How to Pick the Best Liveaboard for Your Next Dive Vacation

Liveaboard Diving

Imagine crystalline seas gliding effortlessly beneath the hull of a 100-foot ship. You stand watching volcanic peaks seemingly appear from the depths below. Retreating to your private cabin in order to gather your camera, excitement grows as you head to the dive deck to suit up. Feeling much like an explorer, you jump into far and distant seas for the first time. This is a typical liveaboard diving trip. Scenarios like these give scuba enthusiasts the opportunity to explore otherwise unreachable dive destinations or dive more frequently than possible when based on land.

What is a Liveaboard?

A diving liveaboard is a boat that has been purpose-built or remodeled for housing scuba divers and providing space for scuba diving operations. Liveaboards may also be called dive safaris or dive charters. Other than meeting the minimum requirement of hosting scuba trips that last more than one night, liveaboards can vary widely in terms of price, number of divers accommodated, amenities and the size of the vessel. For that reason, finding the perfect liveaboard can be a daunting task.

Advantages of Liveaboard Diving

Liveaboard trips are becoming increasingly popular around the globe. This is largely due to the number of benefits they provide to liveaboard divers. Let’s take a look at a few.

  • Remote Destinations - Liveaboards travel to the most remote scuba diving destinations in the world. Many of these are inaccessible to land-based operations, giving liveaboard guests the unique opportunity to experience the wildest parts of the ocean.
  • Uncrowded Dive Sites - Because of the limited number of guests on a liveaboard and the remoteness of many liveaboard destinations, you can expect to be the only group at any dive site. Even if you are diving somewhere near land-based operations, chances are you’ll get to the site and be out of the water before the first day trippers arrive.
  • Personalized Service - Throughout your trip, you’ll be in close proximity to the crew. This means that dive masters will quickly learn the abilities of each diver and what their goal for the trip is. This level of personalized service from a liveaboard is difficult to find in a land-based operation.
  • More Dives a Day - On average, liveaboards offer between 3 and 5 dives per day including a few night dives every week. This is far more diving than you’ll find at land-based dive resorts.
  • Convenience - On a liveaboard, once your gear is set-up, it stays that way until the end of the trip. There isn’t any schlepping of gear down the beach or waiting around at the dive shop for late arrivals. Everything is always ready for your use on the dive deck.

Disadvantages of Liveaboard Diving

Of course, everything isn’t perfect. There are a few disadvantages to liveaboard diving, and it wouldn’t be fair not to mention them.

  • Lack of Outside Communication - This could be seen as both an advantage and disadvantage, but many of us are now reliant upon email and our smartphones to keep into contact with work and loved ones. On a liveaboard, the internet is often unavailable and telephone service can be spotty at best.
  • Close Proximity to Strangers - While we like to think that all scuba divers are awesome, you might occasionally be stuck on a boat with some divers of differing viewpoints. Not getting along with your fellow liveaboard guests can make for a very long week.
  • No Other Activities - For the most part, diving in the only focus of a liveaboard. On some itineraries, you may never step foot on land. Furthermore, by being on a liveaboard, you give up local cultural experiences and nightlife.
  • Seasickness and Rough Seas - The weather doesn’t always cooperate, and you may experience rough seas during a liveaboard. For those prone to seasickness, this might mean a nauseous night spent staring at the horizon.

The best liveaboard destinations

Liveaboard Destinations

The first decision to make when booking a liveaboard is choosing your destination. There are dive safaris available in nearly every major body of water and on every continent, but not all scuba diving destinations are the right fit for liveaboard diving. Here’s a brief overview of some popular liveaboard destinations.

The South Pacific

Given the tendency of South Pacific countries to include multiple islands, the area is ideal for liveaboard diving. Dive safaris enable scuba divers to explore a deep wreck on one dive followed by the pristine reef of a completely different island on the next dive. Popular locations for liveaboards in the area include Fiji, French Polynesia, Australia and Palau.

Southeast Asia

Home to some of the most biodiverse waters in the world, Southeast Asia provides a healthy mix of land-based and liveaboard diving areas. In the case of Thailand’s Similan Islands, Myanmar’s Mergui Archipelago and Philippines’ Tubbataha Reef, liveaboards are the only option.

However, Indonesia is the most popular liveaboard destination of the region. Many of its islands boast land-based resorts, but an argument can be made that the best dive sites in Raja Ampat, Komodo and Triton Bay are most easily accessed by use of a liveaboard.

Central America

Touching both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, Central America is a dream for scuba divers. Locations like the Socorro Islands and Guadalupe in Mexico and Cocos Island in Costa Rica are far-off pelagic wonderlands only reachable by liveaboard. On the Caribbean side and in Belize in particular, divers find liveaboards overlap with land-based resorts but the allure of diving a different reef each day often means liveaboard diving is a better option.

The Caribbean Islands

Similar to the South Pacific, liveaboards have a unique advantage in the Caribbean in that they can reach many different islands in a single trip. For divers in the Bahamas and the Cayman Islands, this is a huge advantage.

Elsewhere in the Caribbean, divers will find that liveaboards have access to some areas where land-based operations do not exist. A prime example is the Jardines de la Reina in Cuba.

The Red Sea

The remote nature of several wrecks, the most active pelagic hotspots and the region’s most pristine reefs make the Red Sea a great liveaboard destination. Scuba divers can depart from either Egypt or Sudan to take advantage of the best diving the Red Sea has to offer.

The Indian Ocean

Populated by remote atolls, the Indian Ocean hosts some of the world’s most luxurious liveaboards. It’s also home to a wide variety of whales, manta rays, whale sharks and hammerheads. Many dive safaris in the area focus on giving you the best chance to blow bubbles with these amazing creatures. Popular liveaboard destinations include the Maldives, the Seychelles and Sri Lanka.

Types of diving boats

Choosing the Type of Boat

The second major decision you’ll need to make when booking a liveaboard is choosing the type of boat. Boats can be placed into several categories, including motor-powered, sail-powered, wooden, steel, luxury or budget.

Motorboat or Sailboat

When it comes to powering a boat, there are two options: motors and sails.

Motorboats are the quicker of the two. They are also more stable than sailboats. So, if you value seeing the widest area of sea or are prone to seasickness, a motorboat might be the better option for you.

On the other hand, sailboats tend to be beautiful, locally built yachts. Often, they include both sails and motors as a means of traveling. If you prefer your boat to be stylish and traditional, choose a sailboat.

Steel or Wood

Although there are other materials used, the vast majority of liveaboards are constructed of either steel or wood. Your choice between these two different types of boat may affect your comfort level during your stay.

Steel boats are more than often motorboats. These yachts usually boast the most living space per square foot. So, if you value having large living quarters, pick a steel boat.

Alternatively, wooden boats are often found in Asia and the South Pacific. These are beautifully and locally constructed masterpieces, but can be a bit noisy. If you want a traditional experience, pick a wooden boat.

Luxury or Budget

Perhaps the most important choice when researching boats is choosing between a luxury or budget liveaboard. There are a few stark differences between the two.

Budget liveaboards tend to be about $1500 USD or less for a 7-day itinerary. These boats can feature private cabins with en suite bathrooms, private cabins with shared bathrooms or even dormitory-style cabins with shared bathrooms. As you might expect, amenities and excursions are usually minimal and alcohol is not included in the charter price.

On the other hand, the sky's the limit when discussing luxury liveaboards. These often cost more than $2,000 for a one-week trip. Many of these boats boast luxurious cabins with ensuite bathrooms, hot tubs, swimming pools, yoga studios, massage parlors, kayaks and/or a full bar. If you prefer to mix relaxation with excellent diving, a luxury liveaboard is the right choice for you.

A vacation on a dive safari

Choosing the Duration

The third choice you face when booking a liveaboard holiday is choosing the duration. This may be predetermined by the length of vacation you can take, but for many, finding the right balance between time on the boat and time spent on land is an important consideration.

Most liveaboards sail for 7 days, but in many destinations, it’s possible to find boats that make 5-night trips or less. In other cases, you might find upwards of 14-night cruises that encompass two or more countries.

First, you’ll need to decide how long you want to be away from home. Then, choose how many days you’d like to spend on land, experiencing the local culture. Once you’ve deducted that time from your total vacation length, you’ll know exactly how many nights to book on a liveaboard.

Choosing the Number of Dives per Day

Yet another important factor to consider when choosing a liveaboard is the amount of diving you’d like to complete each day.

Some liveaboards offer a normal schedule of three dives per day with an optional night dive a few nights a week. Other safaris allow divers to complete up to six dives a day.

It might seem tempting to choose the liveaboard with the most dives per day. But consider whether that is your ideal holiday. Six dives a day leaves little time for relaxation or other activities.

On the other hand, you are traveling by liveaboard in order to maximize your scuba diving opportunities. This decision is one of personal choice, but not one that should be overlooked.

What gear to bring on a liveaboard trip

What to Pack

Once you’ve booked yourself on the liveaboard of your dreams, one final decision remains. That is what to bring with you. Remember space is limited, and baggage fees on local airlines can add up. Below you’ll find our suggestions for what to bring along and what to leave at home.

Bring it with you:

  • A jacket or sweater - Even in the tropics, the nights can be chilly. Also, common areas tend to be heavily air conditioned. Some warmth is sure to be welcome.
  • Two wetsuits and two swimsuits - You’ll be diving so often that one wetsuit and swimsuit won’t dry fast enough. Bring two so that you can dive in one while the other dries.
  • Proper exposure protection - It’s important to check with your liveaboard operator regarding dive conditions. Always pack an extra hood or pair of gloves just in case. Remember your core temperature will drop throughout the week.
  • A marker float - While most liveaboards provide safety equipment to all divers, it never hurts to be over prepared.
  • An extra camera battery - Don’t go crazy with camera equipment, but an extra battery will be useful if electrical outlets are limited on your boat.
  • A short extension cord - Sometimes outlets aren’t conveniently placed near sitting areas. If you want to use any electronics while lounging, an extension cord can come in handy.
  • A portable hard drive - For both the serious and amateur photographer, a portable hard drive will allow you to backup your photos and share snaps with fellow liveaboard guests.
  • Reef-safe sunscreen - Toiletries are a necessity, but make sure they don’t hurt the environment.
  • A sarong - Most boats won’t allow wetsuits in the living and dining area, pack a sarong or cover-up to throw on over your swimsuit.
  • Clothespins - If you hang your swimsuit or clothes outside to dry, use clothespins to make sure you don’t lose them overboard.
  • Soft-sided luggage - There isn’t much room for storing traditional suitcases. Soft-sided luggage can be folded up for easy storage.

Leave it at home:

  • Too many clothes - Remember that you’ll spend most of your time in the water, so you won’t need many dry clothes.
  • Too many shoes - Most boats have a “no shoes” policy. You can leave those dress shoes at home.
  • Most of your gadgets - Liveaboards have plenty of entertainment on board, and you’ll be diving for most of the day. You don’t need to bring every electronic gadget you own to keep you busy.
  • Makeup - Speaking to the ladies out there, you don’t need to apply mascara when you spend most of the day in the water. Leave your makeup at home.

31 Responses

  1. Swimming pools?  Maybe if you count the Paul Gauguin as a liveaboard, but that's a stretch.  Any others I don't know about?
  2. Excellent article!<br />-----<br />
  3. Thanks for writing a very thorough article about Liveaboard! Hmm, that picture looks like the breathtaking view of Wayag & La Galigo Liveaboard from the top of one of the Wayag's islands, Northern Raja Ampat, Papua, Indonesia. I went with them on their Ultimate Raja Ampat trip 7 months ago. I like it a lot & now setting up a trip with them for crossing from Ambon to Sorong through Banda & Raja Ampat, as posted here: [URL="https://www.scubaboard.com/community/threads/one-space-on-la-galigo-liveaboard-to-banda-raja-ampat-in-nov-2017-with-15-discount.529936/"]One space on La Galigo Liveaboard to Banda & Raja Ampat in Nov 2017 with 15% discount[/URL]<br />-----<br />Negative thought is finding problems in every solutions.
  4. Very informative. One thing I like to add to the list of things to bring: warm house slippers. Even if your diving in the tropics, the inside of the vessel may be cool. Slippers keep your feet warm & protected between dives. It is import to only wear them inside the vessel.<br />-----<br />[FONT=Helvetica][B][SIZE=4][SIZE=2][URL='http://shop.beaverdivers.com'][COLOR=#ff0000][SIZE=5]Special Deals for Scubaboard Members![/SIZE][/COLOR][/URL][/SIZE][/SIZE][/B] [B][SIZE=4][SIZE=2][SIZE=4][COLOR=#008000][URL='http://beaverdivers.com/Palau.html']Diving the World![/URL][/COLOR][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/B][/FONT] [B][SIZE=4][SIZE=2][COLOR=#800080][URL='http://beaverdivers.com/Bonaire.html']Bonaire - Fall 2016[/URL], [URL='http://beaverdivers.com/Maldives.html']Maldives Winter 2017[/URL], [/COLOR][/SIZE][/SIZE][FONT=Helvetica][SIZE=4][SIZE=2][COLOR=#0000ff][URL='http://beaverdivers.com/Palau.html']Palau - Spring 2017[/URL],[/COLOR][/SIZE][/SIZE][/FONT][/B] [FONT=Helvetica][B][SIZE=4][SIZE=2][COLOR=#008000][URL='http://beaverdivers.com/Cocos_Island__Costa_Rica.html']Cocos Island - July - 2017[/URL], [/COLOR][/SIZE][/SIZE][/B][/FONT][B][FONT=Helvetica][SIZE=4][SIZE=2][COLOR=#4b0082][URL='http://beaverdivers.com/Solomon_Islands.html']Solomon Islands - Fall 2017[/URL], [/COLOR][/SIZE][/SIZE][/FONT][SIZE=4][SIZE=2][URL='http://beaverdivers.com/Galapagos.html'][COLOR=#008000]Galapagos [/COLOR][/URL][/SIZE][/SIZE][/B][URL='http://beaverdivers.com/Galapagos.html'][B][SIZE=4][SIZE=2][COLOR=#008000]- Fall - 2018[/COLOR][/SIZE][/SIZE][/B][/URL]
  5. [QUOTE="Diviac Travel, post: 7740798, member: 470302"]Diviac Travel A new article has been posted [URL='https://www.scubaboard.com/travel/pick-best-liveaboard-next-dive-vacation/']How to Pick the Best Liveaboard for Your Next Dive Vacation[/URL] [IMG]https://www.scubaboard.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/liveaboard-diving.jpg[/IMG] [URL='https://www.scubaboard.com/travel/pick-best-liveaboard-next-dive-vacation/']Continue reading the Original Article.[/URL][/QUOTE] A very interesting and informative article!<br />-----<br />
  6. [QUOTE="beaverdivers, post: 7741138, member: 395469"]Very informative. One thing I like to add to the list of things to bring: warm house slippers. Even if your diving in the tropics, the inside of the vessel may be cool. Slippers keep your feet warm & protected between dives. It is import to only wear them inside the vessel.[/QUOTE] The boats I've been on have you remove your shoes and barefoot it until you leave. These have all been in very warm places. I've got an lob coming up that will be slightly cooler conditions, perhaps I should consider this or slipper socks with the rubbery feet grips. :)<br />-----<br />TS&M quote: "This is what we go underwater for . . . for the pure joy of being free in three dimensions, to pursue a diligent and detailed critter hunt if the circumstances warrant it; to gather scientific data if that’s the purpose of the dive; to document historical wrecks and answer questions that have lain unsolved for centuries . . . and sometimes, just to dance." " . . . the most singular difference between happiness and joy is that happiness is a solid and joy is a liquid." (partial quote from J.D. Salinger)
  7. One advantage of a live-aboard trip is the option for a 'turn key' trip. You can land at the airport, taxi to and from the boat, and...that's about it. Or nearly so. On the 2 I've done, the closest thing to a complication was the boat returned the evening before departure, and if you wanted more than snacks, you might have to decide where to grab supper in town one night. It's like the polar opposite of some threads about where to stay & eat and who to dive with in Cozumel. No need to rent a car, drive on the 'wrong' side of the road in Grand Cayman, etc... It's not the preferred option for everyone, but the ease of trip planning can be sweet. If you're just there to dive. Richard.<br />-----<br />
  8. A couple of things with this article and drrich's comment. Very much depends on where your desired LOB route is and your point of origin along with your perceptions on distance. I have never done a LOB that was flight taxi boat...4 - 6 flights has been the minimum standard trip for me - I think I peaked at 13 flights to dive somewhere..and I am not adverse to that. I wrote an article about willingness to travel...42 hours in transit is not beyond my level of comfort if the diving worth it. Secondly, ChillyinCanada has a valid point. No LOB I've done, ship I've crewed on or yacht I've travelled on has had anything but a bare feet policy. There's a reason for that - safety. Id confine slippers to your cabin...the thought of a person coming up a companionway in slippers gives me shudders. Socks if you must and even then on carpeted areas only...a LOB with carpet everywhere and a swimming pool sounds a lot like a cruise ship.<br />-----<br />
  9. I have always gone barefoot on LOB trips until the last one a few years ago when I got a nasty infection in one foot. One of my toes turned red and very swollen and it hurt a lot. I thought that I was going to have to tell the captain that I needed to go back to shore to see a doctor but a crew member directed me to a supply of antibiotic ointment and bandages in the first aid drawer and I started treating myself. It got a little better and less painful. I kept it clean, dry, medicated, and bandaged after dives and I wore socks or reef shoes. Nobody seemed to notice or care that I was not barefoot. I don't know how it got infected but I am sure that walking around with wet feet during much of the day didn't help. I saw the doctor as soon as I got home and it turned out that I had a combination of a bacterial and fungal infection and it was difficult to eradicate. We haven't done any recent LOB trips but I now take good care to keep my feet dry and protected as much as possible on dive vacations. I am sure that this was just a fluke but it could ruin a dive trip so if you start to develop an infection on vacation, especially a LOB where you are far from medical aid, don't ignore it and ask for help if you need it. And if you need to cover your feet, it isn't a big deal.<br />-----<br />
  10. I have been on several land based boats that required divers to leave their shoes on the dock but on the three lobs I have done I have worn flips flops every time.<br />-----<br />
  11. The article fails to discuss getting to and from the liveaboard departure point. Depending on where you live, some destinations have what can only be described as painful flights and connections. Do you really want to arrive at 3am local time? Do you really want a 9 hour lay over in a 3rd world airport? Do you want to be lining up at 4am to check in? My travel agent offered me those exact things for a liveabord I was considering. I said no and found much better flights. Can you really afford two days travel time to get there and two days back? That turns a 1 week vacation into an 11 day excursion. You might be better off staying for two weeks. Also consider airfare: how much is it going to cost to get there? Figuring out how to get to the destination on a reasonable schedule and at a reasonable price is a big part of selecting a liveabord.<br />-----<br />
  12. [QUOTE="electric_diver, post: 7757719, member: 33580"]The article fails to discuss getting to and from the liveaboard departure point. Depending on where you live, some destinations have what can only be described as painful flights and connections. Do you really want to arrive at 3am local time? Do you really want a 9 hour lay over in a 3rd world airport? Do you want to be lining up at 4am to check in? My travel agent offered me those exact things for a liveabord I was considering. I said no and found much better flights. Can you really afford two days travel time to get there and two days back? That turns a 1 week vacation into an 11 day excursion. You might be better off staying for two weeks. Also consider airfare: how much is it going to cost to get there? Figuring out how to get to the destination on a reasonable schedule and at a reasonable price is a big part of selecting a liveabord.[/QUOTE] Please tell me where those places are & I'll check them off my bucket list. Thanks Dan<br />-----<br />Negative thought is finding problems in every solutions.
  13. Nice article.

  14. RJP
    Taking a livevaboard trip is like having sex: when it's good... it [I]great!.[/I] And when it's not great... it's still pretty good.<br />-----<br />Follow me for a marketing professional's perspective on the dive industry... Twitter: [URL]https://twitter.com/AquisMarketing[/URL] FaceBook: [URL]https://www.facebook.com/AquisStrategicMarketing[/URL] [IMG]https://www.scubaboard.com/community/media/aquis-logo-lockup-sb-sig.199758/full[/IMG]

  15. RJP
    [QUOTE="Dan_T, post: 7757731, member: 477433"]Please tell me where those places are & I'll check them off my bucket list. Thanks Dan[/QUOTE] It depends as much as your point of departure as your destination. I live within 1.5 hrs of four major international airports. (EWR, JFK, LGA, and PHL) and from there can pretty easily connect through the major hub of virtually every major airline in the world. I've made it from my bed in Princeton to my liveaboard bunk in Truk Lagoon via HNL, NRT, or ICN faster than some US residents can get to their nearest international gateway airport.<br />-----<br />Follow me for a marketing professional's perspective on the dive industry... Twitter: [URL]https://twitter.com/AquisMarketing[/URL] FaceBook: [URL]https://www.facebook.com/AquisStrategicMarketing[/URL] [IMG]https://www.scubaboard.com/community/media/aquis-logo-lockup-sb-sig.199758/full[/IMG]
  16. Getting there is half the fun. A diving trip to Cocos Island took 15 days altogether. I did not enjoy the travelling but what choice do I have? Go somewhere else?<br />-----<br />
  17. Liveaboards are my go to vacation!!  If you love to dive I would highly recommend it, it's a way to get up to 27 dives in six days!!   I usually travel by myself and within hours of arriving on board feel right at home with the other passengers.  Do all the dives if you like, get some sun if you like -- whatever floats your boat.  My preference are the boats that offer cabins with out bunkbeds, but in either case you don't spend much time in the cabin anyway.  Warm towels and a gentle massage after the dive -- come on who wouldn't like that!! I've met some wonderful divers along the way and occasionally there is a difficult diver on the boat but make lemonade and enjoy yourself!! Eat, sleep, dive, eat, sleep, dive -- does it get any better?
  18. [QUOTE="beaverdivers, post: 7741138, member: 395469"]Very informative. One thing I like to add to the list of things to bring: warm house slippers. Even if your diving in the tropics, the inside of the vessel may be cool. Slippers keep your feet warm & protected between dives. It is import to only wear them inside the vessel.[/QUOTE] Absolutely. This is was one of the first lessons I learned as a newbie (Our waters are kind of chilly anyways during this time).<br />-----<br />
  19. This article was extremely helpful! Now I just need to decide which exotic destination to explore first after I complete my Nitrox and Advanced!<br />-----<br />
  20. When looking for a great Liveaboard, the best way to book is through Bluewater dive travel!<br />-----<br />
  21. All things considered, one of the best vacations I have ever had was two weeks on a 64 ft. flush deck Ketch. We left From Miami and sailed in and around the Bahamas. Find a likely spot, fill the tanks and over the side you go. All you have to do is keep track of your residual N2 for the next dive. Eventually the dive day ends or (boring!) decompression becomes your best friend. All the fresh(as in it was swimming 30-60 minutes ago) seafood you want. You are on deck from sun up to sun down so bring an abundance of sun screen. Best tan I ever had! If you bring a non-diving "friend", make sure they don't get seasick. One guy's girlfriend got sick as soon as we left the dock, and stayed that way for 2 weeks. Poor girl hated the water thereafter. I love diving, I love sailing, and I love seafood so it was a perfect trip for me,<br />-----<br />
  22. Great article. If you're looking into liveaboards but want the value of knowing someone on board before you go, feel free to message me to see about getting on one of our trips. We are based in Florida and currently have openings for a budget friendly trip on Blackbeard's Cruises in the Bahamas.<br />-----<br />
  23. Really such a great article. Already started thinking about going. ;) Thank you, Pamela Williams [URL="http://www.o365cloudexperts.com/"]Home[/URL]<br />-----<br />
  24. A really good post, although I have to be a little pedantic [QUOTE]Uncrowded Dive Sites - Because of the limited number of guests on a liveaboard and the remoteness of many liveaboard destinations, you can expect to be the only group at any dive site.[/QUOTE] Most destination, have multiple liveaboards that all follow the same route. Consequently you'll be anchored near them and likely to be on a site with other divers from a different boat. That said a quite a few operators try to liaise with other boats to schedule their dives on sites so as not to over whelm them, but not all do [QUOTE]On the other hand, sailboats tend to be beautiful, locally built yachts. Often, they include both sails and motors as a means of traveling. If you prefer your boat to be stylish and traditional, choose a sailboat.[/QUOTE] More often than not people are fooled by the sail boat idea. Generally the sails are only hoisted once pre trip for a photo op., The rest of the trip is carried out under power. I don't have an issue with this and have done both. [QUOTE] [LIST] [*]Two wetsuits and two swimsuits - You’ll be diving so often that one wetsuit and swimsuit won’t dry fast enough. Bring two so that you can dive in one while the other dries. [/LIST] [/QUOTE] It never ceases to amaze me that most people hang up their wetsuit after a dive the right side out. Why? I always turn mine inside out to dry - or at least remove the wetness. This works in all but the most humid conditions (where nothing dries) I never suffer from having to put on a cold damp suite first thing in the morning. My boots are another thing entirely, and I have been known to swill them with warm water before the first dive :) [QUOTE] sarong - Most boats won’t allow wetsuits in the living and dining area, pack a sarong or cover-up to throw on over your swimsuit.[/QUOTE] Totally agree I use a Surf robe, great for pre and post the morning dive, after the night dive and in between dives I don't find it too warm and it dries easily I just wear tee shirts and shorts after the last dive post shower[ATTACH]389279[/ATTACH]<br />-----<br />
  25. Thank you for a wonderful read! As a person who is very new and still in training, I would love a section for location "suitably". The day I decided to go after my dream of scuba diving I started my research of the good and bad. My research eventually came to "liveaboards" and vacations abroad. I found that alot of them book out months and months. I have read many first hand experiences where locations were not suitable for a novice but advertised "ideal" by the company. Travel thousands of miles to swim waters way "above your head"? I don't think so. This can end very bad. Maybe you veterans can chime in with experiences to form consensus. Maybe a 1-10 grading system on difficulty? Times of year? Just food for thought. Shawn<br />-----<br />
  26. ****Location Suitability****<br />-----<br />
  27. One thing I wish for, not just in live-aboard trips but even land-based, is a contrarian assessment; a list of barriers, problems, etc..., that a person needs to know about when considering the trip. One thing you don't want is the wrong customer having an awful time at the wrong destination, coming home & badmouthing it and/or the dive op. online to whoever will listen. A successful sell to the wrong person can cost you. From what I've read, others have indicated Galapagos diving is 'challenging.' Cocos Island has been mentioned in this thread; I enjoyed a trip report discussing how long it takes to get to/from it, how remote it is and how you'd better have your dive travel insurance paid up because an evacuation could entail major cost. The Great Barrier Reef of Australia has enormous name recognition, but website [URL='http://www.divemedicals.com.au']DiveMedicals.com.au[/URL] states "As a result, the regulations, requirements and medical standards relating to diving in Australia are amongst the strictest in the world, in order to ensure that Australia continues to be one of the safest places to dive in the world." Wonder how likely that is to knock a given customer out of some diving? If you show up for a live-aboard trip and don't answer 'No' to everything on the medical questionnaire, can you get a 'dive medical' done stat & still make the boat? Occasionally I read a trip report of someone on a live-aboard trip discovering English isn't the dominant language on the boat, or even being paired with a non-English-speaking dive buddy (I'm speaking from a U.S.-based perspective). IIRC, toilet paper is not universally available free for the taking in toilets in some Philippines locations (be nice to know that in advance). How many unhappy trip reports have we seen on Scuba Board where the trip wasn't really 'bad' for that destination, but rather was a bad match for the dive tourist's goals and expectations? Richard.<br />-----<br />
  28. Many good points, Richard. I've looked into some of your posts and found quite bit of useful information. I appreciate the time and energy you put into all of them. Shawn "0 dives but everyday I smile in anticipation of the 1st."<br />-----<br />
  29. [QUOTE="drrich2, post: 7937362, member: 72537"]One thing I wish for, not just in live-aboard trips but even land-based, is a contrarian assessment; a list of barriers, problems, etc..., that a person needs to know about when considering the trip. One thing you don't want is the wrong customer having an awful time at the wrong destination, coming home & badmouthing it and/or the dive op. online to whoever will listen. A successful sell to the wrong person can cost you...Richard.[/QUOTE] This thread, describing the extreme currents, convinced me that Tobago wouldn't be a good choice for me! And I appreciated that information. [URL='https://www.scubaboard.com/community/threads/tobago-give-the-good-and-the-bad.522965/#post-7635256']Tobago - Give the good and the bad[/URL]<br />-----<br />

Leave a comment