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Dive Review of Carib Dancer Liveaboard in
Bahamas/Exuma Cays

Carib Dancer Liveaboard, Jul, 2012,

by Harlan Bittner, VA, US (Reviewer Reviewer 3 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 6638.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments The Carib Dancer was recently overhauled (I understand it used to be the Cayman Aggressor) and put in service in the Bahamas in May. The boat can accommodate 14 passengers in 5 staterooms (one is a quad); our week had 13 passengers and 5 crew.

There was ample space for relaxing in the common areas. The hot tub on the top deck was a treat. Several meals were served top-side where we could enjoy the breeze. Our stateroom was small but adequate for the two of us. We enjoyed the HD TV for watching movies a couple of times; there was a large TV in the lounge, but I don't think anyone used it during the week. There were some air conditioning problems in some of the staterooms (our room was comfortable except for the last night, when it was too hot). During the first part of the week, there was an unpleasant smell in many of the bathrooms. The crew explained that these problems were being worked out.

The food was delicious--early continental breakfasts each morning followed by made-to-order eggs, sometimes pancakes, and excellent fresh fruit. Mid-morning snacks were usually home-made cookies. Lunches often included an outstanding home-made soup followed by a excellent main course. Afternoon snacks were varied and included cakes, cookies, quesadillas or cheese and crackers. Dinners were also delicious--Mexican one night, steak another, and a wonderful fish a different night. Desserts were always provided and were always sinfully good.

The dive set-up was outstanding. Entry into the water was via a short set of steps down to the dive platform and then a giant stride into the water. The crew was available to help anyone with special needs. There were plenty of rinse buckets. The photography setup was outstanding, including a huge camera table, plenty of plugs, and a dedicated, large rinse tank. The best part was a hot shower at the back of the boat--including a liquid soap dispenser--and a bin of towels. After night dives, the towels were hot out of the dryer and often came with a quick shoulder massage. To top off the night dive, hot chocolate and Irish Creme were provided!

Our diving was mostly in the Exuma Cays. Some of the dive sites were gorgeous--pristine corals, gorgonia, all the familiar tropicals, and we did see many Caribbean reef sharks and some turtles and rays during the week. We also saw several huge Remora, which tried to hitch a ride back to the boat with us. However, too many of the dive sites, especially the deeper sites, were covered with algae. At those sites, most of the coral appeared to be dead and there were very few fish. Those dives were for the most part disappointing to me. We saw many Lionfish--in fact, on almost every dive. The Bahamas do not allow anything to be taken, including Lionfish, and I wonder if that is exacerbating the problem. The night dives were fun, revealing a multitude of Lobsters, some octopus, and a plethora of macro-photo subjects. On the last day, we dived the Lost Blue Hole; my son and I descended to 130 feet for the fun of it, but the real pleasure was exploring the sandy edges at about 50 feet--we saw many Shieldhead slugs,, jawfish, sharks, and many now-familiar fish to bid us goodbye.

I can't say enough good things about the crew. Capt. Tom did an excellent job finding the best dive sites, calm waters for overnighting and keeping us safe. First mate Craig was helpful in many ways--with the cabins, the common areas, the dive operation, and he was outstanding as a dive master--I had the feeling that he was the glue that kept the entire enterprise afloat so to speak. Engineer Gareth, from Wales, was a delight--he could fix anything and he happily entertained us with his life's adventures. C. Lee was a great chef and a lot of fun to boot. Dive instructor Brian was friendly and always available.

Websites Carib Dancer Liveaboard   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Caymans, Utila, Belize, Bonaire, Virgin Islands, Great Barrier Reef, Hawaii, California Channel Islands
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas choppy
Water Temp 82-84°F / 28-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 60-100 Ft/ 18-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Depth 130 feet, no time restrictions.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 2 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Large camera table, plenty of outlets for recharging, dedicated rinse tank.
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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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