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Dive Review of Emperor Fleet/Superior in
Red Sea/Hurgada

May, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Terry Gee, TX, USA
Sr. Reviewer   (9 reports)
Report Number 4913
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Indonesia, Truk, Palau, Papua New Guinea, extensively through out the
Caribbean,Phillipines, many years off of the California coast, Sea of
Cortez, limited experience in the Atlantic
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy, dry  
Water Temp
73   to 78    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
20   to 40    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Time limits were set at one hour  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  2 stars
Tropical Fish
1 stars  
Small Critters
  2 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
1 stars  
Boat Facilities
1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
1 stars  
Shore Facilities  
There were no UWP facitities on the boat.  No rinse tanks, no tables, no
charging stations, etc.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
2 stars
2 stars
Service and Attitude
2 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
1 stars
Dive Operation
1 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
1 stars    
3 stars   
1 stars    
The operation is without a doubt the worst live aboard I have ever been on.
 When we arrived we were not greeted by the crew, just ushered in to the
central lounge where we were left sitting with a glass of orange juice
while two members of the crew fused with a dive briefing computer
projector. After five or ten minutes of sitting there being ignored my
group begain ask questions of the crew, like who are you, what is your
position on the boat, is anyone going to address us and tell us what is
going on.  The head of the dive operation, Hany, an Egyptian, and his
assistant Rick, a Canadian, answered our questions but volunteered no
further information.  Hany then proceeded to give the most negative
assessment of our dive itinerary imaginable.  He said we would experience
5-15 foot seas all the way south and once there would continue to be
battered by the heavy seas as no shelter existed where we were going.  He
convinced my group of 20 divers that they should not undertake such a
harrowing sail.  They convinced us to instead go to the northern itinerary
where there was little to see. 

The boat is nice inside but is the poorest lay out for divers I have ever
encountered.  There are two rows of tanks running port to starboard with
about two feet betweeen the benches they are attached to.  Twenty divers in
that space attempting to suit up for a dive at the same time is not only
extremely difficult but down right dangerous as a dropped weight belt or
other heavy item has little chance of avoiding toes and feet.  Moving in
and out of the confined area was extremely difficult.

We were advised that we were not to throw anything into the water.  Even
the toilets were not to be used for toilet paper.  Then we observed the
galley crew throwing all of their trash overboard after every meal.  Not
only food products but paper, etc.  The reefs reflected this abuse as there
was trash everywhere.

Our charter was booked as Sunday through Saturday.  But Hany suddenly
informed us Friday morning that we were to be put ashore Friday at noon. 
They did arrange for us to stay in a nice resort, but there was no diving
or layed back liveaboard ambiance.  The reason given was that they had
another group coming on board that afternoon and needed us off so they
could prepare the boat for the new group.  So it became evident that the
reason we received such a negative briefing telling us that sailing south
was too dangerous was so that they could have us at the unload dock by noon
Friday instead of Saturday.  Had we gone south we would have been underway
all day Friday.  

I have never been lied to by a boat charter company before and find it
difficult to believe the Emperor people would do so to a group of
experienced divers that have dived extensively around the world.  In a
letter to them I layed out my complaints for the group and was told that
they were simply making a judgement call and saving us from ourselves by
not letting us go south.  They said there were people in my group that
weren't in good enough shape to handle the diving in the southern
itinerary.  There was never a notice or warning in any of their online or
precharter information warning that your group might be discriminated
against if there were any older or heavy divers in the group.  In my
experience the dive operators leave it up to the divers to determine dives
they think that they can or cannot handle.  They may advise certain
individuals about particular dives, but never the blatant lies perpetrated
by the Emperor fleet. 

Our equipment was not cleaned for us, no rinse tanks were made available
for us and we left the boat with gear partially packed and dirty.  The
confusion surrounding the sudden departure left us in Hurgada without the
bags we needed for overnighting there.  It took over two hours to get the
office to send all of our gear to the resort so that we could dig through
it and find the things we needed for the day, that night and then for the
flight to Cairo the next day.  

All and all I would strongly recommend against anyone chartering with the
Emperor Fleet boats.  An operation that will lie to and cheat one group
will certainly do the same to another.     
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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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