting stuck into my courses, particularly divemaster and beyond, I found myself changing as a diver and a person. Basking now as I am in the calm after my IDC and IE I am certainly more focused and confident both in and out of the water.
At the beginning I wasn’t sure if I could be good enough to become a dive instructor, but after 6 months with mermaids CDC I know that I am and I am unbelievably excited about my future. I am heading over to the Caribbean to work from November 2006 onwards and I shall let you just imagine just how big the smile is on my face right now!:-)
I mprovements (to my)
Lisa Evans – PADI OWSI
My wife, Lynn, found Mermaids via the great reviews on the internet, after we both decided to have a career change and become PADI Instructors.
We loved our nine months in Thailand, and the opportunities open to us at Mermaids to both learn and teach were, we believe, second to none.
Not only did we make great friends, and lived in an amazing country, but we also learnt so much that has got our new career off to a great start.
Since leaving Mermaids we have worked in Grenada, Saint Vincent and Malta, where we are currently planning to spend at least two years with no regrets at all about changing careers.
Mark Dove MSDT 491019
Lynn Moss MSDT 490236
I have to admit, when I initially saw the ad for the Tech 2 program, I thought it must be too good to be true. However after discussing it at length with Mermaids, I thought you only live once and decided to take the risk. I must admit that I was concerned that I may have given a fictitious diving school thousands of pounds of my hard earned cash and this concern lasted until I arrived at the diving school and realized that it was everything promised on it’s website and more.
On arrival at Mermaids, I met a fellow Intern who had also arrived on the same day. This naturally put me at ease straight away due to the fact that you instantly get to know people. We were both advised of a time to meet Harvey for our full introduction to the School later on that day, so we both set off and enjoyed our first of many Thai Dining experiences (remarkably cheap but extremely tasty food).
Our introduction to the school was good and we both decided to dive the following day to acclimatize ourselves. We spent the remainder of our day sorting ourselves out and of course eating some more.
The next day we dived off one of Mermaids boats and I was amazed at the experience. Before my arrival, I had only ever dived in UK waters and for some reason I believed that I quite enjoyed the murky, cold sea. On my first dive suddenly I found I could see more than the usual 5 meters and the water was so warm that shorts and my rash vest was more than enough to remain warm. The sea had some interesting life and I was pleased to see a wild turtle.
After a few days diving, I started some PADI specialties (included in the Tech Deep Program) starting with Underwater Navigator.
Having completed this Spec, I managed to tie up with Dave, one of the several Tri-mix instructors working for Mermaids who was going to take me through my Tech training later on. I immediately took to Dave who was straight talking and extremely knowledgeable. We arranged a personal program on a one to one basis to complete PADI Deep, Wreck and Enriched Air Specialties before starting Deep tech and Tri-Mix.
I remained diving with Dave throughout my time with Mermaids, who provided excellent training and completing recreational courses with technical input from Dave, proved advantageous in the longer term. Naturally, all diving courses have a theoretical element and as a Tech student, I was expected to “do my homework”. It was a very much a work hard, play hard ethos and diving deeper and deeper made it more than worth the effort.
In all I loved the diving, it was hard work especially diving day after day, however extremely rewarding. Everyday I was learning new elements, techniques and theories. Before embarking on the program, I felt that my buoyancy control was good, however I soon realized I was just ignorant to what this really meant. For instance neutral buoyancy isn’t really about not hitting the bottom, it’s about maintaining your depth without effort. This becomes important when technical diving due to decompression stops rely on resting at nominated depths and was one of the most noticeable massive improvements to my diving during my stay.
As a tech student, I was one of a minority as most of the students at Mermaids are going on to be Instructors rather than complete technical diving. Throughout my training, Dave was an excellent instructor, but his sense of humour, friendliness and his efforts to look out for me, made him more of a mate during my time in Thailand. I’d unhesitatingly recommend all of Mermaids Instructors for this quality.
Having completed my course, I along with a few guys I met over there, spent a few days in Bangkok prior to my return to the UK. I found Bangkok an interesting place and some of the clubs/ shows proved to be “fairly unique”. You may know what I mean!
I made an effort to enjoy other elements of Thailand. Activities such as Jet-Skiing, bungee jumping, 9mm Pistol Shooting and watching Thai boxing are all available at a fraction of the cost of the UK and readily available.
Having experienced Mermaids set up, I can whole heartily recommend them for diving training (either technical or Instructor Training). I love the “all inclusive element” and although I was initially skeptical, as it felt too good to be true, in reality you do not have to spend another penny unless you want to. For instance whilst I was over there, Mermaids were offering an introduction to cave diving at an extra charge if you wanted to do it. My accommodation was much better than I expected although Mermaids use various locations). It was about 10 minutes walk from the dive school (or 1 minute on a baht bus for around 20 pence). The area is safe and I saw no crime over there, however the accommodation has loads of security guards posted 24 hours a day for added reassurance. The accommodation also has 2 nice swimming pools, gym, laundry, massage parlor and café. It’s basically just a holiday resort, which was ideal.
If you are considering engaging of a Technical Diving program, it is a big decision to make, especially if you are paying money to a diving school you have never visited in person. I can reassure you that you if you decide to go for it, Mermaids will not disappoint.
If you have any further questions, which you would like answered independently of the school please feel free to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will be happy to answer them for you.
Mermaids IDC Staff Instructors are very dedicated and as I completed the IDC I was extremely prepared for the Instructor Examination.
In fact, I have to admit that I find it very hard to recall veer being better prepared for an examination.
Lugvar – PADI OWSI
With Angela’s return to New York a matter of hours away, I want to express to you and everyone else concerned my deepest thanks for what turned out to be a great experience for her. Please convey my best in this connection to Phil, Terry, Adam, Chris, Walker and David — all of whom had roles in her instruction. Please thank as well Malai and the drivers for their useful services and hospitality.
Two certifications and (thanks Terry!) some time for free dives (20 dives in all) is far more than I had expected. For Angela, it seems, it was a perfect and natural fit.
I’m sure in the near future she’ll let you and me know her plans for further diving. This may be just the beginning. It’s a strong possibility she could be back in December during the holiday period. I know she liked her instructors very much. I wonder if they’ll be there then.
During my time at Mermaids I became an OWSI (Open Water Scuba Instructor). The first impressions I got when I arrived in Pattaya / Jomtien were really positive. Everybody seemed to be having a really great time and the whole process was really well organized.
The dive shop was a hive of activity and after only a few days any anticipation of moving half way around the world was put to rest.
Over the 7 months that I was at mermaids I made dozens of friends and some of them will be my friends for life I am sure.
The instruction at Mermaids was first class and I have thoroughly my time training.
Thank you Mermaids and everyone involved – you know who you are!
John Morris – South Shields – England – PADI OWSI
Full of amazing people who will make your time at Mermaids very enjoyable. Everybody is very encouraging with what ever courses you wish to take and very helpful with any problems that you might have. I have thoroughly enjoyed my stay at Mermaids and don’t actually wish to leave. It’s become my home. Diving has become my life and I have enjoyed every single moment of it all. Just be prepared for hard study and training.
Given its reputation, I was a bit apprehensive about moving to Pattaya at first, but I needn’t have worried. The last 6 months at Mermaids has been one of the most memorable and rewarding experiences of my life. I have had a brilliant time, made lots of good friends and learned a great deal as well.
he thing that stands out above all others is the people – the fellow interns who make it fun and the first-rate instructors who show you how it’s done! Mermaid’s instructors are superb – you receive excellent training, and having now completed my IDC I feel fully prepared for a career in the diving industry.
If you’re willing to work hard and want to have a good laugh at the same time, then Mermaid’s is definitely the place for you!
Rosalie O. PADI OWSI
My name is Spencer Hartley and I am 28 years old. I have been at mermaids dive facility on and off for almost 1 year now training to become a PADI dive instructor. I am currently an open water instructor and taking my EFRI at the moment.
The staff at Mermaids are great to get along with and are all really knowledgeable. Life in Pattaya is great. The weather is fantastic (most of the time). Diving everyday is also great and you meet loads of new people every day. Mermaids is a superb place to train and as I said the staff are great.
Spencer Hartley – PADI OWSI
Debs – We took the big step and sold up everything at home to come and train at Mermaid’s. We’re a couple and older than most of the interns so didn’t know how we would fit in, but things could not be better. Everyone has been so friendly and made us welcome at all the organised and ‘disorganised’ social events. It’s been great to socialise separately at the ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ nights out. Nigel recently celebrated his birthday here and we had a totally wild night out on Walking St. However, if you are looking for something quiet and a good meal, it’s all available in Pattaya too.
The diving environment is perfect for training and experience with all sorts of diving on offer in sometimes quite challenging conditions. We get the opportunity to dive with divers of all levels of training and have the choice to dive as a couple or separately.
So although Pattaya may be regarded as a wild singles type of resort, we have found it perfect for us as a couple too.
Nige – Today is Halloween. I’m currently sat on one of the Mermaid’s boats writing this testimonial dressed as a mermaid – slinky, shiny tail/dress, long blonde wig, lipstick, a shell bra and of course a hairy chest!! There are lots of things planned for this fancy dress day, including 2 dives in my mermaid outfit.
Mermaid’s is a very professionally run dive center, with lots of fun thrown in. If you want to go out 7 nights a week you can, there is always someone out celebrating a successful course pass/a birthday/weekly events organized by the Mermaid’s team – such as Monday Night Madness (bowling, beers and bar games). Pattaya is a big place with lots to do for all ages, and being here with lots of youngsters keeps you young. HAPPY DAYS!!
Debs and Nige
Christine – Before I sent off my deposit to Mermaid’s I was strictly warned against coming to Pattaya by a friend. I was told it was a ‘sexed-out boys town’ – which didn’t make me excited to travel there with boyfriend in tow. I decided to come to Mermaid’s despite this warning due to the seriously helpful website and the intrigue of the zero to hero intern package.
Now that I am here, I have to disagree with the advice I was given. My boyfriend and I have so much fun in Jomtien and Pattaya – the colourful nightlife doesn’t exactly define our experience here, although it has contributed to a few headaches in the morning!
Spending most days diving, and nights hanging around with other interns sharing stories over a drink is quite a good life, one not to be missed if given the chance. Bringing your favourite person with you is the icing on this experience.
Brandt – Traveling with a partner successfully takes patience, teamwork and flexibility. Pattaya is no different, but has the ability to push those requirements to the edge. Every night is Friday night. While this can be fun at first, you and your partner have to learn to balance crazy nights and disciplined days (especially for diving) while making time to maintain the relationship. Being a couple in Pattaya is fun as long as you can be laid back and not take the nightlife environment too seriously. Come together, take it in, share a laugh and fall in love all over again.
Brandt & Christine
After surviving the obligatory 1st night out with Harvey, it’s definitely been 4 months of blur ending with me gaining my instructorship. It’s been ALL good, but the Lipo definitely helps. After an overwhelming first few hours in Pattaya, the jet lag cleared, but the party lasted for 6 months! But I did some diving too, and that was a lot of fun. I also did quite a few of the huge choice of courses, and thanks to the Mermaid’s staff, managed to somehow pass my IE! Another instructor to add to the long list from Mermaid’s.
I have been here in Pattaya now for nearly 3 months. I came here as a rescue diver and had done all my training in the UK up to then. I have to say that the training you receive here at Mermaid’s is top class, much better than I had received before. You will meet loads of new friends whilst you are here. There is plenty to keep you interested too in Pattaya. Finally thank you to SB1, Desi, Ian, Crowley, Frosty, Greg, Tomasz, Slinky…….(the list goes on)!!
Aeddan Ap Garth
I came to Pattaya as an open water diver, I’m leaving 5 months later as an instructor. I’ve met some great people, learnt a hell of a lot and had some crazy parties. Pattaya is insane, but it definitely grows on you. This really is a great place to learn.