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Dive Review of Ark Royal Maldives in

September, 2011, an Instant Reader Report by Todd Lichtenstein, NJ, US
Sr. Reviewer   (9 reports)
Report Number 6239
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Lembeh Strait,St. Vincent,Andaman Sea, Papua New
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
calm, choppy, surge, currents  
Water Temp
82   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 70    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Limited to 1 hour dives, no other limits enforced  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or  
1 or  
Whale Sharks
1 or 
1 or 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  1 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Small camera area only serviceable for 4 people. 
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
2 stars
2 stars
Service and Attitude
2 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
2 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
2 stars    
1 stars   
3 stars    
The diving conditioins were not good on our trip. We saw no mantas at
Hanifaru.  The visibility on most dives ranged from  fair to terrible. The
dive sites in the Baa Atoll were crowded with at least 7 other boats diving
the same site at once. The dive staff lacked organization. They seemed to
lack the ability to judge the currents even when one of them would jump in
to test them. They rarely pointed out critters for photographers. The boat
was in a state of disrepair. The floor in our bathroom was flooded with
water from a leak above. They did manage to fix it after two days.  There
was a strong odor of mold in our room which never dissipated the whole
trip. Sometimes there was an odor of human excrement in the lower deck
hallway. The air conditioning was not cold enough in our room or in the
salon. There was peeling and bubbling wallpaper in our room. The water
faucet in our bathroom was corroded and needed to be replaced.   Some of
the windows in the salon were cracked or obscured by badly applied
sunscreens. The food was monotonous and the portions were meager. 
Sometimes they ran out of certain items before all the divers went through
the line. There was a lack of graciousness on the part of the dining room
crew. They never went out of their way to please the divers and they always
had to be asked to refill the serving dishes when they ran out of food. 
The chaise lounges on the upper deck were missing cushions. Some were
broken with screws sticking out. In fact none of the other wooden chairs
had cushions either. Some of the cushions were missing from the banquet
outside the salon. 

All the diving is from dhonis. We had 14 divers on this trip. All were
using Nitrox. The Nitrox compressor on the dhoni lacked any storage
capacity (air banks) so it took 3 hours to fill all the tanks. If we did 4
dives a day they sometimes had to give us air for the  3rd and 4th dive
because they couldn't make enough Nitrox. The dive ladder is broken and
there is sharp metal on it's railings. 

We were very disappointed with this boat. They claim to be a first class
premier dive boat and they charge those kind of prices. This our 7th
liveaborad. I think we can speak from experience in saying that this boat
and dive operation has some serious problems which they must address.
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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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