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September 2003 Vol. 18, No. 9   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Should Female Divers Beware?

from the September, 2003 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

A female diver who made a single booking on the Peter Hughes Wind Dancer last year, when it was still operating out of the Turks and Caicos, found herself assigned a male cabin mate, much to her displeasure. Although contrary to the longstanding Hughes policy of always booking single passengers with another of the same gender, it was an error. We later learned that the Hughes folks did a responsible job rectifying it.

Like the Hughes fleet, most live-aboard companies recognize the need for same-gender roommates. A spokesperson for the Undersea Hunter and the Undersea Explorer told Undercurrent: "As long as there is space in the trip that you request, we will take your booking and only book another female passenger with you. If no other female passenger books in the same trip as you, you will have the cabin for yourself." That policy was echoed by the Explorer fleet serving the Caribbean and Australia.

Wayne Hasson, who runs the Aggressor fleet, says that if a single female passenger can't be provided with a female roommate on an Aggressor boat, she will be given a stateroom to herself, without being charged a single supplement. "It costs us money," Hasson says, "but with more women traveling now, it's rarely a problem."

However, on Mike Ball's fleet, there are no guarantees. Laura Waters of their North American reservations office stated, "We do aim to match up single people with same sex roommates where possible; however, unfortunately we are unable to guarantee this. If you wish to guarantee a cabin to yourself you can do this with a 70 percent surcharge on top of the basic berth cost."

So, if you're a single diver and want a guarantee that you'll end up with a same-sex roommate, be careful to clarify the policy up front and in writing.

P.S.: Next year the Aggressor fleet will be conducting single diver charters in Belize (April 17 to April 24) and Cayman (June 26 to July 3). They say that "this is not the 'Dating Game' or a wacky reality television program. It is just a laid back dive vacation for single men and women."

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