Author Topic: Looking for a recommendation for a Caribbean Liveaboard  (Read 10624 times)

jocko

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Looking for a recommendation for a Caribbean Liveaboard
« on: July 08, 2008, 17:32:04 UTC »
Planning a dive vacation for November 08 and I am looking for recommendations for liveaboards in the Caribbean. I have already been on the Caribbean Explorer II (St Kitts - St Maartins). Preferably one that covers sites with a good mixture of small (macro) - Large (shark, rays).

Robinell

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Re: Looking for a recommendation for a Caribbean Liveaboard
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2008, 19:48:35 UTC »
We enjoyed the Cayman Aggressor IV, but that was several years ago.

blacktip

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Re: Looking for a recommendation for a Caribbean Liveaboard
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2008, 17:14:44 UTC »
I did the Belize Aggressor III just this June. Lots of nice diving. Though there was a lot of downtime at weeks end. Cabins were small, showers in the cabin were tiny, I used the shower at the stern. The crew was attentive. Dive sites were in good condition and the briefings were fabulous.

jeffhub

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Re: Looking for a recommendation for a Caribbean Liveaboard
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2008, 03:23:19 UTC »
We have done 5 Belize Sun Dancer II charters [Peter Hughes], most recently in May, 2008, and it continues to be the best (well, actually tied w Truk Odyssey, which is way farther.)  Easy connex via Charlotte or Houston (no MIA!!)  Boat is luxurious, crew is very experienced & professional, planning is super.  Twenty-six dives in 5.5 days.  Few sharks or big rays.  Large fish means barracudas and tarpons on the night dives (every night.)  Most others have been eaten. Cruise out to the atolls & back a few hours each, relaxing sea, dolphin and bird watching.  We prefer December - May, out of hurricane season.  We think this must be the best Caribbean liveaboard.  We haven't been on all, but most.
See our reviews in old Undercurrents.
Martha & Jeff Hubbard
M & J H

jlf0

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Re: Looking for a recommendation for a Caribbean Liveaboard
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2008, 14:39:40 UTC »

I've done Caribbean Explorer II, Aqua Cat, and Nekton Pilot, NW Bahamas itinerary.  Here are my comparison of these three:

CEX II: great mix of diving (pinnacles, macro, bigger stuff, a few wrecks), great dive sites, middle quality for boat, food, dive deck, rooms, etc., very fun crew

Aqua Cat: some unique dives (shark feed, "Washing Machine"), many dive site great, a few were overrun with algae, high quality boat, food, room

Nekton Pilot NW Bahamas: great mix of diving (pinnacles, macro, bigger stuff, a few wrecks), great dive sites, middle quality for boat, food, dive deck, rooms, etc.


JoAn

cc

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Re: Looking for a recommendation for a Caribbean Liveaboard
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2008, 15:51:28 UTC »
Did the T & C Explorer II out of Provo a couple of Octobers ago. An older boat but in very good condition. Plenty of room. Max of 18 (I think). Great food and staff at that time. Pretty good wall and patch diving. Nice variety of critters. Reef sharks on a number of dives. I would do it again. 

irabraun

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Re: Looking for a recommendation for a Caribbean Liveaboard
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2008, 16:31:53 UTC »
Been on many Caribbean liveaboards. Most recently (last 2 years) have enjoyed T&C Aggressor. Great boat, usually captained by the owner, Pier, who is very knowlegeable, and service oriented. Diving at top level for the Caribbean, IMHO.

Irene

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Re: Looking for a recommendation for a Caribbean Liveaboard
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2008, 18:42:06 UTC »
The CEX I Bahamas itinerary is a great trip. Beautiful walls, reefs, and lots of reef sharks, rays, and groupers. The boat is clean and comfortable but the rooms are a bit smaller, especially compared to the sister ship CEX II. Good value for the money. Look in the Chapbook, I did a review for it last June 2007.

mongoose

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Re: Looking for a recommendation for a Caribbean Liveaboard
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2008, 00:02:14 UTC »
do you want to go cost is no object,or do you want really economical?
did a blackbeard cruise in the winter(5 days,4nights,4dives a day for about $500.)
only problem is it leaves out of freeport.food is half way decent,rooms are small,crew is good.diving is good to very good. they equate blackbeard to camping which is probably not far from the truth.
but its diving in the bahamas which to me is best bang for our depreciated dollar.depending on where you are flying from it may be easy or a pain in the ass to get to freeport.did it once,but won't do it again because at 6'4" i banged my head too many times when going to my room and i prefer not to do a repeat of that.

RobertEE

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Re: Looking for a recommendation for a Caribbean Liveaboard
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2008, 19:01:45 UTC »
I'd suggest Peter Hughes Diving in Tobago as my first choice.  Maybe PHD in T&C, or anyone serving the Caymans.   The problem with the Caymans is weather driven with the best diving off Little Cayman and they can not promise the crossing.  I've done the Nekton in Belize and would not recommend it since the boat is a bit tired and the diving lack luster.  T&C has the best diving off West Caicos.  If you like sharks and  dolphin, consider one of the Bahamas boats emphasizing this style of diving.

woolley

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Re: Looking for a recommendation for a Caribbean Liveaboard
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2008, 01:12:39 UTC »
A key question with liveaboards (the assumption is that you want serious diving so that goes without saying) is what sort of accommodations you desire/insist on.  With that said, if you are: looking for something slightly different, very comfortable but not luxurious, relatively slow because it is a motor-sailor, wonderful because it is a motor-sailor, try looking at "The Juliet".  Their website is www.sailjuliet.com.  During the time you will be traveling, they will be in the Turks/Caicos, I think.  The Juliet is a three master, with only twelve divers, and it is relatively inexpensive.  But mostly it is a hoot of a time. 

Don Stark

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Re: Looking for a recommendation for a Caribbean Liveaboard
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2008, 20:32:48 UTC »
Been on many Caribbean liveaboards. Most recently (last 2 years) have enjoyed T&C Aggressor. Great boat, usually captained by the owner, Pier, who is very knowlegeable, and service oriented. Diving at top level for the Caribbean, IMHO.

Just an update - Piers has been promoted and won't be on the boat much more.  He's still involved, but more land-based work on the fleet.  Still a good operation.  But if you have been on one of the Explorer boats previously, you might consider the T&C Explorer as someone else suggested.  Both go to essentially the same sites around Provo, West Caicos and French Cay.
Don Stark
ScubaVision Productions
Follow me at Twitter:  DonStark
www.ScubaVisions.TV

mburg

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Re: Looking for a recommendation for a Caribbean Liveaboard
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2008, 16:42:02 UTC »
You might also look into the Cuan Law, a 110 ft twin masted tri-marine.  A very interesting experience under sail.  BVI sites were generally good, and the boat, because of its width, had nice size staterooms and accommodations.  Staff  were superb and food was generally very good.

Nesher

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Re: Looking for a recommendation for a Caribbean Liveaboard
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2008, 03:11:25 UTC »
A key question with liveaboards (the assumption is that you want serious diving so that goes without saying) is what sort of accommodations you desire/insist on.  With that said, if you are: looking for something slightly different, very comfortable but not luxurious, relatively slow because it is a motor-sailor, wonderful because it is a motor-sailor, try looking at "The Juliet".  Their website is www.sailjuliet.com.  During the time you will be traveling, they will be in the Turks/Caicos, I think.  The Juliet is a three master, with only twelve divers, and it is relatively inexpensive.  But mostly it is a hoot of a time. 
[/i][/i][/i][/i][/i]

I second the Juliet recommendation.  I've been on both the Nekton and Juliet.  Although Nekton has more space and is stable.  You have to experience the Juliet.  In Oct I'm on the TCEII but I can't recommend it until after I've been aboard.

Safe Diving

Don Stark

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Re: Looking for a recommendation for a Caribbean Liveaboard
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2008, 10:57:44 UTC »
Hey, Nesher
Have you heard anything from the TCE II since Hanna and Ike went through?  My contacts on Provo say that Hanna dropped lots of rain and did a fair amount of wind damage as it circled Providenciales for three days last week and then Ike hit over the weekend with 100+ mph winds.  Although Provo did not suffer a direct hit, Grand Turk did and there was devastation there and on Salt Cay.

Don
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Nesher

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Re: Looking for a recommendation for a Caribbean Liveaboard
« Reply #15 on: September 10, 2008, 16:13:15 UTC »
Hey, Nesher
Have you heard anything from the TCE II since Hanna and Ike went through?  My contacts on Provo say that Hanna dropped lots of rain and did a fair amount of wind damage as it circled Providenciales for three days last week and then Ike hit over the weekend with 100+ mph winds.  Although Provo did not suffer a direct hit, Grand Turk did and there was devastation there and on Salt Cay.

Don

Hey Don:

How are you?  Well, Hurrican Ike came through and the TCEII was moved for preservation and protection.   Liquid Assets TV which chartered the vessel for the month of Sep will continue the charter on 13 Sep 08 so I imaigine that everything is okay with the vessel.

I believe on Friday at the end of each week, LA is sponsoring a volunteer relief program of some sort.  I think crew, and any guest who care to assist are involved.

Flights I've been told resumed on the 9th, so as far as the boat is concerned they are a go as long as they can provision the vessel.

DocV

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Re: Looking for a recommendation for a Caribbean Liveaboard
« Reply #16 on: September 10, 2008, 17:25:01 UTC »
Hi Nesher,

Yes, as I understand it, Liquid Assets TV has chartered the TCEII for the remainder of Sep and plans that the vessel crew as well as passengers will go ashore for one day during each week to help in post-hurricane activities.

Regards,

DocVikingo 

 

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