10 Live-Aboard Myths
1. You have to be an experienced, well-traveled diver.
False. You’ll find every level of diver on many live-aboards. In fact, you can even get your Open Water certification on a live-aboard, and there have even been family-centric and teen-only live-aboard trips. That said, some specialty live-aboard destinations are suitable only for experienced divers. Check before you book.
2. You must dive five times a day.
False. Dive once a day, none or go for the record. Nobody will care. Just make sure if you do dive nonstop, a dive computer is worth its weight in gold. Pay attention to it. And, of course, drink lots of water.
3. You’ll stay seasick.
Unlikely. Most of us adapt to the motion. Even if you’re prone to motion sickness, some live-aboards are famous for their stability and most live-aboards find sheltered anchorages so everyone can sleep peacefully, rocked gently in the cradle of the deep. If seasickness is a problem, start the week with medication while your body adapts. Once the trip is over, you’ll be roaming the decks like an old salt.
4. You won’t fit in with the other passengers.
Unlikely. Everyone on the boat shares your same passion, and most likely all the other passions that make you a diver. You’re more likely to make lifelong friends.
5. Live-aboards are expensive.
Only if you’re bad at math. Do the research before you decide. Like hotels, live-aboards have a range of prices, from budget to ultra luxe. No matter what the price, live-aboards are all-inclusive, except for the (well-deserved) crew tip. Some include all drinks, some only wine with dinner and others all alcohol. Once you’ve looked at the reality of the cost, you’ll find that live-aboards will suit even the most frugal divers.
6. You’ll get bored if you want more than diving.
Not a chance. Live-aboard vacations are much more than diving. Many offer sailing, kayaking, water skiing, shore excursions and hiking. You can also watch movies, get some hammock time, read books, take specialty certification courses and just plain relax in the sun. Still think you’ll be bored? You’re more likely to have a difficult time doing all the activities available to you.
7. You won’t like the food.
Only if you’re on a diet. Most live-aboards are waistline-expanding experiences, with excellent gourmet food and plenty of it. And there are always between-meal snacks. If you have special dietary requirements, the boats are happy to meet your needs.
8. The cabins are small and cramped.
False. Large cabins with individually controlled heating, en-suite facilities and air conditioning are common on modern live-aboards. Other comfort amenities often include queen-size beds, in-cabin DVD players and personal storage areas.
9. There won’t be enough fresh water.
False. They’ll ask you not to run the taps unnecessarily, but most live-aboards make their own fresh water in sufficient quantities. You’ll have all you need and more, especially that warm shower après dive on the dive deck.
10. Try one and you’ll be addicted.
This one is probably true. Live-aboards pamper you and sweep you off to places you’d never see from a land-based resort. How else will you be able to see the hammerheads at Galapagos, dive the Coral Sea or explore the Coron wrecks off the Philippines? One word: live-aboard.