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Dive Review of Nai'a Fiji in
Fiji and Tuvalu

Nai'a Fiji: "Good trip on the Nai'a--cut a little short by technical difficulties", Nov, 2017,

by Alice Ribbens, MN, US (Contributor Contributor 13 reports with 12 Helpful votes). Report 10027 has 3 Helpful votes.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments We spent a week on the Nai'a with some of our REEF surveyor friends (this was not a REEF trip--of the 15 divers on the boat, 5 of us were REEF surveyors). The Nai'a is a nice boat. Cabins are configured in a way to give you max sleeping room and there is a lot of storage space as well. The salon had lots of space for eating as well as a few couches. There were cubbies next to a power strip where you could plug in laptops or tablets for charging as well as a dedicated camera room with lots of space for charging as well.

The dive deck is very spacious. After the initial gear set up the first day, BCDs/regs are kept on the back deck near where the skiffs load. So there is a lot of room on the dive deck for getting dressed, hanging up wetsuits and storing your other stuff. Diving is done off of the skiffs. You basically stay in the same group on the skiff all week and the DMs rotate through diving with the different groups.

The crew is all Fijian with the exception of the western cruise directors. The cruise directors are relatively new (they've been on the boat about 2 years), but good at their job in terms of organization and communication. As with many higher end liveaboards, the entire crew seemed to know everyone's names within a day of boarding. Food was great and the kitchen seemed completely on top of everyone's food issues and requests. And the Nai'a had the best coffee I've ever had on a liveaboard (this was my 15th and my husband's 10th).

The cruise directors were open to feedback from the divers about the kinds of sites we wanted to dive and the kinds of dives we wanted to do. One of their big highlight dives is a dive in Nagali Passage where lots of sharks are known to congregate. The general plan for the dive is to drift to a certain meeting spot and then stay there for 15-20 min, then drift further to end the dive. This same dive is then supposed to be repeated. When those of us who are not obsessed with sharks asked if we could just drift to the coral garden at the end of the dive, that was fine (and it turned out to be one of the best dives of the week).

Probably our one criticism of the dive briefings was that there was no enforcement of any photo etiquette so divers who were not first to take a photo of whatever the unusual fish was were often aced out by the first-to-get-the-photo people as they stirred up the sand while departing the site of the fish find.

One of the cruise directors gave some mini-lectures, usually 15-20 minutes, on various kinds of fish and marine life on several mornings. She called them "scuba school". These were really fun with nice photos and videos.

We did have some equipment issues (main lounge AC unit) that led to a somewhat delayed start at the beginning of the trip so we dove some sites at the beginning that the crew was not super familiar with. Then on the second to last day, one of the generators failed so we had to head back to port and miss the last day of diving. The Nai'a was super apologetic and arranged for hotel rooms and transport for everyone. They also waived some of the fees that I think they normally would have charged.

Not a huge variety in dive sites. We probably would have liked to dive more walls and fewer lagoons. Viz in the lagoons was less than normal (and less than ideal) probably due to the heavy rain that Fiji had been experiencing for several weeks.

Reefs were generally healthy except for one site that had been battered by Cyclone Winston 18 months ago (but you could see that the reef was recovering). Lots of fish, including some big schools of jacks, barracuda, snappers, etc. We saw sharks pretty regularly (not just at Nagali), including a hammerhead on one dive. Several dives where we were buzzed by mantas as well, which the cruise directors said was quite unusual.
Websites Nai'a Fiji   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Komodo, Raja Ampat, Philippines, Maldives, Palau, GBR, Fiji, British Columbia, Monterey, Hawaii, Bonaire, Turks & Caicos, Caymans, Honduras, Belize, Cozumel, Akumal, Sea of Cortez, Lake Superior, Solomon Islands, etc.
Closest Airport Nadi Getting There From US: LAX to Nadi on Fiji Air

Dive Conditions

Weather rainy, cloudy Seas choppy
Water Temp 80-82°F / 27-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 50-100 Ft/ 15-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Some dives had hard time limits (60 minutes). Others we were allowed to do longer dives. Told to watch deco limits.
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 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 4 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments See note in write up about photo etiquette. There was a dedicated rinse tank for cameras on the dive deck and a dedicated charging/camera room. Crew wanted to carry all cameras down to the skiffs for you, which worked great except when they forgot your camera (which admittedly only happened a couple of times across our skiff, but still annoying).
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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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