What’s it like to dive from a live-aboard?

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The Live-Aboard Experience

Whether you’re looking for peace and relaxation or you just want to dive, dive, dive, you can make incredible memories with live-aboard diving. Not sure if it’s for you or not?  Here are a few pros and cons to keep in mind:

Pro:    You can usually dive as many dives as your computer will allow.  Often times this means up to 4 or 5 times a day if you so desires.  The service is wonderful and can be quite pampering. The staff may even greet you with freshly baked cookies and warm towels as you climb up the ladder from your dive.

Con:    There are some days when you’d rather skip diving and lay around at the beach or explore local culture.  Although there are fewer topside adventure options (depending on where your live-aboard is stationed), you can still enjoy a good book, lounge in the sun, go for a swim or a snorkel, or cruise around in a kayak.  Some live-aboards have built in hot tubs too!

Pro:    The dive sites you visit are more remote and pristine than if you were staying in a more popular resort destination.  This means you’re more apt to see unexplored reefs and shy critters.  Plus, you have ample opportunity to brush up on your underwater photography.

Con:    If you’re into crazy, local nightlife, you’re not going to experience it on a live-aboard.  But, you’ll see the most gorgeous stars and constellations.  The night dives can be pretty spectacular too.

Con:    You’re with the same group of people all week long so it’s best to keep a friendly attitude and go with the flow.  But that also means you walk away with great friendships and bonds by the end of the week of diving together too.

Specials:

If you’re ready to sail away right now, PADI Travel Network has a couple live-aboard packages still available:

Palau Ocean Hunter III 7 Night Liveaboard Special, $3,495 pp/dbl

Package includes: 7 night in a twin/double cabin, up to 5 dives per day, full technical diving and photo support, gourmet meals and transportation to and from boat. Palau dive permits not included.   Valid through August 2011 

Palau Pacific Resort & Fish ‘n Fins 7 Night Special, $1,575 pp/dbl

Package includes: 7 nights gardenview room accommodations at Palau Pacific Resort, 5 days of 2-tank boat dives with Fish ‘n Fins including lunch, free Nitrox and a snorkel tour of Jellyfish Lake, free house dives (Mandarin fish and Macro dive), airport/hotel transfers and service charges. Palau dive permits not included.
Valid 4/1-4/24/11, 5/6-7/31/11, and 9/1-12/19/11

Add $208 for travel through 3/31/11, 4/25-5/5/11, and 8/1-8/31/11

What’s Your Take on Live-Aboards?

Have you dived on a live-aboard before?  Leave us a comment about your experience.  Where were you?  What did you enjoy? What would you recommend?