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Dive Review of Froggies Divers in

Froggies Divers: "Good wall diving but "resort" found lacking", May, 2018,

by Angela Richards Dona, HI, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 10 reports with 8 Helpful votes). Report 10496 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 2 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 3 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments As you arrive by boat to Froggies, you will first be struck by how run down the place looks. There is nothing at the entrance to give you that exciting sense of arrival. Luckily, our trek to Froggies was short since we had just come from Lembeh, so the disappointment was not overwhelming. But the place is dingy, the concrete is cracked and dirty. Moss is growing over some of the sidewalks (slippery!) near the dive prep area. We were there for six days during major renovations to the main deck/dining/lounging area (an extension for day-trippers, apparently) and the incessant banging and hammering was not very pleasant. The management was young and inexperienced with a whole lot of responsibility and in my opinion, not the right people skills to be in the hospitality business. Overall, not an experience I would be keen to repeat.

The food was delicious. The chef definitely knew what he was doing and when the food was on, it was ON! Breakfast was a buffet style affair with yogurt and toast and the usual fair. You could order an egg from the chef, who was cooking them on the spot - pretty standard. Lunch was served after the morning dives and a snack was provided quite some time after the afternoon dive. When the snack was brought out, everyone flocked to the buffet to get some. Unlike many dive operations where you feel you get more than enough food, here it was different. We felt a bit starved, actually! Dinner could not have come soon enough since the snack was often not much to hold us or it was simply not very good. The snack was the only food I felt wasn’t exceptionally tasty.

Despite the meals being very good, as a vegetarian things were often very unfair. Since the chef was so good, we got comfortable with the idea that we would be well-provided-for every meal. This did not turn out to be true. Non-veggies chose from several items off the menu but we were never given a choice. At first that didn’t seem to matter because what we were served was great! But the problems came when the food was served buffet-style. This occurred whenever there were at least 8 guests and was heavily skewed towards the meat eaters. On these occasions we would often just get to eat the noodles (available to everyone) while a couple of meat items were there for others. On one occasion we were given a tiny (delicious) soup. That was all. Meat eaters got a second course of meat and vegetables in addition to their soup. Hey…what?! We sat there waiting for sustenance that would never come. I was upset by this, hungry, and cranky. The food situation and the fact that the manager didn’t seem to care, really ruined the vacation for me. If you have no idea what I am complaining about, consider yourself very lucky.

Our rooms were located up at the top of the hillside. We counted over 70 steps to get to our rooms from the main lounge/dining area. And some of the steps were quite steep! Ok, we can handle that. The staff would often be seen brushing the debris off the paths, which was good because there were some fairly slippery spots.

The rooms were quite dark and hot. The bungalow style cottage had wooden slats that had loads of gaps to the outdoors so A/C was a bit of a waste. And the potential for bug invasion was real if not only imagined. The dark corners of the room were carefully avoided. The bed was comfortable, had a mosquito net around it, and the cleaning service was good. The bathroom was basic but large. Several times we awoke early to roosters calling and there were cows directly behind our bungalow eating the grass and making cow sounds. Cute, but that is how un-resort-y this place was.

The common area was a vast, covered, wooden deck. Everything happened here. Since it was outdoors, it was nice when the winds were blowing, but a very hot place to be when the air was still. It was, however, a better place to be during the day than our bungalows since those got really warm and sunny. The common room chairs were comfortable for about 30 minutes, after which I started to fidget and needed to move around a bit before grabbing any available extra cushions. This is a shame since this was the best place to be to escape the heat of the rooms.

The diving was good. Lots of beautiful walls covered in coral and all manner of invertebrates. We had just come from Lembeh so the change in pace was stark. The dive boats were nice and fairly large and our guide, Iwan—whom we had for the entire trip—was excellent. He took us to some very nice places and mostly let us do our thing. We follow our guides but not too closely generally, and he seemed ok with that. As usual, the dive staff worked very hard. The tides at Bunaken determine the amount of work they have to do. There is a long stretch of shallow sandy area in front of the resort and the boats have to drive up as closely to the shore as possible until they get stuck in the sand. If the tide is low, the staff have to carry the tanks far out to the boat—and back. That is true for the divers’ gear as well. If the tide was up, their trek was greatly reduced. They rinsed our gear and made sure everything was back on the boat for our next dives. We did have a continuous problem with leaky tanks. Although this is not usually a large problem, it really does not instill a sense of confidence in the operation and I was constantly on my guard during all dives, mostly for my buddies, since it was their bubbling tanks I could see.

The diving day started around 8 am with two dives before returning to shore for lunch. A post-lunch dive was scheduled around 2 pm and an optional night dive (which we never did, strangely) because we were not inspired. The boats went around the island of Bunaken, to Manado Dua, and to Siladen. All excellent sites and dives were in excess of 60 minutes. Iwan waited for us to call the dive but we were under the impression he was calling it. No matter, we generally did 70 minute dives and I like that!

The corals here are not as healthy as one might expect, although diversity is high. Lots of coral disease to be seen and loads of plastic in the water despite a total ban on its use on the island of Bunaken (when you travel by boat from Manado harbor to Bunaken you get a sense of why the plastic might turn up here, too). The best site with the healthiest coral is Raymond’s Point. It was truly beautiful and we did an 80+ minute final dive here.

Bunaken was nice, but my experience here leaves me with the sense that there is really no good reason to go out of your way to come here. There are so many other more beautiful places to visit and certainly the management at Froggies could be SO much better. Dive ops are good, and the guys do the best with what they have been given to work with. No complaints there. But the place is really run down and the female manager is perhaps in the wrong business. She seems to run from problems rather than deal with them. Her partner, instead, was able to deal with the situations better and chose to discuss the problems with us rather than hide out in the office. He is also a dive guide so perhaps that gives him a bit more of an outlet and a wider view of the people they are supposed to be catering to. Final note: Plastic. It is everywhere. A cleanup would be ideal and I know divers would love to help. It would make a difference.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Indonesia: Raja Ampat, Banda Sea, Lembeh, Bunaken; Philippines: Tubbataha, Southern Visayas and Honda Bay; Micronesia: Yap, Pohnpei, Kapingamarangi, Nakuoro, Olimarao, Kosrae; Fiji; Egyptian Red Sea: St. Johns, Fury Shoals, Sharm, Marsa Nakari; Hawaii; Bonaire; Turks & Caicos; Bahamas; Cozumel
Closest Airport Manado Getting There Honolulu to Tokyo to Jakarta to Manado. Long (30+ hours) but easy

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, cloudy Seas calm
Water Temp 28-29°C / 82-84°F Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 10-25 M / 33-82 Ft

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions I believe you are assessed at the beginning. Restrictions based on experience.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 2 stars Shore Facilities 1 stars
UW Photo Comments Not much to write about. A dedicated rinse tank was provided on boat and on shore.
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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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