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Dive Review of Aqua Cat Cruises in
Bahamas

Aqua Cat Cruises: "Georegtown to Nassau", May, 2022,

by John Miller, TX, US (Contributor Contributor 18 reports with 4 Helpful votes). Report 11918.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 2 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 2 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 2 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments This was a special trip they run twice a year. Once out of Nassau down to Georgetown and then back again. They do it twice a year and you can book one=way or round trip. Thought we would be able to hit all the great dive sites so booked the Georgetown to Nassau run - but didn't. We did their normal trip out of Nassau back in November 2020 and while the crew and ship were great, the diving wasn't. So we thought we'd give it another try with this special route and had one of our own customer couple talked into the trip with us.

First the good. We arrived in Georgetown, Bahamas the evening before and stayed at the Peace & Plenty Resort and were happy with it. Taxi from airport was reported to cost around $10 per person and for the wife and I with four bags we paid $30. With a noon check out the next day we headed over and dropped our bags off at the Aqua Cat and hung out until boarding time at 6pm in a local dive for lunch and drinks all afternoon (no AC). On boarding we weren't allowed to go to our rooms but had to set up dive gear first, which wasn't a problem - but I'd been happier doing that after a shower and supper as the boat did not leave the dock until Sunday morning for a trip over to Salvador Island for our first dive just before lunch. Spent the next two days diving Salvador sites and then headed up to dive in Eleuthera at a site called Jake’s Hole - wasn't impressed but lots of macro on the shallow reef. The hole is tidal so no entry permitted for safety. We spent two days diving sites around Eleuthera and then on up towards Nassau. We saw one turtle all week long and that was in the Blue Hole where there is a small cave around 75 ft down. It has enough room for one experienced diver at a time to enter and then pivot to come back out. Saw some small fish and two small spotted spiney lobsters. The one turtle was a loggeread that was a good 5 ft in length. The blue hole in Belize has more to offer.

Now the bad parts of the trip, starting with the mostly cold food and of lower quality than this experienced live-a-board diver and wife of 54 years expected. That was because it was put out buffett style. Soup was hot, everything else mostly put out cold on platters or in bowls. The quality and variety of items just wasn't there and there is no excuse for that. You can put out a nice tender pork or steak but if it's cold it sort of loses it for me.

The one night dive I did on Wednesday I had planned as a flouro dive with my SeaLife 3.0. I teach solo diving and enjoy it mysel, especially when night diving on a good reef. The little coral head reef the captain chose was pittiful. Worse were my fellow night divers that didn't understand my blue light and all came over with their bright white lights to see what I was doing. I'd fast fin away, only to be followed by 6-8 divers. I saw one idiot actually sitting on the coral, feet in the air fiddling with his underwater camera. I was so frustrated with these idiots my wife and I ended the dive early with 1000 psi left. These folks all pretty much fought over each other trying to get photos on the one frighted octopus found. I managed to get a great flouro shot of a lizard fish before the crowd showed up and ran him off. It was a good 200 foot swim from the bow to this little reef across a wide open sand patch with sea grass and current. Little light from the boat as they had more concern with the possibility of sea wasps then providing night time navigational aid to the divers.

Now to the Captain. He didn't know who Bob Hollis was or ever heard of Hollis scuba. Spent most of his career as a private yacht captain - not a large scuba diving yacht. He has so much trouble mooring on the reefs, missing the intended dive site on at least one occasion. I took photos of anchor dropped in sand but that dragged under a coral ledge, another time where a chain was wrapped around a coral head (brand new chain). Places where they had a permanent mooring, the line rubbing on coral. This all affected the quality of the dive operations as the dive briefing would be conducted before the boat was moored up at the dive site. We'd all be on the dive deck geared up and the captain still didn't have the boat secured and engine off - wasn't valuable dive time and throwing the day's schedule off time and time again to the point that most days we only got 4 dives in rather than the five.

Bottom assessment is I never write anything off after just one try and after our November 2020 trip on the Cat this was their second opportunity to wow this 74 year old diver/instructor with 5941 (at the end of the trip) logged dives around the world since 1973 when I earned my first C-Card from the YMCA in Bangor, ME. I've owned a dive shop since 2012 and simply expect more for my travel dollars. On check out they charged our card twice due to their lousy wifi in Nassau so we still need to follow up with them and get that fixed.

We left the boat in Nassau (rained all night and into the early moring hours) at 6am for a 9am American Airlines flight home to Lubbock,TX via Miami and Dallas. At 11 am the flight out of Nassau was cancelled leaving us to figure something out. We fly business class for the extra bags and weight allowances for cameras and dive gear we haul. AA got us booked on a United flight at 3pm direct to Denver and then Lubbock, which was great. However it was in economy and we now had to pay for extra bags and overweight bags. And we all know the story of air travel these days. Got home to Lubbock Saturday night and our bags finally arrived Monday morning. Oh the joy of dive travel today having sticks stuck up our noses to go and to come home.

Heading out to Palu in August on the Siren with a couple of my other customers and hopefully will get better results.
Websites Aqua Cat Cruises   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Wakaobi, Figi, Roatan, Tobago, Cozumel, Cayman, Philappines, Belize, Truk, Turk & Caicos, Tabago, St Croix
Closest Airport Georgetown Getting There American Airlines

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy, cloudy Seas calm, choppy, surge
Water Temp 78-80°F / 26-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 1
Water Visibility 40-60 Ft/ 12-18 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Watch NDP/MOD as most of us were diving EAN30-31 that they provided all week long.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 2 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 2 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments The cat has a large camera table. Couldn't get the air hose to work for me. Large camera only rinse tables and crew handled our cameras with satisfactory care. Camera towels provided.
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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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