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Dive Review of Ocean Rover in
Indonesia/North Sulawesi

August, 2008, an Instant Reader Report by Rod Challenger, Fl, USA (2 reports)
Report Number 4440
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Wakatobi, Komodo, Fiji, Thailand, New Guinea, Palau, Truk, Red Sea,
Carribean, Florida
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
80   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Inside camera tables with both 110 and 220 volt charging equipment. Lots of
storage. Outside tables to keep cameras out of the AC, tables right by dive
dressing stations, very accessible.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
4 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
3 stars   
5 stars    
This has been one of the best liveaboards in the world since it was
launched in 2001. It was built with redundant systems and maintenance had
been a high priority for the original owner. It underwent an ownership
change this summer and I was anxious to see if the high standards were
still being maintained. As of this writing, the new owner,Roman Szalay,an
Austrian who has been involved in the Indonesia Dive industry for years, is
keeping the boat to its previous high standards. The boat was in excellent
shape, with individual room ac, and even the ensuite bathrooms have their
own hot water system for the showers. All systems worked well, tho the AC
in the salon did break and was out for a couple of days until the crew got
replacement parts and repaired it. In all, that was quite an accomplishment
in this remote part of the world.  The boat has a crew of 12 (Roman served
as the cruise director on this trip but he has hired a European dive master
to take over that operation) and service was excellent. Anytime you were on
the dive platform, there were several helping hands to assist you in
putting on skins, wet suits, bc's, etc. It was like having several personal
valets. They also took the tanks and bc's and put them away before
refilling them, and handled cameras with care, taking them directly to a
rinse tank after the dingy's got back to the boat.  The crew remembered
which gear belonged to everyone and saw to it that it was all in the
dinghy's for each dive. Diving in the Lembeh Strait was great with four
divemasters going on every dive with no more than 4 divers per group. That
allowed everyone a chance to see/photograph the unusual critters that make
the strait a great place to dive. 
On the negative side, the crew smokes, but only on the stern. However, the
wind often carried the smoke forward or to the upper desk. 
The food was not as good as previous tripsI have made on this boat. There
were not many western presentations(except for eggs made to order at
breakfast) and I didn't like it (chicken for example, was just hacked into
pieces before cooking, and not separated into breasts, thighs, etc like
Americans like it.)My wife, however, who has a more exciting pallet than
mine, thought the food was good. Its a matter of personal taste. The
itinerary was supposed to include just a few days in the strait (which is
why we booked extra time at a resort  after the trip) and more diving
outside the strait near Bangka Island and Bunaken Marine Park.  But based
on the weather (we had some strong winds) and the preference of the other
divers, we did not do much of the planned itinerary and spent more time in
the straits and similar areas doing muck diving.  The diving was still
good, but, if you plan to do some land-based diving as well, and base it on
the planned itinerary of the boat so you don't do much repeat diving, you
could be disappointed if the boat does not make its planned itinerary. 
Several people did book time at resorts near Bunaken, so, they weren't
disappointed by the lack of diving there, but, since we had arranged time
at resorts on Lembeh, we did spend more time there than planned (but the
diving was still great, see my review on Kungkungan Bay Resort). 
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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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