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Dive Review of Peter Hughes Sundancer II in
Belize

September, 2005, an Instant Reader Report by Tom Chase, KY, usa
Sr. Reviewer   (7 reports)
Report Number 1967
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Carribean, Hawaii, FL, NC, CA, Puerto Rico, USVI, Dom. Repub.
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny, dry  
Seas
calm  
Water Temp
85   to 88    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
1
Water Visibility
40   to 100    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
yes  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
Did buoyancy test first dive and then let you dive based on
abilities/experience.  130 limit and 500 psi back in boat.  
Liveaboard?
yes 
Nitrox Available?
N/A 
What I saw
Sharks
None 
Mantas
1 or 2 
Dolphins
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
> 2 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
N/A  
Comments
Had two well equipped camera tables and on-board facilities.  Excellent
on-board photo staff.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
5 stars
Food
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
N/A
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
N/A    
Beginners
4 stars   
Advanced
5 stars    
Comments  
Second Peter Hughes trip.  The Sundancer II is the Mercedes of live-aboard
in terms of layout and accommodations. Very spacious cabins, huge AC salon,
well laid out dive platform with great photography facilities.  Since all
divers on board had cameras (full trip of 20) it made a difference.  The
crew went out of their way to accommodate every request.  Especially great
were dive masters Elvis, Tori and Juan, Captain Andy, Engineer Ferdie and
cabin hostess Elian (she was awesome!).  Food was good and plentiful but
not spectacular.  The best was always the homemade soup and bread served
with lunch and dinner each day.  

The crew was very conservation focused and gave outstanding dive briefings.
 Dive Master Elvis (who described himself as the resident comedian gave
particularly enlightening and entertaining briefings).  Also gave very
through and detailed safety briefings about the boat and abandon ship
drill.  

Diving conditions were great.  We dove Ambergris Caye, Lighthouse Reef and
Half Moon Caye.  Did not go to the Blue Hole because of weather, but no one
was all that disappointed with that decision.  The reefs are healthy and
contain tons of marine life.  Sponges and corals are the big attractions. 
Lots of unique tropicals.  The macro life on both day and night dives was
spectacular.  We saw a few turtles, some in group saw a Manta Ray and we
all saw Eagle Rays.  Not a great dive for the big stuff and sharks.  No one
on our trip saw a shark during the 26 possible dives (we could have done 27
but one night dive was scratched because of weather). 

Our cabin (owners suite) was huge by live aboard standards and had a full
bathroom with a regular sized shower and real bathroom facilities as
opposed to a marine head.  This is the only guest cabin on this level and
it smelled like diesel fuel all week.  The captain said it was due a spill
that happened when they filled and they tried hard to improve the situation
by venting the area and using air freshener (which helped but didn't
eliminate the problem).  AC did not work properly the first night and it
was promptly fixed the next day and was fine for the rest of the week.  

We did the cave tubing shore excursion at the end of the trip and it was
interesting.  It consumed about 5 hours and cost $110.  We all agreed it
was interesting and unique, but probably not worth the price.  It was cool
and refreshing.

All in all it was a fantastic trip.  PH sets the standard with service and
amenities (hot freshwater showers on dive deck followed by a hot towel and
back massage.  On night dives after those two you were provided hot
chocolate with optional rum. Moist towels and cold water while you waited
at the airport etc.)  It is the little things that count and PH thinks
about them all.  I highly recommend this liveaboard.
 
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Other dive reports on Peter Hughes Diving

All Belize Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Belize
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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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