A good friend had the misfortune to catch the Ekajaya fast boat from Padang Bali to Gili Trawangan yesterday and found the experience to be, well, slightly ordinary. With his permission, I've reproduced his stream from Twitter:
Loving Ekajaya fast boat to Gilis. "Slight delay" meant "we cancelled your 11am boat to make more $$$ by cramming you onto the 1pm boat"
Have left Padangbai for the Gilis over 2 hours late on the overloaded Ekajaya boat. No life vests in sight https://t.co/9bGbetSDQ5
Just off Ekajaya Bali-Gili T boat; reprehensible crew endangered passengers on overcrowded boat, belongings destroyed, complaints ignored
Passengers on overcrowded Ekajaya boat to Gili T told to sit on cabin roof, battered by waves for 90 mins, belongings doused, some crying
People with goods damaged on Ekajaya boat trip are treated with contempt at Gili T office, calls to management on Bali are hung up
Needless to say, you may want to steer well clear of Ekajaya fast boat services between Bali and the Gilis.
Sorry to hear it.
Earlier this month we took the combo ticket fast boat/shuttle van from Gili Air to Padang Bai using Marina Srikandi, and while we weren't exactly thrilled with the experience, it was much better than what your friend described. At least with Marina Srikandi the boat was only about 45 minutes late arriving. The staff was reasonably friendly, handled out packs with reasonable care, and there were even life jackets in clearly marked and easy to reach places. The shuttle driver even made an extra effort to drop us off right near our accommodation in Ubud on the transfer from Padang Bai.
If I had it to do again, I think I'd take the slow boat option. It is much less money, but far more romantic too. Then again, savorygal, our resident Gili T expert, recently recommended just flying from Bali to Lombok or reverse, as reasonable cheap and more convenient. Since she does that fairly often, that may be the best way to go. Cheers.
I don't think you will ever get Savorygal on any of the speedboats after her experience. http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/seven-foreign-tourists-injured-as-boat-catches-fire-off-bali/