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Marina Lodge is a cheap hotel so you don't expect to get all the frills of a 5* but the dive boats depart from the quay outside the hotel. The dive centre was excellent and all round it was a fantastic diving holiday!

Marsa Alam, Egypt

Although the training and practical aspects of my PADI AOW course went well, I was given no receipt for my payment toward the course. Additionally, I have, as yet, not been contacted by the dive centre acknowledging receipt of payment for the said course or received the temporary PADI certification email. The dive centre should have done a better job with the disembarking time schedule and chosen better hotels for the divers at the end of the trip. Nothing was given to me in writing, so the changing schedule was disconcerting. That said the dive guide and leader was excellent.

Booking with Planet Dive was straightforward as I have previously gone to Brakya Bay, Marsa Alam, and so knew what I wanted. The team were very helpful. The Brayka Bay Resort is pretty good and the staff are excellent - our room was kept spotless. The gardens are maintained to a high standard. The food is fine. I think that the diving at Marsa Alam is more suited to the inexperienced/intermediate diver (with the exception of Elphinstone). This was ideal for us as one of our group was taking her PADI Open Water and then making her first dives. The dive centre is a good operation and, generally, I was satisfied. However, during our stay, the centre's main zodiac was out of use and therefore there were no 'short zodiac' dives and no Elphinstone dives. This meant that the diving was restricted to the house reef and to 'mini bus' dives. This meant that choice was greatly reduced and I was particularly disappointed to have no opportunity to dive Elphinstone. The problem with the zodiac was resolved and it was back in use on the day of our departure!

The team at Planet Dive were very helpful, and really worked hard to sort out my diving holiday at the last minute. I was hoping for a lively hotel but Marina Lodge was in fact very quiet and a bit dull. However, it was perfectly adequate and I think the quietness did me a favour, so no complaints. From what I saw the Resta Reef Resort or Concorde were more suitable for a single traveller. The dive centre was very good - organised and friendly.

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