- Number of Dives/Site selection:Each itinerary outlined the approximate number of dives planned for each cruise destination. This is always subject to weather conditions and security/safety issues. Dive site selection detailed in the published itinerary is subject to change by the Captain or Cruise Director without prior notice. There are numerous fantastic sites in all the areas we visit and our objective is to take you to the best of the best ! Repeat guests – we’ll take you to some new sites or more of those you really love!
- What diver certification level is needed for diving in Indonesia? :Everyone is welcome on board, no matter what level your certification. Dive groups and site selection will be chosen to meet your safety, comfort and diving ability – and is subject to the discretion of the Cruise Director. Our professional dive crew will take you on the easy route or to another site if you don’t like currents. If you are up for it, we’ll take you right into it for all the action the site offers ! You may wish to bring a reef hook for some dive sites or buy one on board.
- Dive Guides and Diver Safety:Our experienced dive crew would be delighted to assist you. Divers are welcome to dive with their buddy on sites deemed suitable by the Cruise Director. For diver safety the use of individual dive computers is mandatory for all divers. Nitrox fills and courses are available on board to enhance your diving safety. Please allow 24 hours between last dive and flying. Guests are requested to show diving certification cards on checking in and are strongly recommended to have valid dive insurance (Padi, Dan or equivalent).
- Departure and Arrival Times:
- Bali Departures: Boarding time at Benoa Passenger Pier at Benoa Harbour Bali is between 13:00-15:00 hours for our 16:00 hour departure. Final cruise departure time is subject to guest arrival times. Please liaise with Mermaid Liveaboards if your flight times cannot fit this schedule. Transfers from/to the airport or hotels in the south are free of charge. From destinations in central and northern Bali, there is a small charge. Please refer to the price list.
- Guests arriving before 12 noon on departure day will be transferred to Mermaid Liveaboards guest lounge at All 4 Diving Bali at Sanur Beach where you can leave your luggage in safety till boarding transfer at 14:00 hours. After meeting the friendly crew at All 4 Diving you can relax on the beach, enjoy a massage, and go sight-seeing or shopping till 14:00 hours when you will be transferred to the vessel.
- Bali Transfer Times:
12:30 – Nusa Dua, Ullawatu, Canggu, Kerobokan
13:00 Jimbaran, Seminyak
13:30 Kuta Beach, Legian
14:00 Sanur Beach
12:00 Candi Desa, Padangbai, Ubud
– The time is to be advised for other locations in Bali
– If you are making your own way to the port – please let us know at least 2 weeks prior to the cruise. Boarding time for “own transport” guests is 13:00-14:00 hours please.
- Maumere Flores Transfer Times: We will meet all flights and bring you straight to the vessel on cruise departure day or from your hotel by approx.12 noon. Guests are recommended to arrive one day prior, to enjoy the beauty of the surrounding area and to be sure you can make your cruise connection. Why not visit the Three Colour Lakes in the craters of Keli Mutu volcano! Please contact us on [email protected] to assist you with hotel, flight and transfers.
- Lembeh – Manado Transfer Times: This cruise does not focus on Lembeh so it is a great idea to combine a Lembeh land based dive trip with your cruise for the best of the best ! We will meet you at the airport or your hotel in Manado City area by 12pm to transfer to the vessel on cruise departure date. Or if you are staying in Lembeh, we will coordinate the best method to collect you and advise. If you arrive early why not dive Bunaken or Bangka islands or Lembeh or take a highland tour to visit local flower market and lunch in a restaurant located above Tondano Lake. Feel free to contact us at [email protected] for any assistance. Transfers from/to the airport and within Manado city are free of charge. Price on application for other locations.
- Ambon Transfer Times: We will co-ordinate with you for your arrival or departure transferring you from/to the airport or from/to your hotel within the Ambon city limits.
- Sorong Raja Ampat Transfer Times: Sorong Raja Ampat Transfer Times: Transfers: please note guests will be collected from their hotels at 12 noon for transfer to the boat. Guests flying in same day as boat departure days will be collected from airport and taken directly to boat. However we encourage guests to arrive the day prior. This it is a good safety buffer for delays/luggage issues. There are several reasonable hotels in Sorong plus there are some wonderful island retreats around and about that you may wish to stay at before or after your cruise. We are happy to assist with ground transport, accommodations, resort stays/local diving, air fares etc. Please contact [email protected]
- Domestic Flights: The majority of local flights need to be booked in Indonesia. Some airlines accept internet bookings such as Silk Air and Lion Air and surely more will come on line too. However we are happy to assist [email protected] and we only add a nominal service fee to cover admin fees. Guests are strongly advised to arrive at least 1 day prior to their cruise to avoid any delays.
- Water Temperature and Wetsuit recommendations:
- Bali-Komodo-Bali: The Flores Sea with its usually clear blue waters, great visibility has water temperatures of approx. 26-28 degrees (northern dive locations) with most guests comfortable with a 3-5mm long. The Sumba Sea (southern dive locations) has an average temperature of approx. 24 degrees – the awesome diving lets you forget about the cooler waters! Think about a 5mm long possibly adding a vest or renting a shorty to go over the top if you feel the cold. Hood, gloves and booties are strongly recommended for these cooler waters. The Alor region can also share some surprisingly cool waters like Komodo so a thicker suit is recommended and we have rentals available on board.
- Raja Ampat/Misool area : The water temperature around the 4 Kings of Raja Ampat and Misool area is 28-30 degrees Celsius year round. We recommend a 3 mm long wetsuit. If you get chilly, maybe a vest for under you suit.
- Biodiversity Special: Water temperatures will range between 26-30 degrees Celsius. We have a selection of long and short wetsuits on board which you can rent if you are cold or change into if you are too warm in your suit.
- Equipment on board: Rental is charged on a per diving day basis. Full rental equipment is available. Dive computers are mandatory – 1 per diver. Please advise your rental equipment needs including sizes when you book. Both vessels carry mostly 12 litre tanks plus some15 litre tanks available. There is no additional cost for a 15 litre tank or 15 litre nitrox fill – however it is subject to availability and the Cruise Director’s discretion as to who needs the larger tanks on each cruise. Tank valves are international and some DIN adapters are available on board. Any dive equipment failure or loss will require you to rent a replacement from Mermaid Liveaboards at our published rates. If Mermaid Liveaboard equipment is lost/damaged, full replacement cost will be charged at the discretion of the Cruise Director. Published equipment prices are available on board.
- Camera Stations: There are several large tables on the dive deck with many rinse containers for small to super large camera/video setups. There are charging stations in every cabin plus throughout the the saloon area. Usually our dive crew will have a laptop available in case you experience any problems with yours. As possible, we also offer a DVD burning service in case you cannot bring your laptop with you.
- Electrical current and plugs: 220 volts is standard throughout the boat. 110v adapters are available. Please ask the Tour Leader on boarding if you are not sure what to use. We have a few adapters on board. The cabins can handle both the following plug types:
- Meals:Our Thai cook is excellent, preparing a variety of Thai, Indonesian and Western dishes. Please advise any special meal requirements on the guest information form.
- Currency:Please pay all on board costs in € Euros, $ US or Indonesian Rupiah. We can also accept Visa and Master credit card payment for all on board costs. We suggest you also have some rupiah for souvenir shopping, massages, small items etc. Exchange rates vary throughout Indonesia – the further away from Bali the lower the exchange rate. The airport’s rate is lower than the rate you find at most small currency exchanges in Bali. Bank rates are low and take a long time. $ US and € Euros are accepted by the souvenir sellers in the Komodo National Park but rupiah is preferred. There are several currency exchange services and ATM machines near Mermaid Liveaboards in Sanur and in all areas we cruise. Have a plentiful supply of rupiah for the more exotic cruises as the local villagers will come to the vessels with affordable and magical souvenirs you will not be able to resist.
- Crew Tips/Gratutity: Our Boat and Dive Crews will try very hard to deliver a high level of service, safety and professionalism tempered with lots of fun to optimize your holiday. Many of our guests use 5-10% of the cruise price as a tipping guideline. Tipping is voluntary and most appreciated!
- Luggage and what should I bring: All luggage will be taken on board.
For Komodo cruise only: if you have large bags you do not need on the trip, please arrange to leave at your hotel if possible or at Mermaid Liveaboards office in Sanur.
Other items you may need on board are bathing suits, shorts, t-shirts, sunscreen, mosquito repellant and a light weight jacket or sweater. Good walking shoes for your time in Komodo National Park and for hiking to view points and also walking through the jungles in search of the wondrous Bird of Paradise in Raja Ampat (Trainers are fine – slip on sandals not recommended).
- Can I be contacted while on board:Both our vessels are equipped with state of the art satellite phone systems. The numbers are Mermaid I – IDD code +870 773 185 631 and for Mermaid II IDD code + 882 167 606 0453Guests can keep in touch with the families and loved ones at many points throughout their cruises via mobile phone and the Tour Leader will advise when signal is available. For added security, please note the satellite number and share with families and friends as the phones are on 24/7. Incoming calls and outgoing calls are available for a nominal fee of euros €3 per minute. If there is any difficulty getting through, please don’t hesitate to call our Hotline Number English +62 81 337 778 077 and Indonesian + 62 811 386 940 and we will assist you
- Insurance: You need 2 types of insurance when planning your dive holiday1) Diving insurance is strongly recommended due to the high cost for you should you have a diving accident and require hospitalization and/or hyperbaric chamber care. Please contact www.diversalertnetwork.org to check which Dan area can cover you. Click on About Dan for links to all the Dan organizations around the world.2) General travel/cancellation insurance. There are several companies around the world that can assist and one we can suggest is www.worldnomads.com for reliable and professional service recommended by The Lonely Planet.Please note: If you are unable to make your dive trip and the date has past our cancellation terms and conditions we are very sorry but regardless of the circumstances we cannot refund or transfer to another date.
- Medical Assistance:We cruise to remote areas however we are prepared to handle most accident or medical emergencies. Mermaid’s management team is available 24 hours a day via our satellite communications to expedite tried and tested emergency evacuation plans to the nearest recompression chamber and/or hospital in Bali or Makasaar or the nearest available chamber. Our dive crews are first aid trained and we have an extensive first aid kit on board plus loads of emergency oxygen. Please bring any of your own medications that you may need. You can help as well by making sure you are in good condition for diving – prevention is always better than the cure. Please remember to dive safely and to make sure your Dan Diver’s Alert Network or other dive insurance is up to date.
Guests over the age of 75 are required to provide medical clearance to dive assessed within 1 month prior to the set cancellation terms if any refund will be required.
Malaria: Raja Ampat area
There is malaria in the region for the Raja Ampat cruise – this area is around the equator and we recommend you discuss this with your doctor. Certainly when we walk in the jungle early mornings you will need to cover up well and also use mosquito repellant. We have a supply on board but suggest you bring your preferred brands. And from the Raja Ampat Tourism Association: Papua is a malaria area and you are advised to take precautions and follow the advice from your local health centre. Note that the medication Lariam has limited effectiveness in this area due to a resistant strain of Malaria and is not recommended. Alternatives could be Malarone or doxicycline.
Malaria – Komodo area
Generally speaking basic precautions such as covering at dawn/dusk and using mosquito repellent for land tours is satisfactory. If you are in doubt whatsoever, please liaise with your doctor.
- Children’s Policy: Diving child 10 years or older – pays full diver price. Non diving child 12 years or older – pays full non diver rate. Child 12 years or under – non diving – pays 50% of diver rate if shares with 2 parents/guardians Child 12 years and under – non diving – pays full non diver rate if sharing with only 1 parent/guardian. Parents/guardians have to be with the child at all times. If both parents want to dive and the child remains on board, we will hire an additional dive crew – at euros 40 per day x total number of cruise diving days – at the parent’s cost to supervise the child’s activities only while the parents/guardians are in the water. Please give a minimum of 4 weeks’ notice to arrange this service.
- I want to dive and visit and see and do…: There is loads of excellent diving in and around your holiday destination as well. Mola Mola season in Bali is mainly from August to early October but starts as early as June – plan at least 2 days for Nusa Penida for a chance to see these magnificent creatures. Contact your agent for special Liveaboard + local diving/accommodation packages. Detail how many days/diving days you would like, what class accommodation and we our Travel Team who will recommend and arrange a hassle free package to suit you [email protected]
- Mermaid Liveaboards- special offers and guest loyalty programmes: please contact [email protected] to find out about any last minute offers, special programmes and repeat guest discounts for direct guests.