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Putri Papua dive boat - divers beware

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#1 Kraken de Mabini

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 08:56 AM

 Grand Komodo (aka Komodo Alor Dive) operates the MV Putri Papua and 4 other boats out of Denpassar.  Their other boats are OK or semi OK.
  But divers beware of the MV PutriPapua; it is a horrible boat, small, very cramped cabins, antiquated impractical Phinisi hull design, glass-slippery decks, small motor, poorly maintained, with rats and cockroaches on-board. A rat bit one of the divers at night, ate the candies of another. 
 Plus the motor exhaust contaminates the air.  I was on it two years ago and had a bad cough all the time on board, the cough went away the same day we landed.  Also I slipped on the deck and got a concussion.  I wrote the owners, who did not reply.


A close friend, well known in the underwater photography world, phoned me yesterday, his trip to the Alor island chain was a 'disaster' in his words.  During terrible weather in the open ocean the Putri Papua's engine room flooded through a failed porthole, the spare pumps were rusted and did not work, terrified crew with buckets bailed it out. It goes from there, he's lucky to be alive.  


The owners know this and yet continue to foist this awful boat on the public.   

#2 singkwan



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Posted 17 October 2018 - 07:22 AM

Wow sounds like a really bad experience. In no way am I refuting your experience, but I did actually do a trip on that very boat in Raja Ampat during New years last year. Maybe I have low standards, but I actually had a good experience. Boat is small (max maybe 10 divers?) but diving was good, food was pretty tasty and crew were professional and attentive. Didn't have (maybe fortunately?) any issues with rats or rodents during the trip, and seemed to be recently spruced up a bit on the interiors. Had an issue with a leaky air conditioner one night, but that was about it. 


Just to make it clear I am in no way funded/affiliated with the company, just wanted to share at least my personal experience. Can see some of the photos on my IG: https://www.instagra...an_photography/(got to scroll back quite a bit) 

#3 Ikan Gurita

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 03:18 PM

I am very sorry that your experience with the Putri Papua was so negative. My wife and I have done 25 dive trips with to Indonesia with Grand Komodo since 2001, many of them in that boat. We do not have any affiliation/funding with their company, simply we have been returning to them because the excellent service they have provided consistently for us and our guests. We have written many positive reviews in Undercurrent and other blogs over the years.


Their boats are small, we like that because we prefer small groups, sometimes we have been the only passengers. The cabins are small but clean and we have found them confortable. The Phinisi hull design is old but not antiquated, a majority of liveaborads in Indonesia share it. The company regularly fumigate their boats and take precautions to avoid rodents or other pests from climbing aboard when in the harbor. Frankly, we live in a semitropical area and know well how difficult it sometimes is to keep pests at bay and they do a good job.


The Putri has rubber mats glued to the deck in diving areas, but fall are always possible in such a wet environment. I have had some falls myself but mostly due to inattention on my part or sudden sea surges. They always encourage all the guest to report any accidents on board to the cruise director to evaluate the care needed. Being a physician I have been happy to help some times when needed.


We have always found that the engine has been powerful enough to deal with the currents of that part of Indonesia, it appears to be well maintained as well as the compressors and all other boat equipment. Nobody has had "bad air" during any of our trips


The only time that we have heard a guest complaining of engine exhaust smell was from my brother in law 13 years ago on a particularly difficult crossing to Wakatobi.The crew was able to minimize. Possibly they might have helped if you told them.


Regarding your friend's experience, we have done the trip Alor-Banda-Raja Ampat several times in both directions and know how rough the crossing to Gunung Api and Banda can get. Since we are going on the Putri again in a few moths, I contacted the owners who explained what happened to my satisfaction. Portholes or pump failures may happen in any boat during extremely bad weather (that prevented other liveaboards from sailing) but the captain and crew dealt with the situatione fficiently and brought their divers safely to port. My understanding is that when they rejected alternative places to dive, they were refunded their money, which is not common in the liveaboard industry. 


Again we are sorry you had a bad trip with GK but felt that other members were entitled to read about our different experience with the company and the boat.