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Dive Review of Aggressor Fleet in
Cayman Islands/All 3 islands

Aggressor Fleet: "Cayman Aggressor needs serious overhaul", Jun, 2015,

by Michael L Lewis, TN, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 9 reports with 2 Helpful votes). Report 8294.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 1 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 1 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments My wife and I did a 10 day cruise (June 20-30) on the Cayman Aggressor IV. The crew was great. The chef was fantastic. The diving was pretty good. But the yacht itself is in pretty bad shape. It is in serious need of a total overhaul in dry dock. Until the CAIV is overhauled to fix the plumbing and we read better reviews, we will not return. We visit Grand Cayman every year and would love to be able to add-on a trip with the CAIV every few years, so itís really disappointing that the yacht is in such bad shape.

The plumbing/waste disposal (sewage management) is awful and it has been a problem since our first trip on the CA in 2002. Our cabin (#5) had dishwater and food chunks bubbling up from the shower drain. We also had an awful sewage smell. It wasn't as bad as cabin #7 where it was all but intolerable. We also had a problem with the Air Conditioner leaking from under the sink. It kept the floor wet most of the time even though it was emptied a couple of times during our 10-day trip. That leads to mold and mildew. Several people including my wife had to start taking decongestants and anti-histamines toward the end of the week.

The shower had not been cleaned very well, nor had the cabin in general. It was dusty. Cabin 7 was just as bad. Once we came back into port, the A/C didnít work very well. Until the last night, and last morning we didnít shower in the cabin, which was a good thing. There was no hot water in the shower. After my wife took a very cool shower, I got a little luke-warm water.

The dive deck gets a little crowded, but is pretty good. The 2 open air showers are warm, and soap, shampoo, and occasionally conditioner is provided. The crew brings your towels above the shower.

A conversion of at least half the rooms to queen sized beds would be welcomed even if there was an additional charge. The double bed/bunks are not very comfortable and are very small for two people.

The diving during the 10 day trip ranged from poor to great. Our time on Little Cayman and Cayman Brac was great. The viz was much better than Grand Cayman. Unfortunately, most of our trip was on Grand Cayman. Capt Lauren said she was watching the weather deteriorate before we headed back to Grand Cayman, but I think we could have stayed another day or 2 since we had a really calm crossing back to Grand Cayman. A slightly bumpier ride back would have been much better than the low viz dives we had on Grand Cayman. The diving on Grand Cayman on the north side was pretty good and we probably should have spent more time there.

The fish life on most dives was pretty good. There were lots of parrotfish, snapper and groupers and well as schools of fish. Unfortunately there were lion fish on each dive. In general the reefs were in good shape. There was a good bit of silt on many of the sites. We saw turtles on practically every dive. Most were hawksbills, but we also saw several big loggerheads. There were a few shark sightings, even a Hammerhead. We saw several stingrays and several eaglerays At one site, there was a green moray that followed us very closely for awhile. I suspect he is used to being fed because he was pretty aggressive. We also saw a couple of octopus on night dives.

Captain Lauren ran a pretty tight ship, but she needs to learn to ask her passengers what they would like to do. She made many non-safety related decisions without consulting the entire group which included several repeat passengers and many of us who have visited Grand Cayman and the sister islands very often. She absolutely refused to take a vote about going to Stingray City which several of us adamantly opposed. She said it was iconic so we had to go. She also decided to do 2 dusk dives, which weren't really at dusk. They were really late afternoon dives. We love night dives so we weren't too happy about this change. Six of us waited to go in for the second dusk dive until 6:30 pm, which was really still too early, but better that what Capt Lauren had done for the first dusk dive. The crew was apparently unhappy that we went in later since they ignored the dive deck while we were going in for the dive. The six of us were then late for dinner which was served lukewarm.

Capt Lauren needs to be a little less aggressive, and learn to listen to her customers. She immediately started telling us that the shower problem was only grey water from other showers. Once I said I thought we were getting dishwater from the galley, and pointed out that we were under the galley, she finally admitted that was probably the case. That was also a problem with the Stingray City issue. She wouldn't even consider not going, or even asking the entire group which she had ample opportunity to do. The last time we had been on the CAIV, Capt. Jon asked the guests, the guests didn't want to go, and we didn't go.

The crew was hard-working and fantastic. It was nice to see Capt Lauren pitch-in to do any job. She was constantly cleaning something.

Capt Lauren gave an excellent safety briefing, but said absolutely nothing about being a good environmental steward during the trip. Most of the passengers were photographers and the majority (not all) of them laid all over the coral and harassed the sea creatures in order to get good photographs/video. We finally complained after one of the women chased a sea turtle, started petting it and pushing it towards the bottom, and eventually panicked it to shoot to the surface. Since Lauren had encouraged people to pet the groupers earlier in the trip, I imagine most passengers thought it was okay to pet and harass all of the marine life. Each welcome briefing should include a reminder not to touch the coral, and why, as well as a warning not to harass the marine life.

Last, but certainly not least, we have praise and adulation for Alan Lawlor, our fabulous chef for the trip. He is phenomenal. I understand that he is not the normal chef, but if he ever wants to become the full-time chef it would be great. This was my 11th live aboard experience, and Alan is by far the best chef ever. He handled my wifeís lethal peanut allergy beautifully. And he was also dealing with a gluten-free diet, a raw diet request and 3 other dietary restrictions (6 total). He even captured dislikes, such as my dislike of salmon. We can't say enough wonderful things about Alan.
Websites Aggressor Fleet   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Caribbean, Galapagos, Tobago, Bonaire, Hawaii, Florida
Closest Airport GCM Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas choppy, surge
Water Temp 81-82°F / 27-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 25-80 Ft/ 8-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Buddy dive, no deco diving.
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 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

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 are not photographers so should't comment.
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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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