from 3 reviews
27th January 2012 by Nadiamulla
Dangerous Diving on the Orion
Visit Date: November 2011
Our experience on board the Orion.
Good points: spacious, good jaccuzi, clean, excellent service regarding food and bar services, nice size room with good shower/toilet facility.
Bad points: AC did not work in the room with temps. of around 29-30 degrees, promised to fix it, but never happened. Overlooked by the diving dhuni, no spa facilities as stated on website. Information was not provided to all, as we found out that there was a wifi connection on board on day 4. Change of time briefing without notice.
Good points: showers, towels, fruit and water available. Help with entry and exit.
Bad points: our names were not on the diving list for the first couple of days and they did not take our dive logs. Requested SBM and were given a faulty one. Caused damage to our equipment, dive guide would start descending before we even got in the water. Even tried to do that on the night dive!! Not enough room for 24 divers and 2 snorkelers (26 in total which is not in accordance with the website). Too many divers for some dive sites. Groups were not placed next to each other on the boat. Some dives were a complete waste of time treading water without seeing anything (looking for hammerheads).
When we arrived at the airport we had to search for the people meeting us and they didn't even have a name list.
Sent the wrong information about our disembarkation time to our hotel.
19th January 2012 by chicagodiver
Visit Date: January 2012
We travelled halfway around the world to experience a world-class, luxury liveaboard with the Orion. It may have been an off week, but the experience was extremely disappointing and at times dangerous.
Some of the more major issues: up to 10 divers with 1 guide; at least 5 divers put on Nitrox who were not certified, given training, or given a choice; several individuals had completed several dives before even being told they were on Nitrox; after clearly reserving dive computers for my husband and I, there were none available for our first few dives; there were issues with broken and run-down equipment; for new divers such as ourselves we were left to take care of ourselves and received little care or attention even when repeatedly asked; there was a scary lack of organization or accountability with dive guides (besides the chaos on the boat, they also left two fellow passengers behind at the airport after they checked in -- these passengers had to find their own way to the boat after waiting for hours).
Additionally, one of the reasons I chose the Orion was for the onboard masseuse. There was no masseuse on the boat, nor an explaination why. With all of these issues (and plenty more), we were still nickle-and-dimed for extra expenses at the end of the week, and certainly never received a discount. On the bright side, the Orion itself was very nice and service onboard was good.
25th July 2011 by ThamesValleyJohn
Visit Date: January 2011
I have been dreading writing this review as I don’t want anybody to know about this boat. It was the best diving holiday I have ever been on.
The boat: very different to all other dive boats I have been on. Very wooden construction, very steep staircases, excellent Jacuzzi with warm water fill. The cabins are spacious and the en suite bathrooms have the best boat plumbing. You can put paper down the toilets; there is always hot water even when everybody showers at the same time after a night dive. Simple dining room with buffet layout. Lots of shade available around the boat as well as areas to toast yourself.
Food and drink: you do not go to the Maldives for a gastronomic experience; having said this the food was good and wholesome with some good curries. The bar has two beers on draft and excellent bar staff. Once your glass hits the deck they are already getting you a refill. Not the cheapest beer in the Maldives but the service and the surroundings make up for this.
Diving: a mix of high current shark spotting dives and slower dives in search of Manta and Whalesharks. You do need to like current diving; I love it and had some of the best current dives I have ever had. The boat’s route takes in all the best dives in the central atolls and although I do like whaleshark spotting I have no complaints. Good diving assistance, good level of supervision for less confident divers and nitrox is free but can be low mixes if all passengers want to use it. My dive, Moosa, was superb. His knowledge of the reefs and how to dive them was spot on and listening to him at briefing was essential if you were to exploit your dive to the full. I feel honoured to have dived with him for 2 weeks.
In summary a great boat with friendly crew and good system of diving. Very comfortable and it visits all the good dive sites. I am not going back to the Maldives in the next 12 months but when I return this boat will be my first choice.