Considering Red Sea for First Liveaboard. Questions...

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diveUAE

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We loved our sightseeing in Egypt (Cairo/Pyramids), it’s so easy to arrange and get a good price. Don’t book through the LOB as most will charge you x2. The winter months are great for sightseeing, but diving is cold.

How about looking at Maldives instead? Some places current can be strong, but our dive guide was very knowledgeable and took my not so experienced sister-in-law to a different spot, while we enjoyed the current (she saw a lot too). Not much sightseeing in the Maldives though....

Currently LOB prices in Maldives are very reasonable. We often check/book with Diving Specials for discounts.

Also that time of year is good for Thailand/Similans.
 

Lorenzoid

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On a LOB, it's not only the water but also the constant wind you usually have in winter. Your fellow divers lough at you at first, then theý start thinking it might have been a good idea and by the end of the trip you have to fear that they punch holes in your suit. :D
I do know quite a few Egyptian guides that also dive dry; and I find a tri-lam dry suit with just a base layer underneath more comfortable than a 5mm plust vest, let alone a 7mm.

My wife and I were the only divers on the Aggressor diving dry during a late December trip. Aggressor markets to Americans, and since the Red Sea has not long been a major destination for American divers, the tip about the wind in the winter may not be well known among Americans, and even if it were, most Americans who are accustomed to diving in tropical locations don't own drysuits. Having read on SB about the wind, my wife and I opted for the drysuits, and we were happy we did.
 

Dan

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My wife and I were the only divers on the Aggressor diving dry during a late December trip. Aggressor markets to Americans, and since the Red Sea has not long been a major destination for American divers, the tip about the wind in the winter may not be well known among Americans, and even if it were, most Americans who are accustomed to diving in tropical locations don't own drysuits. Having read on SB about the wind, my wife and I opted for the drysuits, and we were happy we did.

8 weeks ago, the water temperature in BDE was about 24-25C. 5mm wetsuit suited me fine. No one in that boat wearing drysuit.

BDE Trip Report, 21-28 December, 2019
 

mcohen1021

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Which route would you recommend for first trip?

Brothers route was amazing.

Any issues with OW divers? Cozumel has some moderate currents and my kids did well there. Any need to get more experience before bringing them to Red Sea?

No issues. Currents are no better/worse than anywhere I’ve been. There was a dive where I went ‘around the corner’ at one of the islands and it was like stepping into the wind. I simply used that as my cue to turn around.

Any hesitance bringing grown kids to Red Sea? I have been to the middle east many times, but in my experiences the women are treated differently (especially in Saudi Arabia, which I don't think I will return to).

No hesitations. Security in fact is tighter by a LONG way than it is here. I counted as many as 8 checkpoints between Marsa Alam and my return seat on the plane.

My daughter is a vegetarian. Are they able to accommodate different diets on the boats?

Yes, the Aggressor is incredibly accommodating – make sure u tell them in advance.

Rental gear ok? My wife and I have our own gear, but kids are still renting.

Rentals are fine. Take your own computers.

I would like to sight see in Egypt as well. I would guess it is better to plan sightseeing before diving in case of trip delays.

4 days of sightseeing enough to take in most of the major sites? Any suggestions for combo bookings? I think Aggressor will do an add-on sightseeing package?

Most do it afterwards. Talk to Lisa @ Aggressor.
 

Lorenzoid

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8 weeks ago, the water temperature in BDE was about 24-25C. 5mm wetsuit suited me fine. No one in that boat wearing drysuit.

BDE Trip Report, 21-28 December, 2019

Yes, but as @Mod63 pointed out, it's the wind, not the water temperature, that's often the issue in winter months. On our trip, the water was warm enough, but the cool breeze was fairly constant. The RIB ride back to the boat seemed to chill some divers, and then back on the boat while they were wrapping themselves in towels and looking for hot drinks, my wife and I were dry and oblivious to wind. They also did not look all that excited gearing up in a damp wetsuit in the breeze. I guess you were fortunate to have little wind during your trip.
 

Guitarcrazy

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We loved our sightseeing in Egypt (Cairo/Pyramids), it’s so easy to arrange and get a good price. Don’t book through the LOB as most will charge you x2. The winter months are great for sightseeing, but diving is cold.

How about looking at Maldives instead? Some places current can be strong, but our dive guide was very knowledgeable and took my not so experienced sister-in-law to a different spot, while we enjoyed the current (she saw a lot too). Not much sightseeing in the Maldives though....

Currently LOB prices in Maldives are very reasonable. We often check/book with Diving Specials for discounts.

Also that time of year is good for Thailand/Similans.

The Maldives look great but near impossible to fly to from Montana. I may see if we can move up the trip to July 2020 to take advantage of warmer weather.
 

mcohen1021

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The Maldives look great but near impossible to fly to from Montana. I may see if we can move up the trip to July 2020 to take advantage of warmer weather.

Do your homework 1st.

1. When's the best time to see mantas and sharks?
2. And which rooutes for which boats...?

Those are the two factors that I will be considering when I book maldives. My initial front runners are ScubaSpa and Aggressor between Nov to April
 

Guitarcrazy

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Those look great but unfortunately I don't think the Maldives are an option since there are *almost* no flights from Montana. Now thinking of trying Red Sea in July/Aug.
 

mcohen1021

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Those look great but unfortunately I don't think the Maldives are an option since there are no flights from Montana. Now thinking of trying Red Sea in July/Aug.

Topic has been beat to death on here but have u looked into Soccoro? That is action packed the whole time. But Red Sea is a fuller experience or coral, animal life and wrecks.
 

Dan

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Yes, but as @Mod63 pointed out, it's the wind, not the water temperature, that's often the issue in winter months. On our trip, the water was warm enough, but the cool breeze was fairly constant. The RIB ride back to the boat seemed to chill some divers, and then back on the boat while they were wrapping themselves in towels and looking for hot drinks, my wife and I were dry and oblivious to wind. They also did not look all that excited gearing up in a damp wetsuit in the breeze. I guess you were fortunate to have little wind during your trip.

I didn’t notice much wind in BDE then. Besides, 10 out of 18 dives we made were from the back of the yacht. As soon as we exit the water and walked back to our gear station, one of the crew would hand me a roll of warm towel.
 
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