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Dive Review of Ark Royal Maldives in
Maldives

Ark Royal Maldives, Sep, 2011,

by Todd Lichtenstein, NJ, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 10 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 6239.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Lembeh Strait, St. Vincent, Andaman Sea, Papua New Guinea, Cocos, Galapagos, Belize, Bonaire
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, choppy, surge, currents
Water Temp 82 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30 to 70 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Limited to 1 hour dives, no other limits enforced
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or Mantas 1 or
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks 1 or
Turtles 1 or Whales None
Corals 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 N/A
UW Photo Comments Small camera area only serviceable for 4 people.

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

Accommodations 2 stars Food 2 stars
Service and Attitude 2 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 2 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 2 stars
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments 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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