Cruising Comforts

Published November 3, 2015 in DIVE YACHT

What five-star service means to Pelagian’s crew

The Pelagian carries divers to some of the most fertile underwater landscapes on the planet. For this reason alone, many consider it to be one of the world’s best liveaboard diving experiences. From the spacious cabins to the fine cuisine and the personal attention of the Wakatobi dive guides, there’s certainly a lot to like. But what truly sets this luxury dive yacht apart, and garners top marks from passengers, is the unrivaled level of five-star service provided by the crew during every moment of the cruise. Hundreds of favorable reviews from guests of the Pelagian can be found on the internet, but for a different take on the subject, we decided to ask the crew to share their own opinions on what it means to deliver the ultimate in guest services.

Pelagian at dusk Blog 2_Wakatobi Dive Resort

Pelagian’s crew is dedicated to meeting every request, whether it’s hunting for an elusive reef creature, or taking a guest out for a sunset wake boarding session. Photo by Wakatobi Dive Resort

The crew is for you

“First and foremost, we’re there to serve our guests in every way,” says Kaori Robinson, “and that means doing anything within our power to ensure each guest enjoys the best possible experience.” Robinson worked on Pelagian as cruise director and dive experience manager for years. As a dive guide my role included being an underwater model, a camera caddy, and of course critter expert and guide. I’ve found mating pygmy seahorses and blue-ringed octopus, among other creatures for guests.

“We are always looking for opportunities to surprise and please our guests onboard, based not only on direct requests, but also on hints we pick up from casual comments, and even non-verbal clues.”

While you might call this “all just part of the job,” the greatest reward is knowing that our guests are having the time of their life. Other team members agree. “It’s the little things that you do not find elsewhere that set us apart,” says Wahyu, who is one of two stewards dedicated to guest services aboard Pelagian. “Wetsuits are hung and folded, warm minty towels and hot drinks are served after each dive, and there is always assistance for managing camera equipment, whatever and however the guest prefers. Guests always tell us they love the small group atmosphere, and especially the 70-plus minute dives,” he says.

Pelagian's cabins have been designed for exceptional comfort and aesthetics. With a maximum of ten guests, Pelagian offers more space per guest than any dive yacht of its kind. Photo by Didi Lotze

Pelagian’s cabins have been designed for exceptional comfort and aesthetics. With a maximum of ten guests, Pelagian offers more space per guest than any dive yacht of its kind. Photo by Didi Lotze

Listening for the little things

“For me, excellent customer service is all about listening, and making each guest’s experience better than what they expected,” says Paula Danti, who is a dive center manager and dive guide. “We are always looking for opportunities to surprise and please our guests onboard, based not only on direct requests, but also on hints we pick up from casual comments, and even non-verbal clues. I watch and observe, and discreetly tend to a need, without interrupting the guest experience. We know that details are important, so we pay extra attention to the little things day by day. It could be anything from providing more pillows and blankets in their room to explaining in explicit detail a specific dive site, or preparing a special celebration for a birthday or anniversary,” she says.

It’s OK to ask

“Our goal is to provide whatever the guest needs before they even express the need,”says steward Agung. “We make a point of knowing each guest’s preferences before they leave their home, when they first arrive, and throughout their trip, and are always looking for new ways to make the trip more pleasant for them.”

“One thing that we as a crew take pride in is fulfilling requests,” remarked cruise director Shelly Chenoweth. “We let guests know that it’s always OK to ask, and special requests are welcomed, whether it’s help in hunting for a particularly elusive reef creature, or meeting a special dietary requirement or culinary request. Many of our guests request fresh tuna for sashimi and the crew makes a special trip to Pasar Wajo market at Buton to get the tuna,” Shelly says. Pelagian’s stewards also often make the guest’s favorite desserts or afternoon snacks. “Our chefs are always happy to oblige in creating meals and snacks around any particular dietary need or wish. Some of our guests have requested cooking classes onboard, so our chef makes it happen.”

tuna sushi on Pelagian_Marco Fierli

Many guests request tuna sashimi, so some of the crew make special trips to Pasar Wajo market at Buton to purchase a fresh catch. Photo by Marco Fierli

Guests aboard Pelagian have been known to ask for cooking classes, especially when it comes to desserts; our chefs are always happy to comply. Photo by Marco Fierli

A special serving of delicious

“For me, good customer service is to always make the extra effort to make my food delicious for our guests.” says chef Andi. “The personal touch comes when I make the menus; I gladly offer three unique choices to accommodate guests’ preferences,” he says. “I am also very happy to spend time talking to each guest, asking what they like and how much they are enjoying the food, what their specific needs are, or if something could be added. This is especially important nowadays, when there are so many special dietary requirements like Gluten Free, Lactose Free, Vegan and so on. A guest might send us dietary requirements in advance but often they do so once aboard, and we do everything possible to accommodate their needs.”

“Each crew member works together, we are able to set comfortable pace, even with 4 dives per day and 70-plus minutes per dive," says captain Basri. Photo by Shawn Levin

Each crew member works together, so we are able to set a comfortable pace, even with 4 dives per day and 70-plus minutes per dive,” says captain Basri. Photo by Shawn Levin

Delivering the experience

“As captain, one of my main goals is to create and maintain a cruising schedule that allows our guests to arrive to the dive sites on time,” says Basari. With each crew member working together, we are able to set comfortable pace, even with 4 dives per day and 70-plus minutes per dive. We are always concerned with customer safety and even though this may happen unseen in the the background, it helps ensure our operation runs smoothly, and adds to the general comfort.” Basri says he always enjoys spending time with the guests, showing them the instruments in the wheelhouse and interacting with them when they want to socialize.

Pelagian’s dive guides take similar pride in providing the best possible in-water experiences. “We organize the dive groups according to what we know and learn about each guest’s preferred dive styles and profiles,” says Paula. “We always adapt the dive to our guest’s preferences, since our main goal is to give them the best dive experience of their lives.”

Pelagian is liveaboard diving at it’s finest; with a max 10 guests and a crew of 12, your every need and expectation is met with the highest level of service known in the diving community. Photo by Wakatobi Dive Resort

Pelagian is liveaboard diving at it’s finest; with a max 10 guests and a crew of 12, your every need and expectation is met with the highest level of service known in the diving community. Photo by Wakatobi Dive Resort

According to Shelly the Pelagian team as a whole agrees that it is important to listen, understand, and problem solve. “In order to do this everyone on the team not only conveys the utmost respect for each and every guest, but we also respect each other, and work together to carry out the excellent service Wakatobi is known for in the industry,” she says.

A Pelagian cruise is an ideal complement to a stay at the resort. Wakatobi’s guest consultants and concierge team can help arrange a land-and-sea dive vacation, handling all details of the cruise, the resort stay, charter flight and even stop-over days in Bali before or after the trip.

More on Pelagian’s diverse underwater experiences here.

What motivates your diving? Liveaboard or resort, at Wakatobi you will have an unrivaled range of underwater adventures combined with the highest level of guest services known in the diving world. Contact us at office@wakatobi.com or complete a quick trip inquiry on www.wakatobi.com.