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

October, 2011, an Instant Reader Report by Wally , CA, US
Reviewer   (3 reports)
Report Number 6281
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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

sunny, windy, rainy  
calm, choppy  
Water Temp
82   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 150    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
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
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  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  
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):
1 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
4 stars
Dive Operation
3 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
1 stars   
4 stars    
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

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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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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