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Dive Review of NAI'A in
Fiji and Tuvalu

NAI'A, Feb, 2008,

by Henry Schwarzberg, AL, USA ( 1 report). Report 3951.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 26-50 dives
Where else diving All over the world
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 85 to 87 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 2
Water Visibility 30 to 50 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions NONE
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments This is a photographer oriented boat.
BELOW IS A SUPPLEMENTAL set of answers in response to Rob Barrel's questions about the original report.

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments 1. Sonia was not dedicated to a firm predictable schedule, allowing herself to be lax about the matter leading to many dives that got off late and then ended late. The PR issue was introduced by a fellow diver with 8 prior trips on the boat and I believed provided insight on the promotion of the NAIA.
2. The lamb was actually quite good (I am a lamb lover) and barely undercooked. The croissant was ordinary. Other meals I did not maintain a diary were OK and non-descript and, again, we shared our lack of enthusiasm for some with that same frequent NAIA diver who maintained, and I quote: The food is going downhill. The meat meals were, generally very good. At breakfast there was just a little plate of fruit for each table. There was a disappointing absence of a variety of good fish meals
3. I dont see where the amidships dive deck is a particularly comfortable place to lounge. There is nothing comfortable upon which to lie and enjoy the sun without burning. The upper deck is the most natural place to enjoy the air, sun and views. We had never been on a boat that didnt have either an awning or permanent overhang under which to retreat from the sun while still being able to be outside and enjoy the view and sun.
4. The saloon is indeed uncomfortable for any purpose other than eating or computer editing.
5. Center stair case warnings heard and heeded. Nevertheless it made going to and from the stateroom more uncomfortable than it needed to be more so than on any other boat we had been on.
6. With the scheduling the way it was night dives were offered but not desirable. If the afternoon dives had been more regimented as to time out and back, and dinner had been a little earlier, the night dives would have been more desirable and perhaps better attended.
7. Liquor is simple planning, and variety was obviously not planned for. On a top of the line boat one takes for granted that if the personal liquor supply runs out which it did there would be full purchase options available which there werent.
8. While interested parties may have expressed the desire for no changes, we all heard about at least one of those parties being unacceptable to the majority of the crew. The crew of Fijians on the boat make this operation as good as it is. Add about the most beautiful reefs in the world and it is almost a no-brainer. However, throw in a mistress of ceremonies who may not quite be up to the task, the perspectives of other frequent diver guests (NAIA priors) and the other issues I raised and one experiences failures to meet expectations. Steve, the former Brit Navy guy is probably better suited to manage the day to day affairs and more knowledgeable about everything than the current emcee. In my opinion he would be more predictably trustworthy at crunch time he would engender confidence under stress. He also has a better sense of humor.
After all the great dive trips we have had we were just a little bit disappointed about the NAIA when you add up a lot of little things. Attention to detail, in my view, is the key, coupled with a cruise director who has great communication and problem solving skills, and is eager to please as opposed to intent on avoiding anything avoidable. These were elements lacking on our NAIA voyage. Sonias typical response to any request was a no. The rest of the crew were eager to please.
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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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