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Dive Review of Captain Don's Habitat/Coral Paradise Resort in
Bonaire

March, 2010, an Instant Reader Report by George Lock Jr, PA, US
Reviewer   (4 reports)
Report Number 5420
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Cayman Islands, Bahamas, Roatan, Belize, Palau, North Atlantic
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny, dry  
Seas
calm, no currents  
Water Temp
80   to 81    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
5
Water Visibility
  to    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
yes  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
Maximum depths were recommended but not limited.  
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
yes 
What I saw
Sharks
None 
Mantas
None 
Dolphins
None 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
> 2 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
N/A  
Large Pelagics
  N/A
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
2 stars  
Comments
Camaras were handled well by the boat crews.  Camera tanks on the boats and
at the dive shop were usually inadequate in size for the demand.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
5 stars
Food
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
N/A
Dive Operation
3 stars  
Shore Diving  
4 stars  
Snorkeling
4 stars  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
Beginners
5 stars   
Advanced
4 stars    
Comments  
Kenny and Margaret at the Coral Paradise Resort run a first class
operation, and they are great hosts.  The rooms have everything you need
for a relaxing, comfortable, and worry-free stay.  The resort is kept very
clean and is well maintained.  Being so closely situated to Captain Don's
Habitat gives you the best of both worlds: you get all the benefits of
having a restaurant and dive facility within a two-minute walk, while
getting the service and attention you can only find in a small resort. 

The boat dives at Captain Don's Habitat go to great sites.  Dives could
easily last for an hour.  There was little evidence at depths beyond ~ 30
feet of hurricane or storm damage.  However, I found the boats too crowded,
often with 20 divers.  With that many divers, one had to gear up in shifts.
 There was only a small camera table on the boat, and the camera rinse tank
was too small to handle the photographers needs.  Boats depart at 8:30 and
11:00 AM and return between dives to reload/refill tanks.  Afternoon dives
depart at 2:00 PM, but if one takes an 11:00 AM dive, there was rarely
enough time to get lunch.  A crowded boat makes for a longer trip.  Most of
the boat crews were very helpful and friendly.  One incident was relegated
to "minor" status because of the vigilance of the boat captain. 
Nitrox is available, but probably not necessary for most.

The dive packages all include unlimited shore dives.  The shore dive at the
dive shop is a good one with a lot of fish and macro subjects.  The island
has many good shore dive sites, but one needs a rental vehicle (abundantly
available) to access them. 

Rum Runners, the restaurant at Habitat had a good buffet breakfast and good
lunches, with friendly and efficient waiters.  However, dinners at Rum
Runners took a long time, and the service was incredibly slow.  Our group
tried several restaurants in the nearby vicinity and were quite pleased
with Richards, Mona Lisa, Chibi Chibi (at the Divi Flamingo resort), and
It Rains Fishes.  Again, a vehicle is necessary to get to these
restaurants.

The petty crime frequently reported on Bonaire does affect the way one
behaves.  Everything must be locked up.  Nothing can be left in unattended
vehicles.  So, all of your dive and photo gear must be locked up.  While
that doesnt sound so bad, it necessitates a lot more hauling around, from
dive lockers and rooms to and from the boats.  Contrast that with Little
Cayman, where one can leave gear hanging in the open, and cameras soaking
in unattended rinse tanks right at the dock, with no fear of problems.  Why
the local community and businesses allow this problem to persist on Bonaire
is a mystery, because it does affect the logistics and ease of diving.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.


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