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Dive Review of Peter Hughes -- Paradise Dancer in
Indonesia/Raja Ampat

Peter Hughes -- Paradise Dancer, Oct, 2010,

by Judith Kendall, CA, US (Reviewer Reviewer 5 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 5819.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Caribbean, Fiji, Hawaii, Komodo, Mexico, Palau, Red Sea, Sipidan, Sulawesi, Yap
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy Seas choppy, currents
Water Temp 82 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 20 to 50 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions safety and current direction
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None 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 N/A

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments There was a well-equipped camera room set aside for photographers.

In the water, photographers experienced currents. So unless you are
an excellent bouyancy controlled diver do not try diving with a camera. Your shots will turn out poorly.

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 3 stars
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments We were on the Paradise Dancer for 11 days. As many other divers
have already expressed in numerous Undercurrent articles, the boat, the crew, the dining, the layout and facilities are above any liveaboard I've ever experienced. ( This is my 8th liveaboard.)

The boat itself, built just 4-1/2 years ago, is the epitome of great design, creativity and craftmenship. It was an honor to experience this boat. Just imagine, a 150 ft. wooden ship hand-built and constructed without a single nail.

While others have offered comments and suggestions about the diving in Raja Ampat, I intend to limit my comments to the portion of the trip that should be avoided. This is the part where the Peter Hughes name loses its noted reputation.

The Peter Hughes Travel Agency, paricularily in the U.S. but also in Indonesia, is very substandard and in no way matches the caliber of the boat or its crew. The travel agency lacks experience, follow-through and follow-up, diving experience and even lacks common sense.

In our U.S. experience, the travel agent, "never heard of" dive resorts on West Bali. And we found them far superior to East Bali.
In most cases, we paid too much money for driver pick-up and delivery services. So they made a profit on these services as well.
Although we made contact with Peter Hughes in early August - two months before our trip, we did not receive confirmation until late September, just days before our trip began. One excuse for the delays was a holiday in Indonesian. How odd, since during this same
1-1/2 week period, on our own, we were able to book a resort, transportation and diving in West Bali.

We never received flight information nor confirmation for flying from Makassar to Sorong. And when a Peter Hughes representative met
us at the Makassar airport, he gave us luggage carts, not porters.
Porters are a must in Indonesia. With our luggage, we had to suffer through the security system and ticket counter on our own. It was complete disorder and chaos for the 10 of us enduring this treatment. The Indonesian gentleman from Peter Hughes was inept and totally out of his element and capability. What an embarrasment to all the guests having paid expensively and were receiving enduring treatment. All of this unpleasantness could have been avoided, if Peter Hughes had only done their job.

After the Paradise Dance, Peter Hughes booked a dive resort for us in East Bali. But since I am a handicapped diver, I was unable to dive due to the configuation of the small Balinese style skiffs. These long boat skiffs made it impossible for me to get in and out of the water. Peter Hughes knew of my handicap and never informed me of this diving situation. So I paid ahead for a week of diving and was unable to dive. Subsequently Peter Hughes has refused to refund or rebate my money. And this was their error.

Do not use Peter Hughes Travel Agnecy for your diving trips. We will never again use them.

Please note that after our disasterous traveling experience, we enjoyed the Paradise Dance and 11 days of pristine diving, fine dining and incredible service. All staff on-board are excellent.
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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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