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Dive Review of Caribbean Explorer I in
Bahamas/Sab Salvador & others

Caribbean Explorer I, Aug, 2006,

by William S. Ungerman, CA, USA (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 24 reports with 2 Helpful votes). Report 3039.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Central, South Pacidic, California, Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, Mexico, Caribbean
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, cloudy Seas calm, choppy, noCurrents
Water Temp 83 to 86 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 2
Water Visibility 80 to 120 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 13o fet on air; 110 feet on 32% Nitrox
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 1 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Photo table, air hoose, separate rinse tank

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments The CEX-1 is a nice boat. You fly into George Town,Great Exuma where the boat is docked. Transport from the airport is not included and is about $20.00 per person. Boarding time is 1600 (4 PM) Saturday. The boat is listed as 110 feet in length but that's only if you include the bowsprit and dive platform. Really about 96 feet. Cabins are extremely small and all your luggage goes in there. Pack minimally. My wife and I had a deluxe cabin (top deck) and the two daugters got the below deck cabin which shares shower and head.

We first dove San Salvador for three days and the coral was in great shape, except for the overwhelming algae growth. The swim through and grottos were impressive. Marine life was minimal. A shore excursion was offered to see where Columbus ostensibly first came ashore in the New World. Next we moved to Conception. Here the algae problem cleared up but the fish life did not materially improve. Two days later we travelled to Long Island which held some pretty good Bahamas diving, absent swarms of fish. On Friday we motored back to Stocking Island off Great Exuma and dove a tug wreck which was very interesting. Altogether, 27 dives are offered.

Our fifteen year old daughter took her Advanced Open Water class on the trip and was enthralled with the instruction. It was indeed competent, knowledgeable, and extremely professional. This comment applies to the vast majority of the crew. The Captain is priceless, full of dry British humor. There is always someone to help you or dive with you.

This was a good trip, a perfect family liveaboard vacation. Our eleven-year-old daughter was a bit apprensive about spending a week on a boat but soon rolled right into it. Now both of them are insisting on liveaboard vacations.

The CEX-1 (as far as acomodations is concerned) is not quite up to Hughes or Aggressor standards, but then again you're paying much less. It offered by far more amenities than Blackbeard Cruises did and the price differencial is not that much removed. Remember, to the cost of the basic trip, you must add the fuel surcharge, port tax, transportion and dock charges.

On balance, a fine and memorable trip. I'd go with Explorer Adventurers again but probably on one of their other boats.

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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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