ilovediving

ilovediving

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My Dive Map

Reviews (5)

Papua Paradise Eco Resort

5
5
5
5

I stayed here in March 2016 and had a lovely time. The bungalows are absolutely gorgeous. The only downside (for some people) is that they don't have AC. However, I never felt like I needed it with the night breeze, and mosquitos didn't seem to be an issue in the room, especially with the mosquito net.

The food was buffet style, tasty, and plentiful.

The dive op was excellent. The only downside is that Papua Paradise is located a bit farther from the best dive sites of the Dampier Strait. The boats can still go there, but you're more likely to dive the sites around Papua Paradise, which are still excellent! And they will go up to the other sites, it's just a longer boat ride.

A huge benefit to staying here is, unlike the other resorts, Papua Paradise offers transfers to and from Sorong every day of the week.

I really enjoyed staying here and wouldn't hesitate to go back.

Visited on 03/2016 - Submitted on 11/02/2016
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Papua Explorers Dive Resort

5
5
5
5

I stayed in Papua Paradise in March 2016 and loved it! You are within minutes of the best dive sites in the Dampier Strait. The family who owns and runs the resort are lovely people and will make you feel right at home.

Keep in mind that you're in a remote location and in the middle of nature. This place is nice, but it's not the Four Seasons. There's no AC in the bungalows and the shower water is brackish. But that's what should be expected of an eco resort. All bungalows are overwater and quite large, with wonderful verandas looking out to the water.

The food is good, and plentiful. It's buffet style and most of the tables are communal style, which is nice for solo travelers. My only complaint from my whole stay is that my severe food allergy (Celiac/gluten) wasn't accommodated well. I can't fault the kitchen staff too much though because most people don't really understand what it means to be 100% gluten free (with no cross contamination.) I was told they understood and could accommodate gluten free, and at my first meal I was offered pasta. Then I was offered something with soy sauce. Once we figured out that I would need someone to read and translate all the food labels, it wasn't an issue. I should emphasize that this won't affect the majority of people, but for someone with a serious allergy, it's a little frustrating.

I would not hesitate to recommend Papua Explorers, and if I went back to Raja Ampat I would stay here again.

Visited on 03/2016 - Submitted on 11/02/2016
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S/Y Fiji Siren

5
5
5
5

I was on the Fiji Siren in Feb. 2014 and loved it! The Nai'a is also an excellent choice but there are some differences between the two, and I think I would give Siren the slight edge, though my reasons for doing so may be different from what you're looking for.

Cabins: The cabins on the Fiji Siren are really nice and have more floor space than most liveaboards I've been on. I really like the wood floors vs. having carpet which inevitably ends up smelling like mildew. The mattresses are comfortable, and the bathrooms are nice as well. The only complaint I have is because it's all wood, it sounds creaky at night.

Food: Yum! I have a pretty restrictive food allergy, and it was well catered to. All the ingredients seemed very fresh. Fiji Siren offers all meals buffet style, which I prefer because it means you can have as much or as little as you want, and can eat it in the order in which you prefer, instead of waiting for individual courses to come out.

The Boat: This is where I really prefer the Siren to the alternatives. The Siren has a wonderful outdoor dining area with really nice lighting above. The indoor lounge is very spacious, and each guest has personal drawers for storage, not only in the galley but also on the dive deck. Speaking of, each guest has their own dive area with their tank, gear, and a few drawers to store stuff like hats, sunglasses, etc. It's a well laid-out boat with nice lighting, and it feels warm and cozy.

Guides and diving - Awesome!

Fiji is one of my favorite places to dive, and I'd recommend the Siren without hesitation!

Visited on 02/2014 - Submitted on 10/02/2015
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Nautilus Explorer Liveaboard

5
4
5
5

I went to Guadalupe on the Nautilus Explorer in September 2015. Overall, it was excellent.

Food: We had all types of food allergies on our trip (gluten, dairy, eggs, etc.) and everyone was well accommodated, and the chef paid very close attention to cross contamination. The food consisted of a continental breakfast, full cooked breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Everything was delicious and there was plenty available. It was some of the best food I've had on a liveaboard.

Cabins: I like the fact that the double cabins are side by side beds, not bunks. There's plenty of storage space. By comparison to most other liveaboards, the cabin are a decent size. The shower always had hot water and strong water pressure. The toilet was a real toilet (like you'd find in your house), not a marine toilet. The only complaint I have about the cabins (and why I gave it 4 stars instead of 5) is because the mattresses are really hard. However, I was told that you can ask them to put a comforter between the fitted sheet and the mattress, which would help.

Crew: Stellar. Every one of them. The hostesses are always around to bring you a drink, snack, or whatever you need. The crew will bend over backwards to ensure you have an amazing trip.

Diving: Great white sharks - what's not to love?!? Nautilus Explorer runs an on-time and efficient dive schedule for the submersible cages. The guys on deck are always available to help you don weights or get in/out of the surface cages.

Overall, I was very impressed with this boat and I'm already scheduled to go on Nautilus Explorer again next year.

Visited on 09/2015 - Submitted on 09/30/2015
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Blackbird Caye Resort

5
5
5
4

We chose Blackbird Caye because of it's remote location in the Turneffe Atoll, overall value, and their transfer schedule worked with our itinerary (travel to the island is on Wednesdays and Saturdays). The resort was only about half full so they upgraded us to a nicer bungalow for free. The bungalows were quite large with a nice sitting area, closet, good sized bathroom, reasonably comfortable beds, a big screened in porch with a hammock, and views of the water.

Food was served buffet style in the restaurant and featured an acceptable assortment of options. Honestly, I don't remember much about the food, which probably means it neither excellent nor horrible.

The diving and dive guides were great. Trips to the Blue Hole are done on Tuesdays but require a minimum of 6 divers. They were very flexible in accommodating the number of dives per day and sites we wanted to visit.

The only problem we encountered had to do with our transfer back to Belize City. The transfer boat broke down on the day we were supposed to leave, but they were able to get a prop plane from Maya Air to escort us. Five stars for customer service!

Blackbird Caye is excellent for those wanting to be close to some of the best dive site of Belize without breaking the bank.

Visited on - Submitted on 01/08/2014
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