I just got off of the Sea Explorer and I would totally recommend this trip for any diver. I went solo and made a great dive buddy and friend. The crew was so friendly and helpful. We did not have any problems with our ship during our trip and all of the accommodations were great. Captain Jim was very professional and courteous to all of the passangers. Chef Dan cooked amazing food for us. Our dive master "Hoppie" did a great job briefing us on our dives. Other reviews mentioned the boat needed work but the boat was just recently overhauled in Ft. Lauderdale and was in great condition. We logged 18 dives in mostly shallow dives due to bad weather but we were able to dive at the "Blue Hole" on our last dive as the weather cleared up. It was a great week of diving with a great crew and company.
We had a full week of great diving on variety of reefs with depths ranging from 6m to > 30m , 2 to 5 dives a day including 4 night dives. There is no divemaster in the water so its up to your and your buddy, but you get an excellent predive briefing on the sites and where to find the interesting stuff.
The setup for diving is perfectly fine but a bit crowded gearing up.
Quarters - you get a bunk, a shelf and a curtain. The only seats are topside or in the galley, The galley table only seats about half the guests. Top bunks took some contortions to get into and had low headroom but were roomy enough for my 6 foot 2 frame.
Food excellent but not fancy. Our cook Dan used to work in 5 star hotels and prepared everything to perfection. The drinks were not up to the same quality.
Tips - I brought some mesh bags for my clothes which worked great to keep them on my bunk. luggage stays on land.
4/5 because it is just too basic accommodation for 5 stars
I am compelled to share and be objective. This liveaboard is very affordable and a good value. The food was excellent but the diving was fair at best. Unfortunately the algae has taken over in Bahamas. The boat’s captain was surly and was personally abusive towards me. Rather then sharing in private the ego maniac captain likes to embarass guests. I gave the crew a $100 less of gratuity and wrote on the envelope it was due to the captains unprofessional behavior. But I guess he did not take it as a lessen, because latter I was called a profanity for standing up to him.
The other source of my poor review is due to the Sea Explorer boat badly needs an overhaul. Here is a list of the items that broke during the six day cruise; bilge pump, air compressor, air conditioner, hot water heater, refrigerator. I share this review because I won’t return, and if you can afford a better boat do it as this operation has seen better days!
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.