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Dive Review of Caribbean Explorer II in

January, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Matthew Wolynetz, DE, United States (1 report)
Report Number 4642
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Galapagos Islands, Great Exumas, Florida Keys, Roatan, New Jersey &
Delaware coast
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, rainy  
calm, choppy  
Water Temp
77   to 80    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Buddy system with some guided dives  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
1 stars  
Small Critters
  2 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
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):
3 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
3 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
3 stars   
1 stars    
The good.....our group got this trip very cheaply as we had a very generous
dive shop owner turn back all free spaces and discounts to lower our per
person costs dramatically.  This was the largest reason this trip was worth
it to me.  Had I paid the card rate I would not be so cheerful.  The food
was pretty good and plentiful with snacks in between meals.  The boat was
fairly spacious on the dive deck  with small lockers underneathe your seat,
hot shower on deck, hot towels after dives.  Overall not bad at our price
of just $916.00 per person.  

The bad....this could be rather long but I will keep it very concise as
possible.  The boat was tired and worn throughout and ready for drydock. 
There was a strong mold smell in our room below decks when we arrived.  The
diving was disappointing for most of the experienced divers on this boat. 
There were so few fish underwater we coudn't believe it.  If I had a nickle
everytime I heard someone said "where's the fish" I'd be rich. 
There was nothing large at all, except one large baracuda, one large
grouper, and one large turtle.  That was it for 25 dives.  There wasn't
even a lot of small fish.  To be fair there was a hurricane in this area in
Oct. 2008 and we dove many sites that were covered in sand and debris. 
Perhaps this is the reason there is so little fish life there.  Our
itinerary started in St. Kitts to St. Eustacious, to Saba.  Saba clearly
had the best viz, and reefs. Diamond Rock was the best dive  But again
little underwater life overall.  The crew was attentive but aloof and
seemed disconnected at times but maybe that has something to do with what I
wrote below.  The captain (Ian) seemed tired, and identified himself as the
bus driver as soon as we arrived.   His attitude was clearly that he wished
he was somewhere else.  Apparently he was a fill in captian and this was to
be his last trip.  The boat had a small (8ft) dingy for rescuing divers or 
land visits.  The crew put eight passengers in this dingy and transported
us without life jackets over a 1/2 mile of open water in 2-3 ft seas.  This
is seriously unsafe!  The crew was also smoking pot on the boat during
while divers were in the water.  Now I am pro-pot but never have I been on
a dive boat where the crew was getting high with divers in the water!! 
Again very unsafe and dangerous for us if there was an emergency situation.
  Several of us smelled the odor and I asked the captain (who was on deck)
if he smelled it.  Others asked if the crew would share.  The captain
immediately (without saying a word) walked to the bow of the boat.  The bow
is where the crew smoked their cigs and hung out.  Two members of the crew
also took night swims without life jackets or strobes some distance away
from the boat.  They told us about a tug boat that was motoring their way
that they had to swim away from at night.  This didn't seem to be a big
deal at the time, but someone else pointed out what if something happened
to them while they were swimming?  How would that affect the paying
customers trip if one of the crew went missing?? This is supposed to be our
vacation not theirs.   The land tours were nice but over priced taxi cab
rides.  Thirteen of us were crammed in a small van at $20.00 each ($260.00)
and driven up to the top of Saba and back.  When the driver dropped us off
at a couple of destinations to shop he would leave us to pick up other
fares.  Transfers to and from the airport were not paid for by the boat.
Paying full price for this boat or close to it is too much for this
destination and condition of this boat at this time.  Wait a year or two
and maybe the reefs are in better shape and maybe the fish will return. 
Maybe the boat will go into dry dock too.  Who knows.  But add in all of
the extra fees they hit you with plus airfare, taxes, gratuity and a couple
could easily end up spending more than $4500.00 for this trip.  This boat
and location was unknown to us prior to our visit.  Next time we will be on
a Aggressor boat.
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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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