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Dive Review of Aqua Cat Cruises in
Bahamas

Aqua Cat Cruises, Nov, 2012,

by Terence Taylor, MD, US (Reviewer Reviewer 6 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 6750.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Maine, Maryland, Florida, Curacao, Riviera Maya, Cozmel
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather windy, rainy, cloudy Seas choppy
Water Temp 82 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 60 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions On the Boat with 500psi, but was never checked.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Very large photo table with compressed air available. Staff knows how to deal with cameras on entry and exits. 2 large rinse tanks for cameras. Several crew on board who can offer valuable advice if asked.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 3 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 3 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments First, this was NOT a typical cruise on the Aqua Cat as I have come to know it.

I and many of our group have been on the Aqua Cat before, and will be on it again next year. This year did not rate nearly as well as last year, but most was not the crew's fault. The first 3 days of diving (15 dives) were very windy, so we spent most of the time in in the lee of Eleuthrea- last year we only did 5 dives here (3 sites). The two sites we visited last year, Split Coral Head and Jake's hole, were both 2 dive locations, and were as excellent as before. Lots of large and small life and good coral. Two other sites (which we felt were backup sites) were not so good, with much coral covered in algae. We also visited Cobia Cage, which was a very worthwhile site.

Unfortunately, Hurricane Sandy intervened. We were able to get 2 dives in Wednesday morning, then hightailed it into Nassau, and moored at a sheltered mooring at the Atlantis Marina, which evidently the Home Office negotiated. Captain Mark was visibly upset about not being able to provide a great charter, and kept us very informed with constant reports on the weather and the situation with the boat and accommodations. While the wind for three days approached 100mph, with constant gales in the 60mph range, the ship faired well and we were allowed to stay onboard with plenty of water, food, power, drinks, etc. (The Atlantis essentially shut down and confined guests to windowless areas). We were most fortunate that many brought DVDs. While this was a stressful situation, the crew worked hard to make our confined stay as entertaining as possible. The Crew also went to get lengths to change reservations for many of the guest several times, showing great patience in a stressful situation. While Friday night the AC usually does not serve dinner, Chef Kirk, short on supplies, made a fabulous meatloaf and fish dinner that satisfied all.

Currently, Aqua Cat Cruises is working with us to get refunds for the days we were not able to dive. To the boat's and Crew's credit, we did get in 17 of 26 possible dives.

While a difficult time, it is my opinion that Captain Mark, his Crew and the Home Office did a excellent job of making the best of the given situation.
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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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