Raja Ampat, Jan 24-Feb 03, 2019Dive Damai has assembled the answers to some of the most Frequently Asked Questions from guests. - NOTE: SD has annotated a few items as related to OUR trip vs a general cruise.
When will I embark and disembark the vessel?
This varies according to the dive itinerary you have chosen. Dive Damai often operates in remote locations of Indonesia. In turn guests will need to take a domestic flight back to one of Indonesia’s international airport hubs. We therefore recommend that you allow yourself at least one day before and after the trip in case there are any unforeseen delays in domestic connections. Bali is a beautiful island and well serviced by international airline connections. Many choose to holiday on the island before or after a dive trip. Your travel agent can recommend accommodation or the Dive Damai team has many recommendations and suggestions if you would prefer to contact us. However, Bali is not the only hub to connect through, Manado and Makassar (in Sulawesi) are serviced from Kuala Lumpur & Singapore and can often save travel time if you choose an itinerary in eastern Indonesia and of course there is always Jakarta. Please do not hesitate to contact our concierge team for more detailed questions regarding your flight and accommodation requirements.
Under Indonesian law from June 2015 all on board payments MUST be made in Indonesian Rupiah. Credit Card- These payments may be made in cash or by credit card. If you use a credit card we will charge 3.5%. Visa and Mastercard are the best options in Indonesia but we can also accept American Express. All international tourist destinations will have credit card machines available in hotels and most restaurants. It is highly recommended to advise your provider that you are travelling abroad. Currency Exchange- We recommend exchanging currency in high street banks rather than smaller money changers. The rates are more current and the tellers less prone to miscounting. ATMs- There are many ATM’s and banks in Indonesia. These will dispense currency at a current rate of exchange. Please note that your bank may charge you for the transaction. If you choose to pay cash it is best to ensure you have enough with you before arriving at your point of embarkation as it is not always possible to obtain sufficient cash in the more remote areas of Indonesia. Tips for your crew are not included and preferred in cash of any currency to minimise tax implications for the crew.
Use of cash
If you choose to pay cash it is best to ensure you have enough with you before arriving at your point of embarkation as it is not always possible to obtain sufficient cash in the more remote areas of Indonesia. Tips for your crew are not included and preferred in cash of any currency to minimise tax implications for the crew.- WE WILL OFFER THE BANK OF KAMALA TO ASSIST WITH THIS.
What’s the visibility like, water temperatures and currents?
Visibility can vary from 5 metres to 40 metres. Our expert dive guides will always check currents, temperature and visibility prior to a dive. We dive the best dives at the best times to find the best wildlife. Go with the flow, you won’t regret it. Temperatures can vary from 30C/86F to (rarely) 17C/65F but a normal range for most areas is 26/76F to 28C/82F. A 3mm wetsuit usually suffices with a hooded vest as a backup. Take advantage of our onboard dive equipment if you are cold, this is free for our All Inclusive or Repeat guests. Currents are what make the Indonesia diving so special and can vary, the dive team will always check the current prior to a dive. If a dive is called for in a current it is because there is something extraordinary to see. If we feel that a diver’s experience is not adequate we will recommend that they sit a dive out or often the Cruise Director will personally escort the diver to ensure safety. Safety is our priority. We have years of experience in the business so please trust our judgement. We want you to come back and enjoy the experience again.
I’m an avid photographer, can I dive on my own and can I have my own guide?
All divers on our vessels will benefit from a 4-1 diver to guide ratio and we understand photographers’ desires and the way they dive. A lot of thought goes in to the formation of the groups. If you would like a private guide this can be arranged at a USD 100 a day of diving, plus the cost of flying the guide to and from the boat. Usually our guests find that with such a small diver to guide ratios this service is unnecessary. We will treat you according to your experience. We encourage you to make use of the (free) Spare Air bottles as an extra safety measure.
What power does the vessel provide and do I need to bring an adaptor?
Our vessel has both 110v and 220v power. There are many adaptors on the boat for both battery charging and also laptop computers. The standard power socket in Indonesia takes a European twoprong plug however most sockets on board are "international" and will accept almost any pin configuration.
I’m a fussy eater, can you satisfy my needs?
If you have food allergies or have a special diet please let the concierge team know in advance and we will do all we can to satisfy your tastes. Working in remote locations doesn’t really restrict our menu as we try to stock the vessels in advance and transport food regularly to the boat at the start of each trip, however much of our produce is locally grown and may be seasonal. Your comfort, pleasure and health are our priority. We will do everything in our power to ensure that your needs are met. Also, while onboard let our service staff know if you dislike anything on our menu for the day and we will be happy to make you whatever you prefer. We need your input so please be proactive in order to satisfy your desires and needs.
I like a glass of wine with dinner, is there any onboard and can I bring my own?
On our vessels beer and soft drinks and the first glass of House table wine (with dinner) are all free. We have a selection of wines by the bottle that you can purchase onboard and by prior arrangement (and with sufficient notice) we will order and ship to the boat your own selection from our suppliers in Bali. Please contact our reservations department to request the wine or spirits list. Prices for imported alcohol in Indonesia are high due to a luxury tax. We attempt to keep our prices as low as possible. It is not our goal to make money on these wines but merely to recoup our costs. If you wish to bring your own wine and spirits you are very welcome to do so. There is a limit of 1 litre per person at customs.
What toiletries should I bring?
At Dive Damai we provide our own range of unique Body Wash, Shampoo, Conditioner, Body Lotion and Hand Soap allowing you to save the time, trouble and baggage allowance for more important items. We also have hairdryers available and try to carry a stock of back up items in case you forget something important.
What is Enriched Air (Nitrox) and how can I get certified on board? - HAVE SD help you!
Enriched Air is what you get when you increase the amount of oxygen in the gas you breath from your tank. This leads to certain advantages underwater, mainly that the amount of No Decompression time you have is greatly increased when compared to diving with ordinary air, but also that there is possibly reduced diver fatigue. On Damai boats we find that over 90% of our divers feel that the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. It is possible to get certified on board the boats. You will need to purchase a book from PADI, the Enriched Air Diver Manual, which is available (with the PIC certification card) from your local dive center. Dive Damai are happy to purchase this book on your behalf and send it to the boat for your arrival. There is a small amount of study to be done from this book, then a short exam and you are ready to go. The cost of the course payable on board the boat is $125.
DIVE INSURANCE IS COMPULSORY
The boat requires dive insurance. Please see the INSURANCE tab for recommended providers. We dive in extremely remote locations. Safety is a priority and we ask you to help yourself by ensuring you have the correct travel and dive insurance for everyone’s peace of mind.
Travel and trip cancellation insurance?
Dive Damai strongly recommends trip insurance and specifically trip cancellation insurance. Indonesia lies in the middle of the Ring of Fire, a famed line of active volcanos that circle the Pacific Ocean. In recent months there has been activity in volcanos that lie relatively close to the hub of Denpasar and this has caused considerable disruption to thousands of tourists entering and leaving Indonesia, or travelling between islands. Please allow yourself extra time when booking flight schedules and check the small print of your trip insurance to avoid disappointment. Please see the INSURANCE tab for recommended providers