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Dive Review of Ocean Rover in
Thailand/similan islands, surin, berma

Ocean Rover, Mar, 2004,

by ann mcgrath, va, usa (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 20 reports with 7 Helpful votes). Report 959.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Saba, Cozumel, Turks & Caicos, Belize, Cayman Islands, Venezuela, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Bahamas
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, currents
Water Temp 79 to 82 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 20 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Restricted by nitrox only
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments The Ocean Rover has more room for photography equipment than any other liveaboard. They process E6 slide film as well. They have a CD burner if you want to copy your digital pictures to CD, a DVD player and a TV in the salon for viewing video. Their photo pro, Mark Strickland, is one of the best.

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments There is nothing bad about taking a trip on the Ocean Rover! She was built specifically for liveaboard diving, and is incredibly spacious for 16 divers. The crew is the most helpful of any crew we've ever seen (we took a vote). The food is just incredible!

The diving in Thailand and Bermese waters usually involves current, so this is not beginner diving. There are two dinghies, so you never wait more than a few minutes to get picked up (unlike divers on other boats that we observed). The crew helps you get into your gear, gets your fins and your camera equipment for you, and rinses it all off after a dive. The boat is incredibly organized - each diver has a numbered locker, as well as a towel and even designated water glasses! They have cold water coolers on the dive deck and upstairs on the sun deck. There were ALWAYS great snacks upstairs, in addition to the fabulous meals and fresh made snacks they served us in the afternoons.

The cabins are very large, with plenty of storage. The bathrooms are the nicest I've ever seen on a liveaboard, with tile floors and normal sized toilets. They make enough water that you don't have to worry about it, and each bathroom heats it's own water for your shower, so you never run out of hot water!

The folks at Fantasea/Ocean Rover have received permission to dive in Bermese (Myanmar) waters, which is awesome. The diving in the Burma banks is clear and great - still plenty of current, but great stuff to see.

We didn't encounter any whale sharks on this trip (but their numbers are dwindling), but we did see leopard sharks, manta rays and incredible sights like cuttlefish laying eggs (more than once), and lots of harlequin ghost pipefish, as well as their endemic saddleback anenome fish and the amazing mandarin shrimp!

This liveaboard is a MUST for any serious diver. The charter just before ours included Ned deLoach and Paul Humann - need I say more?
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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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