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Dive Review of Sea Queen 2 in
Red Sea

Sea Queen 2, Apr, 2010,

by Mr Brent Woods, ON, CA (Contributor Contributor 13 reports). Report 5847.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Thousand Islands and Great Lakes, Cuba, Jamaica, Roatan, Bonaire, Galapagos, Sea of Cortez, Palau, Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, Guam
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather windy Seas choppy
Water Temp 72 to Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 7
Water Visibility 50 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 2 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 2 stars
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments My trip to the Red Sea was organized by my local dive shop. We were originally booked on the MV Hyatt. It burnt in dry dock 2 months before the trip. We were rebooked on the MV Julliet. It was impounded 3 days before we boarded due the boat docked beside burning. We were rebooked onto the Sea Queen 2. Conclusion: there is overcapacity on the Red Sea and it's being resolved by fire.
We went from a five star boat to a three star with no change in price, although to be fair the stated capacity of the Sea Queen 2 was for twice as many people. It was comfortable for our group of 13. It would be cramped for a larger group.
The Sea Queen is an older boat, and while well maintained, is showing its age. It is very stable which was much appreciated on a number of days. The crew was friendly and helpful. Their English was limited as was our Arabic. The cuisine was Egyptian.
Our dive master was from the MV Julliet. His English was adequate but his attitude wasn't. His time on board was spent whining about how hard done by he was or on Facebook with his harem. In Egypt, the dive master is the senior person on the boat. The quality of your trip is very dependent upon him and so much of this review is applicable to the MV Julliet.
The first and last nights were spent in the Sharm-el-Shielk marina. The boats were so tightly packed you easily step onto the neighbouring boats. There is no electrical service so all boats run their diesels all night to provide power and A/C. There may be a worse marina somewhere. I hope not to find it.
The diving preferences of our group were evenly split between reefs and wrecks. It was agreed the first half of the trip would focus on wrecks in the Gulf of Suez; the second half on reefs in the Gulf of Aqaba. We never made it to the Gulf of Aqaba due to high winds when we were in the Gulf of Suez. The Thistlegorm is worth its reputation. The other wrecks and the Gulf of Suez reefs were mediocre.
The direction of the current was checked before each dive and sometimes changed during the dive. There were no tides tables on board or perhaps they don't exist. Currents can be strong.
The Red Sea reefs are not spectacular. This is not surprising as they are on the limits of coral's range. However, their reputation is otherwise. Sites within reach of shore based operators are crowded and the reefs often degraded.
The number of fish species is impressive. Some sites had large schools of juvenile fish. Mature fish are rare and pelagics almost nonexistent. We did not see one of the Red Sea's famed sharks during a week of diving.
In summary, I had high expectations of the Red Sea given its reputation. They were not met. I feel this would have been the case regardless of dive operator.
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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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