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Dive Review of Kararu in

June, 2004, an Instant Reader Report by Sean Bruner, AZ, USA
Contributor   (15 reports)
Report Number 1100
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Galapagos, Palau, PNG, Mexico, Carribean, Hawaii, Fiji
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

calm, choppy  
Water Temp
74   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 150    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Long camera table with secured cabinets underneath.  Compressed air for
drying.  Two separate rinse tanks.  E6 processing.  Battery charging
station with three or four 110 volt power strips.  Little professional help
or tips from staff, but plenty from other passengers.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
5 stars    
Left Benoa Harbor on Bali for 11 day cruise, 10 1/2 days diving in mid
June.  Beautiful weather.  The boat was large, as was the crew.  Cabin had
a large king bed which took up almost the entire cabin.  Storage underneath
and in a small closet.  Larger bags were stored in engine room.  Two days
out to Komodo national park, a world heritage site, with a short stopover
the second day off of Flores island for two dives.  The dives in the park
were spectacular, with a large variety of healthy, colorful soft and hard
coral.  Excellent macro life, with many varieties never before seen. 
Exotics included frogfish, leaf scorpion fish, crocodile fish, pygmy
seahorses, ghost pipe fish, and numerous tiny crabs, shrimp and lobster. 
The dives on the northern part of the park were warm with excellent
visibility.  The dives on the southern part were cold with less viz (30')
but incredible critters.  I took a 3/2 wetsuit and hood/vest and a 7/5
wetsuit and am glad I did. 
The boat was the largest liveaboard I've been on (previously on Peter
Hughes and Aggressor liveaboards) and also had the largest crew, which
equalled the 18 guests.  The boat was comfortable, except on the two day
ride back to Bali when diesel fumes overpowered the lower cabins, forcing
many guests to sleep in the the lounge or on deck.  There are two cabins on
the upper deck; ask for those when you book.
The dive guides were helpful, but not great, nor was there much outside
help with photography, although there were so many photographers on board
that help was available.  The lounge had a great library and many DVD's and
some videos, although the video recorded kept conking out.
The food varied from good to mediocre.  The breakfasts were average, eggs,
pancakes, French toast, bacon, Indonesian noodles (packaged), croissants
and fresh fruit.  The coffee was strong, the tea not so great.  Lunch was
filling and often consisted of creative leftover preparations from the
previous dinner.  Deserts at lunch were a variety of fruit.  Dinners
started with good soup and offered a choice of several entres, mostly beef
or chicken done to an ethnic theme (Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, etc) with a
couple of nights offering fish.  I appreciated the vegetable offerings; a
vegetarian would have no problem.  The food was filing, if often
uninspired.  The deserts were so bad that they often went uneaten.  The
chocolate mousse was an exception.
Tony, one of the owners, was on board and did his uptmost to please all the
guests.  He was humorous and always eager to talk to the guests and make
them feel welcome and appreciated.  He gave up his upper deck cabin on the
last two nights to passengers overcome by fumes and he slept on the deck. 
The English dive master, Linda, was also very warm and friendly.  The
Indonesian dive master, Seno, was good at finding things in the water, but
he didn't dine with us and generally hung out with the Indonesian crew, who
were all friendly and extremely helpful, but with their limited English,
were hard to carry on a conversation with.
Except for the diesel fumes the last two nights and the food, this is the
best liveaboard I've been on (and the food wasn't really so bad).  Part of
that had to do with the diving, which was the best I've experienced, and
I've been to quite a few good spots around the world.
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