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

October, 2010, an Instant Reader Report by Judith Kendall, CA, US
Reviewer   (5 reports)
Report Number 5819
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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

sunny, windy, rainy  
choppy, currents  
Water Temp
82   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
20   to 50    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
safety and current direction  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
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
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
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):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars    
2 stars   
4 stars    
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

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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Other dive reports on Peter Hughes Diving

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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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