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Dive Review of Emperor Superior in

September, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Jeanne & BIll Downey, PA, US
Top Contributor   (39 reports, with 5 Helpful votes)
Report Number 5194
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Bahamas, Caribbean, Australia, Indonesia, Cocos, Malaysia, Malaysia,
Socorro, Galapagos, Maldives, etc.
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
Water Temp
78   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Two rinse tanks on boat. Extremely small camera table.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
5 stars   
4 stars    
Egypt and the Red Sea have always been on our back-burner, but we were
never sure it was a safe place to go. After this trip, we know its as safe
as or safer than other destinations.
We flew Egypt Air from JFK.  We carried on two items each, and were allowed
two check-in pieces weighing 50 pounds each. The economy seats seemed a tad
larger, with a little more legroom. There were no seat-back TV screens, so
we watched three bad movies and ate two OK meals. We flew non-stop to
Cairo, the largest city in Africa. At JFK and elsewhere, we were escorted
by a representative of Learning Through Travel or the Emperor Fleet. Manal,
involved in the tourist business over 20 years, is a gem.
In Cairo, we stayed at the Mena House Oberoi Hotel, right next to the three
great pyramids, including Cheops. We were introduced to Egyptian cuisine,
really different. Over the course of our two weeks, we learned to embrace
buffet meals where we could pick and choose and actually see what we were
about to eat! Most of us had stomach issues at some point during the trip.
We did not drink tap water anywhere, even in the hotels; bottled water is
While we were touring, our dive luggage headed for Hurghada via truck, so
we wouldnt have to pay overweight fees on the domestic flight from Cairo
to Hurghada. Unfortunately the wake-up call was at 1:30am to catch the 5am
flight. We arrived in Hurghada so early nothing was open. There appeared to
be a mix-up, as we couldnt board the liveaboard until late afternoon; they
finally decided to put us on a day boat, which ended up being a good
experience. We threw our dive gear into baskets and boarded the boat. There
are a lot of day boats that go out from Hurghada, so we had to be careful
to re-board the same boat we jumped off! The fish mostly looked familiar,
but had different color schemes. The second dive I counted 19 lionfish. We
boarded the Emperor Superior around 5pm.
The Superior is a good-looking wooden boat, with large, comfortable sitting
and dining areas. The cabins, except for the two in the bow, are nice sized
with two side-by-side twin beds; the bow cabins have bunk beds; they try to
only put one person in those. There was adequate storage space. The
bathrooms had small, separate shower areas, and plenty of counter space.
The dive deck is large, but there are two rows of tanks facing each other
with not that much room between them, so it can get congested, especially
with the crew trying to help. The dive entry area was big enough for
several people to don fins at the same time. Nitrox is included on the
Superior and the tanks are DIN, with convertible inserts available. Fills
were quick and right on the money. The camera table is tiny, with small
cubicles above. One DSL takes up all the space, so the three coffee tables
in the lounge area became camera tables.  
All meals were buffet. Breakfast c consisted of cereal, toast, eggs,and
meat. Lunch and dinners might have fish, pasta, chicken, and/or beef, soup,
salad, rolls, vegetables, and some type of dessert. Several types of
cookies, hot water, tea, cocoa, sodas, and instant coffee were always
available. Wine and beer were extra. Although not all the food was to my
taste, I didnt go hungry. 
The diving ranged from good to way cool; likewise the visibility ranged
from a not-so-good 40 feet to a spectacular 100+, sometimes during the
same dive. We did 4 dives most days, starting with a wake-up call at
5:30am, 6am dive, breakfast, 10:30 dive, lunch, 2:30 dive, 7pm night dive,
and finally dinner. I didnt like the early start, but long intervals
between dives were great, and 4 dives a day are enough for me, especially
since dives lasted 60-80 minutes. During the week we saw several crocodile
fish, numerous lionfish, pipefish, a couple Spanish dancers and their eggs,
clown fish of various kinds, many turtles and eels, Napoleon Wrasse, and of
course colorful reef fish. We dived a couple wrecks, including the
Thistlegorm, with trucks, motorbikes, and even a locomotive engine.The
coral is healthy-looking. Although the diving mostly didnt strike me as
spectacular as I was expecting, it was never boring; the less traveled
divers were constantly enthralled. Most dives were from the Superior,
although a few required inflatable rides. One diver, while stepping down
into the inflatable, slipped, fell, and broke her leg. She was transported
to a hospital where she had surgery. She was treated well there, and is
also now an enthusiastic supporter of DAN.
Between dives there were plenty of places to hang outthe lounge, the
sundeck one level up, or the covered fly bridge; it was pretty neat coming
up from a dive with a view of the Sinai Peninsula. The Superior can handle
20 divers; with the 13 of us it was exceptionally roomy.  We were allotted
two large bath towels, two smaller towels, and one beach towel for the
week. We had to keep track of our beach towels, and of course they were
never warm. There were two showers on the dive deck, not always warm, but
there was plenty of hot water in the cabins. Bath soap was provided but not
Reluctantly leaving the Emperor Superior, we took a 5 hour bus ride to
Luxor, where our hotel overlooked the Nile River.. The touring was amazing,
even in the 100+ degree dry heat. We had a buffet dinner on the Royal Lily,
one of the many Nile River cruise boats. 
So would we go back to Egypt? You bet, with an added Nile River cruise.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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