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Dive Review of S/Y Maldives Siren in
Maldives

S/Y Maldives Siren, Jan, 2013,

by Warren Sprung, TX, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 10 reports with 8 Helpful votes). Report 6867 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 2 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 2 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 2 stars
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments Possibly our expectations for the 10-day trip on Maldives Siren were set too high. My wife and I thought that this, our 15th liveaboard was going to be the best ever.

While not terrible by any means, it was inferior to most of our previous liveaboard experiences.

Let me begin with the good:

Our trip was arranged by www.scubadiveasia.com and everything was done perfectly. Onno & Carine Lenting set up everything for us, from internal flights to pre-dive accommodations as though they were doing it for themselves. They will be booking trips for us from now on!

The two dive masters leading the groups (14 divers divided into 2 groups) were great. Megan, the more experienced of the two led the other group; she’s leaving after one more trip to the Palau Siren. Tom, our leader, had a fantastic attitude, but no experience on most (if any) of the dives sites we visited. He’s becoming the lead dive guide after one more trip.

The boat crew was efficient, but not involved personally with the divers. Two great examples were when one of the divers had trouble with a leaking DIN valve as we were prepping for a dive. One of the crew had it repaired in just minutes. And when a diver lost his negatively buoyed camera as he was entering the Zodiac, the panga driver dived—in his street clothes—like a wingless cormorant down to retrieve the camera. Good work indeed!

There was to be a 3rd dive guide to back up Megan and Tom, but he was in court, so we had no backup. My wife asked Megan what happens if one of them gets hurt or sick. She had no comment. Both dive guides worked hard and happy with all the divers.

The camera rinse trough was great. Always had fresh water in it. And there was a dedicated charging area with plenty of receptacles in both 110/220 volts.

The wetsuits were handled very well. We simply handed them to a crew member and they washed them and hung them up for us. Fins were put on and off the Zodiac for us as well. Any divers who wished could have the crew place BCD’s/tanks on them after they boarded the Zodiac. Also, after dives, the driver took gear from the divers, leaving us to climb the ladder more easily.

At the end of the trip the crew washed and dried our gear for us.

It became obvious early on that this is a penny-pinching operation. Here are a few examples:

Computer in our cabin was inoperative. Megan said it’d been that way for some time, and apologized. She said a tech person would come repair it, but that never happened.
Even a cabin light bulb that was burned out was never replaced as promised.

When showed to our cabin (#6) we were told to not put things under the A/C (on the 3rd bed) because the unit leaked water and there was no way to stop it. It was true; over the 10 days it dripped literally gallons of water. The A/C also never quite cooled the room. It was difficult to fall asleep while sweating in bed. The ship engineer looked at it, but affected no change. We were told by at least one other couple that their A/C leaked water also.

This is the only liveaboard we’ve been on (out of 15) that served dinner cafeteria style. And dinners, while, never short on amounts of food were mediocre. Tom told me that the chef did a remarkable job with “What he had to work with”. And I don’t doubt this at all. He seemed very competent…just didn’t have 1st class raw materials at his disposal.

Ice machine was either inoperative or had very limited ability to produce enough for 14 divers. We were asked to go without iced soft drinks as much as possible, that the ice maker would be repaired soon—but never was.

Wine was not included with dinner. To top that off, $5.00 to $10.00 wine was about $50.00+ per bottle. I can remember only 1 other liveaboard where we had to purchase our own dinner wine.


The worst thing though, was the 2nd Zodiac. On the 2nd day of the cruise it was damaged and the tube (s) in front were compromised. We were told it would be repaired the next day, then the next day, and finally that it wouldn’t be repaired at all. I’ve got to commend Peter Hughes…years ago in Palau one of his chase boats was broken and Peter rented a local boat to cover the divers properly.

What this meant to the divers was that the 1st group would be boated out up to a mile from the Siren (this distance is a guess on my part), dropped off and left on our own (or on their own after we switched groups) until the 2nd group was dropped off. Had there been an emergency…..well, I’m sure the readers can imagine….

I had my new Nautilus Lifeline with me, but never had to use it…but thought I would a couple of times after waiting up to maybe 20 minutes on the surface after some dives with no Zodiac in sight. Remember we’re in the Indian Ocean, with strong currents!

The trip, for what it cost, was not a bargain. There was real potential danger to the divers with only one Zodiac in operation in the open ocean. To top it off, the diving was in large part mediocre. Vis was 50-70 feet (estimated), and we were shocked by the brown coral…. But not as shocked as was an Italian couple who dived the Maldives 4 years ago and said the 1st trip they saw beautiful colors 2nd only to Fiji.

One has to wonder if the fire that destroyed another Siren in Indonesia in January 2012 might be the reason for the penny-pinching going on now..

Websites S/Y Maldives Siren   [same]

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving 15 liveaboards, plus Caribbean, Red Sea, etc.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas choppy, surge, currents
Water Temp 81-84°F / 27-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50-75 Ft/ 15-23 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Normal sport dive rules.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 4 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 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]
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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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