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Dive Review of Aggressor Fleet in
Fiji and Tuvalu

Aggressor Fleet, May, 2014,

by Cheryl S, TN, US ( 2 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 7596.

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 N/A
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments All in all a fairly positive experience but not without significant issues. The crew was very good. Joji, the Capitan and Moses, the Dive Master worked hard to make sure the dives were as good as possible. Peni, Chef, and Eddie, Steward, worked at putting very good food on the table and keep up with all of our comfort needs. Samuel and Vincent, the Engineers, worked behind the scenes to make sure all went smoothly. It seems that each of the crew has too many jobs. Kudos to the crew for a great job and being friendly and fun.

Many of the dive sites were so-so. We expected the diving to be comparable to Tahiti and GBR, it wasnít. Visibility was fair to poor, and currents were frequently strong, maybe the wrong time of year (May). Most fish were small, with a few exceptions. Some sites had insufficient sea life and mediocre coral. School House and Jimís Place were the two exceptions that were what one would expect from South Pacific diving, even with the limited visibility.

The itinerary was designed to suit two needs that had nothing to do with diving. One, a contrived visit to a village that was way far out of the way and two, an early return to Suva so the boat could be replenished for the next trip. Taking the trip to visit the village meant that there were limited dives the next day because the boat had to travel for 6 hours to get back to Suva. Getting back early to Suva, so the company could replenish the boat, meant that we arrived in Suva Friday afternoon and the company had 24 hours to replenish, when most boats take 12 or less. All of this resulted in a reduced number of dives - and for reasons that had nothing to do with diving. In order to not short us too much on dives for Friday before we headed south back to Suva, the first dive was at 6AM, and the second and last dive for the day and the trip was at 8AM. Additionally, there was a stated expectation, not requested or recommended but stated, that $15 or 25 FJD per person be paid to the village for the visit, which was to be spent on the school or on solar panels, depending on whom you talked to in the village.

The boat was decent but in need of maintenance. We had no hot water in the shower or sink the entire week. No Nitrox the entire week. Light bulbs burned out and not replaced, dive deck in deplorable condition, so obviously attention to details and maintenance is not a priority for the boat owner, whom ever that is. Everyone acted like the issues of hot water and Nitrox were new information. Maybe they were, but we got the sense that this had gone on for an extended period Ė just saving money and we were not advised that they had been corrected for the following week.

This boat is giving Aggressor Fleet a bad name and reputation. If you want to dive Fiji, look at the competition or dive elsewhere. Even though the crew was very good and worked hard to make the week pleasant, we would not come back and would not recommend Island Dancer II.
Websites Aggressor Fleet   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Tahiti, Great Barrier Reed, Coral Sea, Carribean
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas choppy, surge, currents
Water Temp 78-82°F / 26-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 25-75 Ft/ 8-23 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Max depth of 100", return to boat with 500PSI, dive with buddy.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Separate rinse tank on deck for cameras only but not strictly enforced, and occasionally other divers put masks into camera tank. Crew was accomodating in handing camera into water after diver entered, and taking from diver before exit from the water. Compressed air wand available to dry camera gear, but trigger was inoperative due to poor upkeep or something so tank had to be turned on/off to use.
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Subscriber's Comments

By Ms Lynda Durfeein VA, US at May 20, 2014 21:03 EST  
Did you express your complaints to Aggressor Fleet in your post-trip customer review? I have booked for Nov 1-8, 2014, and sent an email regarding your complaints and expressing my concern that the francisee's performance (over the last 2 years of reviews in Undercurrent) has damaged the Aggressor/Dancer fleet repututaion. I'm seriously considering cancelling before the 120-day deadline, even though that would mean a 20% cancellation fee. Bummer!
By report author: Cheryl S in TN, US at May 21, 2014 08:43 EST  
Hi. Yes we did express our issues and concerns in the post trip customer survey, have not heard anything back from them. We know the nitrox issue was unavailable the week before our trip, and saw no evidence of it being fixed when he boat was back in port after our trip and before the next trip. Owner did come on the boat Saturday morning while we waited for our ride, apologized for the lack of hot water. The crew did do great job though, with what they had to work with. Seems like the owner is cutting corners or save money on maintanence issues. If you do go, the first indication of the effort to save money/cut costs is where the boat docks in Suva...at a very run down port. Also, theysteered us to staying at Novatel night before since we were arriving a day early. novatel is right next to the boat dock, we found the Novetel folks totally unwilling to let us into a room even a minute before the 2PM check in time. Diving was great but GBR and Coral Sea even better,
By James B. Rogersin WA, US at May 21, 2014 11:56 EST  
Lack of Nitrox has been reported in the past on this boat. The Friday afternoon return to port is SOP for Aggressor. Same in Belize, Caymans and HI operations. Usually kick you off the boat at 0800 Saturday morning.
By Ms Lynda Durfeein VA, US at Aug 07, 2014 15:24 EST  
When I didn't get a response to my email to the Aggressor office (see my earlier post), I called and found my contact wasn't working for them any longer. I made up an excuse for cancelling (other Aggressor trips: Palau, Maldives and Kona were topnotch), then booked on the Nai'a, even though I forfeited $400 and the Nai'a cost about $1000 more. I already had booked flights, so I'm committed to go (bucket list). Thanks, Cheryl, for the heads up. BTW, I booked 5 nights at Uprising Resort at under $500 through Travelocity, then a day room at Raffles between the boat and Sat. evening flight. Glad I didn't choose Novatel!
By Ms Lynda Durfeein VA, US at Aug 07, 2014 15:27 EST  
Oh yea, 8 am departure on last day and arrival in port mid-day before is pretty much standard for liveaboards.
By John Piercein CO, US at Oct 14, 2014 17:32 EST  
You will LOVE the Nai'a. Been on it twice and the boat, crew and diving are all absolutely top notch.
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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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