Suffered through two horrible Dancer trips before I quit dancing...
Bob R. - Recreational Diver
November 16, 2002 at 00:16:45
Unlike Dale who sounds like he might be on the Hughes payroll, I suffered through two horrible trips on Peter Hughes boats, one on the Palau Sun Dancer and the other on the ill-fated Wave Dancer in Belize. In Palau, the dive site selection was mostly mediocre, the diving program lacked flexibility and was therefore dangerous. Several of the crew were obviously burnt out and the food was uninspired (I'm trying to be polite). Wave Dancer was a bit better but in the end, I felt ripped off. And there are just too many people on the Dancer boats--I always felt crowded.
On my second trip to Palau, I booked with the Ocean Hunter, which was infinitely better than the Sun Dancer. Talk about personalized service! It was like being on my own private yacht. There were only six of us compared to 20 on the Sun Dancer (can you say "Moooooooo"). Definitely the best live-aboard trip I've ever had and I agree with the comments about the benefits of booking independently owned boats like Ocean Hunter rather than fleet boats like Hughes and Aggressor. I think any boat can be good when everything goes right but when the crap hits the fan, it's better to be with owner/operators rather than staff working for a big corporation trying to maximize profits by playing cat and mouse with a deadly hurricane.