I am a very satisfied and happy guest (and hopefully a repeat one). Once we decided we’d like to go on a dive safari in Bali, we contacted Bali Scuba and have no regrets. Our special requirements (two novice divers, one a teen open water PADI diver, the other much older but limited to 12-metre dives, and one snorkeler) were well catered to (at a reasonable price). We are already planning our return trip to explore other dive sites in Bali.
Communication: Very prompt replies and confirmations via email. Simon and Ivan made some helpful suggestions on maximising our trip, all questions were answered. Importantly, there were no hidden costs.
Logistics: Despite our late and delayed arrival at Denpasar we were met by the guesthouse driver. The next morning, we were picked up on time and taken to the Bali Scuba dive centre a few 100 metres from the hotel. The planning for the whole safari was meticulous and everything went according to plan. It must be quite difficult planning and organising dives for so many people to different places every day, and Bali Scuba was super efficient. We were never inconvenienced and if there were any problems like short delays we were informed in advance. The car and driver (Leo) they sent to take us on the second leg of our holiday to Ubud was very good, and we ended up booking him for our sightseeing trips from Ubud. The vans to Tulamben and Amed were very comfortable and with careful and safe drivers.
The dive centre: Clean, well-looked after equipment and gear, plenty of water to rinse your own equipment if you wished although this was taken care of by our dive master. Coffee and tea available, clean toilets (no hot water showers, but then we had that in our hotel). Our personal gear was also well looked after.
Dive sites: Given our limitations we went to sites that were safe but interesting. The little boats used in Padang Bai and Amed were really small and we were happy that the trips to the dive sites were very short ones. I can't comment on the dives, not being a diver but had a great time snorkelling off the boat in Padang Bai; didn't dare sit in the boat in Amed though, these tiny boats are used by most divers. But the snorkelling just off the beach was fantastic, large schools of jacks, several sweet lips, dory, batfish and pufferfish. The coral is beautiful. Divers should watch out for the submarine in Pandang Bai. The wreck in Tulamben is good for novice divers and snorkelers, but carrying all the equipment for the shore dive over the small smooth stones can be tricky here. Also remember to wear reef shoes as the walk to the shore from where you enter the sea though not long is rough (we walked from the Mimpi Hotel). We are looking forward to returning to explore the sea further north in Bali.
Dive staff: Our dive master is the reason why we are planning our return trip to dive with Bali Scuba. We paid Bali Scuba a surcharge to have a dedicated dive master, and although it did add to costs, it was the best thing we did. Sunny, our dive master is one of the best my son and husband have dived with. Sunny knows the dive spots well; she’s quick to learn the strengths and weaknesses of her charges and planned the dives accordingly. My husband and son were well looked after, her instructions were clear, and she was always on the lookout for their safety, especially in currents. She helped them overcome some of the problems they’ve had since they started diving with commonsense and ‘intuition’, and for this we are very grateful. My husband might now even consider completing his OWD certification and be able to dive below 12 metres. Thank you Sunny!
Accommodation: The guesthouse (Sindhu Mertah Guesthouse in Sanur) and hotel (Mimpi in Tulamben) where we stayed were reasonable for the price we paid. I have reviewed these separately. As we were on a budget, we did not ask for upgrades, but this is possible and we might choose another guesthouse when we return to dive with Bali Scuba. But then we didn’t spend much time in our rooms, and so have no complaints. A few day before our arrival Bali Scuba emailed us saying that one of the two rooms we had booked would not be available for one night as the guesthouse had overbooked. I wrote back saying that although our son could stay in our room that night I was unhappy about it as we had made our bookings well in advance. Anyway it took one email and Bali Scuba replied saying that they had spoken to Sindhu Mertha and reconfirmed our bookings for two rooms throughout our stay. This was not Bali Scuba’s mistake, and I was happy with their prompt response in resolving the issue.
Thank you Sunny and Bali Scuba for making our holiday! We will be back...
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