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Dive Review of Thailand Aggressor in
Thailand

Thailand Aggressor, Mar, 2013,

by shaya zucker, TX, US ( 2 reports). Report 6948.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 1 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity 1 stars
Dive Operation 1 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 1 stars
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 2 stars
Comments My friend Gale French and I just returned from the seven day voyage on the “new” Thailand Aggressor in the North Andaman Sea. The diving was advertised as some of the best diving in the world. The first three-four days was diving around the Similan Islands. The guests who were diving called the dives “boulder diving”. The “yo,yo” diving Dive Masters searched to show the divers something. There were no schools of fish, and very little sea life, just huge underwater rocks and boulders. The famous dive site “Richelieu Rock” had some sea life, mainly sea anemones on the rocks. When the Thailand Aggressor arrived at the famous site there were nine live aboards anchored, and a traffic jam of divers underwater. During the entire seven day trip we did not see a Shark, or a Manta Ray. We saw few tropical fish,few small sea fans or no coral reefs at any site. We only saw two Turtles,and no Whale Sharks were sighted, What we did see were commercial fishing boats at night in the national park. Basically the seas in that area have been totally fished out.

The boat was refurbished after being bought from the Dancer Fleet. There were experienced divers on the Aggressor and most had gone as many as four Aggressor dive boats around the world. All the guests were all appalled with the conditions of the boat. The toilets and water stopped working for two days out at sea. After the water and toilets started working again the cabins and interior of the halls smelled like sewage for the remainder of the trip. The mixes of nitrox were never consistent and the additional fee charge for nitrox was dropped. Gale was diving air and found that nitrox had been mixed into her tank, and had to analyze her tank after that for each dive never having a reading at 21% air. She did not know how many dives she had done with nitrox before we discovered a tank that was supposed to have air that had nitrox in it. There were no designated tanks for air or nitrox, the tanks were mixed. Once we were off the boat and in Bangkok Gale developed skin Bends and had to go to a hospital and into a chamber for two hours.The inflatable skiffs were small and unstable for entry to and exit from the water. After nearly sinking the divers and gear in the skiff on the way to dive sites the entry into the water was changed to a grand stride off the back of the boat. Divers were instructed to swim away from the boat “as fast as you can” to avoid the propellors of the moving boat.There was no ladder off the back of the boat, and the rinse off showers were scalding hot. The famous Aggressor hot tub was never working,and the dry off towels were never washed. The gear was tossed and piled into the skiffs when exiting the dive sites and damaged my gear.. There were sixteen experience divers on the boat and one couple canceled their second week on the boat due to the disastrous boat conditions, and lack of sea life.


Upon returning home we sent complaints to the Aggressor owners. Their response was that they were “sorry for such a rough trip,” and sorry that our trip didn’t give us the full “Aggressor experience”. Their letter did not fully address our list of safety concerns. They sent vouchers for a one thousand dollars off another Aggressor trip to be taken within the next twelve months. The “ refurbished “Thailand Aggressor boat was not ready for the trip, and the seas are fished out. A few years ago we dove on the Fiji Aggressor and felt we were making the right choice to dive on the Thailand Aggressor. After this Aggressor “experience” we will never go on another Aggressor trip!! The experience was a disaster in more ways than one!
Websites Thailand Aggressor   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Cozumel, Fiji, Palu, Bonaire, LIttle Cayman, Roatan, Utila, Belize
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, currents
Water Temp 80-82°F / 27-28°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 50-70 Ft/ 15-21 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 1 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 2 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments They had a table that was for cameras but also other things not camera related on the table. They had a rinse tank for cameras...too bad there wasn't much to photograph underwater.
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Subscriber's Comments

By Elizabeth Russellin PA, US at Apr 24, 2013 11:14 EST  
Just got back from the South Andaman Sea itinerary. You hit the nail on the head about the condition of the boat. We booked cabin 1 and ended up in cabin 9 due to lack of air conditioning in cabin 1. The sewer backed up several inches into our shower room. We had a sporadic water supply for two days. I'm just glad we didn't do your itinerary. At least we only had one other liveaboard at the mooring sites.
By robert kopkiin FL, US at Jun 25, 2013 22:14 EST  
Shaya Thanks for your thorough report on the Thai Aggressor. I was considering this boat for next year, now will not. FYI, if a diver is diving on an air computer but actually breathing Nitrox, that will not cause DCS. In fact that is a very conservative way to dive. I do it all the time. Your friend must have had another problem. Bob
By George M Constantinoin GA, US at Aug 02, 2013 10:38 EST  
THANK YOU for an honest review - this is why we are avid fans of Under Current.
By Elizabeth Russellin PA, US at Aug 02, 2013 10:48 EST  
Just an update on my previous report. After several months of runaround from Aggressor, I finally spoke with Wayne Hasson, who had numerous reasons for us to be satisfied with our awful experience. He also stated that they couldn't offer us compensation for the bad trip because they had already paid the franchise owner for our trip. I pointed out that I also had paid Aggressor a year in advance for our trip. Finally, we received a $500 each off an Aggressor trip in the next 12 months. I guess that's a $400 refund each for the cabin change and $100 to make us happy about it.
By Elizabeth Russellin PA, US at Aug 02, 2013 10:48 EST  
Just an update on my previous report. After several months of runaround from Aggressor, I finally spoke with Wayne Hasson, who had numerous reasons for us to be satisfied with our awful experience. He also stated that they couldn't offer us compensation for the bad trip because they had already paid the franchise owner for our trip. I pointed out that I also had paid Aggressor a year in advance for our trip. Finally, we received a $500 each off an Aggressor trip in the next 12 months. I guess that's a $400 refund each for the cabin change and $100 to make us happy about it.
By carl berensonin WA, US at Sep 08, 2013 22:30 EST  
Sounds like it best to avoid the aggressor and the dive area. It was on my list as well until I read the complaints. Thanks for sharing. Dancer/aggressor boats are money mills for the owners. Recently retunrned from Komodo dancer trip with no hot water in cabin/ shower, dripping a/c on my bed, red bugs in my bed, and cockroaches in the cabin..diving was great but I think word should go out to avoid this combo dancer/aggressor in these regions until they stop fleecing the unsuspecting clients.
By carl berensonin WA, US at Sep 08, 2013 22:30 EST  
Sounds like it best to avoid the aggressor and the dive area. It was on my list as well until I read the complaints. Thanks for sharing. Dancer/aggressor boats are money mills for the owners. Recently retunrned from Komodo dancer trip with no hot water in cabin/ shower, dripping a/c on my bed, red bugs in my bed, and cockroaches in the cabin..diving was great but I think word should go out to avoid this combo dancer/aggressor in these regions until they stop fleecing the unsuspecting clients.
By Elaine Turnerin VA, US at Oct 23, 2013 13:39 EST  
I hear that the Thailand Aggressor was renovated in August, 2013. It appears they re-did the bathrooms and shelving. Has anyone gone on this boat since then??
By George A Lindleyin FL, US at Dec 26, 2013 23:21 EST  
We're going March 23-29, 2014. Talked to a girl that just got back from Puket and said diving was terrible.The reefs have been destroyed by anchors and over fished. She was land based. We will be diving the North Shore maybe if we get away from everything it will be better.
By Douglas Creamin NY, US at Jan 18, 2014 17:23 EST  
I dove the Aggressor Thailand both North and South during the first 2 weeks of November. The boat was fine. Everything worked the way it was supposed to. The diving sucked. The north Andaman sea is barren. Not a single shark or manta ray was seen. The South was just slightly better but not worth the long travel time or the cost of the charter. Aggressor/Dancer should be ashamed of themselves for promoting the trip. Don't waste your time or money.
By carl berensonin WA, US at Jan 19, 2014 23:50 EST  
Thanks for the recent update on the horrid conditions of the reefs in Andaman sea. I will skip Thailand diving. I already figured out to skip the Dancer and Aggressor boats. They are resting on past good service. Owned by Asians who care about money, nothing else. Avoid completely.
By carl berensonin WA, US at Jan 19, 2014 23:50 EST  
Thanks for the recent update on the horrid conditions of the reefs in Andaman sea. I will skip Thailand diving. I already figured out to skip the Dancer and Aggressor boats. They are resting on past good service. Owned by Asians who care about money, nothing else. Avoid completely.
By Douglas Creamin NY, US at Jan 20, 2014 00:04 EST  
Hi Carl. I thought that the boat was fine and the service was pretty good. This was my third or fourth Aggressor charter and I have been on other boats too, the Odyssey, Fabrina, and Bilikiki most recently. Was on the Spoilsport too and managed to live through it! On board the Aggressor, the crew was great, very eager to please, and the food was OK. The dive deck and skiff operation worked well although the Nitox mix was inconsistent (30-37% from fill to fill). If the diving didn't suck rotten eggs, the trip would have been great. I forget to mention that we did see 2 whale sharks at one spot on the north trip, but otherwise it did not come anywhere near the B.S. hype.
By George A Lindleyin FL, US at Mar 10, 2014 23:36 EST  
Will be boarding on March 22. We will report back on our trip. Doesn't sound to promising. Have dove on the Truk, Fiji, Belize and Turks & Caicos Aggressors and all were great.I hope the Aggressor Fleet Limited will stand behind their good customers and provide the same great diving on every ship. Diving is why we go on there trips the rest of the services are a plus. There are 17 from Florida going I hope they don't disappoint us that could be costly for them.
By philip nicozisisin FL, US at Apr 15, 2014 22:31 EST  
Would love to hear the latest on this live aboard !
By Melissa Schlenkerin TX, US at Jun 01, 2014 21:15 EST  
Thank you all for your reports. My husband and I were considering Thailand but after reading everyones reports have decided not to. As far as the Aggressor goes, we dove on the Palau Aggresspr in 2008 and it was by far our best trip. It is disappointing to hear that the company has possibly gone downhill.
By Melissa Schlenkerin TX, US at Jun 01, 2014 21:15 EST  
Thank you all for your reports. My husband and I were considering Thailand but after reading everyones reports have decided not to. As far as the Aggressor goes, we dove on the Palau Aggresspr in 2008 and it was by far our best trip. It is disappointing to hear that the company has possibly gone downhill.
By Douglas Creamin NY, US at Jun 01, 2014 23:04 EST  
The problem is with the Co. having the gall to market the North and South Andaman sea as diving destinations, knowing perfectly well that they are not. Not even close! I would be interested to know if anyone received any adjustment from Wayne & Co. All I got was "thanks for your input." Well, input or not they are still peddling the site as "The jewel of the Andaman Sea" Hogwash!
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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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