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Dive Review of Carib Dancer in
Bahamas/Tiger Beach

Carib Dancer: "Pretty Good Diving - Horrible Boat", May, 2015,

by David Marchese, PA, US (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 20 reports with 27 Helpful votes). Report 8289.

Photos Submitted with this Report

Click on an image to see an enlarged version and captions

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

Accommodations 1 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 2 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 1 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 1 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments We were on the Carib Dancer from May 13-23, 2015 for the 10-day Tiger Beach tour. I wasn’t going to post a review because I trusted that our “bad luck” was truly an anomaly. However, upon reading Phil Johnston’s review, I feel compelled to post my experience. Despite our reviews being nearly identical, Phil and I were not on the same voyage.

Upon arriving at the West End Hotel per the information packet, no one from the boat met us. We had to drag our bags ¼ mile over a gravel road to the boat. The A/C wasn’t working in the ship upon arrival, and I was told that the crew was working on it. We spent the night at the dock, and didn’t get to the first dive site until 3:00 PM on day 2. We assumed the late departure was to allow the crew to fix the A/C, but they never did fix it.

The water stopped working on day 2. As the toilet/shower drains went dry, strong methane fumes spread throughout the ship. The water remained sporadic throughout the trip. After demanding an explanation of what was going on, we were told that we left port with only one engine, hence the slow pace, the late arrival at dive sites, and the inability to fix other problems while they worked on the engine. This boat only has 5 crew for 14 guests, which is clearly insufficient.

Only after a near mutiny did the captain agree to order a new A/C compressor. We gave up a day of diving to head back to port to get the new compressor only to be told that it didn’t get through customs.
Unable to withstand the heat of the cabins, we slept on deck every night on lounge chairs along with other guests who had no functioning A/C (only the crew quarters and two other rooms had A/C on the full boat.) Sleeping on lounge chairs was quite painful for lower back. On top of that, other guests congregated and played music until 11:00 PM each night. (That was our compromise – some wanted to go on longer, but they agreed to 11:00. Normally, we are asleep by 9:00 PM on dive boats). Due to discomfort of lounge chairs and biting insects, we got 2 – 3 hours of real sleep each night.

The salon/dining room was unbearably hot and rank with methane so eating was very uncomfortable and had to be rushed before retreating to the upper deck for air flow.

The general condition of the ship was dirty and in minor disrepair. The worse was the upper deck. It was not thoroughly cleaned the entire trip. Not once. The carpet where we slept was littered with crumbs of “stuff.” Out feet left black footprints when stepping into shower at the end of each day. The entire crew continually wore shoes. That is unusual and perhaps led them to not recognize the general dirtiness of the ship.

Nitrox never worked beyond 26%. We spent our first two days in Bimini where we went from site to site looking for a suitable one. Finally, the dives we did make were on mostly dead reefs in low vis. Those days were largely wasted.

Only 30 dives were offered during this 10-day trip. The trip advertised 5 dives per day except 4 at tiger beach and two on last day. We were only offered 5 dives on two days with the 5th dives starting at 8:30 PM. There was no reason to begin diving so late (8:30 -9:00 AM) and end with a night dive so late. On most days, we were never given a plan. Instead, we just waited and got annoyed until we finally heard the bell ring. The diving was generally good (except for those at Bimini) and comparable to what Phil Johnston described. We had two good tiger encounters, near constant lemon shark encounters, and many reef shark encounters. The reefs were fairly healthy with soft coral and sponges but nearly devoid of hard coral.

The crew and guests fished for shark bait to put in the “triangle”. Upon landing fish, they bashed their heads with a hammer and put them in the mask and wetsuit rinse tanks. Upon my complaining, the tanks were washed out with soap.

On our last night, all guest except those in the two rooms with working A/C bought hotel rooms at $300/room. We could not take being on the ship one night longer. I hired a hotel bellman to cart our bags from the ship back to the hotel.

Upon returning home, we received an apology and a voucher for a discount on another Dancer/Aggressor trip.
Websites Carib Dancer   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, Turks & Caicos, Bay Islands, Bahamas,
Fiji, Saba, Maldives, California, Revillagigedo, Cozumel, Midway, Kona,
Galapagos, Panama, Palau, Tahiti, Cocos, Tonga, PNG, Komodo, Sulawesi,
Holbox, Solomon Islands, Belize
Closest Airport Freeport Getting There Through Nassau

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm
Water Temp 82-83°F / 28-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 50-75 Ft/ 15-23 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Most sites were very shallow, so we could pretty much do what we wanted and stay as long as we wanted.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 1 stars Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics 5 stars

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Fairly large camera table with blow gun and charging stations. Big, but narrow rinse tank on stern.
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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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