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Dive Review of Bilikiki Cruises in
Solomon Islands

Bilikiki Cruises: "Still one of our favorite dive destinations", Dec, 2017,

by ann mcgrath, VA, US (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 24 reports with 14 Helpful votes). Report 10460 has 2 Helpful votes.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments This was my fourth trip to the Solomon Islands on a Bilikiki charter, and it will not be my last. The Bilikiki boats have always been well run, and under Sam and Kellie's ownership, they did not disappoint. We even had the pleasure of Sam on board! Tina and Oli did a spectacular job of running the charter, I hope to see them next time!

Solomon Islands never disappoints. While there is more bleached coral than my first trip in 2002, there is still plenty of healthy, gorgeous coral, and the reefs are generally healthy. The wrecks are deteriorating, so we saw fewer small critters on some of those dive sites, but there are plenty of critters! Pygmy seahorses, small crabs and shrimps, pipefish and more. Huge schools of fish at Mary Island, as always. I was disappointed to see almost no blue ribbon eels this trip, but conditions are changing, and the water is getting warmer overall. We also saw fewer ghost pipefish, sadly.

The Bilikiki is an awesome liveaboard. I always book the cabin in the front of the boat, as it has more room. There is plenty of room in the dining area and salon to relax when you're not diving. The crew is very attentive, and most have been with Bilikiki for many years, so they are experts. The food on board is excellent, and they cater nicely to special dietary requests (no meat or dairy for me, for example). They will almost always catch a fresh fish and offer sashimi at "happy hour" on the top deck.

The crew is also professional when it comes to safety! That is very much appreciated, as not all boat crews can say the same. There is a name tag on the board for each diver, and you must move your tag when you leave and reboard, so the crew knows if you are in the water or not. We had a refresher in safety on this cruise, as one diver got mildly bent and had to be helicoptered to Honiara for treatment. She and her husband joined us when we got back to Honiara a week later, and they were able to fly home with us. That is the type of crew you want on a liveaboard! They were in constant touch with DAN to determine what the best course of action was. Everything turned out fine. We also had a pair of divers who never should have been in the water at all - virtually no dive skills, constantly banging into other divers with their tanks. Tina calmly had a chat with one of those divers, and while the diver denied everything, it was much appreciated to have Tina as the liaison.

The Bilikiki has their dive routine down to a science. The crew does an extensive dive briefing, with a drawing of the dive site. They load your gear on the tinnies, and help you gear up. They hand you your camera, and wait for you to return. The boat is always there when you surface. The divemasters know what to look for, and find as much as they possible can. When there was current, the divemasters kept a close eye on everyone.

The dive profiles are not terribly restrictive. We were able to stay longer on shallow dives. We were really only restricted by the mix and amount of air in our tanks.
Websites Bilikiki Cruises   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Caribbean, Thailand, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Indonesia (Lembeh, Komodo), Galapagos, Raja Ampat
Closest Airport Honiara Getting There We stay in Fiji for a couple of nights on the way in, to adjust to the time change. Not all airlines fly into Honiara every day, so check which days they fly! You could also arrive in Honiara a day or two early, and stay at the hotel where Bilikiki picks you up.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy, cloudy Seas calm, choppy, surge, currents
Water Temp 80-84°F / 27-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 35-100 Ft/ 11-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Depth (nitrox)
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
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 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments The staff takes good care of your camera equipment. It is placed in a rinse tank after the dive, and on a shelf after rinsing. The crew will place your equipment on the floor if the boat encounters rough water.
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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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