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Dive Review of Kararu Voyager in

August, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Bob & Doris Schaffer, CA, USA
Contributor   (14 reports)
Report Number 2744
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Australia; PNG; Solomons; Caribbean; Mexico; Galapagos; Red Sea;
California; Micronesia; 
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy, dry  
Water Temp
68   to 78    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
A totally secure dedicated photo area with lots of bench space and plenty
of charging stations and away from wet areas but adjacent to and convenient
to dive deck
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
1 stars   
4 stars    
This trip was an 11 night Bali to Bima itinerary with much of the diving
within Komodo Marine Park; it was a Light & Motion
videography/photography workshop conducted by Dan Baldocchi and Michael
Topolovac which was excellent for videographers and photographers at all
levels.  Michael and Dan are extremely knowledgeable and were always
available for questions and assistance. The Voyager has been converted from
a Norwegian auto ferry; it is big and stable in the water but not
configured like a typical liveaboard which makes it somewhat inconvenient
to get to the dive deck. But once there, the dive deck is spacious and the
photo room is large and equipped with plenty of charging stations.
Excellent and attentive divemasters, dive deck crew and tender drivers.  
The diving is done from three tenders that divers board with tanks on their
backs, although for those who cant, the crew will happily put your tank in
the tender and help you get set up. Diving is excellent; didnt see much in
the way of big stuff (a few mantas and an occasional shark) but the variety
of small critters and hard and soft corals and the proliferation of color
are amazing. One incredible find was a 2-1/2-foot-long Spanish Dancer
nudibranch. We experienced a significant amount of strong current diving,
some of which was potentially dangerous and there was not enough discussion
during the dive briefings of the nature of the current, the strength or
severity of which was glossed over or downplayed.  There seemed to be a
disconnect between the needs of the photo/video workshop attendees (who
expected calm water to focus on photography) and the boats adherence to
its itinerary despite severe currents at pre-planned dive sites. The water
temperature in the north was about 78 degrees and about 68 to 70 in the
south.  The boat crew/staff was attentive, friendly and anxious to please. 
For the most part, food was tasty; nightly dinners each had a different
themeGreek Night, Japanese night, Indonesian night, etc., but food wasnt
particularly plentiful for a bunch of hungry divers and between-dive snacks
were sparse.  Only two crew members were assigned to getting meals on the
tables and since the food was prepared on the lowest deck but served on the
upper deck, meals were often delayed and the service was slow and drawn out
because those two guys were constantly up and down three flights of stairs
carrying two or three dishes at a time and they had very little help.
Cabins are comfortable; not particularly spacious but plenty of storage
space. An annoyance is that towels are changed only every three days (not
acceptable for a luxury liveaboard) but if you remember to ask, they will
be changed more often. Two well-located staterooms that cost more and
come with some perks like robes (which guests get to keep), a bottle of
wine and a private computer (for email only) and bathrooms were spacious
and had new and modern fixtures that worked. Trip included a hike on Rinca
Island to see Komodo Dragons and a mini-tour of Bima on Sumbawa Island.
This was our 32nd liveaboard trip so we felt we had a good basis for
evaluating the trip and the boat.
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Other dive reports on Kararu Dive Voyages

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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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