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Dive Review of Explorer Ventures/Caribbean Explorer II in

August, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Lynda Durfee, VA, USA
Top Contributor   (38 reports, with 2 Helpful votes)
Report Number 5158
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Hawaii, Aruba, Saba, Statia, St. Kitts, Florida, Lake Tahoe
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
82   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Come up with 500 psi remaining.  Dive your own profile.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
Large Fish
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
I didn't use camera, but there were designated tanks for camera, large
camera platform, separate towels and charging stations.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
3 stars   
4 stars    
This was an exporatory trip, as the boat was repositioning from Great Exuma
to Freeport, so many of the sites had not been previously explored by the
CE II crew, and were hit and miss.  Along the Exumas, it's obvious that the
fish population has been depleted.  Saw lots of lionfish, at least 1 or 2
on every dive.  Along the Exumas, some nice walls and swimthroughs to
explore, but nothing to write home about.  One highlight was the
"Thunderball Grotto" on Staniel Cay, done first as a snorkel
trip, then with SCUBA. This has to be done during slack tide, so we went to
another small caye to see the "swimming pigs" while we waited. 
Also dove a big blue hole.  Had 1 1/2 days of diving at Nassau and two
dives (including the Theo) at Freeport.  Because the boat was moving
towards Freeport, we only got in one night dive, though we did a morning
dive in lieu of a night dive the day before.  Crew was friendly and
helpful: Capt. Dave, cook Jane, purser Elisa, DMs Demi and Rachel; dolphin
expert Gene, who was preparing for the dolphin dives near Freeport for the
following weeks' itineerary.  Food was plentiful and tasty, despite
limitations on supplies on Exuma (port we departed from and where boat had
been for several months).  Alcoholic beverages are included, but no diving
after your first drink of the day!  Accomodations are comfortable (with
private shower/toilet/sink in each cabin), if not 5-star, and clean. 
Entered water from side of boat (about 8-10 feet above water), come out via
ladders at back, with short set from platform to dive deck.  NITROX
available at $150 for the week, but since it only got up to 30% during the
week, we got a $50 discount.  CEII has arrangements with cab drivers at
arrival/departure (not included in price).  This was my second trip on the
CEII (first was in January to NE Caribbean, Saba/Statia/St.Kitts) and I've
already booked for the NE trip next January.  Good value for the money.  If
you're traveling solo and the boat isn't full, you will get your own cabin
(I did both times).
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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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