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Socorro Aggressor?

Discussion in 'Aggressor Adventures' started by Scott from LongIsland, Oct 12, 2018.

  1. mcohen1021

    mcohen1021 Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Texas
    The anchor issues, at least to me did not hit me as a safety concern. All of the diving was done off the dinghys.

    Now, on the other hand, in light of the recent boat fire in CA, the electrical issue on the Socorro Aggressor IS A SAFETY CONCERN, which at the time of my original posting I did not think was.
  2. Scuba Beast

    Scuba Beast Registered

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: New England
    After going on 9 Aggressors and plenty of other liveaboards, I can no longer recommend Aggressor as they are simply a middle man company and often have communication discrepancies with the actual yacht owners. I have gone on the Nautilus Belle Amie to Guadalupe and the Nautilus Undersea to Socorro and would recomend either of these boats far more over any Aggressor boat. Nautilus is a higher caliber company. Even the longstanding captain of the Okeanos Aggressor I for 15+ years left to work for Nautilus. Aggressor is certainly not the only game in town.
    chillyinCanada likes this.
  3. HalcyonDaze

    HalcyonDaze Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Miami
    Threadwalked over here from the discussion of the RSA 1 fire; that laundry list of mechanical issues definitely sounds like a nope.

    Atop that, my one liveaboard trip in the last 15 years was to Guadalupe Island on the Solmar V, so in comparing the two boats that are supposedly running to the same destination ... where the **** do they put the cages on that thing? Lots of glitzy pictures of the seating arrangements on deck and the posh cabins, but I don't see where they're going to put multiple 4-person cages or where the davits and boats are to deploy them.
  4. howardcath

    howardcath New

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Nashville, TN
    IMG_6100.JPG IMG_6099.JPG
    Socorro Aggressor -- No air conditioning. No apology, no discount.

    Last week on my trip to Socorro (Dec. 3 to Dec. 11, 2019), we were informed upon boarding the ship that the air conditioning was broken and could not be fixed for our trip. They asked if anyone didn't want to go. After taking off work and paying for airfare, who was not going to go? They bought floor fans and installed power strips down the hall, under the rug, and under the cabin door, but it was still very difficult to sleep in our hot cabin with no operable window. Slept on top of sheets and blanket with no shirt. Left the door to cabin left open by necessity to get some air through the hallway. Sweated through the nights. Slept (or tried to) on benches on the upper decks a couple of nights. CREW WAS GREAT and they did their best to accommodate us, but there was a limit as to what they could do. The crew also slept on the top open decks to get cool.

    I was surprised that the Aggressor Fleet did not offer even any token compensation for this.
  5. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Philadelphia and Boynton Beach
    So glad I chose the Nautilus Explorer for my trip last May. Best liveaboard I've been on.
  6. soldsoul4foos

    soldsoul4foos ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Portland, ME
    This alone, would certainly prohibit me from ever considering this outfit. Thanks for the post, seriously.
    chillyinCanada likes this.
  7. BDSC

    BDSC Contributor

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Wake Forest, NC
    That’s why I book the Rocio Del Mar. Well maintained boat and INCREDIBLE crew. We were on the RDM in November in the Socorro’s. We were delayed one day leaving because of a storm offshore and the harbor master had closed the harbor. Absolutely no fault of the boat. At the end of the trip they didn’t charge any of us for nitrox and they changed the dive schedule each day so we made up most of the missed dives.

    I can’t recommend the RDM highly enough.
    drrich2 likes this.
  8. EduFiend

    EduFiend Registered

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Santiago, Chile
    I have debated myself a really long time whether to share this or not. I know no company is perfect, there’s a lot of things that can go wrong and people working in these boats (or corporately within the same enterprise) are trying their best. However, because of what just happened in the Red Sea, I believe that stating my personal experience might help both the company, in terms of their quality control, and other fellow divers, to make a more informed decision.

    I booked the Socorro Aggressor through liveaboard.com last August when they had a really good deal for Guadalupe. Booked my flights from Santiago, Chile to Mexico City and then another Volaris return to Tijuana. I also booked my hotels through Booking.com and chose a couple of “free cancellation” ones.

    A week before my long haul flight I was informed, via email, that the boat was not ready to depart and that they would compensate us with a very reasonable travel voucher (applicable to any other later trip) and that they would cover any fees for changing flights and hotel rooms. So far so good.

    I chose the next available departure and they actually delivered and covered all the changing flight fees. Naturally, I didn’t charge them for hotel fees because I cancelled for free. I was so surprised with their service I blasted my social media recommending them for their swift damage control.

    But, as soon as I got to Tijuana, things went downhill. I stayed at the hotel they recommended and the next morning I asked the concierge about the “Aggressor” van but they were dumbfounded. I speak native Spanish, so this was not something lost in translation: they had absolutely no idea who I was talking about. An hour and a half later than was promised, two vans showed up. We drove to Ensenada and eventually boarded the Cassiopeia.

    Three hours later than when we were supposed to sail, we finally did. According to the crew, this was the Mexican authorities fault, which may or may not be true. What I know for a fact is one of the other passengers was a District Staff Officer for the USCGAUX and he mentioned serious safety shortcomings, which, for all I know, could have been part of the reason for the delay. He did, after the trip, email the captain and Aggressor CEO about all of the faults he found and they said they are working on them.

    Long story short, according to the e-mails I received after the whole thing, the weather conditions forced the trip to Guadalupe to take 24 hours instead of the advertised 18. It is possible, but several of us were woken up at 5am when one of the engines blew up (in fact, the USCGAUX staff officer confirmed it to me).

    When we finally got to Guadalupe, at 3-3:30pm on the second day, the crew tried to sink the cages but the bolts snapped. They worked tirelessly for a couple of hours, and actually managed to get them working, but it was already too late to dive that day. We were supposed to have been diving by 10am, but we literally lost a full day. Fair enough, things happen.

    The diving on the third and the morning of the fourth were great. The crew was amazing and the sharks even better. I even scored a runner-up prize on their latest instagram contest with one of the pics I got on that trip.

    By the fourth day, we left on schedule but I was already weary about the ride back. My Tijuana-MEX flight was at 12:30pm and my MEX-SCL was at 3am the next day. When I realized I wasn’t going to make it to the first flight, I just waited until we got close enough to Ensenada, to try to find another later flight to Mexico City. I was pretty confident that Aggressor would cover that small expense. Boy was I wrong.

    After a lot of hassle and wasted time, I managed to get off the boat around 3pm. There was a 5:15 flight that I thought I could manage to board. I purposely decided not to book it online in order to avoid Aggressor more money and took an Uber to Tijuana airport to see if I could. I couldn’t. I got there around 5pm and all flights were closed. “Oh well, I’ll just stay at a cheap(ish) hotel tonight, book a flight for tomorrow and change the MEX-SCL”. $150 for changing the latter and roughly $200 for the former. “No worries -I thought- they have been very understanding, I’m sure they will deliver”. When I got to the hotel (which was way cheaper than the one they’d recommended) I emailed liveaboard.com telling them of the whole situation. They said they had contacted Aggressor and would get back to me.

    From here on is where **** hit the fan and by no means I am saying is Aggressor’s fault, but, they could have helped me out a bit.

    Next day I get to Tijuana airport, and my Volaris flight was delayed for 4 hours. That meant that I couldn’t make it to my MEX-SCL and had to change it again: another $150. I had to stay in Mexico City that night and pay for a hotel. I got to the Mex airport the next day and there was a protest outside my terminal, so the Uber driver left me on the other one. I tried calling Latam for two hours to let them know of the situation to no avail. I lost my flight, had to stay yet another night in Mexico City and had to book a new MEX-SCL flight. All in all, I spent 2k because the boat was late.

    I sent liveaboard.com all of the information, usually as it happened, with all documents that proved my claim. All I got got in the end was a “sorry”.

    What was supposed to be a quick 7 day cheap getaway, ended up being more like 11 days, with the latter 4 being more expensive than the liveaboard itself.

    I now have a $200 travel voucher for Aggressor but I’m not even sure if I want to use it. What a shame, because my trip to Galápagos with them was perfect.

    Sorry for the long rant. I have all receipts and email conversations, should anyone doubt what I just said.
    chillyinCanada likes this.
  9. Dan

    Dan ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Lake Jackson, Texas
    +1 for Nautilus liveaboards.

    I was in Nautilus Undersea, Socorro 22-30 December, 2018 Trip Report. I like the operation, boat upkeeping & service. Afterwards, I booked 2 trips with them to Guadalupe with Belle Amie in July, 2020 and back to Socorro with Belle Amie in May 2021.
    EduFiend, soldsoul4foos and scubadada like this.
  10. Dan

    Dan ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Lake Jackson, Texas
    Aggressor customer service has recently disappointed me too. I had 2 good trips with them (Palau Aggressor 2 & Maldives Aggressor 2). So, I was looking forward to be on Red Sea Aggressor I (RSA1) for December trip (2 weeks ago), but then things stated to go downhill soon after.

    Back in August I booked for the upper deck cabin as I’m a light sleeper. A week later I got a call from their reservationist telling me that all upper deck cabins each came with a queen bed for couple and wanting me to move my cabin to the lower deck. I regrettably accept it as long as I was given the front cabin, away from the engine noise.

    In November I learnt RSA1 caught fire and replaced with Scuba Scene. So, I looked at the cabin layout of Scuba Scene and learnt that there are upper deck cabin with twin beds. I requested to have my lower cabin assignment to be moved to the upper deck one. However, they never replied back to me. When I got to the boat, guess where they put me in? I got the lower deck cabin on the very back next to the engine with half full boat (12 guests).

    I got the cabin to myself so I gave it a try to sleep during sailing. However, I couldn’t sleep. It was too noisy for me. When I asked the Steward & DM for earplugs, they offer me cotton balls. LOL.

    Later on (almost towards the end of the trip) I had a chat with the DM who was sleeping on the twin upper deck cabin about my sleeping problem and my earlier request to stay in the upper deck cabin that was not responded. He said that he had never received such request. If he had, he would be gladly to swap cabin with me.

    This could be my last liveaboard trip with Aggressor.

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