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Dive Review of Arenui in
Indonesia/Adonara, Kawula, Sangeang, Ko

Arenui: "Arenui: Maurmere-Labuan Bajo (Adonara, Kawula, Sangeang, Komodo)", May, 2015,

by Richard Ebright, NJ, US (Reviewer Reviewer 3 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 8332 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments This was my second trip to the Komodo ares. (The first was in July 2011 on Komodo Dancer.)
The cruise was organized and accompanied by Secret Sea Visions (Burt Jones) and Got Muck (Kerry Bingham).
All dives east and north of Flores, all dives in Gili Banta and Sangeang, and all night dives and some day dives in Komodo National Park were muck dives and focussed on critters. Some day dives in Komodo were reef dives (Batu Balong, Tatawa Besar, Tatawa Kecil, Siaba Kecil, Crystal Rock, Passage, and Teluk Lehok Sera), and some were macrofauna dives (sharks at Castle Rock and mantas at Manta Alley).

Minuses:

Both the ratio of time outside Komodo to time inside Komodo and the ratio of muck dives to reef dives were higher than I had been told in advance and higher than I would have preferred. The heavy emphasis on outside-Komodo sites and muck dives appear to have been changes to accommodate interests of the approximately half of guests who had booked through Got Muck.
We missed southern Rinca (with world-class Nusa-Kode/Horseshoe-Bay dive sites Cannibal Rock and Yellow Wall) and Padar (with magnificant Pink Beach) due to moderately heavy--but not especially heavy--seas that prevented crossing the Slot. The Arenui cruise director told me that this happens on at least two-thirds of spring and summer cruises in Komodo. Apparently, the relatively small size and relatively high center of gravity of the Arenui make the Arenui less able to handle heavy seas than other Indonesia liveaboards.
We also missed most land excursions. The sole organized land excursion was a short Komodo dragon walk on northern Rinca on the afternoon of the last day.
My cabin was OK, but, contrary to the Arenui Website, was not "luxurious." The desk was narrow and the stool was uncomfortable. The bathroom was cramped and poorly ventilated.
Food was OK but, contrary to the Arenui Website, was not "gourmet."
There were no showers on deck (just a shower in a common bathroom).
There was no camera room.
(Dewi Nusantara and Damai beat Arenui on cabins, food, deck showers, and camera rooms.)

Pluses:

The macro sealife was outstanding: Bobbitt worms, Persian carpet worms, dozens of nudibranch species (including a foot-long solar-powered nudibranch eating a leather coral), dozens of crab species (including boxer crabs and numerous mating crabs), pygmy cuttlefish (including mating pygmy cuttlefish--very energetic), flamboyant cuttlefish, reef cuttlefish, hairy octopus, long-armed octopus, reef octopus, ornate ghost pipefish (including a mated pair), halimeda ghost pipefish, robust ghost pipefish, banded pipefish, ring pipefish, Lembeh sea dragon, Bargibanti pygmy seahorses (including a pregnant male), Denise pygmy seahorses, ribbon eels, snake eels, waspfish, devil scorpionfish, leaf scorpionfish, paddleflap Rhinopias, weedy Rhinopias, giant frogfish ("walking" and "hopping"), clown frogfish, devilfish, robin gunard, Pegasus sea moths, and a star gazer.
The squadrons of mantas in the alley and the cleaning station at Manta Alley also were outstanding.
The Arenui staff were outstanding. In particular the Arenui dive guide Ronald was ***absolutely superb***. Possibly the best dive guide on the planet. Definitely the best dive guide I ever have had. Amazing ability to spot critters. Excellent ability to manage photographers and videographers.
The diver:guide ratio was an astonishing 1:1 to 1:4. (The Arenui uses only groups of just 4 divers and, astonishingly, does not combine dive groups when one or more divers opts to skip a dive.) On one night dive, I was the sole diver in Ronald's group. On the other night dives and some day dives, I was one of just two divers in Ronald's group.
(Arenui beats other Indonesian liveaboards on dive guides and diver:guide ratios.)
Websites Arenui   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Galapagos, Cocos, Cozumel, Akumal, Bora Bora, Phuket, Palau, Lembeh, Bali, Komodo, Raja Ampat, Cenderawasih Bay
Closest Airport Getting There Denpasar (Bali) to Maumere; Labuan Bajo to Denpasar (Bali)

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, choppy, surge, currents
Water Temp 75-82°F / 24-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 10-60 Ft/ 3-18 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions 60 minutes; stay with guide
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics 5 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments There was no camera room. I had an unshared cabin (paid 100% single supplement), so I was able to use the second bed in my cabin as a camera table. I would have been hard-pressed for space had I been in a shared cabin.
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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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