First and foremost I have to say this may have been one of the best family vacation we have ever taken. I highly recommend anyone with diving or non diving plans to consider chartering the Cajoma 3 vessel for a visit to one of the most amazing places in the world. Some highlights include; crystal clear diving sites, pristine pink beaches all for ourselves, beautiful hills and isolated islands as well as the Komodo dragons. Now for a more detailed review; the 4days/3night sailing cruise booking was done through the Dive Indonesia network with Dhinny and Abun as my primary contact. The rate provided I think is very competitive. Sometimes it takes them a few days to respond, but I attribute this to having many clients as a probable cause. Otherwise it was a very pleasant, hassle free experience. Travel from Bali (where we started our vacation) to Labuan Bajo was a short an hour or so flight. Tour guide Pak Fauzi with a very comfortable new Mini Bus was on hand to pick us up at the airport for a short 10 minutes drive down to the port. The vessel Cajoma 3 is perfect for 8 people. Very clean and well appointed. Each of the 3 bedrooms had its own very clean shower and toilet. The one I took with my boys were on the main deck and was close to the generator but it was still very comfortable with a/c that was set just right. Dhinny and Dive Indonesia had been informed that we had 2 children and 2 teenagers and pak Fauzi as the our great tour guide really looked after the kids well and clearly planned the itinerary to ensure the kids as well as adults would get the most out of the trip. The crew was just absolutely wonderful with taking care of us. Yanto the master chef always had some snacks even before breakfast, lunch and dinner was always plentiful, tasty and varied. Capt Rudi was also always on hand to help with trekking and just keeping the teenagers engaged with nature. Our dive guide Marcello 'Jlo' was very attentive, safety oriented and provided excellent detailed dive briefing. Although I was the only diving guest out of 8 people we were able to get some diving without sacrificing the non-diving itinerary - this was not an easy task and I really commend the Cajoma 3 tour guide, Jlo and Capt Rudi for collaborating together to make this happen. First evening was sunset at Kalong island where we watched sunset along with thousands of bats coming out for their night forage - quite a spectacular scene. Overnight here and then morning sail to Padar island. If you have a drone you better make sure you have enough charged batteries and memory card because this is one location you really do not want to miss taking aerial videos of. The off to a practically empty pink (really really pink) beach that seems to exist in a dream - kids did not want to leave this beach. Diving was done at Pink Beach (check dive), Batu Bolong and Taka Maksasar, claimed to be the 3rd biggest reef in the world. Taka Makassar is also where a small patch of sand (Pulau Gosong) is always visible and while there were some other people there, there weren't that many and within a few hours it was a completely empty patch of sand. The Komodo island is where you get to see a living Dinasour the Komodo lizard or some would call dragon. It was mating season so most of them was in the woods, but it did not take us 10 minutes to spot one and then another. You must follow the naturalist guides here as these animals are ambush predators and are known to actually have venom gland and bacteria infused saliva. One the 3rd day we visited nearby Gili Lawa for one of the best sunset you can ever see before our nightly stop over. On the last day before heading back to Labuan Bajo pak Fauzi decided to do one more Manta search around Taka Makassar because we did not spot them the previous day and after about 15 minutes we did spot them and quickly into the water for some snorkeling gopro shots of around 5 Mantas. After our final lunch off to Labuan Bajo to catch our flight home. Overall this was an awesome experience from booking, accommodation, boat, crew, food, sites and locations, diving and chilling out.
Will be back on the ship difinitely! The crews were attentive n experienced, incl on the sea condition as our guide for snorkling to see shark, stingray, turtles, beautiful fish, dolphins besides our designated instructor we hired. The small boat for hopping was also excellent. We can order food what we want sometime. Towels of diff sizes are ready. Bedrooms were tidied up every morning. On the last day the crew opened up the sail for us to get photographed upon our request. Only small problems occured such as water system were dead, but the crew fixed it in no time. Only be aware of the noise of generator in the bedroom. But this was no problem cuz I eventually slept on the deck, while my friends stayed in the bedroom n did not get bothered by the noise. What a heavenly experienced with a spectacular sea view of Flores sea.
This is the first time we spend our holiday in a ship. We sail and hop from one island to another. Let me start with good things. First and foremost is the service. The crews listen to what we need and try their best to fulfill it. The next one is the space, which is plentiful. In addition to bedrooms, we have two open decks we can use for whatever we want, actually including dining, napping and sleeping. Things they need to improve firstly is the quality of raw materials for foods. Mostly, they use frozen ones that decrease the quality of the foods. What amazes us is they use frozen fish while fresh is plenty in town. Secondly, cleanliness. They need to pay attention to details while cleaning, not just sweep and mop. They need also to provide plenty of towels: small, regular and beach, and should replace them everyday. Remember, we practically "live" there for three days. Everything we need to "live" should be provided. I can keep writing and writing to give this ship inputs, but given limited space, those are our impression. Please improve to attract more tourists.
Booked the 6d5n trip through Dive Indonesia and it ended up to be one of the best LOB ihave ever experienced.
The Vessel -- Beautifully built Pinishi vessel, very steady sailing, no one throw up / seasick during the entire trip. The open air deck is a great place to soak up some sun and looking into the milky way at night . All facilities are in working condition. The crew were fantastic, helpful and very accommodative. F&B is of local & western mix buffet style.
The Diving -- We are blessed with 2 very experienced DM Nun & Rama who guided us safely through some very strong current of Komodo. We enjoyed it so much.
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