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Dive Review of Nautilus/Nautilus Belle Amie in
Mexico (Western)/Socorro Islands

Nautilus/Nautilus Belle Amie: "Good diving with caveats about the boat/company", Jul, 2018,

by James K Harris, TX, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 9 reports with 22 Helpful votes). Report 10377 has 3 Helpful votes.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 2 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments My third Socorro trip on the Nautilus Belle Amie. See my other reviews for more details than I'll list here.

The hospitality suite at the Tesoro Resort is not air conditioned and is in a corner of the hotel that doesn't get air flowing through it so it can be stuffy and warm (it's more like a covered patio). There's not enough seating for everyone.

The diving was very good - lots of sharks, big fish, a few dolphins that unfortunately didn't want to play, only a few mantas this trip, the highlight was probably the 40' whale shark at Roca that was there on two dives. The Sea of Cortez diving was much better than my previous two trips - visibility still wasn't great but we dove different sites where there were a lot more fish. We did not hit the big sea lion colony at Los Islotes - we did a smaller rock that only had 5-6 sea lions and during my dives I only saw a couple in the water at a time and they didn't come near the divers.

There were thermoclines on most dives that dropped the temp a couple of degrees.

The crew was outstanding as always. They're a fun group to be with on a trip.

We had an interrupted trip due to Hurricane Fabio. It didn't come through the islands but it was throwing huge swells out 350 miles so the captain modified the itinerary to do the first day of diving at San Benedicto as normal, but then we leap-frogged Socorro Island and went to Roca Partida for two days before having to run away to the Sea of Cortez. We lost 6 dives because of this.

My caveats about the boat -
1. Definitely do not book a room in one of their Superior Suites if your trip is when the weather is warm. The sun heats the sun deck which sits about 24" above the ceiling of those cabins and radiates heat into the rooms. The a/c was practically non-functional so the room was never cooler than about 85 degrees. This is my third experience with this phenomenon (previous trips were at the end of May so not as hot). I complained last year about it, was told several other people had complained about it so they were going to change out the a/c units to a different type and was given a discount for this trip. I got the discount but the a/c units were the same ones as my first trip in 2015 and even more non-functional in the hotter summer weather.

People in the deluxe cabins in the hull and premium cabins off the salon reported no problems with the temp in their rooms, but everyone in the Superior Suites was complaining. The crew was passing out portable fans to try to help - I ended up with two in my room but they were just blowing the warm stuffy air around. It was really uncomfortable.
2. It's been a month since the trip completed and the office hasn't asked for comments. I sent my complaints about the room temps to the owner 2 weeks ago and have gotten no response.
3. Due to the hurricane interruption the captain said we'd get 40% off a future trip (a generous offer for something that wasn't their fault). Thus far I have received no communications from the office offering a discount on a future trip.

In the past the Nautilus company has positively reacted to complaints about the boat. But I'm disappointed that I was told the room temp problem I experienced in 2017 would be fixed but wasn't and it made my room unbearable in late June/early July heat. And I'm frankly shocked that there's been no communication from the office since the trip finished, especially after I sent my complaints directly to the owner.

This is from their website: "It is easy to talk about excellence in guest experience. It is something else to live it – to be wholeheartedly committed to excellence – day in and day out through good times and through more challenging times. We say “don’t judge a dive boat operator by what they say about themselves – it is way more interesting to read what their clients have to say about their experience.”

My trip leaves me with a neutral feeling. Outside of the room temp issue in those specific cabins, the boat is really nice, the crew is always great, the diving is really good, so that's why I keep coming back (and I had already booked a return for Dec. 2019). But I wonder about the administrative side of the operation and their commitment to "excellence in guest experience" if they don't follow through with their promises or respond to customer complaints.

Maybe they'll come through later - I certainly hope so.
Websites Nautilus   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Galapagos, Socorro, Palau, Cocos, TX Flower Gardens, Hawaii, Bahamas, Caymans, Belize, Cozumel, Tiger Beach
Closest Airport Los Cabos International (SJD) Getting There DFW to Cabo nonstop on American

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, choppy, currents, no currents
Water Temp 73-78°F / 23-26°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 40-80 Ft/ 12-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Come back with enough air to be safe
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Massive camera tables on the boat, but cameras are just laid on the floor in the bow of the skiff after the dive.
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Report currently has 3 Helpful votes

Subscriber's Comments

By Ryan Black in MI, US at Aug 02, 2018 10:01 EST  
Thanks for taking the time to provide this review, James. We're headed out on the NBA for the Guadalupe Island great whites trip next week in a superior suite. Good to know things are likely to be warm.
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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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