Considering Red Sea for First Liveaboard. Questions...

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mcohen1021

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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.

The hot water showers, warm towels and fresh squeezed juice definitely helped! I did the entire June trip in a 1.5 mil top and was only cold the minute I got out of the water.
 

outofofficebrb

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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.

it might serve you well to try to get a flight from Montana to a major hub like Denver, San Francisco, atlanta, etc., then look into a flight to the Maldives on a separate ticket that way and progress further to other options if needed. Ditto Red Sea; you might be able to save some money that way.

some Red Sea itineraries want AOW and/or 50+ dives. If your kids have 20, it might be an issue. I’ve done brothers, Daedalus, elphinstone, St. John, zabargad, Rocky, fury shoal. Brothers was definitely overall deeper and more challenging diving compared to the others.

safety is good in Egypt (and Jordan)! Not an issue. I wouldn’t worry. Highly recommend Memphis tours. We did a custom private tour package and it was budget friendly. You can get a private car and driver and Egyptologist for just your family and come and go as you please to the sites. Your guide can help you avoid the bus crowds. We had them pick us up right from the liveaboard pier and deliver us all the way to the check in counter. They were there every step of the way. Highly recommend. We did 3 areas in one package and transition from new driver/car/Egyptologist or guide in each place was seamless. Port Ghalib to Luxor. Then in Cairo. Then in Jordan.
 

WS007

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Just a few words on the Egypt offshore reefs (Brothers and Daedalus) and diving with beginners/kids: The weather conditions there can change very quickly, like in the mountains. It is possible that there is little wind, no waves and zero current, like in a pond. People that encounter such conditions on a single or a few visits may believe that the recommendation that BDE is only for advanced divers is a joke. It can, however, also be the opposite. E.g. last October we had very strong and fast currents at Little Brother and on some parts the downwards current was so strong that the airbubbles were going into the deep instead of upwards.
You do not want to expose your kids to such conditions, although the chances that you have good conditions are better than the chances to have these taff conditions (I told my two children by myself ho to dive, when they were 12 years old, so I know a little bit)...
In addition, especially in autumn (but in principle the chance to encounter them there exists all around the year, but is smaller), oceanic whitetip sharks are frequently encountered at the offshore reefs BDE. While these sharks are not regarded to be extremely dangerous (but they are not reefsharks!), they have a unique, investigative, behaviour that is not to the tase of every diver, and maybe not for children.
Before booking a Safari definitely I recommend that you contact the Safari boat by EMail in advance, tell them the age and level of experience of each participant and ask about the route. A special "family or kids Safari" as is offered by e.g. Deep Blue Cruises - Family Safari would be the optimum for the entire family...
Better to make an easy Safari first and everybody is happy than the opposite. When booking the second Safari everybody is already more experienced and you know what to expect...

Wolfgang
 
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Guitarcrazy

Guitarcrazy

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Thanks for all the suggestions. My 'kids' are in their 20s, so not really kids any more. They are newish divers though. It is tough coordinating with everyone's schedle, so still looking at options. I thought we were going to book in late July, early August to take advantage of the warmer waters, but when we saw that the temp can be 105 to 110 degrees in Cairo and Luxor, we are having second thoughts.
 

mcohen1021

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I went 1st week of June and was never hot. But we're no stranger to 105 in Texas
 

bshort4

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Thanks for the replies. If it needs more than a 3mm wetsuit my wife would rather wait for warmer water. Probably better plan to hit it in the summer. BShort, I was going to message you to see who you used for your travel arrangements. I like the sound of your arrangements, direct transfers and no chance of getting lost!
I used a tour company called Nile Holidays--you can check out all their reviews on TripAdvisor and believe them. They have a lot of set tours on their website but I just emailed them and told them what I needed--no problem and they came up with exactly what I needed and at a fair price for a single traveler --I believe I paid about $1,100 for everything but it would have been much less per person if there had been two of us. The tour included--meet and greet at Cairo airport--private car and driver everywhere we went plus the guide, five nights hotel, ground transfer from Port Ghalib to Luxor, price of admission to all the sights, lunch everyday of tours (you buy your drinks), flight from Luxor to Cairo and then transfer from hotel in Cairo back to airport. I did upgrade my hotel in Luxor to the Winter Palace--what a treat. Old Victorian hotel with large rooms and impeccable service. Always on time if not early--you say when you want to come and go. Guides were invaluable and knowledgeable and supplied sooo much information--sometimes to much when I just wanted to go go go. And yes I rode a freaking camel! Whomever you chose I'm sure you'll have a great time. Like I posted in a review---I'll remember my tours of the sights of Eygpt long after the memory of my dives there have mingled with all my others.
20191001_085905.jpg
 

Lorenzoid

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. . . I did upgrade my hotel in Luxor to the Winter Palace--what a treat. Old Victorian hotel with large rooms and impeccable service. . . .

How cool. We walked in there just to take a look around and had a drink in the gardens out back. Looked seriously ritzy.
 

nippurmagnum

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My wife and I have been diving for almost 4 years now. We have done Cozumel 9 times, Puerto Vallarta, AKR in Roatan, and I have dove Southern California. We both have advanced open water. My kids (23 and 21) are both open water, and have two Cozumel trips (20 dives) in their logbook. I want to branch out to other destinations. Red Sea looks great, and pretty reasonably priced. Questions:

Which route would you recommend for first trip?

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?

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).

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

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

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?

Thanks in advance.

I went on my first trip to Egypt last year, and wrote a lengthy report that covered many of your questions: Review of First (for me) Liveaboard in Egypt: Brothers/North Route

I definitely recommend planning the sightseeing on the front end of your dive trip, both as an insurance against trip delays, and to get acclimated to the weather, jet lag, etc.

Currents on the northern route in Egypt were not as strong as those I've experienced in Cozumel, but they were more unpredictable.
 

Christian

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As mentioned, conditions vary from time to time. A lot. There are no real difference between Brothers, Deadalus, Elphinstone or Rocky Island when it comes to difficulty. It's on a day to day basis, depending on water and weather. All of them jutting up from big depths with steep walls and deep plateaus. Elphinstone has one specific dive that always is very advanced, no matter what the conditions are (some would say stupid). I won't promote it here. All these locations are also fairly easy most of the time, when everything co operates. But when conditions decide to plot against you, very dangerous. They can and have killed very experienced divers.
Brothers, Dedauls and Rocky Island where closed for diving circa 1996-1999. It was unregulated and the Egyptians authorities wanted to figure out how to manage the islands and regulate diving to make it safer and more sustainable. They became Marine Parks and a set of rules and criterias where formulated, for operators, boats and for individual divers. In the beginning they where a bit "clumsy", I remember that the suggestion that boats should travel in convoy was dismissed pretty quickly. Another rule was that divers needed at least PADI AOW or similar and a minimum of 50 logged dives. I think it was reduced to 30 dives at some point (at the discretion of the professional Dive Guides) and some operators have perhaps not enforced it super strict. But it is there for a reason. A good one inmo.
 
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