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Dive Review of Aqua Cat Cruises in

Aqua Cat Cruises: "Good Boat, Awful Diving", May, 2016,

by Mr Brent Woods, ON, CA (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 22 reports with 13 Helpful votes). Report 9019.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling 2 stars
Value for $$ 3 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments This was my second live aboard of 2016. Both were reviewed by Undercurrent after my trips. I mention this because it gave me the opportunity to compare my experience with that of the Undercurrent reviewers. In both cases my experience was similar to the reviewers'.

The Aqauacat is a ~20 year old boat that that has been well maintained especially compared to the other boat I was on of similar age in March. I did not notice any maintenance issues.

The Aquacat is keep very clean. I do not remember seeing the effort but into cleaning by the Aquacat crew on any other live aboard that I have been on. The cleaning started well before we got back to port.

The Aquacat gets customer service. I hate being photographed and I made a request not to be included in any of the photos and video taken by the crew. This was respected.

The food was great. Meals were buffet style with two entrees for both lunch and dinner. Salads and/or fresh fruit were available with every meal. Only two of the dishes out of all that I tried needed improvement. They were the Osso Bucco and the truffle cake. I have shellfish allergies and a member of the group I was traveling with has celiac disease. Both of us were impressed by the care taken to meet our dietary restrictions.

What I didn't like was the diving. The diving in the Exumas was disappointing. Many of the reefs in the Exumas are clearly distressed with low fish stocks and significant network algae coverage. Unfortunately, we had to go to Eleuthera for a couple of days because of high winds. The diving in Eleuthera is disgusting. The algae coverage was about 90%. There was very living coral or sponges.

The visibility was much less than I expected. I thought that I would have crystal clear water given that the Bahamas are a long way from the mainland and any rivers.

I find the Aquacat website and other documentation misleading. They talk of virgin reefs and miles of undersea gardens. This raises certain expectations which were not close to being met.

We had a shark feeding dive on Eleuthera. It was the first time had been on one. It was anticlimatic. The half dozen reef sharks circled around the Yellowtail Snappers and Horse-eyed Jacks feeding on the frozen bait and occasionally ventured in for a bite.

I was pleasantly surprised by the number of loggerhead turtles and lionfish. The lionfish that I saw were all large adults and not very plentiful. The small number of lionfish is not due to human fishing as spearfishing is not allowed in the Bahamas. Something else appears to be eating them.

What I wished I knew before I left home was that live aboards that bill themselves as small cruise ships and place lots of emphasis on their non diving activities are trying to compensate for poor diving.
Websites Aqua Cat Cruises   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Ontario, Quebec, Cuba, Roatan, Red Sea, Little Cayman, St. Eustatius, Saba, Bonaire, Jamaica, Pohnpei, Galapagos, Costa Rica, Pohnpei, Chuuk, Palau, Yap, Cozumel, Kosrae, Bahamas
Closest Airport Nassau Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather windy Seas choppy
Water Temp 74-78°F / 23-26°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30-70 Ft/ 9-21 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Recreational diving depths only.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 1 stars Tropical Fish 2 stars
Small Critters 2 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter 2 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 2 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Lots of space for cameras. Dedicated charging area for photographic equipment. Dedicated rinse tanks for cameras. Crew very careful when handling your camera gear.

The poor visibility and state of the reefs made photography unattractive.
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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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