Recently back from a trip to Belize reefs aboard the Aggressor IV.
It was a great trip overall. Hurricane Earl removed the wood for the dock the ship uses. They still moor at the steel pillars there but you cannot walk to the ship. So you meet at a hotel as a group and they ferry you to the boat. It works just fine but causes boredom at the hotel when you wish you were on the boat.
This boat is quite nice with good sized rooms. I loved having a room on the main deck. The layout of the boat is really efficient overall. The camera tables are adequate though if many took DSLR’s it would be crowded. There were only 2 of them on board so camera space was quite sufficient.
The food was very good to excellent and plenty of it. Dinner was usually 2 selections of meat or fish so no trouble finding something to your liking.
The crew and service was really special. When you start the dive, you walk down to the dive platform without your fins or camera. As you stand on the platform geared up, they are at your feet, putting on your fins. All you do is move your feet into the fin as they hold it open for you.
When you finish the dive and hang at the 15ft safety stop bar, they swim down to you and take your camera rig up for you. When you get to the ladder and have a good hand grip, they remove your fins for you underwater. No worries about dropping a fin, bending over or troubles stepping on the ladder with fins. When you finish your hot shower on the dive deck, they are standing there with a warm, dry towel marked for your use only. They wrap you in it and give you a shoulder massage as you stand there. The towels are cleaned and dried for each dive.
My best dive service experience previously was Ocean Frontiers on Grand Cayman. The Aggressor IV service beat that easily.
Diving was excellent for Carib. diving. Weather was not so cooperative. It was sunny one aftn only. We only saw one sunset. Cloudy the rest of the time with some heavy rains from time to time. Usually not good lighting for good backlighting of reef structures for photos. Often lots of particles generating backscatter around the reef top area. Lots of fish life and lots of juvenile fish.
Sharks at Lighthouse reef on all dives. They usually patrolled at 100 ft or so but once in a while, came by at the reef top. Toadfish on all Turneffe late aftn and night dives but not always easy to find. They were easy to hear.
Overall, loved the trip and would do it again and recommend it to others.
You can see photos at this link at shiningseastudio.com