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“A to the E AWESOME!!! Book in advance if you can ;)”
Review of Cebu Dive Centre

Cebu Dive Centre
Ranked #1 of 22 Tours in Moalboal
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 27 August 2014 via mobile

And I would have given 6 stars if I could have ;)

Where even to start- Cebu Dive Center is one of the best diving operations I have ever paid a visit to:
In July (2014) me and my significant other have been diving in Malapascua and since our next stop was going to be Moalboal for some more diving, we were planning our trip ahead and already searched the internet for some inputs on diving operations in Moalboal. As Westeners we do pay a lot of attention to safety standards and professionality. Since there are quite some western-run and professionally appearing diving operations in/around Moalboal, we finally relied on the best rated diving operation on tripadvisor (5 / 5 stars), that's how we first came across Cebu Dive Center in Moalboal.

Gladly, I called in advance (actually because we wanted to stay in one of their 2 available rooms located right at the dive center) so even though both of the rooms were occupied, Cameron- the manager of Cebu Dive Center- knew when the two of us were coming for diving and promised to squeeze us in, for a rather big group of 7 people had already booked in advance and thus occupied most of the seats on the only boat available.
I say 'gladly' because Cameron actually had to ask a few customers to postpone their diving requests until the big group had left and everyone would fit onto the boat.
(I personally really appreciate such a safety first-approach, and Cameron told us the next major investment will be a second boat and more rental diving equipment to suit (:D) more customers at the same time)
Not surprisingly, even the turned-down customers returned after one or two days with an even bigger craving for Moalboal's awesome dive sites and the opportunity to discover them with CDC - every single one we met during our 8 or 9 nights in Moalboal was more than happy when they were able to join the group. I think that's mainly due to 2 reasons:

1.many backpackers looking for the cheapest diving option in Moalboal find themselves directed towards Cebu Dive Center. Once they arrive, they actually find out that CDC not only is the cheapest but also the very best diving option in Moalboal-a balance most seldomly to be found. Of course it's hard to tell professionality from a mere first impression, but there definitely is something about Cameron and his crew that makes you trust them and wanting to listen to their stories and go share some really memorable underwater and after water adventures with them. CDC became our home-base from the very first moment we arrived and Joy ( CDC's fairy for basically everything,see below) even offered to show us around to find the most suitable accomodation for our budget on the first evening we arrived and even called Cameron (the manager) from his dinner table to get us introduced. If that's not polite and helpfully friendly then I'm out of guesses.

2.CDC's team consists of Cameron, instructor himself but mostly the manager (great guy, will come back to him later), Bro (dive master for many a year, about to become instructor himself very soon), Jojo (also divemaster and great diving guide), the little bit grumpy but very helpful Danny (occupied most of the time refilling tanks but also led some of our dives), the amazing Joy ( good fairy behind the bar and taking care of pretty much everything else-providing towels and orange juice for each guest after getting off the boat, ordering lunch for hungry guests,and so on) and Jocelyn (sharing Joy's duties but has to cut down a little bit due to her pregnancy).
So,basically, the core team is rather small but this gives room for as much flexibility concerning dive sites, rental gear etc etc as one could ever ask for.

In addition, there are 2-3 freelancing diving instructors providing Open water and all imaginable kind of requested diving certifications (not only PADI): if you're looking for the real Bavarian-freelancing-diving-experience (loveable, stubborn, really humorous and yet highly professional) and are thinking about taking a diving course - ask for Michael, you will not regret it.

There are also some freediver courses practicing on CDC's house reef so you simply cannot get bored.

Maybe this very personal atmosphere and high flexibility of the staff are some of the advantages of being a small diving operation but I was stunned how absolutely uncomplicated and-again, but can't stress this enough- flexible the whole diving teams was: we asked for some specific diving sites and the whole team tried their very best to fulfill our wishes...that's not only customer service mindedness but rather an attitude they pretty well succeed in obtaining towards each individual customer.

Not that we've been diving with other operations in Moalboal to provide a neutral view but we couldn't even think of it, as the crew alone is worth at least a visit for a beer or two (be careful with Joy and the Tanduay Rhum after dark every once in a while though- tiny adorable lady with a lion's heart and the drinking abilities of a fully grown man ;D):

Cameron, one of the genuinely nicest, most interesting and simply most hilarious human beings I have ever had the honour of meeting; of American-British heritage and a lot of experience and stories (you'll be surprised!) to share ;) married to the most gorgeous wife he could possibly fall in love with :)
My significant other had the honour of doing his PADI Advanced Course 1 on 1 with Cameron who recommended the best adventure dives possible to him (i.e. Videography for which he lent him his private GoPro and provided some very useful tips on filming underwater/editing the footage afterwards and even managed to get a videoclip of me and my boyfriend as a couple under water...:D happy days!!)..we're still feeling honoured to have met such a memorable, unique human being with such enormous passion and love for what he's been doing at least the last 1.5decades.
Noteworthy that Cameron has been managing CDC only for about half a year now and already issued more diving certifications than the previous manager in the whole year past.

Then there's Bro, the superattentive and shockingly nice Dive guide, you won't miss the tiniest seahorses or shrimpfish in his company.
There's an aura of deep respect towards even the smallest clownfish and nudibranches he will discover.

The same with Jojo-you feel safe and taken care of right from the start and can fully enjoy your dive. He's also really funny and you will have a great time.
Everyone at CDC happily provided us with recommendations for food (try Maya's Native Garden- very delicious Mexican Food and Pleasure Principle) / attractions (go see a cockfight in Moalboal's Arena and visit the Kawasan Falls!), an affordable tricycle for a day tour etc.etc...they make you feel welcome and in a strange way home, ~1200 km away.

The dive sites themselves are stunningly beautiful (there's a description of each dive site and prices as well provided on the CDC-website) and the best I've seen so far: so many colours, turtles, fish and corals...
Make sure you don't miss the plane wreck at Umbrella and Tongo!
And of course don't miss the shore dive on the house reef with the amazing schools of sardines! Incredible experience!
The sardines even attract dolphins and thresher sharks every now and then, all in all awesome!

Water temperature was never below 28ºC but be sure to wear a wetsuit as there might be some tiny invisible jellyfish every now and then.

Cameron told us that they're planning on opening a second operation around Mactan- I wish them all the best for this enterprise and their future, we already know we'll be returning next year again to Moalboal.

If there's 2 suggestions/tips I may offer to CDC's team, they are as follows:
1. it would profitable to maybe increase prices for diving for ~10% or so, as quality deserves its price and diving would still be very cheap but I'm convinced that there are great options in reinvesting in CDC.

2. A little debriefing right after each dive for everyone interested on which fish/animals they saw during the dive, as well as feedback on certain behaviours/occurences under water:
Dragging rather unexperienced divers away from the corals in order to protect the latter is appropriate for an instructor leading a dive group, just like waiting with someone for his decompression stop to end because he simply didn't stick to the agreed maximum depth - but talking about it afterwards and pointing out misbehaviours as well as offering tips in return might be worth thinking about.
If at all, that's the only thing we may have missed during our unforgettable experience at Cebu Dive Center in Moalboal.

Thank you again for everything- it was our pleasure and a bloody honour sharing these happy days with you all :)

P.S.: heads up for a little advise on accomodation: we stayed the last 1 or 2 nights I think at CDC's double room and it was the best deal you can possibly get in Moalboal. Nice, clean, big room, wifi and aircon and the best starting point for your 8am dive ;)
If both the rooms are occupied, try Pacitas Beach Hotel, a 6-minute walk away but worth it ;)
Happy days!!
All the best from Conny&Lukas

3  Thank 511cg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 12 August 2014 via mobile

I was planning to stay only 3 days in Moalboal, but I ended up diving there for almost 6 days...
The atmosphere in this dive club is really good. Cameron, the manager and all the staff are very friendly and always make sure you are having a great time and feel like at home. Small details can make a big difference: for example, when you come back from your dives, a dry towel, and a cold juice are waiting for you.

Dive masters are also great, they have good eyes to spot all the small stuff under water, they can also take time to shoot some videos for you if you have a camera. Awesome ;-)
Finally, dive prices are really affordable (even more if you take packages) and equipment is good. I will come back !

4  Thank Arno4021
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 August 2014

Done my open water course here and one more dive...... if there was such thing as a 6 star option to select no place would deserve it more..... Joy, Cameron, Michael, Yoyo and all the staff are top people..... a realy quality time...

2  Thank seamo123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 July 2014

We came to Cebu Dive Centre to celebrate my fiancee's birthday, and couldn't be happier about how our holiday went. The manager, Cameron, is reason enough to come back - he was friendly, welcoming, and had plenty of great stories to share over a beer at the bar after the day's diving. The diving itself was beyond belief. Our divemaster's name was Bro and he was a legend! He was very patient with us (as fairly new divers), he knew all the best dive spots and pointed out the vast array of marine life - from huge turtles and immense schoals of sardines, to tiny colourful nudibranches and electric clams.
We were staying in one of Cebu Dive Centre's two guest rooms, and it made everything so much easier - being able to have a hot shower right after a dive was a big bonus!
Panagsama Beach itself has plenty of great cheap dining options - Mexican, Italian, you name it - and all a short walk away. Would definitely recommend this place to anyone!

1  Thank KieranKeri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 July 2014

It is amazing how professional and friendly everyone is at Cebu Dive Centre. I am honestly blown away by their hospitality. Great diving is located right off the shop and a cozy bar to get to meet fellow divers and staff at the end of a long but relaxing day. By the end of my trip, I felt like I was friends with everyone there. Cameron is a fantastic guy who works extremely hard to make sure you feel welcome. He also takes a great dive card photo! I took a course with Micheal who has a great personality and is a food genius. Make sure to eat with him, he will challenge your entire perspective of taste and everything culinary. I look forward to diving with them again. Thank you Cebu Dive Centre for a wonderful trip!

1  Thank Jkriegs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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