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Dive Review of Carpe Vita Explorer in
Maldives/Central Atolls

December, 2013, an Instant Reader Report by Jeremy Cohen, IL, US
Sr. Reviewer   (8 reports, with 7 Helpful votes)
Report Number 7468 has 1 Helpful vote
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Alor, Bahamas, Belize, N&S California, Couzmel, Fiji, Flores, Florida,
Galapagos, Kauai, Komodo, Little Cayman, Maui, Niihau, Oman, Papua New
Guinea, South Sulawesi Puget Sound, Roatan, Sea of Cortez, Socorro Islands,
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, rainy, dry  
calm, currents, no currents  
Water Temp
83   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Maldives sets 99 foot depth max. Sometimes follow guide, others buddy
diving dependent on dive site.   
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Tropical Fish
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Small Critters
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Large Fish
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Large Pelagics
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Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
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Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
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Shore Facilities  
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Small camera table, LP air only reached one corner, same as smoking area -
a cloud of cigar and cigarette smoke and sometimes ashtrays and other
non-photo gear on table.  ...
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Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
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Service and Attitude
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Environmental Sensitivity  
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Dive Operation
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Shore Diving  
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Overall Rating

Value for $$
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2 stars   
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A short 4-hour hop on Qatar Air from Qatar (where we are living), the
Maldives is a favorite of divers from Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Of
20 guests, only 4 were Americans. The crew was always helpful. Good buffet
meals, especially the local curries - portions sometimes in short supply.
The cabins are very roomy, beds comfy, bathrooms clean, hot water never in
short supply. Reef and Rain Forest did their usual professional job making
our arrangements - arriving a day early we stayed in the Huhulee Hotel five
minutes from the airport - the only alternative if you want wine with
dinner - Male is dry. Clean, good food, brkfst included at the hotel with a
nice view of the Indian Ocean. A nice pool. We watched local young men
playing soccer below our room (they gave us a free upgrade). An interesting
90 minute walking tour of Male at end of charter. 

Carpe Vita is a very comfortable steel hulled vessel that rides the sea
well. The Dhoni moves off from the mother ship for tank filling.  We never
had to listen to the twin compressors rumbling. Lots of nooks and crannies
to sit, indoors or out, between dives to read, log the reefs, or simply
gaze at impossibly beautiful seascapes. Two glasses of wine or beer with
dinner included each night. Full b ...
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Subscriber's Comments

By Laura A. Sonnenmark in VA, US at Jan 03, 2014 11:10 EST  
Thanks for your thoughtful review! We had a fantastic whale shark
experience in the Sea of Cortez (Rocio del Mar) this past September, but
later a fellow passenger showed me photos of a place where people sit in
the boat and the crew have some sort of sieve feeder so the whale sharks
come right up to the bow! No, I wouldn't like that, either.
By Graham McGregor in ZZ, GB at Nov 04, 2014 18:39 EST  
Jeremy I've dived in the Maldives several times both liveaboard and resort
based. I must say I've never seen or heard of the "contrived"
dives you mention (lights to attract manatas at night or shark feeds). I
have been fortunate to have a good few manta encounters, generally well
briefed and well led dives. I've also snorkelled a couple of times with
whale sharks. You are right it can get crowded and unfortunately the odd
idiot will dive down and get too close to the animal, when that happened
the shark dived down into the depths and disappeared. I'm not saying what
you experienced doesn't happen, nor am I condoning it, I haven't
experienced it.
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