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Nekton (Bad News)

Discussion in 'Liveaboards & Charter Boats' started by DeputyDan, May 1, 2010.

  1. scubabarb

    scubabarb Registered

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Pompano Beach, FL
    I went to the Fort Lauderdale Police Department today and opened a case with them. Told the woman who took my information, which included Nekton's web message, my cancelled check, bank statement, and receipt, that potentially over 100 customers are out full amounts for trips that will never happen. Worse, its very uncertain what Nekton will post in June regarding claims. Given the posts that I've read here, I'm not waiting for mid-June to find out. I also gave my out of state dive buddies that were booked on Nekton, the phone number and my case number and urged them to call and provide supplemental information.
  2. Gtoph

    Gtoph Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Diego, CA
    I'm sorry, but they are not all dying.

    People that weren't blinded by the Nekton sirens could see the death of the company coming from 10 miles away. Somehow I don't think the other companies are doing that bad when they're actually adding boats to their fleet.
  3. Doc

    Doc Was RoatanMan

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Chicago & O'Hare heading thru TSA 5x per year
    Schadenfreude (pronounced /ˈʃɑːdənfrɔɪdə/, German pronunciation: [ˈʃaːdənˌfʁɔʏdə]) is pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others.[1] This German word is used as a loanword in English and some other languages.

    The list of Nekton-haters by poster name is well represented in this requiem.

    The damage of the economy was one thing, but the sledgehammering the ship got by a very few disgruntled posters was brutal. Witness the Maldives libel.

    Ahh, here's yet another one now.

    I was never "blinded" by anything. I just understand how the industry is being currently affected. Possibly if you took time to read some specific industry research posts, you might better understand.


    I mean really- click on the above post and read it.

    Then, read them all, get it in context: http://www.clinegroup.net/diving/dive-research-set.html No bank is lending money for liveaboards, and I'm not hearing about any bank loans to start any new dive destination resort op. Maybe a few wealthy folks with odd investment ideas and theories. Bay Islands Aggressor, anyone?

    The quantity of misinformation here (on SB and the internet) is astounding. I was once visiting ProDive in Ft Lauderdale (another favorite internet punching bag), and I took the time to visit with Nekton's John Dixon at his unassuming shop. I returned in April 2009 with a friend from PADI UK. I have long been a student of resort and ship-board dive ops. What I saw and heard was no different than what everyone worldwide was saying. Times are really tough right now. You just can't park a ship, not like a resort prtoperty. It costs huge money as it just sits there.

    Resorts? The first "big one" was Club Med, Columbus Isle which has made a comeback.

    Liveaboards? The Texas ships made more money being rented out as sleeping quarters in Louisiana (pulled out of service) than they ever did with recreational divers.

    Again- no one discounts their operation or offers deals like these other liveaboard operations are unless they are in deep dark waters.

    Dive resorts are turning over or closing down as never before. Dive Shops are disappearing rapidly. DEMA show, local dive shows... the same deal.

    I never defended any dive ops transgressions, including the Nekton. I do decry the incessant nattering of small groups of posters, and in this case- a small number of disgruntled ex-employees. The only reason these ex-employees dogpiled on the Nekton was over past-due pay. I agree- not getting paid sucks, but it's a case of one-issue then adios type of posters.

    I think that the internet is a great tool, but at the same time, this company might have scraped through over the coming years and made a recovery. I believe that with the assistance of these few posters, the demise was a lock.

    Amidst all of the negative posts, we had a great week's cruise onboard in September 2009. It looked and felt like no ship that these doomsayer posters were describing.

    looked good to us: Nekton pictures by Doc_Adelman - Photobucket

    My wife is glad that she did her 300th dive and first liveaboard on her, yet bummed that she can't return.


    Some people have the same feelings about Bay Islands Beach Resort. http://www.bibr.com/ Take your pick, the list is growing.

    Last edited: May 21, 2010
  4. DiveMaven

    DiveMaven Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Kihei, Maui & Vancouver, WA
    I don't think anyone is stupid enough to think that EV and Aggressor stepped up purely for compassionate reasons. They took advantage of the situation to come out as heros for those folks by discounting trips AND got some excellent advertising and publicity in the process. They're being smart to take advantage of the fact that there might be folks looking for open berths and want to be the ones to gain new customers and make a few bucks in the process.

    That said, I still think it was outstanding of them to step up and do what they didn't HAVE TO do and try to help folks salvage ruined vacation plans. To me this is a great example of a win/win where both vendor and customer benefit.
  5. H2O Gal

    H2O Gal Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: SW Virginia--Let's Go Hokies!
    Great parting shot, RoatanMan. That's how I want to remember the Nekton boats and the great trip we had with them, not rotting in a drydock somewhere......
  6. deepstops

    deepstops Blacklight Poster ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives:
    Location: Weston, FL
    Call me whatever words you like but I take no joy in Nekton's demise because they were a local company that, at one time, contributed to the local economy in which I live. What happened to the company started long before the US economy tanked.

    Nothing but a great business move on both their parts. :)
  7. diverdoug1

    diverdoug1 Contributor

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Florida (via Texas and New York)
    I think in this instance I am experiencing some Schadenfreude. If a bussiness absconds with my buddy's money, and also gives me lousy service, I feel justified in having a bit of a grin on my face when they go belly up. Too bad Nekton did not try increasing the cruise cost as needed, instead of cuting too many corners. In my line of work, if I give you lousy service, and try to justify it with my decreasing profits, I will have a malpractice suit on my hands at the very least, and may end up in jail.
  8. donhealy

    donhealy Contributor

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: San Diego
    Hi everyone. I'm in ft lauderdale and am seeing the board for the first time in a week. I got the news from the cexll captain while on the boat. Too bad. The engineer used to work for nekton and could understand why.

    Had a great time and was well worth the money. Saw hammerheads and a oceanic white tip. Got pictures to prove it!

    The boat was great and the crew outstanding. The dive sites pristine and walls rivaling Cayman. More later. Heading back to San Diego now?

  9. Doc

    Doc Was RoatanMan

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Chicago & O'Hare heading thru TSA 5x per year
    I think you hit it exactly, at least from "our" perspective, the customer.

    I'm sure that owners of dive-ops and liveaboards also understand one basic thing about us SCUBA consumers... we will chose a lower price over most all else. Luxury liveaboards have been tried before and the huge majority have failed... most certainly in the Caribbean. Many have started out life a LUX+ type offerings, and then been forced to the lowest common denominator by price competition.

    Tough to do with a US Flagged vessel... apparently.

    An easier to see example is a quick look at Roatan. Dive travelers will most always step-down and away from a vastly superior and more reliable experience just to save $100 in a week. If the difference is $200 less, it is just amazing what they will tolerate.

    Blackbeards? Price rules. It's always booked.
  10. diverdoug1

    diverdoug1 Contributor

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Florida (via Texas and New York)
    Actually, the Aquacat (owned by the same company as Blackbeards) is "always booked" but is much more expensive than Nekton or Blackbeards. The Cayman Aggressor has been booked every time I have been on it (more expensive yet).
    I disagree with Roatanman that a lower price beyond all else is what consumers are looking for. I think that this type of thinking contributed to Nekton's demise. In fact, the condition of the Rorqual was so bad when I was on her in March, I felt unsafe, and would not go back on that ship if it were FREE! I value my family safety and the quality of my vacation time too much to knowingly do that again. At the beginning of the year, I was planning to book the Rorqual for a Cay Sal trip in July, thank God the Rorqual's condition in March convinced us to book on the Aggressor instead. I wonder how many divers were convinced not to rebook with Nekton because of the lowly state they had come to (enough to bankrupt them, HMMMMM?). I can't speak for all the other dive consumers out there (and neither can you RoatanMan), I just know that I am not going to keep paying for Shineola if the dive op is providing me S-it!

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