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Dive Review of MV Bilikiki in
Solomon Islands

April, 2005, an Instant Reader Report by Steve and Suzanne Turek, CA, USA
Report Number 1688
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Hawaii, Fiji, Malaysia, Indonesia, Bonaire, Roatan, Bahamas
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, rainy, cloudy  
calm, currents  
Water Temp
83   to 85    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 200    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
No restrictions imposed  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Large camera table inside the salon; camera room upstairs for charging
batteries; two large fresh-water tanks on dive deck; towels provided
specifically for photographic equipment; E-6 slide processing available.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
2 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
2 stars   
5 stars    
       We had heard great things about the Bilikiki and our experience far
exceeded our expectations.  We were made part of the Bilikiki family the
minute we stepped out of the Honiara airport!  The crew, as well as the
managers, Michelle and Monty was very attentive and awesome! We were on a
nine-night charter (April 19-28, 2005) which was a perfect amount of time. 

        The weather was very nice; comfortable temperatures. We had a few
rain showers, but they passed fairly quickly. Seas were a little rough
during the crossings to different islands; however, they were usually very
calm otherwise.

	The boat is well set up for diving.  There is a big dive deck at the back,
with ample space to hang your wet suits after a dive.  There are two big
rinse tanks for camera equipment and one rinse tank for everything else. 
Your dive station is yours for the entire time you are on the boat.  Each
diver has their own plastic tray/basket to put their fins, mask, weight
belt, etc.  The dive deck also has two fresh-water showers to rinse
yourself off after every dive.  Warm towels are always available and
separate towels are available for your camera gear.  You set up your dive
gear initially and dont touch it again (unless you are wearing it on a
dive!), until you pack to go home.  All diving is done via two skiffs,
tinnies.  The crew loads all your gear, including your camera equipment,
into the tinnie and whisks you away to the dive site, which is usually
fairly close to the mother ship.  Entry is done via a back roll.  There is
no need to find your way back to the Bilikiki because there is always a
tinnie there to pick you up, whenever/wherever you surface, your limousine
back to the boat!  You hand up your weight belt, fins, BC and tank and then
walk up the ladder.  Once back at the Bilikiki, the crew removes your gear
as well as camera equipment from the tinnie and puts your camera in a rinse
tank and puts your gear back at your dive station.

	Five dives per day are offered (includes one night dive).   Monty or
Michelle gave a very thorough briefing before each dive.  They always
included a map as well as a list of critters most likely present at the
site.  You could dive with Monty or Michelle (they are the ones who can
find the cool critters!), or you could dive your own profile.  There were
no dive restrictions.  The diving was good to great.  We didnt see too
many large pelagics, but did see some reef sharks, several sea turtles and
a spotted eagle ray from time to time.  The colorful reef fish were
plentiful.  We would have liked to have seen more macro critters.
Visibility was not as good at some sites (less than 50 ft.), but surpassed
100 feet at others.  We dove a couple of World War II wrecks as well as a
site that was a supply beach during WWII.  This was probably one of the
best dives of the trip..lots of interesting macro critters.

	The food aboard the Bilikiki was very good and plentiful.  All the meals
were served buffet style and all dining was on one of the decks, in open
air.  Most of the fresh produce was purchased from villagers that would
surround the Bilikiki in their dugout canoes.  The Solomon Islander kids
are a lot of fun to watch and photograph.  The galley crew would provide
freshly baked, warm cookies and popcorn after the first morning dive and
would provide popcorn and fruit after the first afternoon dive.  I do not
eat fish, so Chef Michael would always provide me with an alternative when
fish was the main course.  At 6:00pm, nibblies or snacks were provided on
the sun deck; these nibblies were wonderful!  The crew caught a yellow-fin
tuna one afternoon, so sashimi was the highlight of one of the evenings!  
You pay for all alcohol and sodas.  Wine is $4.00/glass or $19/bottle,
Australia dollars.

	The cabins were cleaned daily and very roomy.  They lacked a porthole, but
did include ensuite bathrooms and plenty of storage space.  All cabins are
the same and include a double bed with a twin bunk above.  All cabins are
air conditioned, but you are not able to control the temperature.  

	The arranged village visits were something not to be missed.  We had the
opportunity to buy carvings from the villagers; the carvings are absolutely
beautiful.  We also participated in one of the villages Sing Sings, which
is their traditional song and dance.  The highlight was dancing with all
the kids at the end of our visit!  

	Our time aboard the Bilikiki was absolutely the best!  Monty, Michelle and
the crew made the long travel time to the Solomon Islands, well worth the
effort!  My husband and I would highly recommend the Bilikiki to anyone who
is interested in having a vacation of a lifetime!

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Other dive reports on Bilikiki Cruises

All Solomon Islands Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Solomon Islands
Diving Reviews for All Dive Destinations

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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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