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Dive Review of Murex Dive Resorts & Live-Aboards/Murex MV Serenade in
Indonesia/North Sulawesi

Murex Dive Resorts & Live-Aboards/Murex MV Serenade, Oct, 2011,

by Wally , CA, US (Reviewer Reviewer 3 reports). Report 6281.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Indonesia (3X), Cozumel, Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, St. Martin, Saba, St. Kitts, Statia, Grand Cayman, Bonaire (2X), Roatan, Florida, California.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 82 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 1
Water Visibility 40 to 150 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Generally they wanted us to stay above 120 feet (two dives were excepted). Dive times were supposed to be 60 minutes, but several greatly exceeded that.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments There is a wooden tank on the back for rinsing cameras. It is about 15" tall x 15" wide x 48" long. However, it is usually only 1/3 full (about 8") due to sloshing. Also, during the week it starts getting algae as it's never cleaned or emptied.

As for working on the camera you either have to do it on your bed in your cabin or on one of two tables in the eating area when they aren't being used for food.

Power is also a problem. The rooms have one outlet with 220V, but if you need 110V there is a single converter in the eating area. This is usually busy in use charging other diver's batteries.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 1 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments I was on this boat previously in 2007 so I had a good idea of what to expect this time. I call it "backpacking at sea" to give you an idea of the spartan conditions on the boat.

I'm tall, about 6'-2", so I have to duck in every doorway and in the hall leading from the dive area to the eating area.

This time I was in cabin #1 which is in the bow of the boat. You have to go down about 5 steps to get into it. It had the most horizontal space, but the head doorway was 5' tall at best, and the ceiling inside was at different levels with the tallest area about 6' high. I hit my head repeatedly in this cabin during the 7-day trip, mostly in the beginning. My wife (5'-10") hit her head even more often that me going in and out of the head.

The cabin leaked significantly during the frequent rain and one night the rain ran across the ceiling and a stream of water landed on the small table that I had my laptop and battery charges on. That scared the heck out of me.

Over all, the boat is worse for wear that it was five years ago and needs some TLC.

The food on-board is exclusively Indonesian so take that into consideration if you want to dive this boat. Rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner got old by the end of the week. That said, the food was much better this trip than in '07.

The crew is Indonesian and their English capability varied greatly. The crew that the divers interact with the most speak the best English, but usually you can communicate even with the others with gestures and pointing. And it always helps to wear and smile and have a good attitude!
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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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