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“Good Service. Helpful Staff.”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Ocean Star Express

Ocean Star Express
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
145 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
“Good Service. Helpful Staff.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 9, 2013

We used this company to go over to the Gilis from Bali and it was fine. The staff were helpful with our big bags and our child. The trip was safe and calm. On the way back we used a different company and we wished we had used Ocean Star because the ride with the other company was a bit scarey as it was a smaller boat and rocked way more than Ocean Star. I wish Ocean Star ran more than one service to allow for choice of travel time. We would use Ocean Star again on our next trip.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank vs2008vs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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68 reviews from our community

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Vilanova i la Geltru, Spain
Level Contributor
289 reviews
173 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 250 helpful votes
“Perfect travel and pick-up service. Recommended!!!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 8, 2013

I ordered my trip to Gili Trawangan with this company through my guide, so I didn't chose it by my own.... He only asked us if we wanted a cheap boat or a luxury one, and we told him that we wanted a normal one.

The price was 900.000 Rp per person and the service included go & return boat trip to Gili Trawangan from Bali, and they come to your hotel wherever you are in the island and at the return they bring you to your destiny hotel. They picked us from our Ubud hotel (Mandi Villa) and brought us back to Melia Benoa at Nusua Dua.

After knowing which company our guide has selected I investigated on the web and was a bit worried about all the negative comments of other users and was afraid that the trip would be a disaster.... but nothing of this happen.

The day of our departure they came to our hotel in Ubd (Villa Mandi) completely on time, even 5 minutes before we were told to). They came with a van and picked 6 more people from differents hotels in Ubud and directed immediately to the departure port in Padang Bai. After and hour and 30 min. of nice trip we arrived at the port. They left us in the bar were there are their offices and payed the fixed amount. If you want to pay in credit card (only Visa) you'll be charged an extra 3 per cent in cash!!!. They took care of our suitcases and we were told to wait till 9:30 when the boat would leave. We went to the port and waited for the departure time, watching for our suitcases to be loaded in the corrrect boat. Everything went OK, and on time, we left for Gili Trawangan.

The boat makes this journey: Padang Bai - Lombok - Gili Air - Gili Meno - Gili Trawangan - Padang Bai.. So the trip, after 3 short stops as the most of the passengers went to Gili Trawangan, lasted 1h 30 minutes at all. And it was very pleasant, but a bit hot because we had to shut all the windows if not the water came through them. They could have air conditioner and the trip would be great!!!. The crew was normal ... in fact, they didn't say anything at all but were very effective when arriving at port and giving us our suitcases.

The return trip to Bali was the same. The boat was on time and the trip was also pleasant.

We had no bad experience at all. The service was perfect.

When arriving at Padang Bai, there were plenty of vans waiting for us to take us to our final hotel (Kuta, Nusa Dua, Ubud...). We were left at our final hotel in Melia Benoa withouth any problem, after 2 hours driving south. The driver was serious, but a good one.

For that, I totally recommend this company. We found quality-price very proper.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Erindel66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“It was fine, nothing great, but fine.”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 25, 2013

After doing a lot of research on which boat to get to & from Gili T, they all honestly seem much the same - a mix of good and bad reviews. We ended up booking with OceanStar Express simply because they were cheaper than BlueStar. We filled out the online booking form and they replied after a couple of days confirming our 2 spots on the boat from Padang Bai to Gili T. We had to then reply and ask for them to email a confirmation voucher, which they scanned and emailed back. We paid when we arrived at Padang Bai. Our trip over was OK. The boat wasn't oversold, and we were relieved to see all our luggage safely stored in the bow of the boat, not thrown on top. The sea was choppy and the ride was anything from smooth but it was fine. The major downside (this applies to both ways) was having to close all of the windows...the splashback from the water was quite big so you end up saturated if they are open. I would have preferred to be wet and have some air but others complained and wanted the windows closed. The boat is pretty comparable to a sauna when they windows are closed. If you get seasick, I would suggest sitting as close to the back as possible so you can get up regularly to step outside for fresh air.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank c_walt84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Level Contributor
16 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Close to a life and death experience Ocean Star Express”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 22, 2013

We are just back home after a holiday in Bali and Gilli Air. Having had unpleasant experiences on boats in various other Asian countries I did loads of research before booking our tickets on Ocean Star Express. Some of my research was through Trip Advisor. Ocean Star Express seemed like a solid company to make this trip with. One of the reasons I decided to book with Ocean Star was that according to it's timetable it was one of the first boats to leave Padang Bai in the morning. And was one of the earliest to return to Padang Bai from the Gillis. My rationale was - earlier in the day the better the chance of calmer seas. To cut to the chase Ocean Star Express has, well had, 2 boats - a smaller 4 engine boat that carried around 40 people and a larger 5 engine boat that carried around 75. The organised mayhem and chaos on the wharf at Padang Bai is not unusual in Asia but disappointingly Ocean Star Express was the last boat to leave the wharf that day. More than 1 hour later than it's timetable and the booking agent assured me of. The first load of people were piled on to the first smaller boat. For some reason that frustrated me at the time my husband and I were directed to take the 2nd boat. Both boats were going to Gilli T and Gilli Air. All I can say is we were very blessed indeed. Soon after the 1st boat pulled away from the wharf there was a huge explosion on board with a fire ball travelling through the cabin blowing out the windows. The 2nd Ocean Star raced out to the first boats aid. More than an hour later the passengers on board the 1st Ocean Star were brought back to the wharf. What we all witnessed was shocking. A number of crew and passengers were terribly burnt as a result of the explosion. It was a very distressing situation. I learnt from one of the passengers on board the 1st boat that someone sitting on the roof had been thrown overboard and was only just rescued before they lost sight of him. What shocked me most was the lack of practical response to an emergency situation. Why they unloaded the whole boat before bringing back the people that had been badly burnt. Why there was only one ambulance for at least 7 if not more severely burnt people. Why they had the injured people trying to walk to the ambulance along that filthy wharf.

6 days later our return trip was also horrible. On the trip from Gilli Air to Gill T they overloaded the boat in very heavy seas, my husband and I being 2 of the dozen or so they told to sit on the roof. The swell was big with the waves crashing so high we were barely managing to hold on. It was ridiculously dangerous. The trip took an hour longer than scheduled due to the late departure (again) and heavy seas. Many passengers were horribly sea sick.

Compared to many of the other 'fast boats' Ocean Star presents visually as a reasonable looking boat. Many of the others look like they are well passed their use by date and should no longer be running as a commercial carrier.

Never again.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
11 Thank LeesaMSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Woking, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
102 reviews
51 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Better than the other boats I saw”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 17, 2013 via mobile

We used ocean star twice, generally speaking the experience was good, though not great, but when I looked at some of the other overcrowded boats with luggage on the roof I think we made a good choice. We paid 400,000Rp on the way out and 450,000Rp on the way back, booking through the hotels quoted 650,000Rp so we used an agent.

Pros
1. Decent boat which wasn't over crowded.
2. Luggage is stored safely in the bow of the boat, not on the roof.
3. The boat went to Gili Air, not all do.

Cons
1. The boat was at least an hour late in both directions.
2. Our door to door transfer only took us to our hotel because it was on the way, everyone else had to walk.
3. My girlfriends luggage very nearly went in the sea when it fell from a over packed trolly, had it not been for the porter grabbing it at the last second it would have gone in.
4. On the Gilis the boat uses the beach not the pier.
5. On the return leg the boat was over sold and they tried to convince us to get on another boat which went to a different port on Bali which would have meant a much longer drive at the other end, we refused.

Generally the ride was rough but that stretch of sea is known for it so all boats will be that way. Don't sit on the roof unless you have a death wish. I would use them again.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank rrddaa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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