Just returned from a Blackbeard's dive trip on the Sea Explorer.THE GOOD PART. The diving was fantastic, we dove all through the Exumas. We did a shark dive, wall dive, the "washing machine" (use your imagination), a blue hole, drift dive, night dives...and even visited 2 beautiful islands for the non divers.The food was amazing (the cook even cooked up 2 Mahi Mahi that was caught on board). The crew were
great, very knowledgeable, friendly and helpful.THE BAD PART.If it wasn't for the crew's skill at fixing everything we would have had to return early on more than one occasion. The Sea Explorer is celebrating its 40th birthday this year and needs a major overhaul.The compressor broke down, the radio broke down and the electricity broke down... thankfully the crew managed to fix them.The air conditioning broke down in one of the cabins and it was so hot that the occupants had to sleep up on deck on hard fiberglass benches for almost the entire trip. Our toilet leaked all over the floor, we were assured it was only water but it stunk and we had to endure it while sleeping. We were told that the toilets are so old that they no longer make replacement parts for them and they have to be specially made at great expense. We couldn't even make tea because the tap with boiling water wasn't working. My husband, a firefighter,felt this boat is a safety hazard. Blackbeard's owners need to over haul this boat a.s.a.p.before someone gets hurt.
Boat is well run. Had a week with some wind, captain did a great job of keeping great diving while hiding from the wind. Accomadations were much better than expected, food was great, dive deck was well run which made diving easy and fun. Would recommend this trip to any diver from recently certified to expert.
Couldn't wait to add my review. They say it's like camping at sea and to a degree it is in the most positive sense. Next week will be my 5th year in a row with these guys. $1000 bucks is a deal for what you get. The trip is so great that you will feel guilty giving only 15% gratuity. There are 3 things 1st the weather uncontrollable but mostly pleasent in the Bahamas. 2nd the crew these guys work there butts off for you any mention of a problem and they are Johnny on the spot along with cheerful & playful personalities to boot. The food is always GREAT and plentiful. The only time they get serious is when safety is involved. The final thing is your fellow passengers. In my years with Blackbeards I have made life long friends and been inconvenienced by some jerks. Here is the part i enjoy, MOST of the time people are there with a goal to enjoy. Cell phones are useless (BIG PLUS) people look at each other to talk. Talk revolves not about issues of the day rather the dives, views and Islands we all enjoy so much. Everything is informal no pretenses I have dove with lawyers, doctors, truck drivers, cops, factory workers,practically every profession and believe or not a homeless. The neat thing is we were all there to enjoy not to impress. As for the sail boats they are old but well kept. You sleep in bunks w/curtain a surprising amount of privacy and noise deadening. There are 3 toilets on board one private shower. For me the draw is, every year to see crew that has become friends and make new friends. Sailing the Eluthra Islands and diving in pristine waters, watching incredible sunsets while friends laugh, warm breezes blow your hair draws me back every year. Every trip is different some better than others but that's the beauty you never know what's you will see above or below the waters. It makes life so worth living. I truly wish everyone could experience a Blackbeards adventure. Hope to see all those that read this review out there enjoying the same adventures I do. If you read my review and we are on the same boat let me know i am the "Crow."
I’ve been on several land based dive trips; this was my first liveaboard & it was fantastic. Somewhere this trip is described as camping at sea, I think it’s actually on their own website & it’s pretty true. RV camping, not tent!
If you like things spacious & posh, this boat isn’t for you. If you can rough-it somewhat, you’ll have a great time.
I went with a group of good friends, which I highly recommend. The boat was full, but not packed. You definitely need to pack light. My grip had to go at the end of my bunk. I had a small shelf & a hook for toiletries. Six of us shared the forward head & there’s only one shower on board. You get one minute of fresh water shower a day. That sounds very odd & scary, but don’t worry. It works out. The only time I was in my bunk was to read or sleep. All other time not spent diving was on deck or in the galley.
There is certainly much better diving in the Caribbean, but not for anywhere near the price-point of Blackbeard’s. That’s not to say it wasn’t good diving & I did all 19. We saw nice life on all dives. In fact, I have almost 200 dives logged & two of my favorite were on this trip! I had two amazing dives with ‘personal’ interaction between me and some turtles. And, NO, I didn’t touch them. But, one did touch me!
The crew was excellent & very personable. The food was very good & plentiful. There was only one meal I wasn’t fond of and I’m a rather picky eater.
Enjoyed my week on the Morning Star. Excellent crew! The captain was very transparent about his decisions, which made it for a fun and safe voyage. The food was great. We had a full boat so sometimes, moving around was tricky. We did manage to get on a few islands and stretch. Would I do it again? Possibly. :)
Pros: Excellent Crew(like for real, made the trip), the diving is great, we saw so much life, tons of shark, turtles, game fish, you name it. The dives were very diverse and fun. Opportunity to meet nice people (you get to know pretty much everyone on the boat because the quarters are so very tight. The food is good and again the cooking staff is so accommodating. Very affordable considering the amount of dives you are able to do.
Cons: Extremely tight quarters, waiting quite a bit of time to get off and on the boat before and after dives because of the limited physical space, lack of dive masters to guest ratio. There is one dive master in the water with the entire boat (though our guest list included multiple dive masters so it was fine. Lack of woman to men ratio...this could have just been our trip but there were only three females to 23 males on the boat (excluding crew). Had I known, I would it would have been this disproportionate, I would have likely booked on a live aboard with private rooms. We are pretty much eat, sleep and dive people and on this boat, you are pretty much up as late as the last guest because you hear everything. We were lucky to have been paired with a great group who were respectful.
First live aboard, will not be the last. Sailed the week of Nov 11 on the Sea Explorer. Many thanks to the crew. Capt. Chris, Ian, John, Jeff, Jim and our amazing cook Dan.These guys worked long hours to ensure we had a safe and incredible experience under their watch. The diving was awesome, we did 18 dives including a shark feed and 4 night dives. We experienced high sustained winds for most of the week which made our long sea crossings a challenge for most of the passengers so pack and take medication. It was very cool to be get a long sail with full sails on our second crossing.
Overall this was an incredible experience as well as a great value. If you are considering a trip that is all about the diving, this is the trip for you!!