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Dive Review of Buddy Dive Resort in
Bonaire

Buddy Dive Resort: "Diving Disappointment", May, 2019,

by David E Reubush, VA, US (Top Contributor Top Contributor 65 reports with 31 Helpful votes). Report 10953 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 2 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 2 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 3 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments My buddy wanted to attend a Lightroom course being taught by Erin Quigley at Buddy Dive in Bonaire and talked me into going along. Iím glad I did. Erin is a great teacher and I really learned a lot about Lightroom, even though I have been using it for years. I would highly recommend Erin if you want to learn Lightroom.

As to Buddy Dive, there were pluses and minuses. On the plus side it was relatively inexpensive, the room we shared had plenty of space and was comfortable, and the food, especially for a large resort, was good. On the minus side the administration left a lot to be desired. They sent out liability forms etc. before we went, which I dutifully filled out and emailed back. When we got to the dive shop to check-in they didnít have them so we had to fill them out again. The dive shop folks basically said that the upfront forms never worked. I then question: Why bother to send them out? We were also on the meal plan and they gave us cards to be turned in for every meal. After the meals they still made us sign a receipt, which was often hard to get from the waitresses. At the end of the week, when we got our preliminary bills, which had noted on them that we were on the meal plan, we still had been randomly charged for meals. While the front desk took the charges off, it was still a hassle to stand in line to get it fixed.

Our typical day would be breakfast, two 1-hour boat dives in the morning, lunch, class in the afternoon, dinner, then practicing with Lightroom in the evening either back in our room or in the classroom where we could consult with Erin. Later in the week the evenings became a time for Erin to critique our work and demonstrate how to make the shots even better.

My wife and I first went to Bonaire in 1995, it was also the first year we went to Little Cayman. In 1995 it was such a pain to get to Bonaire that we got turned off and I had not been back until this trip, while we have been to Little Cayman more than 20 times. I do not regret not returning to Bonaire for so long. My impression of the diving is that Little Cayman is much better. There is much more to see and there is nothing at Bonaire that can compete with the Bloody Bay wall. I am also not a big fan of the Buddy dive operation. While our group had our own small boat some of the other boats looked crowded. Our boat did not have a head, which had most of us jumping off the back of the boat between dives to take care of business. Our dives were limited to 1 hour, even though I generally came up with more than half a tank. On our first dive, even though it was obvious that we were all experienced divers, the dive master made us all wait on the choppy surface until everyone was in the water and then we descended together. I can understand this procedure if we had been a bunch of new divers, but that was definitely not us. Fortunately, this was the only time this happened. With the exception of one dive at Jeff Davis where the dive master showed us 2 seahorses the dive masters just followed us around and told us when we had reached the half-hour point to turn around. I am accustomed to the dive masters everywhere else I go spending their time finding subjects for us to shoot, after all they should know the area intimately. I also got turned off by the pitch for tips that we got early in the trip. Needless to say, I probably wonít go back.
Websites Buddy Dive Resort   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Australia, Belize, Bimini, Bonaire, Caymans, Curacao, Fiji, Galapagos, Indonesia (Wakatobi, Raja Ampat, Komodo, Lembeh, Bali, Banda Sea), Philippines, Red Sea, Solomon Islands, Southern Bahamas, St. Thomas, Turks & Caicos
Closest Airport Bonaire (BON) Getting There It's now pretty easy. I flew to Miami and American has a direct flight.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, dry Seas choppy, no currents
Water Temp 77-77°F / 25-25°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 60-100 Ft/ 18-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions 1 hour maximum time limit, no matter how much you had left in your tank. I really don't know about the profile as we all stayed shallow, nobody tried to push the envelope.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 2 stars
Small Critters 2 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

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

Subject Matter 2 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 2 stars Shore Facilities 2 stars
UW Photo Comments No camera room, only a small rinse tank on the boat, a relatively small rinse tank on shore. Had to take the camera back to the room to work on it. Definitely not a photographer friendly operation.
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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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