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Dive Review of Aggressor Fleet/SunDancer II in
Belize

Aggressor Fleet/SunDancer II, May, 2014,

by Michael L Lewis, TN, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 9 reports with 2 Helpful votes). Report 7759.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments My wife, Jan, and I spent a wonderful week (May 10-17) onboard the SunDancer II. We loved it and will return. It’s great for divers at all experience levels. What a phenomenal crew, led by Captain Megan. We have never seen a live-aboard crew work so well together to ensure a great experience for their passengers. This was my 10th live-aboard (9th for my wife) and our second one in Belize. We did the Belize Aggressor in 2004, but now prefer the SunDancer. We convinced our younger, less-experienced friends to join us for their first live-aboard, and they are hooked. We warned them that they may be disappointed with other boats after this wonderful experience.

Diving: Overall it was excellent. Our first few days were windy and choppy, and the boat was really swinging on the mooring line. Luckily there is a really big hang-bar so we hung onto that and flew back and forth during our safety stops. It almost pulled my wife’s mask off and the regulator out of my mouth a couple of times. Water temp was 81’. The visibility was not great, as low as 25’ on some dives, but improving to 70’ by the middle of the week. We both tend to get sea-sick but medicated with Bonine, and were fine. The yacht is quite stable.
Once the wind calmed down we were able to get to the Blue Hole. It’s still spectacular for the 8 minutes you’re at max depth (133’), but there didn’t seem to be as many creatures on the stalactites as before. Other sites had pretty good fish life. We saw lots of Eagle Rays, morays, reef sharks, a few octopi, grouper, parrotfish, angelfish, Pedersen shrimp and unfortunately lionfish at every site. I really wish the crew would hunt them, and serve them up for dinner a few times a week. We saw lots of creole wrasse exhibiting mating behavior. Very cool. It took several of us to figure out it was creole wrasse since they change color when mating. Our favorite sites were Long Caye Ridge, Eagle Ray Wall, Silver Caves & Painted Wall. There were some areas that were pretty silty, and we saw some coral bleaching, but the reefs were in pretty good shape and the walls were great.
There were 20 passengers, but it didn’t seem too crowded on the dive deck. The crew really accelerated the diving process with their “Fintastic” service. They helped you get into your fins on the dive deck, and out of your fins before climbing the ladder back onboard. We were dubious since we’re kind of old-school divers, but we were quickly won over and hope other live-aboards and day-boats will adopt this service. Our tanks always had good fills, and the crew was always quick to help with anything. They assign you a towel for the week, which is kept in a cooler so it’s warm. A crew member usually brought you your towel, and gave a brief and much needed/appreciated shoulder massage after your shower. They could use some thicker towels. The showers on the dive deck had plenty of warm water.

Cabin: The SunDancer is a really nice boat with the most comfortable king-sized bed we’ve experienced on any live-aboard. There was a good-sized closet, with big drawers under the bed, but not much room on the sides of the beds. There was a decent sized en-suite bathroom and the shower had plenty of hot water the few times we used it.
The only real complaint we have is that the A/C wasn’t working in our cabin (#5). The first night was miserable even with one fan, but Barbara brought us another and it was fine for a few days. We had just spent a week in the rainforest at the wonderful duPlooy’s Eco Lodge, so we were used to no A/C. Once it got really uncomfortable and we complained, they worked on it and made it better. Our friends were in cabin 4 across the hall and they were cold. Capt Megan reported this to the company, and they compensated us our Nitrox for the week, which was really nice and unexpected. Very classy. Hopefully they will replace the system at their next dry-dock.

Yacht: There was a nice covered area on the sun deck, great for reading or napping between dives. The dining area was good sized. The area where they did the dive briefings was a bit small. Luckily we had a great group on the boat, so we didn’t mind getting a bit cozy. There is no hot tub, as with all the Dancer fleet. We really hope they add one next time SunDancer goes in for refurbishing.

Food: Chef Jerry and Carlos did a terrific job. They took my wife’s lethal peanut allergy very seriously, even moving the peanut butter totally away from other breakfast offerings. This is always a concern since the Turks and Caicos Aggressor did such a poor job years ago. Jerry made everything from fresh ingredients, and easily accommodated likes and dislikes. He kept us well-fed and happy all week. The Friday night dinner in town didn’t work out too well. We went to the restaurant in the Chateau Caribbean hotel, which was walking distance from the dock. The food was awful and service was incredibly slow even for the Caribbean. I wish I had checked Trip Advisor before leaving home.

Booking: The booking process was easy thanks to Debbie Messina and Darien Bacon. They even got us a 10% discount for our week at duPlooy’s Eco Lodge, which was amazing. Thank you to Captain Megan, John, Karim, Simon, Barbara, Jerry and Carlos for a wonderful week.
Websites Aggressor Fleet   SunDancer II

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Grand Cayman, Hawaii, Bonaire Galapagos, Tobago, T&C
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas choppy
Water Temp 80-82°F / 27-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 25-70 Ft/ 8-21 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No deco, recreational limits, buddy dive, you become a snorkeler if you drink before the last dive of the day.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments We aren't photographers, but there were several on the boat. The majority were careful not to harass the sea life, and didn't drag or lay on the coral to get photos. All seemed quite happy and got really great photos.
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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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