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Dive Review of Island Dancer (Aggressor) in
Fiji and Tuvalu

Island Dancer (Aggressor), Oct, 2013,

by Robert A Scranton, CA, US ( 1 report). Report 7195.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments This is my second liveaboard in Fiji, and my diving expectations were not met. For the "soft coral capital" of the world, there were only a few dives with profuse soft coral (those were40 foot wide sections dropping 60 or more feet on two dives.)
The hard coral was often clean, pristine, unbleached, but we saw lots of sand and cyclone damage coral (it used to be great). Perhaps I am getting jaded, or I had a better time with friends on my previous Naia trip , but this did not meet my expectations. We also did a few "drift" dives, with tender, that involved swimming against current
Crew worked tirelessly. Captain Gogi, DM Moses, all were great.
So, the boat is older, updated, and only 10 passengers. The cabins are large, with giant closets (for a scuba boat), giant showers (for a scuba boat) and real toilets. One aspect of a smaller boat is that is missing the usual part sun, part shaded sun deck. The tiny sun deck has 18 inch railings, so not really safe at night or underway. Some people might not mind. Underway, the only outside spot to hang out is the dive deck, with limited seating and some diesel smell.
Websites Island Dancer (Aggressor)   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Liveaboards: Belize(2), Roatan, Venezuela, Truk, Palau (2) , Galapagos, Fiji (Naia). Land based weeks: Cozumel, Maui, Kauai, Hawaii, St Thomas, Curacao, Bonaire (2). Local diving Monterey Bay, CA
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather rainy Seas currents
Water Temp 74-79°F / 23-26°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 40-70 Ft/ 12-21 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions 500 psi, dive starts w/ guides, buddy diving means solo for some of dive
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish N/A
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 [None]
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Subscriber's Comments

By Jeff Kramer in CO, US at Dec 03, 2013 13:54 EST  
Robert, I'm considering a trip on the Fiji Island Dancer and would greatly appreciate your input to a few questions I have. I have not been to the South Pacific, and of course would really like to see what it's all about, and just how much better the diving is versus the Caribbean (assuming this is true). The only liveaboard I've been on is the Belize Aggressor, and my wife truly needed it's large deck to sit in the sun and warm up, so this would be somewhat of a negative. In terms of time and money output, do you think this the diving would be substantially better than the Caribbean? I'm not real interested in sharks - how much emphasis is there on sharks? What about currents? I don't mind drift dives, but hate fighting a current. Did you arrive in Suva and go directly to the boat, or stay elsewhere to acclimate? Anyway, any input you have would be great. Thanks, Jeff in Denver.
By report author: Robert A Scranton in CA, US at Dec 03, 2013 15:29 EST  
OK, this is very subjective. Fiji is between Caribbean and other S Pacific destinations in quality of diving and difficulty travel / cost. Palau, Truk, Galapagos are more difficult to get to, probably more costly, and more specialized, and very, very special. Fiji is easy, direct flight LA to Fiji. It has often better coral, and some neat cultural experience compared to Caribbean. But your question was on the tradeoff of time and money with experience. Not sure. If you are thinking of someday Palau/Truk/or Galapagos, perhaps do another Caribbean trip and save money and time for those exotic destinations. The Naia is a better experience, but pricier. There is a reason they are booked full. On travel, I did same day to Suva and boat. One way was bus (Coral Sea?) and other way the short hop airline from Suva to boat. Airline was better. I usually go a day or two earlier for more complex travel, but this time I scheduled a long layover in LA, recheck my luggage there, and took a hotel shuttle for dinner during the layover. I used Suva Raffles last day for day room.
By report author: Robert A Scranton in CA, US at Dec 03, 2013 16:04 EST  
I forgot to add, Jeff, that many folks arrived on same day flight. I strongly suspect that the Captain would delay diving to accommodate if flight was late.
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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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