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Dive Review of Nekton Rorqual in
Cayman Islands

June, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Irv Kaplan, NV, usa
Report Number 2530
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Bonaire, Belize, Roatan, Cozumel, Bahamas, Hawaii, Tahiti
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
81   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
75   to 125    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Air hose for drying cameras, broke and took 2 days to get a replacement.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
1 stars
1 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars   
4 stars    
Crew: Great dive crew. My buddy had some ear problems and so I got to dive
with 3 of the dive masters. They were great buddies. All the dive crew and
the captain had great attitudes, and genuinely wanted to please (I wish the
cook had the same attitude).
Boat: It needs a lot of fixing and freshening up. Scrapping and painting is
only the start, inside and outside. There were a large amount of exposed
rust and peeling paint, including railings, thresholds and walls. The
closet in my cabin was held together by duct tape. The cushions in the
salon/dining room are covered in plastic which is all cut up. It is very
uncomfortable. My cabin, being amid ship was quiet. Other people complained
about the noise of their cabins. Cabins on the same floor as the salon,
underneath the sun deck, were disturbed by the people waking on the sun
deck. Cabins in the aft of the dive deck, heard the tanks banging around
during the crossing. Our cruise had 18 passengers; I cannot imagine the
boat full with 32 passengers. There is not enough room in the salon/dining
room for that many. The dive deck with a full contingent would be
ridiculous. Luckily, the restrictions on diving Bloody Bay Wall, limit 20
divers to a mooring site, so the Captain has to hire day boats. The Rorqual
swath design limits the side-to-side sway in rough water, but crossing in
rough water, the up-down motion caused some people to be sick. The Rorqual,
because of its high profile and exposure to wind, is limited to the number
of pins it can moor onto. So on the Brac, we only got to dive the Captain
Tibbets (4 dives). On the Brac, they require all the passengers to be off
the boat for re-fueling, but they make no arrangements for you. No lunch,
rent a car, hire a cab, go to a hotel, buy an expensive lunch at the hotel,
and spend 4 hours at the hotel. The spot where they left you off has good
shore diving, but the Rorqual wont arrange for any tanks. They facilitated
the car rentals. The Brac has good diving on the south side, but the
Rorqual couldnt make it there. Live aboard diving in Sting Ray City is not
something I really want to do, nor was the small wreck (Doc Paulson) on
Grand Cayman worth diving after the Tibbets. The North Shore and the East
End have some good diving, but the Rorqual is too slow to get there. Little
Cayman, Bloody Bay wall is great diving and that makes the itinerary worth
while. The boat uses steel 95s, which takes significant weight off your
weight belt, but the hang tank was leaking from its neck seal. Nitrox is
the most expensive of the live aboards, and Nekton only guaranteed 26% -
fills were typically 28 to 32 percent, with 2,800 to 3,000 psi fills (told
not to complain if fill was at least 2,500).
Food: At best, poor. At worse, they were out of food. For breakfast,
scrambled eggs were the choice for most days, plus cold cereal or bagels
(of course, if you dont get there at 7 am for the 7 to 8 am buffet, all
the cream cheese is gone). Pancakes  arrived too late again, no meat, no
butter (cook found some) but no syrup, therefore no pancakes. I filled out
the form that indicated that I dont eat fish, told the cook on the first
night that I dont eat fish, so when they served fish, the cook was upset
that I wouldnt eat the fish. I was served leftovers from the previous
evening. Forget their deserts. You couldnt even get ice cream as a
substitute until the last night. By Tuesday they ran out of hot chocolate
(DM from previous week drank a whole lot), Thursday they ran out of
Strawberry flavored drink. Cook and the passengers werent allowed to make
coffee, so you had to wait for a DM.
Overall: The itinerary would be great if they adjusted how they refueled
and dove Cayman Brac, plus eliminated Sting Ray City. BUT, the Rorqual is
definitely not a luxury dive experience. I cant recommend the boat,
especially if its full. NOTE: The Cayman Aggressor never made it to Little
Cayman or Cayman Brac. Per the people we met at the airport heading home,
Little Cayman was not diveable with only 10 feet of visibility and the day
boats werent going out.
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Other dive reports on Nekton Diving Cruises

All Cayman Islands Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Cayman Islands
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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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