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Dive Review of Arenui in

Arenui, May, 2014,

by Patricia Benton, Buckingham, GB (Reviewer Reviewer 5 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 7642.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments We recently returned from our third trip on board the Arenui. We had previously been on the Raja Ampat and the Sorong to Ambon trips and experienced all the wonderful diving there. We booked this trip because it was to areas we had not dived before with Arenui and included the added big attraction of Manta Queen Dr Andrea Marshall being on board. We expected to learn a lot about the Marine Megafauna Foundation and in particular mantas, our favourites – we were not disappointed.

One highlight of this trip was a visit to the Komba volcano, a semi-active volcano that has minor eruptions every 10 to 20 minutes. We arrived after dark and motored at a safe distance as we watched puffs of smoke and lava falling into the sea. Suddenly, after a gap of about 20 minutes, the top of the volcano began to glow followed by an enormous explosion and a very big lava shower. This was an exciting experience, demonstrating on a relatively small scale the power of volcanoes.

We were guided to the best dive sites in all the areas we visited and experienced wonderful diving, made even better by all the dive guides’ amazing ability to spot everything – from the tiniest critters to the largest!

All this was made very special by the flexibility of the trip. We made land-based excursions as well as well diving at the best dive sites.

The food and service aboard Arenui was first class. The cruise directors, captain, dive masters, cooks, stewards, room boy, tender drivers, engineers, are all exceptional.

One of the aspects that makes a trip on the Arenui so special is all the little extra finishing touches: a hot flannel and delicious hot chocolate after the night dives; an icy-cold flannel after hot shore excursions; beds are turned down every evening and a couple of chocolates put on the bed. Three times on this trip, the chef produced some fantastic fruit carvings in the shape of fish and plants, to celebrate various diving achievements: 150 dives (for both my husband and me), 100 dives and 1,000 dives for two other guests. I don’t know how he found time to make these on top of producing world-class meals several times a day!

There is a comprehensive welcome briefing on the first day and, before each dive, an informative briefing about the dive site and what we can expect (and hope) to see there. Everyone’s dive gear is put into the boat and all you have to do is don your wetsuit – you also have help with that, if needed!

After the dive, the tender drivers take all your equipment from you before you climb into the tender; it is then all rinsed for you back on the Areuni. A bottle of water is provided for each diver in the tender after each dive – refilled from the water machine on board.

You do have to watch your waistline! First thing in the morning is a ‘small’ breakfast if you want it: toast, etc. After the first dive is ‘big’ breakfast: pre-ordered eggs with all the trimmings, as well as a buffet of western and Indonesian food. Lunch is another buffet, with a wide selection of mouth-watering dishes. Following the afternoon dive, it is ‘snack’ time – cake or banana fritters, for example, as well as juicy and delicious fresh tropical fruit (this is also available at other times of the day). When the boat is travelling or if it rains, dinner is served below; otherwise it is served under the stars up on the sun deck – a perfect end to the day.

Speaking of the sun deck, there are plenty of wide wooden sun beds, facing in various directions, with thick, comfy mattresses to lie on – mostly in the shade under a canopy, and some in the sun. Big towels are supplied too. This is such a lovely way to relax after dives. It is up there that you can also have a soothing massage with a choice of aromatherapy oils.

The cabins are spacious and well laid out and the beds are extremely comfortable: an extremely thick and plump mattress and a duvet, as well as several different types of pillow. Each cabin is different, with all the beautiful carved wood and of course each has its own en suite facilities. Our shower had one of those big drench-type shower heads, which was fantastic for rinsing off the salt at the end of the last dive of the day.

The cruise directors, Debbie and Jerry Arriaga, are truly amazing. They are always cheerful and enthusiastic, patient, friendly and helpful. No matter what type of request or problem, it was sorted out instantly with a smile. As well as dive guiding, they assist with any photographic needs and, indeed, are both extremely talented photographers in their own right – both underwater and above. They are a brilliant team.

We have been on several other live-aboards but, in our experience, Arenui spoils it for any other – we shall be back!

Thank you all for another addition to our best lifetime experiences.
Websites Arenui   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Thailand, Mallorca, Mexico
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 27-29°C / 81-84°F Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 10-20 M / 33-66 Ft

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions per PADI recreactional diving: 30m depth
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales > 2
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics 4 stars

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments I am not an underwater photographer, but the facilities are great: plenty of charging points, with sufficient table space for many cameras from large to small. Plenty of help and advice from the cruise directors too.
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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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