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Dive Review of Mermaid in
Indonesia/Raja Ampat to Komodo

Mermaid: "Great time on Mermaid 1", May, 2016,

by gretchen blair, OR, US ( 1 report). Report 9027.

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 5 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments My mother and I had the best trip ever with the great crew of Mermaid I. I have been diving off and on since 1980, never in Indonesia before. My fit 77year old mother had started snorkeling in Bonaire just last winter.

I booked us with Mermaid for two back to back trips. First the Biodiversity Special for 16 days, then Komodo to Bali for 10 days.
We flew into Sorong from Seattle, WA via EVA and then Garuda. The five flights were of course long but not as painful as I had expected. I was happy with both air carriers. My gear bag was lost in transit somewhere between Makassar and Sorong. The ground crew at Makassar were very attentive but I was sure I would never see my stuff again when it had not been located by the time we arrived at Sorong. Happily, it was found and dropped in Sorong by the following morning, in time for departure. Glad we had arrived a day in advance. Stayed overnight at the Swiss-Bel Hotel in Sorong which was a comfortable place to sleep. It was clean except for lots of very tiny insects (not bedbugs)crawling around the room. They didn't bite and I'm used to critters so no problem. They have a nice breakfast buffet and very friendly staff.

The dive trip was fantastic. The boat has plenty of room for lounging, dining, briefings, and photography equipment. Our room was clean and comfortable with enough storage areas and electrical outlets. We were lucky to have very calm weather for most of our trip but slept well even on our one night with rough weather (we tend to be good sleepers). Meals were a mix of western and eastern choices buffet style. There were always snacks including fruit available. I found the food to be very good and varied enough that it didn't get monotonous even on this long trip. Some of the dishes were so good that I'd buy a recipe book if they offered one.

The staff were all impressive. Thorough dive briefings were conducted inside the lounge so were easy to see and hear. Safety and respect for the marine environment were reviewed as well as possible things to see at each site. The deck crew and panga drivers were efficient and friendly. We were greeted on deck with cheers, dry towels, and fruit juice or a warm drink after each dive.

Diving was great. Dives are from RIBs. Most divers geared up prior to being helped into the boat but you can opt to put your tank on after boarding. Same with getting back in, either leave tank on or doff in the water. Nearly all dives limited by your own NDL. The dive guides were attentive to divers abilities and desires and good at spotting. We were in groups of 3-5 divers per guide. The tour leaders did a good job of choosing dive sites that were not crowded with other divers, more of an issue on the Komodo leg of the trip. I'd had some concerns about my mom snorkeling but she was very well taken care of and was able to snorkel at almost all of dive sites and had a fantastic time. Sometimes she saw more mantas than we divers did. Underwater was more fantastic than I had imagined with reefs, walls, and muck. We had a couple of dives with very strong current but most were quite manageable either drifting or with a hook. The trip videographer did a great job documenting our cruise.

This was just an unforgettable trip. Relaxing up top and fantastic down below. I'll be booking with these guys again.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Puget Sound, Hawaii, Caribbean, Revillagigedos
Closest Airport Sorong Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 80-84°F / 27-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility - Ft/ - M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 5 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 [None]
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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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