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“Mixed Feelings” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Cayman Marine Lab

Cayman Marine Lab
Ranked #9 of 28 Tours in Seven Mile Beach
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: 27 Years experience as the only diving marine biologist in the Cayman Islands. Experience and knowledge are your ticket to the best small boat diving vacation in the Cayman Islands. I look forward to spoiling you and your family very soon.
McKinney, Texas, United States
Level Contributor
72 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Mixed Feelings”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 July 2014

There were five of us in our party that included a newly minted open water diver, two intermediate divers and two experienced divers. The owner of the property where we stayed highly recommended Tom at CML and after a little research decided this would be a perfect outfit for our dives. We did 4 dives over two days but unfortunately some of our party were getting colds and were having trouble clearing their ears so we ended up resorting to doing a number of shore dives - less financial risk when aborting (these were not with Tom). With Tom we did Spanish Bay Reef, Lemon Reef and Eagle Ray Pass and enjoyed each of these dives.

We felt something was missing. Tom has a PhD in Marine Biology, one reason we chose CML, Aside from one brief surface interval lesson about sponges we learned little else about the marine habitat. Underwater, I wished Tom spent more time pointing out neat critters and less with looking for Lionfish to cull. Maybe Tom left it to our experienced divers to find the neat stuff. A concern is that Tom was both boat Captain and divemaster. While we didn't experience any problems I do wonder what would happen if the boat slipped its mooring. Maybe Tom carried some kind of emergency signaling device. Finally, because of weather, the first morning it took a little longer to get to the dive site. It felt like Tom was in a hurry to get back to shore to make up time.

On the plus side, the rates were reasonable, he was flexible in how/when we paid and Tom's sharp eyes did find my mask that I'd accidentally dropped from the boat into 60' of water.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Graeme P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
cmlcayman, Manager at Cayman Marine Lab, responded to this review, 14 July 2014
Sorry to hear you had mixed feelings because you felt as though I did not show you enough when I made every dive with you. I would have been happy to show you many more neat critters, though that would involve you actually following me. Also marine lessons are only given between dives and I would have been very happy to do more if there was an interest shown. In spite of your cancelling half of your booked trips we would be happy to get you out on some great dives in the future.
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English first
1 review
“Dive with Tom”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 July 2014 via mobile

Dive shop owner in the Caymans personally recommended Tom when I inquired about a more personal experience. I am glad he did. Very personable, quite humorous and knowledgeable. First dive we went fishing for a little while so he could cook for his family on the Grill that night. That was a welcomed breath of fresh air. Tom I hope you get slammed with fishing/dive/hunting charters. Guys like me would pay twice what you charge for that kind of mix. You are a true gem. Back to the public.... Hunting lion fish was a blast..... I never knew hunting under water could be such a rush. Once I keyed in on what Tom was looking for, I found a few lion fish and killed them on my on. I will be back. I took my wife back after she heard how much fun I had. She has never dove. He dove right by her side the entire dive to ensure her comfort level and safety. She enjoyed it so much, she now wants to take a course and get her certification. Thanks Tom, I get to pay for that........I hope you all have a wonderful time diving with Tom. He dives live vibrant reef, not that over dove reef that the charters who are just about saving gas and maximizing profits dive.

Helpful?
Thank Wade F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
cmlcayman, Manager at Cayman Marine Lab, responded to this review, 15 July 2014
Thanks Wade, it was fun for me to mix it up for a change as well. Next time we will have to get a swordfish before going on a dive. Tom
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Huntington Beach, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
“AWESOME, AWESOME, AWESOME!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 July 2014

Tom and CML is the best diving experience that I've ever had. First off, you're not "sardined" into a boat with 30 other tourists who just jumped off of a cruise ship for the day! Most of his dives are anywhere between 2-10 divers, and he's able to really focus and tailor his excursions to his customers. His experience with diving and biology is unlike any other service offered on the island and is very personable. He's originally from the USA and his communication skills are very clear and informative. Safety always comes first with he and his crew, and you'll be blown away by how he's able to ease new divers into scuba. Tom and his crew very much so enjoy diving as well. They'll go out of their way and spend the extra gas money to dive exciting new spots that no other boat dives. We dove 4 days with CML, and never saw another dive boat around on the spots where we anchored. AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME TIME!!!

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank ryan r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
cmlcayman, Manager at Cayman Marine Lab, responded to this review, 14 July 2014
Great to dive with you guys and I'm glad the winds allowed us to dive the adventure sites. Already looking forward to your next visit.
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Laguna Niguel, California
2 reviews
“Best Dive Guide in Grand Cayman!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 July 2014

My husband has been diving with Tom for years. I have always had a pretty serious fear of the water and, until now, have refused to dive. Tom has officially turned my fear into respect! He took me on my first dive and I AM HOOKED! Dr. Byrnes was extremely patient with me and thorough in his attention to detail and safety. My first dive experience was absolutely perfect, thanks to Tom. I will definitely continue to dive and Dr. Tom Byrnes is our Cayman dive guy for life!

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank TheNatalieE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
cmlcayman, Manager at Cayman Marine Lab, responded to this review, 14 July 2014
My pleasure to have you aboard and I look forward to your next visit. Tom
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Wilson, North Carolina
Level Contributor
16 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“The best dive & snorkel guide!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 June 2014

Dr. Tom Byrnes runs a first class operation with attention to detail & safety. We dove with him 20 years ago & last week he took our family with a 10 year old granddaughter snorkeling with the stingrays & feeding them squid! He is smart as well as fun to be with & makes the day educational as well as exciting! Thanks Tom!
Kathy & Bill Vaughan

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank Kathy V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
cmlcayman, Manager at Cayman Marine Lab, responded to this review, 30 June 2014
I hope you won't wait another 20 years for your next visit. It was great to spend some time with you and your next generation. Thank you and enjoy. Tom
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