Chris and Pat

This boat spoils dive liveaboards anywhere else!! It was our third trip on Arenui and, as before, everything was excellent. The crew are all so helpful and friendly. Food, as always, really delicious. Debbie and Jerry are unrivalled as cruise directors. They work so hard and are always fun and smiling. Brilliant dive guides too. Boat: Beautiful cabins; super sun deck; great being able to dine up top. Comfortable everywhere on the boat. Special touches, such as chocolates on the bed during turn down; hot chocolate and hot flannel after night dives; cold flannel and very welcome cold drink after shore excursions, help to make the Arenui what it is. Diving: This was our 3rd trip with Arenui (Raja Ampat, Ambon and Komodo) and each area brings its own special and beautiful dive sites. This trip was made even more exciting because of the many mantas we saw on the first two dives at Takat Makassar. If only we had gills so we could have stayed there all day !! Debbie was our guide for all but three dives out of our 26, and we never cease to be amazed at her ability to spot tiny critters from far away – even in poor visibility. She also spots large fish before us. It was great to be a part of the naming of one of the dive sites – Frog and Catfish!! Wawan was our guide once and Ungke twice. Both of them took great care of us and were very patient (especially always-smiling Wawan!) and great at spotting critters. Crew: I cannot imagine a better crew anywhere. Putu and Ketut are brilliant – I can’t fathom how on earth they manage to create such varied dishes, with such fresh food even at the end of a 13-night trip. As for the special award carvings Putu made out of fruit and vegetables for various divers’ milestone dives, they were fabulous. Anyone would think he’d been doing them all his life! Anto and Tony are special too – always so smiling and helpful. We weren’t allowed to make our own cups of tea in the morning because one of them would take over. Budi did a wonderful job with the cabins, both morning and night. He was always there to help with dive gear before and after the dives. Tender drivers were full of fun and extremely helpful. Captain always had a smile and a few words when we passed him. Engineers kept the boat running smoothly without a hitch. Food: The main thing is it’s very easy to eat far too much, just because it’s there and is so delicious. I can’t really elaborate much more on what I said in the Crew section.
STORY: This trip was made even more interesting by the presence of Andrea Marshall and her husband. We saw loads of mantas, thanks apparently to Andrea’s firm belief that painting nail varnish on one toe on everyone’s feet, including crew would result in a mantastic dive – she was proved right again!! Her presentations on MMF and mantas were extremely interesting. Jannerman’s photographic skills are amazing and he helped many of the guests.