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Thoughts on Blackbeard's?

Discussion in 'Greater Caribbean & Bermuda' started by Aerosynth, Jul 21, 2010.

  1. Aerosynth

    Aerosynth Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Midwest/Central U.S. is where I hang my hat. Where
    114
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    Blackbeard's Cruises (Blackbeard's Cruises Liveaboards, Bahamas scuba diving), sailing out of Nassau, Bahamas. Seems like a very popular (and most importantly, cheap) liveaboard company. I have read mixed reviews about them, and wanted to get some feedback. I am thinking of booking a week-long trip with them in October or November.

    Anyone have any experience with this company? Rants or raves? Recommendations?

    Thanks.
     
  2. tstormdiver

    tstormdiver Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Kentucky
    6,186
    1,134
    113
    I have been on BlackBeard's twice when they were going out of Grand Bahama Island & have been on the Cat Ppalu (the company's sailing catamaran) out of Nassau. It is as they describe "camping at sea". The first time I went there were 8 of us (1 non- diver). That wasn't too bad, as we could spread out a bit. The second time the boat was full with 22 divers. It was very crowded & not a lot of privacy. The only refuge sometimes was the bunk. You must realize it is up to 28 people (passengers & crew) on a 65 ft boat there is only below deck & above deck. Also only bring what you really need, because you will most likely be sleeping with it in your bunk & some of the bunks are pretty small. If you want a little room, try to request one of the bunks in the galley. Its a little noisier in there, but worth it for the room. There is little shade above deck. The food is very, very good & the crew is very efficient, helpful & know their stuff. The diving was very good, my favorite spot being a sunken barge called the Hesperus. I always do all the dives every time, but that is what it is all about. It is certainly worth the money, but don't expect to be pampered.
     
  3. Aerosynth

    Aerosynth Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Midwest/Central U.S. is where I hang my hat. Where
    114
    1
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    Yeah, I would be going for the diving. I can deal with cramped quarters and lack of luxury.

    Out of curiosity... how would you rate them for singles? I'm traveling as the only diver... lady assured me it would be pretty easy to buddy up with someone... but you know people will say a lot to book you, haha. Just wondering.

    Do you mind if I ask... what times of year did you go?
     
  4. tstormdiver

    tstormdiver Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Kentucky
    6,186
    1,134
    113
    Yes, it is very easy typically, to find a buddy. The first time I went, I went as a single. The other times (including the Cat Ppalu), I was part of a group.The first I was a newer diver (maybe 20 or so dives) & was lucky to buddy up with another single who was a very kind instructor who mentored me as we sailed. That really helped me to get a good start on my diving. Not going to say you'll wind up like that, but there are a lot of great divers out there.
     
  5. Aerosynth

    Aerosynth Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Midwest/Central U.S. is where I hang my hat. Where
    114
    1
    0
    Thanks for all your help! I'm going to call them back today to book and pay my deposit, I think. We'll see how it goes! :)
     
  6. drrich2

    drrich2 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Southwestern Kentucky
    8,539
    6,247
    113
    Did you also look at the Aqua Cat? It's my understanding they're a branch of the same organization, that's a step up in price? Kind of a 'get what you pay for' set of tiered offerings, I would imagine.

    I'm not knocking Blackbeard's, please don't misunderstand, just suggesting that if you're going to be mostly stuck on a boat in what may be fairly crowded conditions for several days, take a long, hard look at what additional benefits, if any, the Aqua Cat offers, compare to the price difference and see it that works for you.

    Either way, have a great time. I'd like to try a live-aboard someday, but my dive mates (wife & our friend) are both sea sickness-prone and trying to commit them to a live-aboard trip hasn't been an easy sale.

    Richard.
     
  7. Aerosynth

    Aerosynth Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Midwest/Central U.S. is where I hang my hat. Where
    114
    1
    0
    I actually booked on Blackbeard's earlier today for October 22-29. Very excited. Yeah, I hear it's a little crowded... but after talking to their office, and reading the reviews online, I thought I would give it a shot. Plus, it is about the diving after all, and the pics and videos I've seen from their cruises lead me to believe that the price is an absolute steal for the experience you get. We'll see! <crosses fingers>

    I did look at the Aqua Cat... but after I thought about it, I figured it might be more fun to go cheaper with Blackbeards and use the extra money to spend a couple extra days in Nassau after the cruise, before going home.

    Anyway... it's gonna be one heck of an experience, I can already tell that! Now I'm just working on finding a buddy to go with me so I don't have to be "that weird guy," LOL. But even if I end up going solo and wind up with an insta-buddy when I get onboard, I'll be cool with that, too.
     
  8. odtill

    odtill Divemaster

    # of Dives:
    Location: Athens, Texas
    26
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    I booked a trip yesterday for Sept 4-10. It looks like it will be a blast i will be sure and let you know when i get back.
     
  9. Aerosynth

    Aerosynth Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Midwest/Central U.S. is where I hang my hat. Where
    114
    1
    0
    odtill: That would be awesome if you would follow up. I really look forward to the shark feeding dive. Let me know how that goes.
     
  10. seacreatures

    seacreatures Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Riverside CA
    115
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    It can be a blast! Lots of single divers and no problems, dive your own profile, and with a good attitude you will always be smiling:wink: It is camping at sea and there are a lot of threads here you can search for and get good feed back from. I just did both AC and PL in May and as always had a great time. If you do both always do BB first:wink: Here are a lot of pictures of the trip: Two Tanked Productions HD & SD Underwater Productions and video services
     

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