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Dive Review of Arenui in
Indonesia/Raja Ampat

April, 2011, an Instant Reader Report by GlobeTrotter, Buckingham, GB
Reviewer   (5 reports)
Report Number 6310
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Majorca, Thailand
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

calm, choppy  
Water Temp
29   to 30    Celsius  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
15   to 25    Meters  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
30 metres recreational diving  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
5 stars  
Large Pelagics
  5 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
I am not an underwater photographer, unfortunately, but there were several
on our trip. There are two Apple Macs in the saloon, where anyone can view
or edit their photos and show them off to others.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
5 stars   
5 stars    
Where to start? My husband and I have been on several liveaboards in
Thailand and Indonesia, but none as luxurious as this one. Our first sight
of The Arenui as we approached in a tender from Sorong was of this
beautiful, elegant Phinisi wooden sailing vessel. 

But neither this nor what wed read and seen online beforehand prepared us
for the luxury that awaited us on board. The Arenui has two brilliant
cruise directors  Debbie and Jerry, who are unfailingly enthusiastic and
helpful and buzzing with energy and fun. No matter what type of request or
problem, it was sorted out instantly with a smile. Everybody is given the
same personal treatment and nothing is too much for them. Their dive
briefings were always so full of information and humour  they make a
brilliant team.

The crew are fantastic and so helpful. Imagine climbing aboard after a
dive, going straight into a hot shower on deck (there are two just opposite
the ladder/staircase) and then being met with a freshly dried, warm towel!
On our other liveaboards, we used those micro towels, which are quite good
but this was indeed luxury! After the night dives, we were met with mugs of
hot chocolate  such decadence! Even my husband drank it and he doesnt
usually like it! From the shower, you walk through the saloon to the dive
deck, but your drips of water dont matter because a crew member is
immediately there mopping it up. 

The dive deck has plenty of space for everyone to get ready and members of
the crew are always there to lend a helping hand with zips and so on. I
thought at first I might slip over on the wet floor (which, at age 63, one
doesnt want!), but there are several non-slip mats down and I found it
quite safe and didnt slip over at all. I didnt see anyone else slip or
fall either. Some people wore crocs or Teva flipflops, which are an added
safeguard, but it wasnt really necessary.

The sundeck was amazing  plenty of wide wooden sunbeds, facing in various
directions, out in the sun or in the shade (your choice), with really thick
comfy mattresses. Again, more towels supplied on deck for you to use on the
sunbeds. In the evenings, weather permitting (which it did every night on
our trip), dinner was served up on the sundeck. This was like the icing on
the cake  dining under the stars with the ocean all around.

That brings me on to the food  I have to say, this is my only complaint: I
put on 5 lbs in weight !!! I went on board with all good intentions of not
overdoing the eating bit, but its impossible! Where on earth did they get
that chef?! Hes brilliant. Before the first dive, you can have a snack if
you want  toast, etc  and then breakfast proper is after the first dive.
Pre-ordered eggs however you want them, masses of other yummy things served
buffet style. Lunch is also buffet style and so much choice, its difficult
not to try them all. Dinner is served at the table (either in the saloon or
up on the sundeck) and each night surpassed the previous one. Oh, and just
in case youre feeling peckish during any other part of the day, theres
fresh fruit, cake and other moreish nibbly bits. 

Our cabin was fabulous. The kingsize bed was much more comfortable than
ours at home and it was lovely to snuggle under the soft, luxurious duvet
after a day of three or four dives. The shower had one of those big
drench-type shower heads, which was fantastic for rinsing off the salt at
the end of the last dive of the day. 

I suppose Id better mention the diving itself !! We had dived twice before
in Komodo, which was amazing enough, but this was even more so. The water
was always warm enough for a shortie wetsuit (3mm). Once or twice I wore a
long-sleeved, long-legged skin thing underneath just to protect from some
hydroids, but the rest of the time it wasnt needed. The corals are so
breathtakingly beautiful, the marine life so colourful and strange  huge
turtles munching the coral a few feet away, bumphead parrotfish, harlequin
sweetlips, scorpion fish, cuttle fish, squid, flying gunnard, lionfish,
mantis shrimp, titan triggerfish to name but a few. The dive guides know
all the best places and where to find critters if thats what you want. We
actually prefer the big stuff! We saw loads of wobbegong sharks  such
strange creatures on this planet of ours. The highlight for us was at Blue
Magic dive site  GIANT MANTAS! So graceful and fascinating to watch. Its
such a pity we humans are limited by our lungs  we could have stayed down
there all day.

The tender crew are really helpful when surfacing from the dive. There
isnt long to wait until the tender arrives and the crew take all your
equipment from you before climbing into the tender. This was also a huge
improvement on previous liveaboards  the ladder into the tender is longer
and so much easier to go up.  I have a back problem and my husband has an
arthritic knee so this was a big help. Getting from the tender to the
Arenui was even easier; you climb out of the tender on to a sort of
staircase/ladder attached to the side of the Arenui. There are 3 or 4 steps
about 3 feet wide with a solid wooden handrail so no danger of tripping or

Various shore excursions were organised  one of which was to Arborek
Village, where we became the Pied Piper to lots of cute children of various
ages. We also dived around the jetty, in maximum 10 metres, staying for
about 90 minutes just content to be part of many large shoals of fish  too
many to list. 

Another excursion wasnt shore-based, but to Tomolol Cave where you swim
through slowly, with a lifebelt or lifejacket for comfort  gazing up at
the stalactites and down through snorkel mask at the stalagmites. We were
there for an hour or so and it was great fun shouting and making echoes 
one of the best excursions weve had on a liveaboard.

The scenery around the volcanic islands is simply breathtaking and just
added to the trip. All in all, we cant wait to go again but Im going to
have to diet first so I can put it all back on !!
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All Indonesia Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Indonesia
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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