I don't agree with David...
Ken Elkins - Instructor/Captain
February 19, 2003 at 02:57:59
To my knowledge I know of exactly zero liveaboard companies that give refunds for such things as bad weather, equipment problems that occasionally occur (sh*t happens), your flight was late, your luggage didn't arrive or you developed a bad case of "galloping trots" and couldn't dive. Vacation travel insurance was offered through the travel agency I booked with just like all of my other vacations. Made no difference if it was a liveaboard diveboat or a Carnival Cruise ship or a sightseeing tour in England.
Giving a refund because your dives were not what you expected, or because there are boat smells on a boat, or because the chef cooked your steak "well done" when you prefer "rare" is simply unrealistic. I would expect some sort of compensation if the boat never left the dock or if the drinking water tasted like diesel fuel . . . but not if I got into a shouting match with a member of the crew.
Having been on boats . . . emphasis on the plural . . . of both the Dancer and Aggressor Fleets, I personally have never found one to be unsafe . . . maybe in need of a little paint and elbow grease . . . but never unsafe. A BIG difference. Maybe my groups have just been lucky to have had wonderful diving experiences with these two fleets . . . but I don't think so.
I do believe that those poor people that have reported a bad experience are a very small minority and I probably would speak up just like they did had it been me. BUT, I would never make a blanket statement that ALL Dancer and Aggressor boats are unsafe. It is just not true . . .
David, have you ever met Hasson or Hughes? I have . . . both of them. Never had a disagreement with Hughes but I have with Hasson. Maybe it's my age, but I learned a long, long time ago that I never won a disagreement by demanding. But I have won the disagreement with Hasson through meaningful business communication because I know that, had I made demands, I'd lose to even the kid next door.
My suggestion to all past, present and future paying guests is that they express their concerns about boat safety with communication . . . not demands. When I book a boat for my group these items (and refunds) are a part of the conversation prior to booking. If not to my satisfaction, I don't book the boat(s). Just saying "Don't go on Aggressor boats" is not the answer. I don't have the money to purchase my own 110 foot liveaboard diveboat so . . . I don't agree with David. Period!