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Trip Report On cairns Taka Divers Den

Discussion in 'Australia' started by Madrone, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. Madrone

    Madrone Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: San Francisco
    50
    0
    0
    Hi guys, I was recently diving in Cairns and paid a ton to go on a 3 night liveaboard on a boat named Taka operated by Divers Den. I have been diving all over the world on all kind of dive boats and always had an amazing time. Ive been on funky boats and always had fun, and met great people

    This trip was a nightmare. I was originally going to do a Cod Hole trip liveaboard but my date I wanted was cancelled so I opted to do this, huge mistake.

    I was assigned a cabin 9b that was so small you had to put your bag on the other bunk to close the door, it was damp, smelly, really hot and stuffy. The door could not close properly. It just long enough for the bunks and about 2 feet standing room near the door and the bunk tapering on an angle to a few inches wide, and nothing in it besides the bunk bed. I was in this tiny space alone thank goodness otherwise Im not sure how it would of worked. There were no drawers cupboards or shelves. The only way to open the door was to put the bag on my bunk, thats the first bad part. There were no windows in the accommodation. The dining kitchen area also had no windows either, it was a black cave, you walk in and the galley is connected and the whole place smelled of fried fat. I am vegetarian and they were notified in advance and I was told they cater for vegetarians. There was no vegetable protein at all. I was offered zuccini and carrots in some kind of vinegar and herb mix, salad and bread. The next day they had made 3 salads two had meat, I was left with green salad and bread for lunch, they also offered a pasta with meat sauce nothing for vegetarians. At dinner that night I was served the same zuccini and carrott vinegar mix which was gross. The cook could of easily made an effort. Its a meat and potatoes kind of deal. do not expect anything else.

    Diving, the people on the boat come and go every day and one guy had been on the boat for 3 nights and he said the boat had not moved once during his time there, and they had been diving the same reef for two days. I was on the boat diving that day and found out the boat would not be moving. They said the reason for this is the boat was too large for some of the mooring bouys and it drags. So why use a boat that is too large to move to different sites. Why advertise all these sites on your brochure that you are not going too? They had 2 chaser boats that were never offered as an option to take divers to other sites. If you want a dive guide on your dives its a whopping $15 per person per dive so if you do 5 dives in a day its a lot. This is the only place in the world I experienced this. Australia is the most expensive diving i have encountered. I did one dive with a guide as I had new equipment to try out. After that I went with buddies. Visibility sometimes was about 10 feet, sometimes 15. When I asked to borrow a compass as mine was acting up, they laughed at me and said you don't need a compass. I do if I cant see in anything. Really unprofessional staff. The woman in charge was pretty good though, helpful and fun. I had two dives in this trip where we could actually see the reef, so so badly damaged and dead in most places. Devastating to see. All of the dives on day one and morning of day two were on the same site, the boat was not moving at all, so left that afternoon when the cattle boat came to drop off new people.

    I had booked 3 nights and only stayed one as it was so horrible and there was no real vegetarian food. I left the boat the next day and went to their office, the guy there had a heads up and basically was patronizing to me and said, oh you have come for your reef tax refund. I said no i would like a full refund for the two days I am not on your boat. I was told no refunds, i ended up pushing and pushing and got back $140 of the $500 they would of owed me. If you can't cater for vegetarians don't tell customers that you do. When I tried to explain to him there was no vege protein, he had no idea what I was talking about. 5 dives a day you need protein. Figure it out guys look it up on the web, its pretty simple. I would never recommend Taka as a dive boat to anyone ever or its operation Divers Den. I know I am not alone on this, as this boat had several unhappy customers who will also not be back. Its tragic to go so far and have such a crappy experience. This is not a liveaboard folks, especially for those new to liveaboards. All over the world i have been on cheapo Thai liveaboards and had incredible experiences, Palau where the staff were the most smiley people ever. Divers Den you have a lot to improve and learn, Im surprised you get any business at all, with all your attitudes and lack of any customer service. I guess people just don't know until its too late.
     
  2. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest

    # of Dives:
    Location: Santa Catalina Island, CA
    20,886
    3,391
    113
    Is this Deep Sea Diver's Den you are referring to? If so, I did a similar 3 night trip with them back in 2001 and had a great time. I was especially impressed that their instructor recognized my ancient 1960s c-card and knew what the agency was. Hope it isn't the same operation as they were a lot of fun a decade ago. I don't remember their boat being the Taka, so hope it isn't the same.
     
  3. Madrone

    Madrone Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: San Francisco
    50
    0
    0
    Yeah same place, things change in 11 years I guess. If you have any experience diving, you would not like this operation. They suck.
     
  4. 300bar

    300bar ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    7,432
    104
    63
  5. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest

    # of Dives:
    Location: Santa Catalina Island, CA
    20,886
    3,391
    113
    I do have a fair bit of experience diving... 50 years on SCUBA and thousands of dives... but what I experienced with Deep Sea Diver's Den in 2001 and what you experienced with them more recently could be (and apparently was) quite different. Would be interesting to hear from others about their experiences as well to give this a bit of perspective.
     

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