Greetings from NY! Advice for Hurghada Dive Shop?

Please register or login

Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

Benefits of registering include

  • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
  • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
  • You can make this box go away

Joining is quick and easy. Log in or Register now!

Jlynnpz

Registered
Messages
8
Reaction score
1
Location
NY
# of dives
100 - 199
Hi all, nice to be on here, what a great site!! I was hoping someone would be kind enough to help me out with some advice. I realize doing a liveaboard is most ideal since most of the best sites are further out and south, however only have 4 days for diving so decided Hurghada was the best option. But having a hard time deciding which dive shop and not finding many helpful reviews from intermediate/advanced divers. Im looking for a shop that does more day trips and ventures further out than just the closer local sites.

Thanks so much for your help!!
Jennifer
 

Altamira

ScubaBoard Supporter
ScubaBoard Supporter
Messages
2,084
Reaction score
2,241
Location
TX
# of dives
200 - 499
We stayed at Ft. Arabesque at Hurghada last year and were very happy with the resort and I Dive, the on-site dive shop. The food, ambience and service at the resort were very good, and the dive shop was excellent. They do day trips, some fairly close, and others are an all day trip. We took our own gear, but from what I saw of their rental gear, it was high quality and in good condition. You can shore dive on their house reef, which I thought was excellent, and there are a lot of very nice shallow water coral heads right in front of the hotel, making diving and snorkeling a treat at this beautiful resort. If we return to Hurghada, I would use the resort and dive shop without hesitation.

Edit. I bought a few spare DIN inserts to use with my yoke regs, but they are still sitting unused in my save-a-dive bag because the dive shops will supply them when needed.
 

Mmx06

Registered
Messages
15
Reaction score
19
Location
Germany
# of dives
I'm a Fish!
My personal favorite in Hurghada is the James & Mac Diving Center.
They do half-day and full-day boat trips. Even Mini-Safaris (2-day and 3-day) are available.
Great people, i always love coming back (hopefully next spring).

Giftun Azur Resort is the attached Hotel, not a "burner", but we do not spent much time there anyways.
Its Sleep (Giftun) - Dive (J&M) - Eat (outside the Hotel in Hurghada) and having beers at the dive center. :cheers::drunks:
 
OP
Jlynnpz

Jlynnpz

Registered
Messages
8
Reaction score
1
Location
NY
# of dives
100 - 199
We stayed at Ft. Arabesque at Hurghada last year and were very happy with the resort and I Dive, the on-site dive shop. The food, ambience and service at the resort were very good, and the dive shop was excellent. They do day trips, some fairly close, and others are an all day trip. We took our own gear, but from what I saw of their rental gear, it was high quality and in good condition. You can shore dive on their house reef, which I thought was excellent, and there are a lot of very nice shallow water coral heads right in front of the hotel, making diving and snorkeling a treat at this beautiful resort. If we return to Hurghada, I would use the resort and dive shop without hesitation.

Edit. I bought a few spare DIN inserts to use with my yoke regs, but they are still sitting unused in my save-a-dive bag because the dive shops will supply them when needed.

Hi Altamira, thanks so much for your reply and the great advice. So many resorts and dive centers I have spent hours looking at all of them totally confused and missed Ft Arabesque which seems like a great option. Would you be kind enough to comment on the size of the group? I am contacting the dive shop directly but curious if they split up in groups based on ability? Also is the beach in front of the hotel deep enough if i want to go swimming?
 

Altamira

ScubaBoard Supporter
ScubaBoard Supporter
Messages
2,084
Reaction score
2,241
Location
TX
# of dives
200 - 499
@Jlynnpz. Our group was just me and my wife/dive buddy. The dive boat was roomy and comfortable, and the most I saw on the boat was 6 divers plus DM, but I am sure the number of divers may vary. If you look at the Google Map/Satellite mode, you can see the layout of the resort, with I Dive in the far SW corner of the property, a short walk to the dive boats. You can discuss your group's number and composition with the owners/managers, and I am sure they will accommodate you as much as possible. The beach is wonderful, with a tremendous number of covered beach lounge chairs, shallow sandy entry. The water is very shallow close to shore, and there are several roped off entry/exit points to keep the new coral growth from being trampled. A little farther out, you can see the coral formations on Google Maps, and they were very nice for snorkeling or swimming. We spent a lot of time just snorkeling around the coral heads which were in very good shape with a lot of fish (no large marine live that close to shore). At low tide, you will have to wade out a little farther for deeper water, but no big deal. Beyond the coral heads, the water deepens to where you could dive, but shore diving is best done from an entry in front of the dive shop. When we were there, you had to have a checkout dive before being allowed to shore dive without a DM, and are required to dive with a buddy--no solo diving.

We stayed in a superior category room in the West Wing, which we really enjoyed because it was very quiet since families with children were put in the East Wing. The room was large, very clean and comfortable, and with great view and A/C. Ft. Arabesque's website pictures of the rooms were accurate. The resort is AI, with food and beverages, including alcohol, being much better than we anticipated. The free booze is Egyptian, and very drinkable. We generally ate breakfast and lunch at the buffet/omelette bar closest to our building, and made reservations, or arrived first come/served, (after a certain hour) at the specialty restaurants, which were more upscale than the the buffets. If I remember correctly, if you used a reservation for a time during prime dining hours, there was an up-charge, but if you can dine a little later, there is no additional charge. The food was very good in all venues, but the specialty restaurants were wonderful. This is not a bare bones resort, but we thought it was very good value for the money. Finally, and most important, we felt totally safe at Ft. Arabesque. Hope this helps, and likely others will chime in with other options for you.
 

chillyinCanada

ScubaBoard Supporter
Staff member
ScubaBoard Supporter
Messages
36,883
Reaction score
25,029
Location
Canada
Welcome to Scubaboard, we're pleased to have you join us!
 

JustSurfaceInterval

ScubaBoard Supporter
ScubaBoard Supporter
Messages
322
Reaction score
188
Location
Germany
# of dives
200 - 499
[...] Would you be kind enough to comment on the size of the group? [...]
If you are going in the next weeks, size of groups will not be an issue.
When you say Hurghada, how far from Hurghada is sitll Hurghada? Fort Arabesque is approx. 25 km south.
And i will support @Mmx06 : if in Hurghada James & Mac is THE legendary dive shop (since 1987) to go with, esp. for their day / hald-day trips to the wrecks North like Thitlegorm, Carnatic, Ghiennis D, and south down to Panorama Reef and Abu Kafan off Safaga.
 
OP
Jlynnpz

Jlynnpz

Registered
Messages
8
Reaction score
1
Location
NY
# of dives
100 - 199
@Jlynnpz. Our group was just me and my wife/dive buddy. The dive boat was roomy and comfortable, and the most I saw on the boat was 6 divers plus DM, but I am sure the number of divers may vary. If you look at the Google Map/Satellite mode, you can see the layout of the resort, with I Dive in the far SW corner of the property, a short walk to the dive boats. You can discuss your group's number and composition with the owners/managers, and I am sure they will accommodate you as much as possible. The beach is wonderful, with a tremendous number of covered beach lounge chairs, shallow sandy entry. The water is very shallow close to shore, and there are several roped off entry/exit points to keep the new coral growth from being trampled. A little farther out, you can see the coral formations on Google Maps, and they were very nice for snorkeling or swimming. We spent a lot of time just snorkeling around the coral heads which were in very good shape with a lot of fish (no large marine live that close to shore). At low tide, you will have to wade out a little farther for deeper water, but no big deal. Beyond the coral heads, the water deepens to where you could dive, but shore diving is best done from an entry in front of the dive shop. When we were there, you had to have a checkout dive before being allowed to shore dive without a DM, and are required to dive with a buddy--no solo diving.

We stayed in a superior category room in the West Wing, which we really enjoyed because it was very quiet since families with children were put in the East Wing. The room was large, very clean and comfortable, and with great view and A/C. Ft. Arabesque's website pictures of the rooms were accurate. The resort is AI, with food and beverages, including alcohol, being much better than we anticipated. The free booze is Egyptian, and very drinkable. We generally ate breakfast and lunch at the buffet/omelette bar closest to our building, and made reservations, or arrived first come/served, (after a certain hour) at the specialty restaurants, which were more upscale than the the buffets. If I remember correctly, if you used a reservation for a time during prime dining hours, there was an up-charge, but if you can dine a little later, there is no additional charge. The food was very good in all venues, but the specialty restaurants were wonderful. This is not a bare bones resort, but we thought it was very good value for the money. Finally, and most important, we felt totally safe at Ft. Arabesque. Hope this helps, and likely others will chime in with other options for you.

Hi Altimira, thanks so much for your detailed reply. That is really helpful! I spent the past few days looking at hotels and have narrowed it down to Ft Arabesque and another resort so really appreciate your feedback. It's always good to hear that the online photos look like the actual rooms haha. Have a great week!!
 

Top Bottom