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Dive Review of Arenui in
Indonesia/Raja Ampat & Misool area

Arenui: "The Arenui - Makes Diving Easy for Customers - They do all the work!", Feb, 2016,

by linda rutherford, CA, US (Contributor Contributor 17 reports with 7 Helpful votes). Report 8837 has 3 Helpful votes.

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 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments We did an 11 night trip Sorong to Sorong January 23 to Feb 3, 2016. The initial destination was the Misool area, then the boat went north of Sorong. The itinerary offers many good dive sites.

We enjoyed seeing larger Oceanic Mantas, Reef Mantas, great barracuda and schools of smaller barracuda, turtles, trevally, white tip sharks, occasional grey shark, schools of fusiliers, a wide range of colorful reef fish, nudibranchs, octopus, pygmy seahorses, etc...

The Cruise Directors Lisa and "G" were enthusiastic professionals and fun to dive with. When G and I were swimming rapidly to join a group who found a blue ring octopus, he stopped suddenly, and motioned to descend. He had noticed two harlequin shrimp below. Very observant! Lisa was also great to dive with. Before every dive, she jumped over the side of the dingy and checked the situation. She sometimes said things like, "not many fish here, let's try another corner of the reef." When she picked a location to dive, we trusted her judgement.

Our 16 divers we sorted into 4 groups, each with a dive master. Each group left about 5 or so minutes apart, so we were unlikely to run into each other underwater. Initially, my husband and I were in a group with a friend who had gone on 4 live aboard trips in the last year. We used air more quickly, so we moved to Lisa's group.

One day we said to Lisa "You can rest this afternoon, because none of your group is going to dive." She replied, "Well, I am going anyway. I don't want to miss a dive with the mantas!" Even though she had seen mantas many times before, and we had just spent the last 60 minutes watching 5 mantas circle repeatedly closely right over our heads, she was not interested in a rest, but genuinely enjoys the thrill of diving, customers or not. Noting her enthusiasm, we quickly decided to join her.

A previous Undercurrent article bemoaned the lack of an air conditioner in the main salon. The Arenui now has a huge one in the main salon as well as cabins. Once everyone was diving 3 or 4 dives a day and sitting with wet hair, there were requests to turn the AC down or off. So no worries about getting over-heated on the boat.

The crew were great about washing our wetsuits, etc and hanging them up to dry. The dingy crew was good about quickly picking us up no matter where we drifted. The dinghy itself was sturdy, spacious, designed for tanks and had a good ladder.

The size of the Arenui is such that there is ample room to lounge between dives on the upper deck in the shade or sun. Half of the group spent time between dives, in the main salon, comparing their photos from the last dive. The customers on this cruise had signed up individually and were not a group. Compatibility was not a problem and there was a lot of laughing and joking. Having come 1/2 way around the world, everyone was set to have a good time. Yet, there is plenty of space to be alone, if you choose. You don't need to retreat to your cabin.

The Arenui, in short, is a very professional operation, with high quality service and attention to safety... all provided with the customer's convenience in mind.
Websites Arenui   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving 850+ dives worldwide, primarily Indonesia, Micronesia, Fiji, Malaysia, and the Caribbean
Closest Airport Sorong Getting There It's a long way... from San Francisco, CA

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, cloudy Seas calm, choppy, currents
Water Temp 79-84°F / 26-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 40-120 Ft/ 12-37 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions We don't remember any restrictions.
Regarding below, we saw whales from the decks of the Arenui, not underwater.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales 1 or 2
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 4 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 We especially liked having our cameras, rinsed, dried (according to our instructions) and then, brought to our work station. Cruise director "G" is also Mister Fix-it. When cameras, strobes or flashlights flood, G is there to help.

The only problem with the layout of the Arenui, is the space for photographers. There are 7 or 8 workstations for cameras. We had about 8 people using cameras, but a couple of the workstations do not have sufficient light intensity to check and clean o-rings. (Bring a high intensity light of your own.) And one station does not have any electrical outlet for charging batteries. If more people need workspace, they will put plastic over couch space and give you that area There probably is a way to secure this space so your gear does not slide off.

We had a large and light stateroom,so we could have worked on cameras in our room if we had to. But it is preferable to have a dedicated space with a side rail to keep all your tools from sliding around. They probably could build something like that in the "Shinta" and "Rama" cabins. Or perhaps they could build some "use-as-necessary" trays for the main salon. The problem can be solved.
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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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