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July, 2003, an Instant Reader Report by JAY & KAREN REINER, NY, USA
Report Number 744
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
Water Temp
78   to 80    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
75 minutes on boat dives (so air hogs didn't have long waits on the boat). 
Shore dives unrestricted.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
1 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
5 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
2 stars   
5 stars    
Wakatobi is reputed to have some of the best diving on the planet, with the
house reef being the premier site at the resort.  For us, it was the best
diving we've ever done.  We have absolutely no complaints about the dive
operation in general.  The house reef has incredible things to see, all the
way from 90 feet down, all the way up to the surface.  For our last dive
there, we didn't even go below 20 feet!  During a two week stay, I did 40
dives, and my wife did 20.  If you want to do a night dive on the house
reef, just ask around and chances are you'll have a buddy for the dive. 
Our only recommendation would be that the dive staff be stricter for those
who have no regard for the reefs when it comes to taking photographs. We
saw a couple of people stepping all over the corals so they could get that
"perfect shot".  We felt that these people should have had their
butts hauled right out of the water, and kept out of the water for a day,
so they could have some time to reflect on the damage they did.

We were not 100% satisfied with the accomodations.  There is no air
conditioning in the room (just a ceiling fan), and the temperature in the
room got up to 85 degrees F (and this was in the winter!).  The only source
of air circulation was a ceiling fan, and it was installed in a spot where
it wasn't even over the bed, so we were very hot the first couple of
nights.  After that, we had them move the bed so it was under the fan,
which was better, but still not very cool.  The lighting in the room is
with compact fluorescent bulbs, which made for very glary light with a lot
of dead, dark spots in the room.  It made reading at night very straining
on the eyes.  The shower is in the same room as the toilet (with no curtain
or divider), so if you needed to use the toilet or the sink after
showering, it was like having to walk through the bathtub to get there (not
very pleasant).

We were extremely disappointed with the food, and rate that the lowest of
any aspect of the resort.  The website purports to have a European chef,
and excellent cuisine, blah blah blah.  We don't know where this European
chef was (maybe he quit), but the found was very plain, and there was way
too much repetition of food at every meal.  If it wasn't for the fact that
you need food to live, we would've starved to avoid eating the same things
over and over.  This is something that they really have to seriously
address.  Being avid coffee drinkers, we also had a bone to pick about the
coffee.  Considering that areas in Indonesia are known world wide for their
coffee (Sumatra, Sulawesi), we were shocked that the coffee available in
the morning was instant!  If you wanted anything fresh, you had to special
order an espresso or a cappucino, and there was an extra charge for that! 
We asked Lorenz, the manager, why there was no fresh brewed coffee in the
mornings, and his reply was that there's a choice of five coffees, so
what's the problem?  Yeah, there are five, but three are instant, and the
other two cost more.  We think he missed the point on that one.

Overall, our stay at Wakatobi was pleasant, and we would go back there. 
But before we do, we have other places to explore (some of which are in
Indonesia), and we would hope that by the time we return, they'll have some
of these issues resolved, and that the reef will still be in good shape
(considering the abuse it gets).
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