Throwing a bunch of strangers together and confining them to a boat for seven days could spell disaster. Happily, for most their shared passion for the ocean and four or five chances to get amongst it every day creates a harmonious atmosphere; go on enough liveaboards though, and you do increase your likelihood of encountering that diver. Make sure it’s not you; read on to find out what not to do.
Arrive Late. Diving runs on a schedule. Delay the departure and it might mean cruising on way passed bedtime which is not a good way to acclimatize to being rocked to sleep.
Eat all the cheese. Well, maybe not the cheese specifically but being first in the queue for the food at every meal and taking more than a reasonable portion will set your crew mates against you. For extra points snaffle the vegetarian dish before the vegetarians get there.
Peg it. Everyone has swimwear and towels to dry so don’t pinch all the pegs and drying space.
Shower in the deck bathrooms. The key to this is timing. Every diver knows that 'those that don't' will come out of the water bursting to use the facilities. Dripping wet the only place to go is the deck toilets so hogging them for a post-dive rinse off will not win you friends. Most liveaboards have an open deck shower to rinse off the salt, and the inverse is true, don’t pee in this shower.
Use the water. Every liveaboard’s orientation briefing will include a warning about freshwater conservation. The tanks are finite so emerge from your cabin smelling of roses after each dive, and you'll be in the doghouse when the taps run dry.
Touchy feely. Keep your hands to yourself, that includes corals, turtles, whale sharks, your guide, your buddy.
Bored Onboard. Don’t be a dive bore. You have seven days and many people to talk to, yet they may not all want to know the technical specification of your regulator and where you saw your first whale shark before the mooring line has even been hauled aboard the boat.
Socket to 'em. Underwater photography has progressed faster than liveaboard design which means the power points are often in a supply and demand deficit. You gain maximum annoyance points here for charging your camera battery, strobe battery, torch battery, IPad and iPhone all at the same time.
Keep it together. No matter how spacious the vessel you have chosen don’t spread your doohickeys all over everywhere or else you may find a mysterious sudden gust of wind displaces them.
Know better. No matter how experienced you are, unless you work on this boat, you are not in charge. Think the rules don't apply to you and you will get no sympathy for messing up a dive or worse.
Drunken sailor. Ok, you’re on vacation but it’s a dive vacation and while you’ll notice the beers being drunk your fellow divers are unlikely to be dancing on the tables so take it easy and keep the noise down so that everyone can be well rested for that dawn dive.
Overboard. Fish have survived for thousands of years without eating cookies or bread, don’t get them hooked. Jenny Craig does not have a seafood diet! In fact, the only thing that should go overboard is you for each dive. Throw anything else overboard, and you might find yourself there without your gear!
Be a drip. There are specific areas designated as dry areas, create a puddle, and you're likely to be given a mop.
Al-loud. You don't need to be silent on board but engage a booming voice and talk over everyone, and you might find that everyone moves to a different deck each time you arrive.
Tip it up. There is an expectation that everyone tips at the end of the trip so remember this in your budgeting and make sure that you have the cash on hand. Not sure how much to give, ask the cruise director for a guide and adjust as you feel appropriate.
So, what did I miss? Let me know in the comments!
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