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View Full Version : Anybody dove with Nekton Cruises?



Flatliner
09-28-2007, 20:05
My son and I would like to do a liveaboard. I find the Nekton appealing because of the extra stability, (my son is prone to motion sickness) and the fact that I can drive to the departure point rather than fly. Has anyone dove with them? If so, how was your experience?

comet24
09-28-2007, 21:22
I going out with them in the end of Oct. We choose them because two of the people we dive with went on a trip with them and couldn't stop talking about how good it was.

Desert_Diver
09-28-2007, 22:09
My son and I would like to do a liveaboard. I find the Nekton appealing because of the extra stability, (my son is prone to motion sickness) and the fact that I can drive to the departure point rather than fly. Has anyone dove with them? If so, how was your experience?

I've been on two Nekton cruises, NW Bahamas and the Caymans. I thoroughly enjoyed both. Boat is stable (but not very fast). Food is good. Crew is very helpful and friendly. I have heard a couple of complaints about condensation in the cabins but I have never experienced that.


The diving is great. If you do the night dive, you can regularly get five dives per day in. But that is not required. Dive as much or as little as you like. There are not a lot of silly rules. Plan your own dives. Dive your computer. They do want you take a surface marker bouy (SMB) with you each time. They will furnish you with one if you don't have your own. There is a sign out/in sheet with dive duration and max depth. They will chide you if you forget the first time. I don't know what happens if you forget a second time. Your first alcoholic beverage of the day marks the last dive of the day. They serve no alcohol but have no problem if you bring your own aboard. If you smoke, they will ask you to smoke in a designated area on the sun deck (top deck) and to throw the butts in an ash tray or butt can.

Nitrox seems a little expensive to me but there is no problem if you are diving air.

Dive briefings are good with a map of each site. If you are short a buddy some time, you can usually find a crew member to dive with.

I give Nekton high marks and a good recommendation.

Art

Zenagirl
09-29-2007, 07:06
Been on three Nekton cruises...Belize, NW Bahamas, and Cay Sal Banks. I recommend them highly for anyone considering a liveaboard trip. If you have any specific questions, please ask...I'm sure they'll be answered quickly and painlessly.

As far as motionsickness, if your son is prone to it he'll still want to bring some medication just in case. Although the boat moves differently and less than a v-hull boat, it's still on the ocean and does move. When we were in Belize a big storm came up and while we were eating dinner (no plates moving, just a gentle rocking motion), we watched the Peter Hughes boat behind us disappear and reappear in the waves, pitching and yawing something awful. It was remarked by more than one person that nobody on that boat was eating dinner that night!

As far as nitrox is concerned, we didn't use it in Belize but did in NW Bahamas and Cay Sal. We felt that it was well worth the extra money since our nitrogen loading was so much less, and with doing 4-5 dives a day we liked it for the safety. When we dive nitrox we typically dive somewhere between the air and nitrox tables to get a little more NDL, but still retain the extra safety factor.

Flatliner
09-29-2007, 09:28
Thank you, just the kind of feedback I was hoping for. Comet, if you would be willing to give me an update after your trip I would really appreciate it.

CrzyJay456
09-29-2007, 10:46
Thank you, just the kind of feedback I was hoping for. Comet, if you would be willing to give me an update after your trip I would really appreciate it.

where do you live?

diversteve
09-29-2007, 14:40
A longer trip report about our Cay Sal trip (http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/2651283-post5.html) last summer. Zenagirl is right, the boat still does rock some. Not as much as other boats it's size and more of a front/back pitching. And SWATH only works when the boat is sitting still, they pump it out prior to moving.

We had one afternoon/night dive canceled due to an approaching storm and the next morning several people commented that they were sick. My buddy, who normally takes otc meds for boat diving, didn't take anything all week afaik.

The Pilot docks in an industrial area so you'll want to leave your car at the FLL airport long-term parking and have them pick you up. The van takes you downtown to eat and your bags to the boat. They don't really want anyone boarding till after dinner since they clean/prep the boat that afternoon.

BobbyWombat
09-29-2007, 16:45
Just a clarification, not a flame:

The SWATH hullform works great both when still and when in motion. You pay a penalty for the increased resistance from the SWATH hullform (larger wetted surface area). This means it takes more fuel to push the boat through the water.

The solution: pump out the ballast tanks which makes the boat sit high in the water and act more like a regular catamaran. This saves in fuel costs since the resistance goes down. Once you are on location, or if the weather gets bad, you put water back in the ballast tanks to have a nice stable platform.

What most other have said is correct, the SWATH hullform has much better seakeeping (ship motions) than other hullforms when designed correctly. I used to work with a guy that helped design the Nekton boats. They are ugly as all get out, but I've heard great things about the way they ride.

-BW

Flatliner
10-01-2007, 17:27
Thank you, just the kind of feedback I was hoping for. Comet, if you would be willing to give me an update after your trip I would really appreciate it.

where do you live?

Nebraska,

BUT...I have a company car and they pay for the gas...SO...It could save my son/I and my Buddy/Son quite a bit to drive... Plus we can take whatever gear we want that way.

divnlite
10-03-2007, 03:05
Hi Flatliner,
we have done two Nekton cruises - Cayman and Belize - and are going in December on the Puerto Rico/St.Croix itinerary.
Here is a link to some trip reports and pictures from our trips last year:
www.travel.billandterrie.com/2006/Belize
and
www.travel.billandterrie.com/2006/Cayman

I think it would be a great trip for you and your son.
Have fun!

divingmedic
10-03-2007, 08:17
I am going to PR/St Croix with them December, I will post a trip report when I get done :D

csky
10-04-2007, 21:02
You might want to check out this thread (http://forum.scubatoys.com/showthread.php?p=53396#post53396) which has a lot of liveaboard discussion and my thoughts on the Nekton Belize trip.

I had a fantastic trip on the Pilot (same boat that leaves out of Fort Lauderdale) and can definitely recommend Nekton. I love the boat design (woke up one morning to see dolphins riding the bow wave outside my cabin window), and seasickness was a total non-concern for me. The front office and the crew were all great, and I was totally sold on the experience.

Although, if seasickness is the main concern, you might consider a Bahamas liveaboard that doesn't leave out of Florida -- that way you would avoid the rough crossing to the Bahamas (though of course then driving to the boat would be a tad more difficult ...).

Zenagirl
10-04-2007, 21:31
We did the crossing to/from the Bahamas on the Pilot 4x this summer on our back-to-back trip (Cay Sal/NW Bahamas) and slept through the crossing each time. Didn't feel a thing as far as roughness, and actually, the storm we rode the Pilot through in Belize was the worst we've felt. ;)

Mycroft
11-24-2007, 22:00
Done the Pilot twice - Bahamas and Belize. the condenstation problem only occurs on the lower deck cabins, and not all of them. Ask for an upper deck cabin and insist with the front office.

I also offer that I was there when they reacted to a diving emergency. Very very good and no injury partly due to their efforts. I was sitting that dive out, my buddy had a catastropic first stage failure.

Zenagirl
11-25-2007, 07:31
Mycroft is right about how they react to dive emergencies. On our 2 week trip we had a bunch of things happen. First dive out was when my second primary hose popped off my reg on my safety stop. Not only did they immediately put a snorkeler in the water to assess the situation, but the crew member that was already in the water immediately came to my assistance. My husband/buddy got to me first, but it was nice to know that there was a lot of help there quickly. One of the crew fixed my regs (octo was loose too!), and I didn't miss a dive.

Later that week the boat was struck by lightening (yes, really!) knocking the engines off-line and frying a lot of electronic equipment. The crew worked like mad and we only lost an hour sitting dead in the water.

During our second week, on the first dive out a diver complained of a problem to his buddy about 10 minutes into their dive. He immediately surfaced and was able to get to his seat. The crew immediately went into action and the guy wound up being airlifted by Coast Guard helicopter off the boat. A day later our buddy who joined us for the 2nd week had a QD failure on his computer and was down to less than 600psi in less than 5 minutes. My husband and I escorted him back to the boat on my octo (in case there was a catastrophic failure). The crew immediately assessed the situation and had his regs switched out and he was back in the water within 10 minutes.