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Dive Review of Waktobi/Wakatobi in

October, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Rick Bates, Ontario, Canada
Reviewer   (6 reports)
Report Number 5196
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
PNG, Northern Australia, Southern Australia, Fiji, British Columbia, Great
Lakes, Altlantic, Florida, Bonaire, Bahamas, T&C, Cozumel
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy  
Water Temp
82   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 75    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
60 mins  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Great indoor camera area at dock with tables and shelves.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
1 stars
Dive Operation
3 stars  
Shore Diving  
4 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
1 stars    
4 stars   
4 stars    
Travelling to Wakatobi can be complicated and lengthy.  Overnight in Bali
is necessary, and we should have planned more than 2 days there, so much
more to see.  Charter flight to Wakatobi was long, hot and miserable.  Once
at resort, bags etc are looked after for you. Dive gear set up at docks a
little crowded, but well organized in numbered bins for staff to carry to
and from boats.  
Everything here is run with typical Swiss precision, but I found it far to
regimented.  I felt as if I was in the army, with everything scheduled down
to the exact minute.  Only thing seemed flexible was the 60 min bottom
times.  I was averaging 70 mins per dive, and no one said anything to me,
they seemed glad I was enjoying my dives.  Great shore dives.
DM's left a lot to be desired.  They seem only to go through the motions
and didn't really enjoy themselves.  Our DM refused to show us around on
dives or point out critters for us. After speaking to his supervisor, he
improved for one day, but soon returned to his previous behaviour.  Dives
were nice, but I have done many better dives without travelling so far! 
This was a very expensive trip, but I never felt I got my money's worth.
Fish life was varied but got very boring after first few dives.  Nothing
much different from each site.
The senior staff at Wakatobi was very aloof, and unfriendly, too business
like.  Other staff helpful and hardworking, but did not seem very happy to
me.  Island staff clearly treated poorly compared to European and N
American staff.
Food was great, but buffet style.  A glass of wine at dinner was $8, which
is outrageous. Happy hour (20% off) was 4:30-5:30 pm, but return time from
3rd dive was about 4:30 every day, so no one got cleaned up in time to go
to bar and take advantage of it!
The other "scam" at Wakatobi, and they seem to treat it like
their dirty little secret, was no fresh water for rinsing gear!!  Even on
the last day we were repeatedly reminded that "rinsing gear upon
returning home is strongly recommended".  Then we figured out why,
they were filling the "rinse tanks" with salt water!  When
confronted with this, a staff member denied it, but was later observed
emptying the tanks, and refilling them with REAL fresh water to clean off
the resort owned gear used by DM's.  I then tried to rinse my gear in an
outdoor shower, and was ordered to stop by a DM, because it was "not
allowed".  Everyone in my group then took their gear to our cabins and
rinsed in our showers.  Most of us had a 4 day journey to get home, and
were not going to see a hotel room with water for over 24 hours, so it was
critical to get the salt off our gear before packing to leave.  Be warned. 
Staff reminded us excessively about tipping before we left. Check out was a
wasted evening lined up awaiting our turn to meet with account person to
settle our bill.  We waited in line for over an hour on our last evening,
when we should have been enjoying ourselves.
Cabins were nice, but A/C didn't work very well.  Breeze from the ocean
helped though.
Yes, Wakatobi is nice, dives are nice, food was nice.   However, none of it
lived up to the hype, and its a long way to travel for the mediocre. Many
in our group left feeling like we'd travelled a long way for nothing.  Same
or better diving is available closer to home (and lest costly). If I want
to do similar diving in the future, I will go back to Fiji.
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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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