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Dive Review of Captain Don's Habitat in

Captain Don's Habitat: "Basic Level Dive Resort With Poor Service With A Few Exceptions", Nov, 2019,

by Rik Pavlescak, FL, US (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 23 reports with 19 Helpful votes). Report 11324.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 2 stars Food 2 stars
Service and Attitude 1 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 2 stars
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments I admit it, I've been spoiled by "valet diving" and dive guides who go out of their way to assure that I have a great diving experience when at their resort. Having heard about how great Bonaire is for years, I was really looking forward to this trip, and for some reason I just expected the service I encountered would be similar to other places I've visited. I was wrong.

Check-in was a breeze. My room, a junior ocean suite was fine, with basic furnishings, and a balcony looking out to the ocean.

When we arrived for the mandatory orientation on Sunday morning the white bearded gentleman (who didn't give a name) started speaking to a group of about 30 people. With the surf nearby it was difficult to hear and on more than one occasion we asked him to speak up. He was standing at one edge of the entire group and we asked that he move to the middle so everyone could hear. He moved forward for a minute and then went back. He was gruff when we asked again for him to speak up, so we gave up.

When it was time to check C-cards, he called out names and asked people to hold them up. He didn't look at them. My buddy didn't have hers with her--I gave her mine to hold up in the air--he didn't notice or care. The thing he was most proud about was "Diving Freedom"--do your own dive--no limits on depth or time. That was pretty much the only thing of the orientation that we heard, to the extent that when it came time for our checkout dive we had no clue where to get our nitrox, how the locker system worked, where to get tanks or place empties, etc. We had to ask another staff member, Netto, who was extremely helpful and walked us through what should have been told to us during the actual orientation.

Throughout the week we discovered that there were a few staff, Netto, Marco, Geert who were dedicated to great service. The others, not so much. We had a dive guide that we never saw in the water--thinking that perhaps there had been a mishap, we went back to the boat, only to discover that he had gone a different direction. We had other guides that didn't point anything out during an entire dive.

Having access to tanks for shore dives was great and we enjoyed loading up the rental truck and trying out a number of different sites. Carrying tanks to the parking lot wasn't as convenient as what we saw next door at Buddy's Dive Resort with the drive through tank service--very convenient.

The onsite restaurant at Captain Don's wasn't great. The first night we waited more than an hour after placing our order for our food to come out. We suspect the server forgot to put the order in. We saw two other parties who came in after us, ordered, ate and left, before we got our food. Instead of an apology we were offered disgruntled looks from the server. We were also told that we couldn't charge our food to our room--and asked if we wanted to open up a separate 'restaurant account'. Given our bad experience, we said, "No thank you. We won't be eating here any more" and just paid the check on the first night.

While my room was o.k. and clean and comfortable, my diving buddies (3 of them) had rented the Villa 1. It was a three bedroom and it was a mess when they arrived--mold on walls and curtains, dead squished bugs on the wall, rock hard beds. They complained but it took 3 days to actually get some of the issues addressed. There was then a backup in the shower (like sewage) and the staff plumbed it, but then didn't clean the resulting mess. Later they expressed that Captain Don's doesn't "own" the Villa, they just manage it for rentals. Whatever--I would suggest avoiding the Villa.

As I started this review, I've been spoiled by diving at decent resorts in places like the Cayman Brac and Little Cayman and Dumaguete. I have a better appreciation of the level of service they provide--on land and in the water. While I enjoyed diving in Bonaire, I would not return to Captain Don's Habitat.
Websites Captain Don's Habitat   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Costa Brava, Roatan, Key West, Cozumel, Key Largo, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, Cayman Brac, Bonaire, Philippines, Bali, North Sulawesi
Closest Airport Bonaire Getting There Easy, direct flight from Miami.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp -°F / -°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility - Ft/ - M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 2 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 1 stars Shore Facilities 1 stars
UW Photo Comments Boats had small water tubs for cameras which were overcrowded. Similar tubs on land for rinsing cameras. No specific dry tables, no camera room. Guides did not point out anything to photograph (no critters, etc.) Corals are healthy and beautiful and there is plenty of sea life: you have to spot it and shoot it on your own.
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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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