Liveaboard vs. Scuba Dive resort holiday. Which one to choose?
It’s holiday time, and yours is a scuba vacation. You don’t want to lie on a beach, and you want to go diving. You have your time off or just getting your Post-Covid 19 holiday, and you have some destination in mind, but what will you choose? Let’s check the Pros & Cons of each to select the perfect way for your scuba diving holiday.
How can we define a Liveaboard?
It’s in the name. You will live onboard your boat. Most of the liveaboards are impressive from 3-20 rooms, restaurant, lounge, camera room, compressor room, diving deck, and some of them have Jacuzzi & Massage room/service on board. Liveaboard diving is offering a range of comfort from the hostel category to a 5* service. Take care how you select it and compare some. I will advise people not to embark on old boats and not regularly maintain. Prices are not always a thing to consider as liveaboard diving usually follows the same rates. When you find a lower price for the same level of service, it’s often a launching time (super deal to absolutely take) or the last trip before the boat’s sale.
Concerning rooms, you will most of the time find Twin & deluxe, triple. Some backpackers liveaboard can offer dorm of 4 like Shenron in Komodo National Park (great low budget liveaboard)
Let’s see the pro and cons of a liveaboard trip and if it’s for you.
- An all-inclusive package is following the mantra “Dive Eat Sleep & Repeat.” You paid for food, for the room, and for the dive in one time. Only extra will be on some alcohol and additional onboard features. At least you know exactly how much money you must have and prepare for liveaboard diving.
- You will dive more! You are on a diving liveaboard trip, so your playground is the ocean, and you will be able to choose one or all dives daily up to 5 times a day (We personally not encourage anyone to do five dives a day. Try to focus and do three dives and some extra Night dive.) You are on holiday so don’t take any risks
- No carrying equipment. A lot of staff around you ready to help you, to carry your gear.
Big warning here! NEVER let the staff assembly your equipment for you! It’s nonproductive, no secure, and you must control everything ALONE. Many other companies will automatically prepare your gear ready to dive, but it’s the same NO GO for us. Of course, we are willing to help or doing next to you, but you must handle this alone. Staff is here to help you grab your fins, mask, camera, or holding your tank until you jump in.
- No walking distance to reach a dive site. So you can’t experience the forgetting pieces of equipment or long climbing trek before jumping into the ocean. What people love the most is just after a jacuzzi or sunbathing, you will get ready in less than 10 min to go diving or vice versa.
- For sure, a liveaboard trip to dive some of the best destinations in the world is the best value for money. The initial cost with plane and hotel sounds big, but in the end, once you break it down, you will be closed to daily dive. Don’t forget that the price is included everything from dive to nitrox to meal & nights plus the fantastic staff you need to travel on a boat like this.
- Get seasickness? On the boat, you will move following the waves, and it’s worse when you lay done. So if you get terrible seasickness, forget the idea of spending all your holiday on a boat.
- Stuck on a boat. This is half true as many dive boat operators are bringing you on land to do some activities and visiting traditional places (when it’s possible, of course). Once your onboard, you’ll be on for the whole experience.
- Not a big diver? Want only one dive a day? It’s definitely won’t be worse on value but will be the best option to have real rest reading a book, sunbathing, enjoying jacuzzi and traveling on the sea.
- Are you shy? The mentra for all our liveaboard is “come as a stranger, leave as a friend”. If you don’t want or like to talk to people or share your experiences, avoid a liveaboard diving trip. You will be onboard with 20-30 people with different cultures & nationalities for a week or more and could not be the best if you are willing to stay alone. (Some Liveaboard such vaiatea holds many places where you can stay far away from the crowd.)
Resorts/ Dive Centres
Like Dragon Dive Komodo, you will find all over the world some dive resort or only scuba diving center. They will be thrilled to have you, especially after the COVID 19 that hit us terribly. Some dive resorts like Dragon Dive are tiny and offer an amazingly cozy place with awesome vibes you will love. From a massive dive resort or simple site, there is something outside for every diver.
- Only one word is flexibility. Come anytime, dive when you want (except when you take packages or courses ! 🙂 ) Don’t forget, a registration for a dive even at six must be paid even if you don’t show!
- Comfort. Private room, pool, restaurant, beer, having your bungalow or private room it’s something. Same for the kids, there is always an extra bed available for them too.
- Choice of the Dive Site. It’s a yes and no, but most local dive centers offer to bring you to the most famous dive sites around. The main thing is if you want to dive again in the same spot on daily dive, you can !.
- Non-diving time. On land, you will be able to visit the area or hire a motorbike and driving around. You will also be able to discover new places or new menus from your hotel’s restaurant every day.
- Cheaper. If you decide to have only two or three days of diving, you will pay less than on a liveaboard. Dive centers such as Dragon Dive will usually have deals and promotions on some offers called “stay and dive packages.”
- Private. With a dive resort, you will be able to privatize everything from the intro dive to the divemaster training. This is only available on land.
- Add all the expenses and compare! Consider in the price the meals, dives, rental equipment, nitrox, rental car, extra activities, etc. It would help if you considered how much all of it would cost you.
- Dive sites are also cons. Dive resorts usually have small boats (called slow boats) and can’t reach faraway dive sites like a liveaboard.
- Night dive. Usually, all-night dives are from the beach’s house reef, and most dive shops are not doing night dive away.
- If you stay in a dive center that does not own accommodation, it isn’t straightforward to find the right place nearby. Try to focus on the dive resort with their dive center.
As you can see, there are both pros and cons to each vacation type.
As we think both a liveaboard and a resort/dive center are fantastic, we would like to focus on the destination. With Vaiatea, you will go diving on the most secluded dive sites that no dive resort can get daily in South Komodo, Alor, Banda Sea, and Raja Ampat, for example.
After this small blog, are you a liveaboard or resort diver?
Don’t forget before you book your next diving holiday to check out our social media that brings you discounts on liveaboards and our partner Dragon Dive Komodo with their Dive n Stay packages.