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Dive Review of Emperor Fleet/Superior in
Red Sea/Hurgada

Emperor Fleet/Superior, May, 2009,

by Terry Gee, TX, USA (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 9 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 4913.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Indonesia, Truk, Palau, Papua New Guinea, extensively through out the Caribbean, Phillipines, many years off of the California coast, Sea of Cortez, limited experience in the Atlantic
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, dry Seas choppy
Water Temp 73 to 78 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 20 to 40 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Time limits were set at one hour
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 2 stars Tropical Fish 1 stars
Small Critters 2 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter 1 stars Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 1 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments There were no UWP facitities on the boat. No rinse tanks, no tables, no charging stations, etc.

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

Accommodations 2 stars Food 2 stars
Service and Attitude 2 stars Environmental Sensitivity 1 stars
Dive Operation 1 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 1 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 1 stars
Comments The operation is without a doubt the worst live aboard I have ever been on. When we arrived we were not greeted by the crew, just ushered in to the central lounge where we were left sitting with a glass of orange juice while two members of the crew fused with a dive briefing computer projector. After five or ten minutes of sitting there being ignored my group begain ask questions of the crew, like who are you, what is your position on the boat, is anyone going to address us and tell us what is going on. The head of the dive operation, Hany, an Egyptian, and his assistant Rick, a Canadian, answered our questions but volunteered no further information. Hany then proceeded to give the most negative assessment of our dive itinerary imaginable. He said we would experience 5-15 foot seas all the way south and once there would continue to be battered by the heavy seas as no shelter existed where we were going. He convinced my group of 20 divers that they should not undertake such a harrowing sail. They convinced us to instead go to the northern itinerary where there was little to see.

The boat is nice inside but is the poorest lay out for divers I have ever encountered. There are two rows of tanks running port to starboard with about two feet betweeen the benches they are attached to. Twenty divers in that space attempting to suit up for a dive at the same time is not only extremely difficult but down right dangerous as a dropped weight belt or other heavy item has little chance of avoiding toes and feet. Moving in and out of the confined area was extremely difficult.

We were advised that we were not to throw anything into the water. Even the toilets were not to be used for toilet paper. Then we observed the galley crew throwing all of their trash overboard after every meal. Not only food products but paper, etc. The reefs reflected this abuse as there was trash everywhere.

Our charter was booked as Sunday through Saturday. But Hany suddenly informed us Friday morning that we were to be put ashore Friday at noon. They did arrange for us to stay in a nice resort, but there was no diving or layed back liveaboard ambiance. The reason given was that they had another group coming on board that afternoon and needed us off so they could prepare the boat for the new group. So it became evident that the reason we received such a negative briefing telling us that sailing south was too dangerous was so that they could have us at the unload dock by noon Friday instead of Saturday. Had we gone south we would have been underway all day Friday.

I have never been lied to by a boat charter company before and find it difficult to believe the Emperor people would do so to a group of experienced divers that have dived extensively around the world. In a letter to them I layed out my complaints for the group and was told that they were simply making a judgement call and saving us from ourselves by not letting us go south. They said there were people in my group that weren't in good enough shape to handle the diving in the southern itinerary. There was never a notice or warning in any of their online or precharter information warning that your group might be discriminated against if there were any older or heavy divers in the group. In my experience the dive operators leave it up to the divers to determine dives they think that they can or cannot handle. They may advise certain individuals about particular dives, but never the blatant lies perpetrated by the Emperor fleet.

Our equipment was not cleaned for us, no rinse tanks were made available for us and we left the boat with gear partially packed and dirty. The confusion surrounding the sudden departure left us in Hurgada without the bags we needed for overnighting there. It took over two hours to get the office to send all of our gear to the resort so that we could dig through it and find the things we needed for the day, that night and then for the flight to Cairo the next day.

All and all I would strongly recommend against anyone chartering with the Emperor Fleet boats. An operation that will lie to and cheat one group will certainly do the same to another.
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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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