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Dive Review of MV Celebes in

July, 2012, an Instant Reader Report by Jamie Pollack, NY, US
Reviewer   (3 reports)
Report Number 6621
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Cocos, Bali, Palau, Caribbean, Florida, South Africa, Red Sea, Galapagos,
Socorro Islands
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, rainy, cloudy  
calm, currents, no currents  
Water Temp
75   to 80    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
60   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Each dive (5 a day) only 45 minutes  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
5 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
2 stars  
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
2 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Terrible, no rinse tank no table for cameras....
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
1 stars
1 stars
Service and Attitude
1 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
1 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
1 stars   
4 stars    
The MV Celebes is an old, creaky, dilapidated, depressing, smelly boat that
should be retired. My cousin and I were booked for one week and it was so
bad that we abandoned ship after three nights to go to stay on a resort on
the water. The food was very greasy and most of it was fried.  On the boat,
the dive schedule is 4 dives Sipadan and one dive at Mabul Island. Then at
5:30 am the boat would motor back to Sipadan.  The ride back was noisy and
sometimes rough. The cabins are small and we stayed in a room with bunk
beds-- typical of live aboards but the smell from the bathroom and in the
room was awful. We were never introduced to the crew (other liveaboards
would introduce the entire crew to make you feel warm and welcome) so it
was hard to know who to ask for things. They do not have a separate camera
rinse tank on board. So after awhile the water got pretty disgusting. I
rinsed my camera in the fresh water shower at the back of the boat. We saw
white tips sharks (although I was expecting to see many more), a couple of
reef sharks, turtles, large schools of jacks, barracuda and bumphead parrot
fish. Only 45 minutes per dive was allowed. I asked to do one-hour dives
since I was already wet and underwater but was told that is not the policy
and rules cant be changed. Only on two or three dives around Barracuda
Point did we experience strong currents where we had to use a reef hook.
Lots of action was seen on these dives. The staffs lack of caring was
evidenced when I was doing a cave dive. I was supposed to be diving on
Nitrox but when I got to my gear it was air. Then when I checked the air it
was barely full. It took them 2 more times to get my Nitox tank correct.
Just plain carelessness and not giving a shit. They do not have a separate
compressor on board for Nitrox and have to bring them all on board.

I would not advise for anyone to stay on this boat. You can dive Sipadan
from a land based operation with much better accommodations. My overall
feeling for the diving was that is was okay not Knock Your Socks Off
diving. Traveling for me (coming from the East Coast of the US) is a long
way to come and not sure I would recommend it.
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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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