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Dive Review of MV Caribbean Pearl in

MV Caribbean Pearl, Jun, 2014,

by Laurel Fulton, CO, US (Contributor Contributor 13 reports with 12 Helpful votes). Report 7651 has 2 Helpful votes.

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 3 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 2 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments I will preface this by saying I have been on multiple liveaboards over the past 10 years, many of them the various Aggressors. I believe this boat is the previous Utila Aggressor which has been renamed the Caribbean Pearl. It is owned and operated by Troy, who owns the Laguna Beach Resort as well. He lives on the Island and was on board briefly. I don't know how many charters this boat has been on, but they are off to a rocky start. The crew was excellent and couldn't have been more helpful,but a slew of mechanical problems really put a damper on the week. Between generator issues, engine failure and water pipes bursting in the cabins it was a bit of a trial for the guests! The nitrox membrane was faulty, so we dove 28% for the week, (at least for free). A women in the flooded cabin had her laptop and tablet ruined by water damage. My bathroom water pipe spewed after a corroded clamp broke. Several cabins had no or spotty air conditioning and left guests sleeping in the lounge for relief. The last 2 days of diving were done off of small boats because we were moored at the dock in Utila and not going anywhere due to all the issues.

Thankfully the diving was pretty good- we only missed one dive despite all the problems. The whole boat was chartered for a REEF survey trip, so everyone was busy with our fish identification and surveying duties during and after dives. The crew was flexible and worked with the trip leader to get to sites we wanted to dive and accommodate our special requests for extended dive times in exchange for one less dive per day. As I said, the crew was excellent and really did their best to compensate for the problems- but I would not return to this boat until a full overhaul had been completed- which should have been done before any guests arrived!

All dives done can be reached by land based boats- so no great advantage to the liveaboard except for being the first onsite at a few places- also getting to dive both Roatan and Utila was nice but you had to take a charter flight to and from Utila to board the boat, so could just as well do 2 land based on each Island and get the same result for less cost. I prefer liveaboards for ease and access to diving, and remember enjoying the Utila Aggressor in the past. The Pearl, not so much.
Websites MV Caribbean Pearl   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving All over
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas choppy
Water Temp 80-82°F / 27-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50-75 Ft/ 15-23 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Buddy diving, Recreational limits, no deco
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Nice large table and roomy dive platform with dunk tanks. Limited charging outlets and no air blower set up to dry cameras.
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Report currently has 2 Helpful votes

Subscriber's Comments

By Alice Ribbens in MN, US at Jul 03, 2014 09:28 EST  
I was on the boat with Laurel. Rumor is that after the owner parted ways with Aggressor in 2012 they had some sort of non-compete that prevented them from doing direct marketing. Boat apparently has not been chartered much. Crew told us that a lot of repairs have been outstanding for quite some time, but that the owner was dragging his feet about them. In spite of all of the problems, the crew worked around the clock to make sure we were taken care of. Unfortunately, they don't have any back up. On the old Utila Aggressor, we transited at night so as not to miss dives during the day. They can't do this on the Pearl as they only have one captain who can drive the boat. The diving was as lovely as I remember from several years ago, but I would not bother with the Pearl until major repairs are undertaken and it starts to be chartered more regularly. There are plenty of land-based operations on both Utila and Roatan to choose from.
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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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