We booked Gili Cat to travel from Bali to Gili Trawangan and back again.
It all started out ok, the driver picked us up from our hotel on time as we had planned. Once we arrived at Padang Bai for our departure we had to wait for over one hour in the beaming midday sun as 'things were running a little late'. Once we finally boarded the boat one of the team of three staff briefly instructed us in the safety protocols - quit literally 'if something goes wrong the life jackets are in here (points to overhead storage) and you jump and you swim!(followed by a giggle)'...
After 15 minutes the boat came to a stand still, in the middle of the open seas. It became clear there was an unexpected issue with an engine but nobody informed us of the situation. The three young guys working the boat began to scramble for tools and shouted at each other in Indonesian. So, now we have a boat full of people, sitting in the middle of nowhere for over 30 minutes in the hot sun. They finally got the boat running again and returned us back to Padang Bai where we were told to wait for them to get their mechanic to fix the boat. We waited for another hour during this process (now over 2hrs behind schedule).
On our return trip with Gili Cat, back to Bali, we were once again told 'things were running a little late' and were made to wait around again for 30 mins. Once boarded on to the boat we were given the same lame safety advice. After 10 minutes into the journey the driver of the boat handed the wheel over to a young lad to drive! And now the worst ever boat journey begins... Bumpy, thudding, stomach wrenching ploughing through the waves - it was obvious that this new, younger driver had no idea of how to drive the boat and how to handle the waves. People began to exclaim at how bad the journey was and at how sick they had started to feel. There were young children on board who had become quite distressed and uncomfortable - all the staff did was mumble to each other in Indonesian and laugh and joke. This continued for almost 2hrs.
The initial driver (older and more experienced) took back control of the boat just as we arrived in to Padang Bai, 2 mins before we pulled in to the harbour, making it clear to us that the other younger guy had no right to be driving the boat.
Also, the staff at the office are not very friendly, they were quite demanding and rude.
There are lots more boat transfer operators, so I would recommend using a different service. We paid 2.500.000IRP which is way too high for a service as shambolic as this.
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