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Dive Review of Divers International/Sofitel in
Red Sea/Sharm El Sheikh

August, 2002, an Instant Reader Report by David Bryan, Bucks, UK
Report Number 223
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
51-100 dives
Where else diving
USA (FL & NC, Carribean, Mexico, Hawaii
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
70   to 75    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 70    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
All group dives with a divemaster and group all in buddy pairs. Mainly
drift dives and depth restricted to 25m (81ft).  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  2 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
1 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
2 stars   
2 stars    
Accomodation at the Sofitel was good. I live in the UK so travel was fairly
Decided to use dive operation on site as web site looked good and had own
jetty at hotel. In reality had to be bused to town to get the boat.
Logistics were poor and often it was an hour or two from meeting at the
hotels dive center to the boat actually sailing. Two dive trip could mean
meeting at 8.45am and not being back at the hotel until about 6.00pm - an
appalling waste of time. Lunch and drinks on boat weren't too bad but cost
All gear has to be transferred into plastic crates and they look after it
and take to the boat every day. They never lost anything but it never
looked that reliable a system. Sometimes had to wait up to 45 mins after
getting back to hotel before gear arrived so that I could rinse it.
On one three dive trip we decided to sit out the second dive. After lunch
we just sailed back to port. When I asked what was happening they said not
enough people wanted to do the third dive. We had been at the dive center
for 7.45 and got back at about 4.30 so all that for just one dive.
Coral looked in poor condition in many places. Saw no large pelagics at
all. Only large fish was a good sized napoleon wrasse. Smaller fish more
plentiful but overall I was disappointed. On one occasion I counted 14
boats moored at the same site for lunch - each capable of carrying 25
divers. Its just too much. Ports are a zoo as well with too many boats for
the jetty space.
On the last day I wanted to just do a shore dive. I had snorkelled over the
"house reef" and it looked quite good. Max depth about 25-30 ft
but they wouldn't let me dive it without a dive master at a $30 charge
because I didn't have advanced certification. A few harsh words were
exchanged but they wouldn't budge.
Overall a nice place with very friendly people but they need to get their
act together with the diving or they are going to kill their main
attraction. If you are going I would suggest trying Red Sea Diving College
or Camel club or Ocean College - all were recommended to me by others as
better run.
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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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