Every cruise line and even every cruise ship offers guests its own slightly unique experience. But without a doubt, a live aboard dive cruise is quite a different experience for anyone who has never had the pleasure. Obviously, these cruises center around scuba diving and destinations which offer dive sites. But by no means is this experience about nothing more than crossing some amazing dive spots and aquatic life off of your bucket list.
Most live aboard dive vessels are outfitted to host between 20 and 40 guests per trip as well as the staff who will be caring for the passengers. The guest to staff ratio on the smaller boats is normally 3 to 1 or 4 to 1 but on larger ships the ratio can be as high as 6 to 1. Regardless of the ratio, the single most impressive fact is that these staff members are completely dedicated to ensuring that every guest has a fantastic experience. From warm towels waiting after a dive to gourmet meals created in the smallest of galley style kitchens, every detail is about making guests feel welcome, appreciated and pampered.
As you might have guessed, most of the folks on a live aboard dive boat are interested in scuba diving. But their level of interest and participation can vary greatly. Some are interested in a few leisurely dives each day while others are out for full immersion and covet the “Iron Diver” medal which is awarded on one cruise line when a diver participates in every dive offered during a single cruise. And then there are a few who never dive but are making the trip to accompany a spouse or friend who is a diver. These guests have the opportunity to snorkel, swim, sun bathe and enjoy all of the other amenities the boat offers throughout the cruise.
Live aboard dive cruise vessels are substantially smaller than the ships that most travelers picture when hearing the term cruise ship. And due to that reduced size, there are fewer amenities than one would find on one of the behemoths at sea. But in place of that floating city, travelers are treated to more of an intimate experience. The analogy might be more that of a small town feel or even a tight knit family feel. And the end result for both divers and non-divers is always the same. Guests leave after a week or 10 days feeling as if they have been a part of something special, a memorable experience. And they take with them new friendships and a better understanding of culture and the region that they have had the privilege to explore in an up close and personal manner.