Aqua Cat Review 2023 – Best Luxury Bahamas Liveaboard?

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Aqua Cat Liveaboard

Are you in search of a Bahamas liveaboard experience that caters to divers and non-divers alike, all while offering a luxurious and comfortable stay with amazing diving?

To get a better idea if this is the liveaboard for you, we hopped on board the vessel and spoke to Kevin Purdy, Marketing Manager at AllStarLiveaboards, the parent of Aqua Cat to create this review.

In this review, we’ll cover:

  • What type of diver Aqua Cat’s for
  •  
  • Aqua Cat’s layout, occupancy, and additional amenities 

So, strap on your scuba gear, and let’s dive in!

Luxury Option
Aqua Cat
4.7
From $324/d
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Who is Aqua Cat For?

King Cabin
King Cabin shower

Aqua Cat is a luxury liveaboard for divers and non-divers of all age ranges. With the price point starting at $2595 per person it certainly caters towards a higher-end clientele looking for more amenities and comfort

With its added space, they get a lot more couples on there because you have the king-size bed accommodations and large ocean-view windows.

This boat also gets a lot of nondiving partners/spouses as it has a range of amenities for non-divers such as fishing and water sports ( kayaks, paddleboards, snorkeling, etc.).

Great Budget Trip
Blackbeard's Cruises
4.5
$1050+
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Are you interested in a Bahamas Liveaboard by the directors of the Aqua Cat Fleet, but prefer a lower price point?

Consider diving on the Blackbeards liveaboard duo, from just $1050.

Overview of Aqua Cat

Aqua Cat was created in 2001 as a one-of-a-kind dive boat for those seeking more comforts while diving the Caribbean. Aqua Cat offers unparalleled diving opportunities with up to 26 dives and up to 5 dives a day, coming out to around $100 a dive.

Aqua Cat Costs

Aqua Cat can support between 22-30 guests depending on how customers book the cabins and if they have two per cabin. But typically, typically is about 22 to 24 people not including the crew.

The basic cost for a quad cabin will be $2,595 for the quad cabin and around $3,200 for the king.

Other costs can include rental gear ground transfers,, and gratuity (please tip your staff and guides)
.
On Friday nights they do a cocktail and put out a bunch of really nice appetizers, like sushi and, hors d’oeuvres. That would be all on food for that night and if you want to get a dinner you would have to go into town as it is not a full dinner service. However, you could just choose to fill up on appetizers..

Staff Highlights

The crew is usually around 11. You will have at least four dive instructors. One or two of them will always shoot photos and videos for you. So they’ll be taking turns in the water putting together a trip, video, and photo slideshow that you can buy at the end of the week which is a nice little souvenir to take home.

You will then have two engineers, the galley staff, the steward or House mouse as they call him “Captain First Mate”.

One of the standout features of Aqua Cat’s crew is their consistency. According to Kevin Purdy, Marketing Manager at All Star Liveaboards, the crew has a low turnover rate, and you’ll often find familiar faces welcoming you back on subsequent trips.

What about accommodations?

Aqua Cat’s cabins are designed with your comfort in mind. You’ll love the expansive ocean-view windows, uniquely crafted to showcase the stunning beauty of the Caribbean (not just portholes to look out of).

Each cabin comes equipped with an en suite bathroom complete with hot water showers, so no need to worry about washing off on the deck, but they do have hot water showers there as well.
The cabins are based on double occupancy, ensuring that couples and friends can share their diving escapades. Plus, you’ll find spacious accommodations, whether you prefer king-size or twin beds. There is only one cabin without a window if you so choose.

  • King Cabins: Perfect for couples seeking a romantic escape, these cabins feature a king-size bed with ample space to unwind.
  • Twin Cabins: Ideal for friends or diving buddies, the twin cabins provide two comfortable twin beds.
  • Queen and Twin Cabins: These cabins are tailored for small groups or families, with a queen-size bed and an additional twin bed.

Diving Deck

Your first step onto the spacious and well-organized diving deck (always a good first sign).

The 900-square-foot expanse offers ample room for divers to gear up, prepare for dives, and share a cocktail or fresh juice with fellow divers.

It has sunbeds, hot showers, and space if you want some “me time”.

Cabins

Picture waking up to stunning views of the Caribbean waters right from your cabin. Whether you’re a couple seeking a romantic escape, traveling with friends or family, or simply seeking some “me” time, Aqua Cat’s cabins redefine liveaboard accommodations.

With a focus on luxury and space, each cabin is designed to provide comfort and relaxation after a day of exhilarating dives.

The standout feature of Aqua Cat’s cabins is their large ocean-view windows. Imagine waking up to vibrant sunrises and drifting off to the soothing sounds of the ocean waves, all from the comfort of your own room. With a variety of cabin types, including king, twin, queen, and twin, you’ll easily find a cabin that suits your preferences and needs.

Aqua cat cabin
  • King Cabins: Perfect for couples seeking a romantic escape, these cabins feature a king-size bed with ample space to unwind.
  • Twin Cabins: Ideal for friends or diving buddies, the twin cabins provide two comfortable twin beds.
  • Queen and Twin Cabins: These cabins are tailored for small groups or families, with a queen-size bed and an additional twin bed.

The Aqua Cat understands the importance of personal space and comfort, which is why each cabin comes equipped with an en suite bathroom complete with hot water showers.

No need to worry about washing off that salty sea water in a crowded communal space. But the best part is that the cabins are strategically located to ensure easy access to Aqua Cat’s impressive dive deck.

Luxury Option
Aqua Cat
4.7
From $324/d
Check Price on AllStarLiveaboards Check Price on Liveaboard.com
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Camera Stations and Gear Storage

This diving deck is designed with convenience in mind. Two camera tables are available for underwater photographers to assemble their equipment. The ship also has dedicated gear storage spaces for your diving equipment to be easily accessible which eliminates any hassle before your dive.

Private Hot Water Showers

After multiple fives or just being in the sun all day, the diving deck is home to two private hot water showers.

Imagine the luxury of rinsing off saltwater while surrounded by the breathtaking views of the Caribbean.

Shower Aqua Cat

Easy Dive Access

The layout of Aqua Cat’s diving deck ensures seamless transitions from dive briefings to the water. Multiple entry points allow for efficient entry and exit, ensuring that you can maximize your time underwater.

Amenities

The Aqua Cat is equipped with air-conditioned cabins and common areas, providing respite from the tropical heat.

After an action-packed day of diving, you can hang out with others guessing and playing games in the common rooms, read a book out on the deck, or have a drink and share stories and scuba tips.

Whether you’re sharing stories in the lounge or enjoying a movie night, the spaces offer relaxation without compromise.

Food and Drink

Dining Delights

With a skilled culinary team on board, to prepare delectable meals that cater to diverse tastes. The onboard chefs (two of them) craft a variety of dishes from international cuisines to local delicacies.

For Breakfast, you will always have options like eggs to order pancakes waffles, or French toast. Every day you have oatmeal, grits, biscuits, gravy, fruit, and yogurts.

For Lunch, you’ll always have a soup and typically two different proteins. You may have chicken and fish or a different one for vegetarians and vegans.

For dinner two proteins as well alongside your starch and veggies. Don’t worry you won’t go hungry.

The chefs are great at accommodating any type of lifestyle and diet you may have, gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, etc. All is made fresh on board the ship.

Thursday night they had a trip video and the slideshow that the dive instructors have been filming.
Then a “Captain’s Dinner” and on that night they do a plated dinner, which is usually a three-course meal. For instance, they’ll do an appetizer a surf and turf, and then a dessert alcohol included on board there as well.

One of the standout features of Aqua Cat’s crew is their consistency. According to Kevin Purdy, Marketing Manager at All StarLiveaboards the crew has a low turnover rate, and you’ll often find familiar faces welcoming you back on subsequent trips. This sense of continuity fosters a sense of camaraderie and trust, allowing you to focus on diving and creating memories.

Aqua Cat's Routes

This liveaboard has a variety of sites that cater to divers of all experience levels, each promising a unique underwater adventure in the stunning underwater landscapes of the Bahamas.

Let’s take a closer look at the sites, highlights, and seasonal considerations that make itineraries so exceptional.

Setting Sail from Nassau

The ship departs from Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas. From this central hub, you’ll embark on journeys to discover some of the most coveted dive sites in the Exumas and beyond. Nassau’s strategic location makes it an ideal starting point for accessing a diverse range of underwater treasures.

Diverse Sites for Every Preference

Aqua Cat’s route is pretty stable (weather-depending) and encompasses a range of dive sites, ensuring that every diver’s needs are met.

You will have vibrant coral reefs to exhilarating shark encounters. If you’re an avid photographer, a marine life enthusiast, or simply seeking to explore shoals and columns, there’s a guide for each site tailored to your preferences.

Here are the main dive sites you will most likely visit but it ranges.

  • Shark Wall: This world-famous dive site is known for its abundance of sharks. Divers can observe Caribbean reef sharks, nurse sharks, and even the occasional tiger shark as they swim along the wall.
  • Blue Hole: One of the mysterious Blue Holes in the world is a sinkhole that drops down to depths of around 200 feet (65 meters). Divers can descend into the deep blue and explore the underwater caves and rock formations, as well as spot various marine life including reef sharks and reef fish.
  • Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park: Located within a protected marine reserve, this dive site offers pristine coral reefs teeming with marine life. Divers can encounter sea turtles and even nurse sharks among all the fishes.
  • The Washing Machine: This drift dive experience, as the name suggests has strong currents that propel divers through an underwater tunnel before sweeping them out into the open ocean. We would recommend that you are an experienced diver AOW or have experience in these situations.
  • Amberjack Reef: This site in the Exumas is home to an abundance of marine life, including schools of amberjacks, stingrays, and reef sharks. The coral formations and walls are adorned with colorful sponges and soft corals.

What You'll See

The Bahamas has something for everyone from wrecks to sharks. Here are some of the critters and sights you may see.

  • Colorful fish such as angelfish, triggerfish, parrotfish, groupers, snappers, and Stingrays.
  • Sharks include Caribbean reef sharks, nurse sharks, hammerhead sharks, tiger sharks, and lemon sharks.
  • Dolphins, especially around Bimini.
  • Turtles such as green turtles, hawksbill turtles, and loggerhead turtle
    Wrecks such as Theo’s Wreck, Ray of Hope, and the James Bond wreck in Nassau.
  • Underwater caves and swim-throughs like the famous Thunderball Grotto, featured in the James Bond film “Thunderball”.
  • Schools of fish, including jacks, snappers, grunts, and barracudas patrolling the reefs
  • Vibrant and colorful sponges, sea fans, and soft corals of all shapes and sizes.
  • More rare macro sightings such as seahorse and nudibranchs

Adapting to the Seasons and Weather

While Aqua Cat’s routes remain consistent in their essence, they are flexible enough to adapt to the changing seasons and weather conditions. The crew’s expert knowledge of local conditions ensures that you experience the most favorable diving conditions throughout the year.

Seasonality: Choosing the Perfect Time to Dive

The Bahamas is a year-round diving destination, but each season offers its own unique charm. Winter brings excellent visibility and the chance to encounter migratory species, while summer boasts warmer waters and the possibility of spotting sharks in large numbers.

The choice of when to dive depends on your preferences and what marine wonders you hope to witness.

  • Winter: Clearer visibility, migratory species, slightly cooler temperatures Summer: 
  • Warmer waters, possible shark encounters, potential for rain and humidity. 

No matter the season, Aqua Cat’s experienced crew ensures your safety and enjoyment throughout your diving adventure.

Excursions Beyond the Diving

Sea Dog

Exploration doesn’t stop with diving. They do five dives per day, but also have a Sea Dog, which is our 28-foot jet drive boat that runs excursions to go do. Deep sea fishing water sports, kayaks, paddleboards, snorkel trips, and, all kinds of other fun activities.

They even offer different island hopping activities, like going to the Land and Sea Park headquarters. You can even go swimming with pigs or explore hidden coves, these excursions add an extra layer of adventure to your trip.

Alternative Options and Why

Competitor wise it’s always the Cat is compared to Aggressor or Explorer Ventures. Aggressor and Explorer Ventures are well-respected names in the liveaboard industry, each offering its own array of dive destinations and itineraries.

Aggressor, known for its well-appointed vessels and diverse routes, appeals to a wide range of divers seeking top-notch service. Explorer Ventures, on the other hand, offers specialized trips to remote and off-the-beaten-path locations, making it a favorite among adventurers seeking unique underwater experiences.

Luxury Option
Aqua Cat
4.7
From $324/d
Check Price on AllStarLiveaboards Check Price on Liveaboard.com
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
[rank_math_rich_snippet id="s-915fba2d-6d72-42ce-a090-8d4795234949"]

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