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Dive Review of Mermaid Liveaboards/Mermaid II in
Indonesia/Komodo

Mermaid Liveaboards/Mermaid II: "Komodo certainly lived up to the hype", Jul, 2016,

by Alexander Armintor, AL, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 10 reports with 9 Helpful votes). Report 8996 has 2 Helpful votes.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 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 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Getting there: Qatar Airlines from Atlanta to Doha to Denpasar Bali (26+ hrs air time plus 11 hr layovers in Doha).
The Qatar Airlines good: We were apprehensive about Q.A. because of all the negative reviews on Trip Advisor, but we both thought it was a first class operation. Calling at the last minute because the Q.A. website said to, if you were bringing scuba gear, we found out there was a free hotel room in Doha if you have over an 8 hr layover and there are no other flights scheduled to your destination, but you have to reserve it at least 4 days in advance. I explained that our travel agent never mentioned it, they said to just go to the Doha transit desk and explain and they should give us a room with transfers if any were available, which worked perfectly ($500/night value).
The Qatar Airlines bad: When I called about the scuba gear, they asked what I was bringing, which included video lights. They asked if they used lithium batteries, I said yes, they said no Lithium batteries, the Q.A. website said Lithium batteries were allowed (<160 ah), but this agent said not no way, not no how, so I left lights and batteries at home. When I got to the liveaboard, I found others flew Q.A. and brought their lights and lithium batteries with no problems, so I guess itís donít ask, donít tell. We used the Al Mahdi services lounge in the Doha airport on return and never have I paid so much for so little.
The Liveaboard: Booked the Mermaid II. Saturday to Saturday, Bali to Komodo to Bali, 600+ mile cruise through some incredible scenery. The full complement of 18 passengers were international, Australians in particular. One other American on board. About 25% were repeat customers. English is the common language and everybody seems to speak it wherever theyíre from, we found this to be true in Bali as well.
The MM II good: Liked everything about it, food, cabin, layout, gear up area and operations. Service was exceptional. This was our 4th Liveaboard and theyíve all had pretty good crews, but the MMII is easily the best of the bunch.
The MM II bad: Donít expect much internet, thatís about all I can think of.
The Diving: All diving from RIBs, 4 divers max per DM. The crew does everything for you. Usually four dives a day, about 20 in all. The night dives started at twilight and finished in the dark, all before dinner. Bottom temperatures were 85 to 80F. An unfortunate result of the wonderful diving temperatures is coral bleaching on the warmer Pacific (northern) sites. Iím not saying all the coral is bleached, but it is unmistakable. They say this is fairly recent, so itís not permanent yet. Happily, the coral looked spectacular on all the dives in the Indian Ocean or straits where the oceans mix. The fish and critters were everything weíd heard. This was our first trip out of the US/Caribbean area and Komodo certainly lived up to the hype. Oh yeah, someone did a little dynamite fishing during one of our dives on Sangeang Island. Never saw who did it and not sure how far away they were, but the sound was very impressive underwater, to say the least.
Top side:
We did the Komodo island jungle walk, truly primeval. July is mating season, so we only saw one dragon, but several deer, wild pigs and lots of cockatoos. We spent a week in Ubud Bali and it wasnít long enough.
Bottom Line: Indonesia is a sensory overload, above and below the water. The people were extraordinarily friendly. The value and service on the Mermaid II was so good, I wouldnít even consider any of the other boats. Highly recommended.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Florida, Keys, Alabama, Texas, Bahamas, Roatan, Turks and Caico's, Cozumel, Playa Del Carmen
Closest Airport Denpasar Getting There Qatar Airlines, 2 checked bags to 55 lbs each, one carry on to 15 lbs (they didn't weigh the carry-ons)

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, currents, no currents
Water Temp 80-85°F / 27-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30-100 Ft/ 9-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions 1 hr, loosely enforced
Sport diving depths only
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 4 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 They're geared for it
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Report currently has 2 Helpful votes

Subscriber's Comments

By Lenny Zwikin TX, US at Aug 02, 2016 13:27 EST  
We dove on the MMII in Raja Ampat Mar-Apr of 2015. Outstanding service, diving and boat. Highly recommended. The only reason I'd consider not going back was the lengthy travel time, 2 1/2 days.
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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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