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My Week on The Socorro Aggressor

Discussion in 'Aggressor Adventures' started by mcohen1021, May 21, 2019.

  1. Ministryofgiraffes

    Ministryofgiraffes Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Toronto
    1,580
    1,458
    I do recall the captain saying it was a repurposed Canadian fishing boat, but thought I was mistaken after sf’s comment. It’s basically a repurposed trawler which is why everyone keeps falling over when they are putting their gear on standing on an incline :)
     
  2. nippurmagnum

    nippurmagnum Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Washington DC metro
    334
    398
    I was on the Belle Amie last year (for a trip to Guadalupe), and the captain told me that the boat was not purpose built. In fact, it was bought at close to salvage value, and repurposed as a dive boat. The Belle Amie is spacious (and the Guadalupe trip was generally fine), but the Belle Amie is definitely not luxurious, in any sense of the word.
     
    Trailboss123 likes this.
  3. Trailboss123

    Trailboss123 Divemaster ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Pacific Northwest, USA
    2,436
    3,164
    Well, we probably can all agree that it was custom built for divers: Custom Built for Divers : Nautilus Belle Amie – Luxurious Liveaboard Dive with Giant Mantas at Socorro or Cage diving with Great White Sharks of Guadalupe Island.
     
  4. Trailboss123

    Trailboss123 Divemaster ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Pacific Northwest, USA
    2,436
    3,164
    It was USA shipyard built: Nautilus Belle Amie - Nautilus Liveaboards
    I know they had some issues that had to be addressed once they got it down to Cabo.
     
  5. Ministryofgiraffes

    Ministryofgiraffes Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Toronto
    1,580
    1,458
  6. nippurmagnum

    nippurmagnum Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Washington DC metro
    334
    398
    Yep, that's what the captain told me as well. Obviously, it is now refitted with shark cages, dive gear tables, etc., so it's not like you're diving off a fishing boat. But it's definitely not a "luxury" boat, and it was not originally built with divers in mind. I thought it was quite industrial in all of its appointments, right down to the worn gray carpets. And it felt underpowered -- we made the crossing to Guadalupe in calm seas, but the boat did not provide a smooth ride.
     
    Ministryofgiraffes likes this.
  7. Ministryofgiraffes

    Ministryofgiraffes Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Toronto
    1,580
    1,458
  8. TheAvatar

    TheAvatar Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: 9300ft above sea
    270
    13
    I'm not surprised that the boat was having all those mechanical issues. Didn't know about that a 4th voyage had major issues. There are probably even more. So let me tell you about 3 other Socorro Aggressor trips with worse mechanical issues than yours. My trip was cancelled because of engine failure.

    It was a repurposed boat... had a smell to it. Parts were falling apart in cabins, creaky floors, mildew. It wasn't up to Aggressor standards - I've been on several and so had the majority of the other divers on the trip.

    OP What you don't know is that the Christmas 2018 trip was cancelled due to mechanical and the boat was dry docked. There were people on my trip who were supposed to have been on the Christmas 2018 trip.

    Also, the trip after yours, an engine failed and it took them 3 days to limp back port in Cabo.

    The third failure you didn't know about, my trip: Aggressor knew all this and didn't tell the next trip, us, at least not until we were already on the boat. The Aggressor offices in the US knew and let it slip to a passenger who told all the other passengers. They then kept people waiting around doing nothing much of the day until an official announcement was made. There was then a bunch of "oh the owner is going to drive down a replacement part from San Diego, then they'll fix the engine and we can go two days late... unless it is unfixible, tell ya in two days." Eventually they show up and try to fix it and we sit around another whole day of another day, wasted. We were given refunds and some other considerations like airline fees covered and an organized bus and free dive day out at Cabo Pulmo. The minimum they could do... obviously not what we all wanted out of the trip.

    Communication was terrible. You wouldn't think they would be better at it because it sounds like they had to have a "come to jesus meeting" about major mechanical issues every single voyage, or this was at least the 3rd voyage I am aware of with major mechanicals. Aggressor knew they had problems yet strung us along. Further, they were going to take us 300 miles into the Pacific on a boat that they knew was sketchy.

    Last I heard they were going to limp the boat across the Sea of Cortez for overhaul. All other voyages were cancelled for the rest of May, June, July, and into August.

    Trip 0/10 because it didn't happen
    Boat 0/10 because it didn't work and was not up to par
    Crew 9/10
    Owner 0/10

    I would never set foot on the Socorro Aggressor. It is a used up and poorly maintained vessel. The operator doesn't have my safety nor the security of my trips as their priority.
     
  9. BDSC

    BDSC Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Wake Forest, NC
    7,219
    3,816
    Their website shows a really nice looking maroon and white boat for the Socorro Aggressor. Is that the boat we are talking about in this thread that has had so many problems?
     
  10. chaosparadigm

    chaosparadigm New

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Chicago
    4
    2
    This is my first post so I am going to offer a bit of background about myself before I launch into my feedback of the boat.
    I have been on 13 liveaboards, dived 22 countries and over 250 dives since I started diving 3 years ago. Of those 13 boats, I was twice on the Aggressor (Belize and Komodo). I had been led to believe that aggressor was creme de la creme... although I now think of them as the overpriced garbage no one wants.

    I was booked on the Trip 12/25 to 1/2 that was cancelled... and I rebooked to 5/13 to 5/21 which was cancelled.

    I will give overall rating of for this boat as:
    Trip 0/10 because it didn't happen
    Boat 0/10 because it didn't work and was not up to par
    Crew 8/10
    Owner 0/10
    Aggressor 0/10
    Communications 0/10

    I will say the corporate office went out of their way to make sure they lost a customer not just for this boat but for their brand and for life.

    On December 5th, I received the following email cancelling my 1st trip attempt to Socorro at the beginning of the season:

    “Greetings from Aggressor Adventures. We were notified today that the Socorro Aggressor will need to extend their drydock time and it's necessary to cancel your upcoming charter December 25, 2018.

    We are extremely apologetic for disrupting your vacation. The yacht owners are offering you a $1000 voucher, good for two years on any Aggressor yacht and it can be used in conjunction with another special.

    In addition, if you choose to move your trip on the Socorro Aggressor to another date, you will be reimbursed for your airline change fees. Any additional airfare difference would be at your own expense. Or, if you are unable to travel, you will be reimbursed for any airline penalities incurred and the charter amount paid or, it can be escrowed for another trip at a later date. Please email a copy of these to be verified and we will take care of you right away.


    Again, we apologize for the disruption.


    Kind regards,

    Sabine Camacho

    Yacht Specialist”


    At this time, I sincerely hope those extra dry dock repairs were not for the engine (more on that later)… When I received this email, it was too late to book a new dive trip. I was dismayed and unhappy about not diving but these things do happen. I negotiated away the United $200 change fee to save Aggressor money and convinced the hotel to eliminate their change fee as well and rebooked everything to attend the only week I had available on the Socorro boat 5/13 – 5/21.


    There is already a post describing boat issues from TWO trips before my May trip... and I know there were issues on the trip before ours making it the 4th trip I am personally aware of that was a disaster. The trip before ours took 54 hours to make the sea voyage back to port with 1 of the two engines inoperable. Apparently, they knew of the issues and called to order the parts 3 days before I even left for Cabo. In addition, they called corporate and requested that the next two trips be canceled because they didn't think they could make the repairs in time. With three days notice, corporate decided not to inform the passengers anything was amiss. I flew into Cabo and at 7:45pm the night before (the boat was supposed to leave at 8am the next day), I received a call from a person who declined to identify themselves. They said they did not work for Aggressor or the boat but they had been asked by a friend to inform us that the boat had minor issues and would now be departing at 1pm not 8am. I asked for more details but they said they didn't know anything as they were not employed by either the boat or aggressor. They had never been on the boat themselves. So great, it was odd but the person said the owner would be on the boat tomorrow to explain everything in person. At 1:30PM on 5/13, I called Sabine Camacho above to inquire if we had been forgotten, ETA and other boat related updates, her tone of voice revealed she knew way way more about our trip then she was letting on. I was told the following, “The boat will leave Weds morning. The owner will be on the boat to personally explain the issues, issue vouchers and refund the missed dives. I will inquire about your pickup and call you back soon.” She never called back but the pickup arrived within 10 minutes of that call. We got to the boat by about 2pm. At which point we were told that when all passengers came everything would be explained. Sometime around ~6pm the person who was "acting" as the staff's engineer showed up to explain everything. The owner was no where to be seen and details were not forthcoming. The acting crew member of the engineering team, who seemed to be offered up as a lamb to the slaughter as the captain and owners did not want to take responsibility, proceeded to explain the delay as best he could. He didn’t know much and could barely explain anything to us.We were told they weren't 100% sure what was wrong with the engine or if it could be fixed. They said give them two days to let us know. In the meantime, they offered us a gratis day of diving at Cabo Pulmo. Meanwhile, I called the booking agent at corporate . She assured me the owner would be there and make things right. Meanwhile, another passenger on the boat received a call from the CEO who ensured him that the "BOAT WOULD LEAVE!"

    On 5/14 the owner, Pedro, showed up to cancel the trip and provide the compensation letter.

    The solution offered was:

    1) Refund for the trip.

    2) A voucher FOR paid airfare and up to $400 in change fees.

    3) Complimentary rebooking on the boat for the Socorro boat for Socorro or Guadalupe or 50% off the price paid.

    At this point arguing with Aggressor showed how little the company cared about this boat, its passengers or the company's longevity. As someone that spends thousands of dollars on diving every year...

    First of all: The first time I attempted to go on this boat I had prepaid $3,695. For "3 weeks notice" I was offered $1,000. The second time, it was dive week so it was $800 less and I used the voucher. So in total, I paid $2,621. Aggressor's idea of the 50% off voucher was to remove the $1,000 voucher then calculate the value: $810.63 was the total voucher.
    Second: I paid cash for my airfare and their decision was to refund that airfare as a voucher....
    Third: Why do I think I am getting on this boat ever again? These things happen but as they say the first time you fool me… shame on you… the second time… shame on me. If you actually think for one moment, I would rebook on this boat ever again… well I don’t know what they say about fooling someone a third time but it can’t be good.

    This vessel is the most embarrassing boat I have ever been on and its’ being branded as a luxury boat. It has original furnishings and decorations that are at least decades old with stains, mildew smells and broken hooks all over the place. The bathrooms don’t work right and haven’t been cleaned probably since the boat was made. The beds didn’t even have sheets! In addition, the captain’s log isn’t up to date since March (Adventure Vacations | Aggressor® Liveaboards, Safaris & River Cruises). Wonder why? They don't want to put stories like this one up there?

    I emailed the CEO and Chairman: Wayne Brown and Wayne Hasson ON May 16th, to date neither individual has ever bothered to reply. I requested both of these men of the sea visit this boat before they let it represent Aggressor any further or go out to sea as a bare minimum of safety issues.

    I would go much further than the last poster. I would not just never set foot on the Socorro Aggressor again... I would highly question setting foot on ANY AGGRESSOR again. They have no concern for customers or the basics of safety.

    As a final remark to the other poster who was talking about Pedro/Cantamar... I don't know much about this issue. But I can remark from having been on the boat that all the dishware were marked with "Cantamar Resorts." When several passengers inquired, we were informed that Cantamar owned the boat and most the resorts in the area. Other passengers had shady rumors to pass on in this regard... but I can't verify anything that was said. I add this piece to note the fact about the dishware which I can contribute having personally experienced this for whatever it is worth.
     
    TheAvatar and scubadada like this.

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