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Dive Review of Gooodive /Den Laman in

Gooodive /Den Laman: "Bonaire One Week Group Trip", Oct, 2017,

by Ronald Tiah , FL, USA ( 1 report). Report 10017.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 2 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling 4 stars
Value for $$ 3 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments Bonaire is a great dive destination for divers wanting easy dives, best for beginners, shore divers, and macro photographers.
Our group was approx 20, mixed between very advanced and beginners, 90 % were nitrox certified and we all took the nitrox packages.
If you are more advanced divers then you may find Bonaire gets boring very quickly, but the water is a beautiful blue, visibility was quite good and there was ample small marine life, fishes etc.
We flew in from Port of Spain, Trinidad with our group of 28 persons, 20 of whom went diving for 6 days. Surinam Airways was over 4 hours late that day with little or no explanation at POS, when we asked them to advise Insel Air about our delay at our connecting gates in Curacao, they again showed little concern. Upon arrival at Curacao we were very fortunate to meet : Mr. Vairoon Isenia of Surinam Airways who offered excellent service in getting us onto our connecting flight on Insel Air to Bonaire, we were very late, but he managed with much effort on his part. Our bags were left behind at Curacao, but again he managed to get them onto the next flight three hours later and that night we had all of our luggage. Mr Isenia did exceptionally well, what an asset to his employer his is!
We checked in to Den Laman that evening and they were expecting us, all went very smoothly and we were all happy with our rooms both at Den Laman and Sand Dollar Condominiums, where most of us stayed.
We had two complaints with Den Laman, there is a dive company on their premises and if you were not diving with that company you had no place to store your dive gear, we were 'allowed' to wash our gear at their wash stations, probably because it was later in the evenings when their staff was gone for the day. There seems to be ample vacant space around the building to make / create lockable storage lockers, but it is not done, so we had to carry our often wet gear up to our room and back down the next day, we were on the third floor and their are no elevators, so it was quite an effort, we did have to do this up and down with our suitcases also.
We chose to book our rental gear (10 sets) thru Gooodive, the staff were very friendly and helpful and their orientations were very useful and informative. We took the "Unlimited" Nitrox packages for Tanks and that allowed us 2 tanks and weights for 6 days, but you 'paid for 5'. You are issued two tanks for your stay and you refilled them when empty. The tank fill station at their location close to our hotel closes at 5, so while it was unlimited 32% Nitrox (only), if you did not make it back by 5, then you miss your night dive or early morning dive since you would have to go in to refill at 8am when they re-open. It would have been more convenient to pick up full tanks, and as many as we needed. Next time we shall use another facility that allows that service, The Den Laman dive store did and their price was $180 USD for unlimited tanks up to 36%, 24hours a day and 7 days a week.
The driving around the island was easy, the dive sites well described and very easy to dive; however Bonaire should address the entry and exit points, whilst we are all strong and capable divers, we had three injuries getting in and out of dive sites. The island has a sand / coral type black with a "rock lip" hanging into the water from shore, this can make it tricky and dangerous to enter. It was not only us "wimps" who fell, we saw it repeatedly by other divers and snorkelers. Bonaire, you earn so much revenue from diving and snorkeling you really should consider making some provisions for us divers and make it easier, at some of the sites, not all, I understand the rationale that you want to keep some sites only accessible by advanced divers to protect your corals also.
All in all it was a good trip, except for the injuries. The people were quite friendly, the crime seemed less here than in Curacao, and we had a good holiday trip. Due to the difficulty in entries we shall stay at Curacao for our next trips.
Websites Gooodive   Den Laman

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Florida Jupiter, Florida Keys, Trinidad, Tobago, Barbados, Curacao, St. Martin
Closest Airport KRALENDIJK, BONAIRE Getting There We Flew Surinam Airways from POS, Trinidad to Curacao and then via Insel Air to Bonaire

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, no currents
Water Temp 27-28°C / 81-82°F Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 50-100 Ft/ 15-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions You must buy a Marine Park tag ($25 USD) valid for one year, to use the waters, and it is accompanied by a thorough orientation, to help protect the reefs.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 2 stars
UW Photo Comments We did all and only shore dives so we made our own provisions.
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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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