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June 2007    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 33, No. 6   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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A Second Opinion of Kungkungan Bay Resort

from the June, 2007 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

It happens to all of us – a perfect storm of bad events that makes your vacation less than ideal. It happened to our writer who wrote about her visit to Kungkungan Bay Resort in Lembeh Strait in our March issue.

Undercurrent travel writers experience a dive trip the same as anyone else, then submit a report. But we know that not everyone’s experience is the same and opinions can differ.

Many Undercurrent readers have had better experiences at KBR, as their Chapbook reports show, and a few complained to us about our piece. For example, Allan and Barbara Jones (Anaheim Hills, CA) can’t believe they stayed at the same place as the writer. “We first dove KBR about 10 years ago and were impressed by the service, cleanliness and staff professionalism. Skip forward several years, when management was assumed by ECO Divers. We were concerned that the resort would slip downward but the opposite occurred – all levels of service had improved. We know that resort service, like visibility, can change from visit to visit, but it is from our experience that the KBR article is difficult to accept.”

KBR Manager Steve Cloverdale wrote, saying that many of the writer’s bad experiences were overblown and that he and his staff did all they could to make her visit a good one.

We edit every piece, and in looking at our edits, we may have been a little tougher in tone than our writer, but not much. While our writer did stay at KBR, I erred in saying that she stayed at several of the places mentioned in the sidebar -- she visited each but did not spend the night.

Addressing the complaint that KBR is overpriced, Cloverdale wrote, “What was not stated clearly is that the $200 per night for an air-conditioned room included a 24-hour kitchen, three boat dives per day and unlimited access to our house reef [until] 5 p.m.” That may be true but when you’re paying that much in Indonesia where comparable lodging and diving is substantially less, it’s not wrong to expect perfection.

We get rare criticism of our travel reporting. However, I am reminded of an incident two years ago when I was diving on Grand Turk. A very experienced fellow diver and subscriber asked me if I had read the recent Undercurrent review of Club Cantamar in La Paz, Mexico. He didn’t know that I had anything to do with Undercurrent or that I had written that review, in which I complained about bad food, mediocre accommodations, and unsafe diving. He said he was amazed that Undercurrent had written so kindly of them. I thought I slammed them pretty hard, as did the owner who sent me a very long letter.

- - Ben Davison

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