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Dive Review of Blackbird Caye Resort in
Belize

Blackbird Caye Resort, Dec, 2003,

by Peter Vantine, GA, USA . Report 912.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Philippines, Caribbean
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas choppy, currents
Water Temp 70 to 75 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 80 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments [None]

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments The Blackbird Caye Resort is on a small island 30 miles off the coast, on the Turneffe Atoll. The resort is blessed with excellent diving, very attentive support staff, clean accommodations, and excellent rental equipment. However, the facilities show signs of neglected maintenance.

The neglected maintenance produced a (thankfully) minor accident on the first day of our visit, and the way the resort handled it really brings into doubt about how they would repond to a serious event.

On our first day my wife and I were walking around the island, getting acquainted with the property, and we walked out onto one of the resort's four docks. About halfway out, a floorboard collapsed, sending my wife pitching into the shallows. She suffered minor bruising to one of her thighs and our digital camera and digital binoculars went completely into the water, damaging them beyond repair. Also, her glasses were ripped off her face, and we spent 15-20 minutes looking for them in the shallows, to no avail. In total, there was almost $1300 in damages.

We reported the accident to the resort manager and he said that that particular dock was the "fuel dock" and was off limits to guests. I pointed out that nobody had told us that it was off limits and there was no sign to that effect. He told me that it probably would be wise for them to post a sign.

Two days later it occurred to me that the resort might have liability insurance to cover our loss. I again approached the manager and asked him if the resort had insurance. He said that he had only been at the resort for a few weeks and was not sure. He gave me the email address of the owner and told me to take the issue up with the owner via email upon my return to the U.S.

Upon my return, I sent the owner several emails, which were not responded-to. After several follow-ups, I was sent an email from the resort's Florida office that advised me that (a) the resort had no liability insurance to cover such an event, (b) the owner had decided not to entertain any kind of compensation "as we do not have the equipment nor have we seen it" and (c) she attached an email in which the resort manager blamed us for being on the dock and, further, made several comments that cast doubt on whether he believed that the accident had even taken place. The general tone was that we were fabricating the accident and were trying to collect for damages that never occurred.

If we had suffered such an accident at any U.S. resort and any reputable non-U.S. resort, the resort would have been falling all over itself trying to make amends for inadequate maintenance and inadequate signage. Instead, we were stonewalled, given the runaround, and made to feel like criminals.


So a warning: Turneffe Atoll and Blackbird Caye Resort is a great place to visit. However, if anything untoward happens, you're on your own. Either they don't have liability insurance, unconscionable for a dive resort, or they DO have liability insurance and were merely trying to avoid a claim.



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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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