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Raja Ampat liveaboard recommendations

raja ampat liveaboard indonesia

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#1 travelnurse777

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Posted 23 January 2017 - 03:37 AM

Hello,

 

I am looking for recommendations for a liveaboard in Raja Ampat for Jan/Feb of 2018. I do see that singledivers is organizing a trip in October of 2018, it is just very difficult for me to commit that far down the road. 

 

A little about me - 30 something year old avid traveler, relatively novice diver. I will probably get my advanced open water and have logged a total of 50 or so dives by the time I am in Raja. 

 

What I am looking for - I am pretty set on diving Raja Ampat, most likely a 10-12 night liveaboard out of Sorong, as part of a probably 3 week trip to Indonesia. I will be traveling alone. While a luxurious experience is not important, I am looking for a safe, knowledgeable, and friendly crew/boat...an easy going atmosphere towards a "less hardcore diver" wouldn't hurt ; P. I would like the creature comforts of an aircon room and ensuite toilet/shower. While I am definitely budget oriented, it is a long to go to dive so I am willing to invest the money to maximize the experience. 

 

Any advice, recommendations, or input is greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time! 


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#2 ScubaTex

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Posted 23 January 2017 - 10:20 AM

​First, welcome to SingleDivers.com, I think you'll find a fun group of dedicated divers here, who will be happy to give you their 2 psi of advice.

 

​You've picked one of my favorite spots in the world, Raja Ampat, to dive, although I admit the bucket is still full of places I haven't been. I will be making my third trip to Raja Ampat/Indonesia for the Oct. 2018 SD trip. My first trip, Oct. 2008, was land based in southern Raja Ampat for 12 days, I saw 2 liveaboards during my stay. I returned in Feb/Mar 2013, on 2 different boats. There were 10 liveaboards in the same area on the same day!!! Before the 2013 trip I spent days searching different liveaboards, for accommodations, schedule, availability, price, etc., before I could put together an itinerary. The biggest problem is availability, most are chartered/booked as much as 2 years in advance, primarily to groups [ex.-a dive club from Belgium 9,  a pair of Dr. couples from Spain, my daughter & I]. I agree with you concerning the length of stay, at least 10 days, there's so much to see. Suggestion, become more of a 'hard core diver', you don't know what you'll miss if you decide to skip a dive [wobbegong shark, manta, etc], and absolutely make all the night dives offered [epaulette walking shark, etc].

 

Besides the all of the diversity of fish, corals and pelagics, there's one thing which bring these all together, the combination of currents of the Pacific & Indian Oceans. The variety of the different types of dive sites; walls, pinnacles, muck, present different challenges/techniques for divers. What do you do when, you see your bubbles not going up on your safety stop??? What fin technique do you use when muck diving??? Are you comfortable diving from a zodiac type dighy??

 

​There are probably at least 20 boats which schedule cruises to Raja Ampat, some are affiliated with some of the world wide operations - Siren, Aggressor - most are independently owned - some are motor yachts - most are - phinisi-s - a motorized sailing yacht [will 'show' their sails once during the cruise]. Cost will probably range from $3,000-$8,000 [but be prepared to be priced/pay in Euros] for a 10-12 day cruise. You can do a search for 'Raja Ampat liveaboards' and numerous 'agency' websites, that provide information on a number of boats and booking services. As I've said you can spend days [dazed] at a computer screen trying to find the one that appears to suit your needs, only to discover it's already 'full'.

 

​You've made the decision to dive, what some would declare as, 'the worlds best diving', you might as well go all the way, and go on a great boat, Damai II, October 2018. I'll be on the cruise, and I'm planning on making some other stops in Indonesia, both before and after. If you or anyone else is interested, you can join me.

 

 


Time on earth is precious, time underwater even more so. Live life one day at a time. Dive your @$$ off!!!


#3 Cmdr. Clownfish

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Posted 23 January 2017 - 10:24 AM

Hello,

 

I am looking for recommendations for a liveaboard in Raja Ampat for Jan/Feb of 2018. I do see that singledivers is organizing a trip in October of 2018, it is just very difficult for me to commit that far down the road. 

 

A little about me - 30 something year old avid traveler, relatively novice diver. I will probably get my advanced open water and have logged a total of 50 or so dives by the time I am in Raja. 

 

What I am looking for - I am pretty set on diving Raja Ampat, most likely a 10-12 night liveaboard out of Sorong, as part of a probably 3 week trip to Indonesia. I will be traveling alone. While a luxurious experience is not important, I am looking for a safe, knowledgeable, and friendly crew/boat...an easy going atmosphere towards a "less hardcore diver" wouldn't hurt ; P. I would like the creature comforts of an aircon room and ensuite toilet/shower. While I am definitely budget oriented, it is a long to go to dive so I am willing to invest the money to maximize the experience. 

 

Any advice, recommendations, or input is greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time! 

 

IF money is the issue, please ask Kamala about her delayed payment program where you pay a deposit and then make partial payments to pay off the rest of the trip.  You may have a difficult time finding a trip that soon.  You typically have to book 18-24 months in advance.



#4 WreckWench

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Posted 23 January 2017 - 03:42 PM

Hello and :welcome: We have chosen Dive Damai and this will be our 3rd trip on this amazing vessel. I have placed a number of individuals on the boat and have rec'd exceptional feedback from them on how great they took care of them ...even with only about 50 dives and how they ensured that they did not have a diminished experience because they did not have hundreds of dives...or worse...they felt out manned by a boat full of extremely seasoned divers.  In fact they said the boat so loved our group that if anything they felt like they got extra special care and attention. Of course they also have a 1 guide to 3 diver ratio and 2 to 1 total staff ratio which helps make you feel EXTRA SPECIAL.

 

I can check to see if they have space for that timeframe for you and if not whomelse they would recommend. But you should really do the best you can for such an epic trip.



Contact me directly at Kamala@SingleDivers.com for your private or group travel needs or 864-557-6079 AND don't miss SD's 2018-2021 Trips! ....here! Most are once in a lifetime opportunities...don't miss the chance to go!!
SD Forms & Documents.... here !

Click here TO PAY for Merchandise, Membership, or Travel
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#5 WreckWench

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Posted 23 January 2017 - 03:44 PM

Please note that we do have 1 male spot left on our trip and a number of 30 somethings on the boat of all experience levels so you *would* fit right in. kamala



Contact me directly at Kamala@SingleDivers.com for your private or group travel needs or 864-557-6079 AND don't miss SD's 2018-2021 Trips! ....here! Most are once in a lifetime opportunities...don't miss the chance to go!!
SD Forms & Documents.... here !

Click here TO PAY for Merchandise, Membership, or Travel
"Imitation is the sincerest flattery." - Gandhi
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Kamala Shadduck c/o SingleDivers.com LLC
2234 North Federal Hwy, #1010 Boca Raton, FL 33431
formerly...
710 Dive Buddy Lane; Salem, SC 29676
864-557-6079 tel/celfone/office or tollfree fax 888-480-0906

#6 travelnurse777

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Posted 24 January 2017 - 07:15 AM

Thank you all for the warm welcome! I didn't expect to get so much feedback in such a short time. So first off thank you all for taking the time to contribute, very helpful and much appreciated. 

 

@Scuba Tex - Great insight. Def one of the reasons I am trying to get down to raja soon is I know more and more dive operations are putting pressure on the area. In regards to my diving skill level,  I am looking at taking a closer dive trip in the early Fall to help increase my dive competency and comfort before heading down to Raja. My previous experience was about 25-30 dives in cold water when I was younger. More recently, I did a week of diving in Palau and am ashamed to say I am pretty hooked on the warm water diving....aaamazing. 

 

@Cmdr Clowfish - surprisingly, a lot of the boats I have contacted have availability for the Jan/Feb time frame. Money isn't really the issue, my hesitation with the October trip has more to do with work, time off....and that desire of more instant gratification haha. I work per diem at a couple places now so I pretty much make my own schedule. However, Oct 2018 might be a very different case, as such I am not sure how much flexibility I will have with time off.  

 

@WreckWench - great feedback about Damai. I have seen some other good reviews of the company and it is nice to get that confirmed. I actually have already reached out to them re Jan/Feb trips and they are pretty open. Where as before I wasn't really considering the oct 2018 trip, I won't lie that you have at least stirred up my interest regarding the trip now. With that said...best way to contact you privately regarding the trip? PM..email? 

 

Again, thank you everyone for the warm welcome and feedback! 



#7 Cmdr. Clownfish

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Posted 24 January 2017 - 07:52 AM

Thank you all for the warm welcome! I didn't expect to get so much feedback in such a short time. So first off thank you all for taking the time to contribute, very helpful and much appreciated. 

 

@Scuba Tex - Great insight. Def one of the reasons I am trying to get down to raja soon is I know more and more dive operations are putting pressure on the area. In regards to my diving skill level,  I am looking at taking a closer dive trip in the early Fall to help increase my dive competency and comfort before heading down to Raja. My previous experience was about 25-30 dives in cold water when I was younger. More recently, I did a week of diving in Palau and am ashamed to say I am pretty hooked on the warm water diving....aaamazing. 

 

@Cmdr Clowfish - surprisingly, a lot of the boats I have contacted have availability for the Jan/Feb time frame. Money isn't really the issue, my hesitation with the October trip has more to do with work, time off....and that desire of more instant gratification haha. I work per diem at a couple places now so I pretty much make my own schedule. However, Oct 2018 might be a very different case, as such I am not sure how much flexibility I will have with time off.  

 

@WreckWench - great feedback about Damai. I have seen some other good reviews of the company and it is nice to get that confirmed. I actually have already reached out to them re Jan/Feb trips and they are pretty open. Where as before I wasn't really considering the oct 2018 trip, I won't lie that you have at least stirred up my interest regarding the trip now. With that said...best way to contact you privately regarding the trip? PM..email? 

 

Again, thank you everyone for the warm welcome and feedback! 

 

Got it.  My work is essentially the same as yours in that regard right now.  Lots of freedom but lots of days with no income also.  As far as the availability, the less attractive/safe ones will have more availability.  This part of the world is not a place you want a lesser vendor.  The better ones probably have some right now but you never know for sure.  They have waiting lists and it changes daily.  Tex would know more how that works.

 

Another thing to keep in mind if you are booking by yourself is you may be the ONLY American on board.  Liveaboards can be sketchy that way. Booking with Kamala is safer in that regard.



#8 dive_sail_etc

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Posted 24 January 2017 - 09:08 AM

Thank you all for the warm welcome! I didn't expect to get so much feedback in such a short time. So first off thank you all for taking the time to contribute, very helpful and much appreciated. 

 

@Scuba Tex - Great insight. Def one of the reasons I am trying to get down to raja soon is I know more and more dive operations are putting pressure on the area. In regards to my diving skill level,  I am looking at taking a closer dive trip in the early Fall to help increase my dive competency and comfort before heading down to Raja. My previous experience was about 25-30 dives in cold water when I was younger. More recently, I did a week of diving in Palau and am ashamed to say I am pretty hooked on the warm water diving....aaamazing. 

 

@Cmdr Clowfish - surprisingly, a lot of the boats I have contacted have availability for the Jan/Feb time frame. Money isn't really the issue, my hesitation with the October trip has more to do with work, time off....and that desire of more instant gratification haha. I work per diem at a couple places now so I pretty much make my own schedule. However, Oct 2018 might be a very different case, as such I am not sure how much flexibility I will have with time off.  

 

@WreckWench - great feedback about Damai. I have seen some other good reviews of the company and it is nice to get that confirmed. I actually have already reached out to them re Jan/Feb trips and they are pretty open. Where as before I wasn't really considering the oct 2018 trip, I won't lie that you have at least stirred up my interest regarding the trip now. With that said...best way to contact you privately regarding the trip? PM..email? 

 

Again, thank you everyone for the warm welcome and feedback! 

Hello Patrick and welcome to our community of great buddyless divers. The others have fleshed out this discussion so I will simply add Kamala may be reached by the email address in her signature line, kamala@singledivers.com AND recommend you include your name and member name plus the trip you wish to discuss i.e. "Patrick aka travelnurse777: Raja Ampat 2018: Query" to best catch her attention. Again, welcome!


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#9 WreckWench

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Posted 24 January 2017 - 03:26 PM

Well you are experiencing what our group is all about!

 

And yes email me at kamala@singledivers.com and we can help  you get booked and probably save you some money too!  Or you can call me at 8645576079 to chat about our trip or a private booking.  Thanks! Kamala

 

Thank you all for the warm welcome! I didn't expect to get so much feedback in such a short time. So first off thank you all for taking the time to contribute, very helpful and much appreciated. 

 

@Scuba Tex - Great insight. Def one of the reasons I am trying to get down to raja soon is I know more and more dive operations are putting pressure on the area. In regards to my diving skill level,  I am looking at taking a closer dive trip in the early Fall to help increase my dive competency and comfort before heading down to Raja. My previous experience was about 25-30 dives in cold water when I was younger. More recently, I did a week of diving in Palau and am ashamed to say I am pretty hooked on the warm water diving....aaamazing. 

 

@Cmdr Clowfish - surprisingly, a lot of the boats I have contacted have availability for the Jan/Feb time frame. Money isn't really the issue, my hesitation with the October trip has more to do with work, time off....and that desire of more instant gratification haha. I work per diem at a couple places now so I pretty much make my own schedule. However, Oct 2018 might be a very different case, as such I am not sure how much flexibility I will have with time off.  

 

@WreckWench - great feedback about Damai. I have seen some other good reviews of the company and it is nice to get that confirmed. I actually have already reached out to them re Jan/Feb trips and they are pretty open. Where as before I wasn't really considering the oct 2018 trip, I won't lie that you have at least stirred up my interest regarding the trip now. With that said...best way to contact you privately regarding the trip? PM..email? 

 

Again, thank you everyone for the warm welcome and feedback! 



Contact me directly at Kamala@SingleDivers.com for your private or group travel needs or 864-557-6079 AND don't miss SD's 2018-2021 Trips! ....here! Most are once in a lifetime opportunities...don't miss the chance to go!!
SD Forms & Documents.... here !

Click here TO PAY for Merchandise, Membership, or Travel
"Imitation is the sincerest flattery." - Gandhi
"Imitation is proof that originality is rare." - ScubaHawk
SingleDivers.com...often imitated...never duplicated!

Kamala Shadduck c/o SingleDivers.com LLC
2234 North Federal Hwy, #1010 Boca Raton, FL 33431
formerly...
710 Dive Buddy Lane; Salem, SC 29676
864-557-6079 tel/celfone/office or tollfree fax 888-480-0906





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