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Dive Review of Buddy Dive in

Buddy Dive, Aug, 2008,

by Jesse Scott, NC, USA (Reviewer Reviewer 4 reports). Report 4272.

No photos available at this time

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 4 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments My partner and I had a chance to spend more than a week in Bonaire and jumped on it. It was my second time there, her first. We wanted to just dive like crazy, shore only, with few other activities unrelated.

Highlights and Logistics:
Buddy Dive Resort - first time there and I was quite impressed. Read good reviews here and Undercurrent and Chapbook. Everything was quite smooth in the operation. Nice room with a view on the water near the dive shop. The drive threw tank service is so simple to use for rapid turnaround. It was the low season and there were always plenty of tanks (Nitrox 32). Included breakfast at the Lion's Den allowed us to load up on protein for the day. Room was well laid out and comfortable with fridge, cooking supplies, etc. They were at the airport waiting for us even thought he flight was incredibly late getting in (see my slam on AA below). We did not use any of the Activity Center services or boat rides since we did all shore diving. Bought our Park Pass and did the 'required' in briefing check out dive although no one really checks to see if you really did or not. You could go just start diving if you already know the drill.
Rental truck was included in price and was perfect for carrying tanks and equipment. Be sure you know how to drive a stick. Free room safe and towels upon request. You can by internet time for fairly cheap if you need it but they only have one computer for guests to use. I dinged them for letting a little mold grow in the shower and not cleaning out the AC filters. We are definitely repeat customers with them in the future. All the staff we encountered were very friendly and smiling and quite courteous.

American Airlines:
A terrible experience. Went for the cheap fair and got really crappy service. Raleigh to Miami to San Juan to Bonaire. Only the Raleigh to Miami was on time. Miami to San Juan was over two hours late leaving causing us to miss our connection in San Juan to Bonaire (which left exactly on time for once). Since that is the only AA flight we had to spend an entire day in Puerto Rico waiting for the next one. AA put us up in the airport hotel (very small room) with meal vouchers that barely covered the food. Bad thing is though you have an entire day to kill. Made the best of it by going on a cave exploration trip and sight seeing. Next day, of course, the Bonaire flight is two hours late leaving San Juan. Coming back was even worse. The flight was over 1 hour late leaving due to late arrival night before and crew rest requirements. Because you have to do customs and re-check bags in PR we missed that flight to Miami. And because most of the later day flights are full had to sit in PR for hours again waiting. That means we miss the Raleigh flight and even more hours in crowded Miami waiting. The losses: an entire day of diving lost going in. 7.5 hours late getting home in the middle of the night.

AA, shame on you for such horrific service and stress to travelers. You guaranteed to drive me to an alternative carrier such as Delta or Continental.

The diving was of course all great. 41 dives in 7 diving days. Everything from Playa Funchi and others in the Park down to the Lighthouse on one of the few calm days you can dive it. Saw an amazing amount of sea critters in those few dives. Night dives at Oil Slick, Witches Hut, The Lake, Hilma H were great. Didn't do any Wildside (except for the Lighthouse). We are saving that for next time. We encountered enormous numbers of fishes and coral life. This is the place to go if you want to see unspoiled marine life and locations.

Eating out was only on a few occasions and was all great food. The little ice cream place (who knows why) beside the small supermarket near Buddy Dive has Belgian beer for the fans of that.

Toured the Park and I recommend it especially for the down day prior to going home. Didn't do any hiking to the peak, saving that for next time.

Did the usual and left car unlocked and carried little of value. The only theft we had was right in the Buddy Dive parking lot (less than 100 feet from the entry guard shack). It was just two pair of cheap sunglasses left in the vehicle. I can't even imagine what value these could have even had. Its a sad state of affairs when thieves are so bold and desperate for a fix. The guard is simply a figure head and serves no real purpose. The only things we left outside at night were wetsuits to dry. During dives I would purposely lay out dry clothes and towels but never saw any sign of ransacking even at night and near Karpata.

Summary: Highly recommend BD based on my experience. Definitely would choose another carrier before AA even if it cost a hundred or so extra. As always, definitely will return to BA for more in another year.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Bahamas, Bermuda, Florida, NC Coast, Cozumel, Honduras, CA coast, Lk Michigan, NC, VA Quarries, FL Caves, USVI, BVI
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, surge
Water Temp 81-85°F / 27-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 100-150 Ft/ 30-46 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions As per BMP rules
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 5 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments
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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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