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Trip Report Juliet Liveaboard to Bahamas (May 22-28, 2021)

Discussion in 'Bahamas' started by Trailboss123, May 29, 2021.

  1. Trailboss123

    Trailboss123 Divemaster ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Pacific Northwest, USA
    2,437
    3,164
    HUGE DISCLAIMER

    This initial trip report post will be completely narrative driven and probably be overly verbose (those that know me, would expect nothing less). I am not going to post any photos for a few days (well, maybe a couple- we will see) so, feel free to slowly read and take it in and post your questions and comments: I expect no less than 3-4 very relevant questions from @drrich2 that I will feel compelled to reply to. Be kind to me "MASTER YODA of the Trip Report"!

    I felt a little compelled to do this trip report because I feel like there is not enough really good detailed info on the Juliet dive cruises on Scubaboard. There are some and I have found some on other sites that have piqued my interest. But, I felt like I have wanted more.

    Don't look to me to give you much more here- but, hopefully a little extra.

    Friday, May 21, 2021:

    I have been wanting to do a trip with Juliet Sailing and Diving for quite some time: Juliet Sailing and Diving Scuba Liveaboard Dive boat
    I have considered their Bahamas itinerary, repositioning itineraries and St. Croix itinerary. The stars and timing aligned for us to jump on board for the May 22-28, 2021 trip to the Bahamas.

    I am writing this in real time, but since we will have no internet access throughout the trip, I will be chronicling the trip each day and will do one post once back to Miami or Portland, OR over Memorial weekend.

    Part of the appeal of the Juliet is the ability to visit a foreign country without having to fly out of the USA. The boat is moored in Miami for departure and also returns there after 6 days. Their unique Bimini islands route, which is off the beaten Bahamas dive path has been another selling point and the price point for a liveaboard is pretty amazing. This will be the first time to the Bahamas, so I am also looking forward to a new destination. All other diving in the region (so to speak) has been Southern Florida, Belize, Roatan, Grand Cayman, Bonaire and Cozumel.

    I seem to be on an ever-rotating cycle of Boynton/West Palm Beach, Bonaire and Cozumel for the last few years. So, looking forward to something new.

    Cost for our trip came out to $1500 per person for the week + the following incidentals: $120 per person Bahamas port fee, $100 per person for Nitrox for the week (optional) and $40 per person for the Bahamas Health Visa. 80 CF aluminum tanks are standard, and they also have a few steel 100 CF tanks available at no additional cost (reserve early, if desired). Crew tip: as we all know, this is a variable.

    We departed today from Portland, OR at 12:45pm on United Airlines with a 1 hour 20-minute layover in Houston. With the time change, we arrive in Miami at 11pm local time. Due to late arrival, I booked 1 night’s stay at the Miami International Airport Hotel, which is inside the airport, for convenience. Room rate with taxes came to $157. Our RT flights were $412 each.

    Both flights were completely full. First time I have experienced this since the Pandemic began and I have traveled quite a bit over the last year. Seems like the vaccine and the pent up frustration of being in lockdown for the last year has people back on the move.

    Since we don’t have to be to the boat until 12pm on Saturday the 22nd, we should be able to get a good night’s rest and be ready to roll. Saturday afternoon is taken up with getting unpacked, gear set up and a general orientation to life on the Juliet for the next week. I believe we will shove off around 3pm and make our way through the night to Bimini where we go through customs and then get down to diving. Assuming no hiccups, the plan is for 3-day dives and 1 night dive for the first 4 days and a maximum of 3 dives on day five for a total of 19 dives.

    We have only heard great things about the crew and food and anticipate a great trip. We are not expecting luxury. The Juliet is a sailboat and not a purpose built and spacious dive boat. So, with expectations set appropriately, I believe we are in for a nice trip.

    There is a current requirement to have and upload a negative PCR Covid test taken with 5 days of arrival or you can upload verification of your vaccination, as an alternative. That whole process was pretty painless and done online. Once complete and after paying the $40 fee and filling out arrival and departure info (details were provided by Juliet), you can print out your entry verification. Since we are traveling by Sea, there is no requirement to have a negative COVID test to re-enter the USA.

    Saturday, May 22, 2021

    We made it to our hotel room close to midnight last night. Our bags were the first off of the carousel and then a bit of a walk to the hotel which is located in the E concourse, street level, entry door 11. Room is adequate for a 1-night stay. The boat is a 15-minute ride away from the airport hotel. We will be leaving the hotel about 11:30am and making our way by taxi to the Juliet.

    We made it to the boat with perfect timing at Noon today. We boarded the boat and were instructed to go ahead and assemble our dive gear to our tank and store our peripherals (lights, mask, fins, etc.) in our individual dry box located directly behind our tank. They then took our gear bags and stowed them out of the way for the rest of the trip. Next, we got a quick orientation to the galley/salon area and were escorted to our rooms to unpack and get settled.

    Lunch was available at 1pm and the original plan would have been to set sail for Bimini Island at 3pm and arrive there the next morning ready to clear customs and start diving. Unfortunately, the wind speed and direction precluded us from departing and we spent the night moored at the marina in Miami with hopes of an early departure Sunday morning.

    Dinner was at 6:30pm. My wife and I are vegan, and they have been extremely accommodating.
    Meals are buffet and there is plenty of food to go around. Dinner was eggplant parmesan, salad, grilled veggies, something else I can’t remember and always a fresh dessert of some sort. There is an array of beer and wine options available once diving is done for the day (all included). Also, plenty of sodas, water, punch, seltzers, etc. Everyone is given an aluminum water bottle with their name on it upon arrival. There are also large coffee mugs that get used and washed for reuse.

    We have a total of 13 divers/passengers on board from all over the country (Michigan, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, N. Carolina, Texas, New Orleans and Washington). There are 5 crew members (Chef, Captain, Engineer (who is the owner and is also a Captain), a dive instructor/DM and a dive guide/deck hand. There are 2 cabins that have their own shower and toilet (en-suite), while everyone else shares community toilets (3) and showers (2).

    The Juliet is a true sailboat and as such, quarters can be a bit small, with narrow passages, steep stairs. All cabins are below deck and on the deck level is the galley, salon and wheelhouse; as well as the outdoor dive deck and a covered outdoor dining table. Above the salon and galley is a seating area with bean bags and a hammock.

    Sunday, May 23, 2021
    Breakfast was served at 6:30am and the boat pulled away from the mooring at 7am and we set sail for Bimini. The crossing was pretty rocky and rolly. Most people retreated to their cabins to lay down and minimize seasickness. Others went up to the upper deck area and sat in the bean bags and found them very stable and helped reduce the swaying feeling.

    We arrived to Bimini at 4pm and anchored up to an offshore dive site. We had a dive safety briefing and then a dive site briefing, and everyone geared up and jumped in for the checkout dive. The dive site was a coral reef that stretched about 100 yards long and was about 5 feet high at its peak. It sat in 40 feet of water and was pretty ideal for a first shake out dive for everyone. Also, 1 of the 13 divers is getting his certification dives done on this trip and did OW dive 1 this afternoon.

    We just finished up dinner and will be staying here for the night. We will do our night dive after it gets dark, which means that we only lost out on our 2 scheduled morning dives as a result of the weather and delayed departure. During the day, everyone gets a nice big towel for use between dives and then a fresh one for the night dive. Towels and wetsuits are slung over the deck rail and secured with grip-lock things (big-hinged clothes pins of sorts- they get the job done).

    During dive 1, most of the typical small Caribbean reef critters were seen on the 1 hour dive this afternoon. Spotted eels, 1 green moray, a few barracuda, lizard fish, scorpion fish, a couple of French angel fish, lots of grunts and snapper, a couple of banded coral shrimp and arrow crabs, a few blue tang, a black durgon, a couple of barracuda, lots of sergeant majors. There was a very light north current and the dive was an out and back and cruise over and across the reef shelf, which was probably only 10-15 yards across. Water temp was 79, the reef itself was not real colorful, which I would expect given its location right offshore from town. Visibility was 70 feet. All in all, a good start and we will see what the night dive brings.

    Also, entry into the water is a giant stride from either the port or starboard side. About a 5-foot drop. Reentry to the boat is from a ladder on the port side. It is a nice stable ladder with a nice angle to it from climbing back up. Not one of those super vertical ones.

    For those interested in food: dinner was grilled chicken (quinoa, eggplant and tofu stuffed tomato for my wife and I), mashed potatoes, grilled veggies, salad and a dessert.
    The night dive had some moderate current from north to south. We did the dive on the same site as the afternoon dive. A large green moray and a huge crab feeding itself were the highlights + a good size slipper lobster.
     
    Dan, Redfoot, Ontwreckdiver and 7 others like this.
  2. Trailboss123

    Trailboss123 Divemaster ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Pacific Northwest, USA
    2,437
    3,164
    Monday, May 24, 2021

    Breakfast was at 7am and we were in the water at 8am for the first dive of the day. The dive was on a 60-foot-deep set of coral reef heads spread around under the boat. There was a strong surface current, but once at depth it disappeared. Lots of large lobsters, visibility was around 60 feet. Nothing else really of note. We were still offshore from Alice Town, Bimini, as the crew needed to go ashore and take care of our immigration and customs paperwork. We moved the boat north about ¼ of a mile and did our second dive at another site that was essentially the same as the first one, while the crew finished up the paperwork on shore. Coral heads in 60 feet of water. There were about 6 large lionfish on the dive and a very large green moray and more lobster everywhere.

    For the afternoon dive, we moved the boat to the south end of the island to dive a wreck called the Sapona. It sits in 15 feet of water and about 30 feet of the boat structure is above the waterline. It was a nice dive. Saw a rather large stingray, some Atlantic spadefish, lots of schooling juveniles. We stayed at the same site for the night dive. Sapona Shipwreck - Bimini in the Bahamas

    Tuesday, May 25, 2021

    We scooted about 10 miles south of the island of Bimini and reached a dive site that was one of the better I have ever dived. It was called Krispy Kreme and visibility was well over 100 feet and a cobalt blue color. It was a series of tongue and groove reef tops with deep cuts in between and some of the healthiest reefs I have seen in a very long time. It was a visually stunning and inviting reef and dive. We did 2 morning dives there and normally; the itinerary would call for us to continue heading deeper south where apparently the reefs continue to get better and get no dive pressure. Unfortunately, the weather is not cooperating, and we have been forced to head back north and are moored up for the afternoon and evening where we were yesterday morning off the beach from Alice Town, Bimini. Oh well. Maybe things will change tomorrow, and we can head back south.

    The afternoon dive was back at Rockwell. Visibility was much improved over yesterday and I saw a huge loggerhead turtle and a small reef shark. A number of lionfish faced their demise on this dive also.

    Wednesday, May 26, 2021

    We did stay close to the same area for much of the day. We began the day with a dive on a wreck called the Barge. It was a rather large barge/transport ship sitting in 92 feet of water. WE made a couple of passes around her and over her. There were a number of barracudas. In fact, the whole trip was barracuda filled. Lots of small schools and individuals on every single dive. It really stood out to me over the week. I found this dive very relaxing, although penetrating the wreck was really not much of an option due to potential entanglement.

    The 2nd dive was not too far away on a dive site called Moray Alley. I don’t remember seeing any morays, but it was a pleasureful dive with a number of turtles and al lot the usual reef fish.
    The last dive of the day was at Lunkhead. A big swath of good-sized coral heads with some enjoyable and fun swim throughs.

    You may or may not have noticed a pattern developing. I have been doing the 3 day dives, but have opted out of the night dives on offer Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. With it not getting dark until 8:30pm and usually finishing the 3rd dive of the day around 4:30pm, I was finding it difficult to stay motivated after a leisurely dinner and a 4 hour surface interval- not to mention not getting back onto the boat until 9:30pm after the 8:30pm splash. Just a consequence of the time of year and the late sunset and the schedule.

    It didn’t bother me at all. I found it nice to dial it back a bit from my normal “squeeze in every dive possible” mentality.
     
    Dan, Redfoot, Ontwreckdiver and 5 others like this.
  3. Trailboss123

    Trailboss123 Divemaster ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Pacific Northwest, USA
    2,437
    3,164
    Thursday, May 27, 2021

    Last day of diving and we finally made it to some of the further southern sites and WOW! We made it another 5 miles south of the Krispy Kreme dive site that I raved about on Tuesday. Believe it or not, the first dive this morning on Sponge Garden was even better than Krispy Kreme.

    This was our only drift dive of the week. We all splashed in with military precision one after the other while negatively buoyant during the giant stride into the water. We were once again met with 100 + foot visibility and a glorious current that was just the right speed and a terrain that allowed for ducking in behind ridges to escape the current for the occasional reprieve when desired. It was a lengthy series of rolling hills and valleys and deeper cuts that even constituted legit swim throughs while ducking the current.

    The reef was resplendent in color and health. I could have cruised along forever on this dive site. Since all 13 divers + the 2 dive guides would be together on this dive, the decision was made beforehand that whoever hit 1,000 psi first would alert the DM and then a check of everyone else would be made. Anyone between 1,000 and 1,300 would group together with one of the DM’s for the rest of the dive and ascend together and anyone above 1,300 psi would also group together and continue with their dive and ascend together. I think this was a great decision and very much worked out for everyone.

    Dive 2 on the last day had us move to Bull Run with what the crew guaranteed would be a dive with multiple reef sharks. They were not wrong. No sooner than we arrived and slowed down to approach the mooring pin than we spotted 5 medium to large reef sharks circling behind us at the stern, in very blue water. It was a fun dive and nice to see 5 sharks schooling around together. This site had some current, but was easily avoided by ducking behind large coral heads or cruising in the swim throughs. The crew said that this was an old shark feeding station and the sharks continue to hang around this location in anticipation. Currently, there is no active shark feeding dives going on.

    Dive 3 was a short repositioning about a quarter mile away to some other coral heads and swim throughs and the sharks followed us over there and hung around throughout the dive. There was a large number of lionfish down at these last 2 dive sites. In fact, at one point, I began to enter a swim-through cavern and was met by a small bait ball of silversides (which was cool); but beyond them were no less than 12 good sized lionfish hovering around together and blocking my further penetration- it just would have been unsafe to try and navigate around them. They would have been easy pickings with a spear, but no one brought one along on the dive due to the large number of sharks present.

    After the dive and everyone cleaning all of the gear and getting it out to dry, we started making our way back to Miami. In comparison to the crossing at the beginning of the week, we had absolutely smooth sailing. Nary a ripple in the water. We started back around 3:30pm and we all made friendly bets and guesses on what time we would tie up to the mooring in Miami for the night. We came in at 10:06pm (give or take a few minutes).
    We spent the night on the boat and US customs and immigration officials came aboard around 7:15am the next morning to check passports and put names to faces and then we had breakfast and people began departing.

    We had a late afternoon flight from Miami to Denver and then to Portland. So, we left our luggage on board and did a bit of touring around Miami, had a leisurely lunch, went back tot the boat at 2pm to get our stuff and then an UBER to the airport.

    CONCLUSION:

    It was a really nice trip. As with any liveaboard, the other passengers and the crew can make or break it. We were fortunate to have a really awesome crew. The Juliet crew is a tight knit family that works extremely well together and could not have done more to make our experience the best as possible. We also had a very nice and enjoyable set of competent divers on the trip. They were also thoughtful of others (not something you always see). It was a pleasant mix demographically (age (20’s to 60’s), life experience, dive experience, work backgrounds….)

    The food was outstanding—even for picky non-meat eating, non-dairy eating, non-processed food eating people like us. They went above and beyond to accommodate us (#Hillary!).

    When it comes to the diving, mother nature can rule. I think we got a nice mix of what any given week can throw at you from a weather standpoint. Especially this time of year. The Juliet crew did all they could do to put us in the safest and best diving situations available, given the circumstances- and that is what I expect.

    Nitrox fills were a consistent 30% and I never saw a tank pressure below 3200 psi and usually closer 3300/3400 psi all week.

    I feel like the Juliet is really good value for the price point. We had people on the trip that have done 8+ trips on her. It totally works for them. They also feel like part of that tight knit family- and that says something.

    That being said, I will say this- just by way of trying to be as informing and balanced to as many people researching their next or future dive trip as possible:

    1. If you are in any way feeling physically challenged at this season of your life, then consider the following:

    a. The dive deck is not flat. It is actually quite bowed and could easily be a hazard for anyone physically challenged getting on or off the boat during dives.

    b. Stairs and passageways on the sleeping deck are steep and narrow with some low ceilings. I am 6 foot and 1 inch and I can’t remember the number of times I hit my head or banged my knee or stubbed a toe on something.

    c. I did not see an en-suite bathroom/shower (the 2 cabins that have them were already booked when we booked); but the communal toilets for all other passengers are pretty cramped and could be off putting for some people and especially if you need to make any regular night-time visits.

    d. Our cabin did have its own air conditioning control system and it seemed to work just fine and accurately. Although others reported differently.

    e. Check your cabin choice options. A number or most of the cabins are bunk beds- you may not be comfortable climbing in and out of a top single sized bunk.

    2. I ended up taking all of my showers on the back deck at the end of the dive day and in my bathing suit. It was just more convenient. That being said, I did the same thing on the Belize Aggressor.

    3. There is a toilet on the dive deck which came in very handy. Not only because I didn’t have to traverse back down any stairs to the other toilets, but it was just enough larger in capacity to make it that much more comfortable to take care of business.

    a. NOTE: this toilet locks and unlocks both ways. So, be sure to knock and make sure you don’t walk in on anyone by accident. It happens :)
     
    dflaher, Dan, Redfoot and 10 others like this.
  4. drrich2

    drrich2 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Southwestern Kentucky
    8,863
    6,944
    Great report; loved it! You covered most of the things I had in mind to ask. I haven't been to the Bahamas; I think it's the last first tier (by name recognition) Caribbean dive destination I haven't been to (I've been blessed to dive Cozumel, Bonaire, Roatan, the Caymans, Curacao, Turks & Caicos, St. Croix and on cruise ship stops tried St. Lucia, St. Thomas and Puerto Rico). Which leaves the Bahamas as a big hole in my experience base.

    But dive reports have tended to portray Bahamas diving as lackluster (aside from seeing many Caribbean reef sharks). Prior discussions of the Juliet have mentioned that distinct Bimini route you mentioned (Blackbeard's and AquaCat hit the Exuma Cays, and the Bahamas Aggressor has 3 routes - the Exuma Cays, a West End Adventure (west end of Grand Bahamas then south to Bimini) and Tiger Beach (west end of Grand Bahama and Tiger Beach).

    Price-wise, Juliet is more expensive than Blackbeard's, way cheaper than the AquaCat, and cheaper than the Bahamas Aggressor at base price - but when Aggressor Fleet runs those >30% off sales, the gap narrows a great deal, and I think the B.A. offers more dives. Blackbeard's 'camping at sea' approach sounds a bit too 'roughing it' for me (plus no nitrox, not much privacy, quarters sound a bit cramped).

    So at least in my mind (for my middle aged, chubby self), a potential Bahamas trip gets down to the Juliet vs. the Bahamas Aggressor (only on sale). Apologies in advance if you covered these questions and I missed it, but here goes...

    1.) Leaving from Miami meant a deep water crossing, I take it, and from past posts by @KathyV it's my understanding that increases the odds of rougher seas rocking the boat and playing havoc with motion sickness. You said "The crossing was pretty rocky and rolly." I wonder how often that crossing is rough, going or coming? (I know live-aboards sound like a bad choice for the sea sick crowd, but they book them, too).

    2.) You praised the food; one night you listed the menu for mentioned one meat entree. Was that typical? I ask because the Caribbean live-aboards I've been on (all Aggressor Fleet) tended to have a couple. Vegetarians and gluten-avoiding folks may give advance notice of their needs. I'm thinking some people just tend to avoid pork, etc...

    3.) You mentioned meals were buffet and there was plenty of food to go around, plus soda and punch (no added charge, I take it?). Very good to know. IIRC, some years ago I read a Blackbeard's trip report indicating crew ate after guests (and I was afraid a glutton like me could be a problem for them).

    4.) You mentioned the 2 dive guides on that drift dive. It's my understanding Blackbeard's doesn't routinely put a guide in the water for every dive, whereas the Caribbean Aggressors I've been on did. So, when there was negligible current and conditions were begin, did a guide go on all the dives?

    5.) Any idea what their attitude it toward solo diving?

    6.) I was going to ask about how much 'big stuff' you saw, but you listed reef sharks, green morays, lots of (often small) barracuda, a big loggerhead turtle and other sea turtles, at least that one big ray...did you see any large grouper (I'm thinking Black, yellow-fin, Nassau or tiger)? Tarpon? Any of the big parrotfish, like rainbows and midnights? Any of the larger snapper, like dog snapper or the big cubera snapper?

    7.) You noted Krispy Kreme and Sponge Garden to have particularly beautiful reef. Glad to hear this after past Bahamas reports. I meant to ask about rush lushness overall (often a mix of coral + gorgonians + sea fans) vs. other popular Caribbean destinations you've tried. On the whole, did you think The Bahamas Bimini itinerary held its own well in terms of pretty reef? Overall fishiness?

    Some 100-cf tanks and generous gas fills with a nitrox option sound great.

    Very much appreciate your report. Since retirement took the wind out of my dive travel budget, budget regional trips have grown in appeal, and the Juliet is on my short list. Thanks again.

    Richard.
     
    Trailboss123, Redfoot, KathyV and 2 others like this.
  5. Jayfarmlaw

    Jayfarmlaw Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tuttle, Ok
    1,559
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    TB, congratulations on the official DRRich2 Scubaboard seal of approval. It is the gold standard we all aspire to so wear your blue ribbon with pride!

    The Juliet is hard enough to get on, I'm afraid your report will make it even harder. I was actually considering not doing my annual Cozumel Day of the Dead trip and trying to get on , but the available dates never worked out. I did reach out with a couple of questions regarding flight arrival time (12:30 is fine even though their website says noon) cabin assignments (select your cabin at booking) and first responder discounts (nope). The response was with in An hour of sending an email.

    I also looked at a blackeards guys trip, but the airfare to Nassau compared to Southwest to Miami makes the Juliet an easy choice for us. I don't understand why there aren't more liveaboard based out of southern Florida.

    Great report, thanks for taking the time to bring us along on your trip! I think of you every time I drive by Sids in El Reno. Hope that's not what made you vegan!!

    Thanks again,
    Jay
     
    Trailboss123 likes this.
  6. tkaelin

    tkaelin Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: CT
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    Thanks for the informative detailed report
     
    Trailboss123 likes this.
  7. Lorenzoid

    Lorenzoid ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
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    I may have missed it if you addressed it, but how was the fire safety? Briefing? Drill? Escape routes?
     
    Trailboss123 likes this.
  8. flyboy08

    flyboy08 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: NYC
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    Man, I gotta hang with you! Thanks for posting TB...you may want to change your screen name to TrailBlazer!
     
    Trailboss123, Soloist and drrich2 like this.
  9. Trailboss123

    Trailboss123 Divemaster ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Pacific Northwest, USA
    2,437
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    Richard-- Here are my responses:

    1): I think the crossing can be a crap shoot and definitely something to take into account if choosing the Juliet option. Once we got over to the Bahamas, they were able to "hide out" from any rough seas until they were no longer an issue. But the crossing in either direction can truly expose you to inclement conditions. As an example: the group that went out on the trip prior to ours only had a couple of days of diving in the Bahamas and had to return to Miami prior to the seas getting really rough and making the crossing more tenuous than the Juliet wanted to subject their patrons to. That 6 day trip turned into a 2.5 day trip.

    2): I didn't pay close enough attention to the menu for everyone else to be definitive, but I believe most lunch and dinner meat options were of one protein source (beef, chicken or seafood) - Seems like pork was more of a "breakfast" thing during our trip (bacon and sausage accompanying various breakfast options that always included eggs of some sort, cereals, oatmeal, etc.). Not sure if I answered your question adequately, but there was definitely plenty of protein variety each day.

    3): Plenty of food for everyone. Always plenty of leftovers.

    4 and 5): All dives were given a very detailed briefing and all divers were on their own for all dives; except for that 1 drift dive. People grouped up and/or buddied up naturally based on knowledge of one another prior or getting to know one another over the course of the trip. My wife skipped a few dives and chose to dive solo. The DM knew my wife was sitting out and asked who I was diving with and I said, "No One, I am going to dive solo". He said, "Cool".

    I spoke with the owner of the Juliet about this very issue of solo diving and she said, "I dive solo most of the time- there is no way I can put a restriction on my guests to buddy up, if I don't). I know you have been out to California and dived the Channel Islands. It was very much the same (good dive briefing and do your thing).

    6 and 7): Other than what I mentioned, there were lots of parrot fish in various sizes and angel fish in various sizes and species. No tarpon. Lots of snappers.
    I thought the reefs compared similarly to Belize: based on where you get to dive, they can be pretty excellent or very "ho hum".

    In closing: I think the Juliet would definitely work for you, if going on a dive trip without your family.
    (Factoring in single supplement and cost compared to the Bahamas Aggressor and the dive location you prefer) - you need to weigh those considerations.

    You have dived on Truth Aquatics boats and had a great time and the accommodations and food worked for you. The Juliet would be similar, but with better and more private accommodations and travel to Miami will be much less expensive and easier. for you.

    1/2 of our boat had been on a Blackbeard dive trip and would never return after being on the Juliet and they have been repeat customers to the Juliet since.
    It fits a unique price point and person.

    The crew was so good that I want to go back and renew those relationships, but honestly -- land based Bonaire and Cozumel work better for me.
    I would never consider the Bahamas as a land based destination- any more than I would consider Belize to be a land based destination (I think you know what I mean)-- And honestly, I would rather spend a week land based diving in Boynton/West Palm/Jupiter over the Bahamas.

    Glad I did it- don't see myself doing it again though. Once again, not an indictment on the Juliet-- just a reflection on where I am at this stage of my life and diving.
     
    Dan, Redfoot and drrich2 like this.
  10. Trailboss123

    Trailboss123 Divemaster ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Pacific Northwest, USA
    2,437
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    Mrs. Trailboss looking out at night divers on the Sepona.
    upload_2021-5-30_16-23-13.png
     

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