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Dive Review of Toucan Diving/Div'Ocean Bonaire/The Plaza Resort in
Bonaire

Toucan Diving/Div'Ocean Bonaire/The Plaza Resort: "Bonaire - July 3 through July 17", Nov, 2016,

by Nick J Monaco, MD, US (Reviewer Reviewer 5 reports with 2 Helpful votes). Report 9409.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude N/A Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling 4 stars
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments July 3-17

Plaza Resort

The resort is going through some much needed renovation both inside and out.

Grounds
They have been sandblasting and repainting exterior areas, which has caused the removal of landscaping in many places. Management indicated that the landscaping will be replanted upon completion of the exterior renovation.

They’ve installed a large solar array on the grounds, which provided what seem like an endless supply of hot water. That was not always the case in past visits. Kudos to the property for this green initiative.

They installed a floating dock on the northern side of their beach property, creating an easier entry for divers and a great place to sit and enjoy a beverage.

We also noticed more attentive service on the Plaza’s beach (one of the few sandy beaches on the island). Frequently staff would come by to take drink orders and offer fresh fruit and cold water.

Accommodations
The room we stayed in had been updated. The mattress was new and quite comfortable, meaning no back aches upon waking. In-room WiFi was very much improved, as it was throughout the property. The new air conditioning system in the room was quiet and efficient, making for pleasant sleeping conditions.

Tipsy Seagull Restaurant
The resort converted to an “all-inclusive” a few years back and this was our second visit since the change-over. Our biggest concern was how this would affect the quality of food. Generally, all service is buffet style with one item made fresh as you stand by an opening to the kitchen. They call this “Live Cooking.” During our visit we found the food to be above average. On two occasions we asked their Executive Chef and Sous Chef if they would be willing to make something off the menu or with a twist. The result was whole deep fried snapper one night and lobster thermidor another. Yum!

Another modification was the extension of the thatched roof all the way to the sea wall at The Tipsy. This provided some additional coverage from the direct sunlight or a passing shower.


Diving
We had limited interaction with Toucan Diving at The Plaza on this trip as there were several very large dive groups staying at the resort; we avoided boat dives because of the large numbers. We have used Toucan in the past and have always been very satisfied with their knowledge and service. They have also gone through a reconfiguration with their dive equipment storage area; it is now much more opened up, providing more space.

For boat dives we used Div’Ocean Bonaire ([divoceanbonaire.com link]) next to The Plaza and were very satisfied. They run small groups of 6 to 8 people, which was more to our liking size-wise. Peter, our dive guide, was able to find two seahorses on separate dives.

18th Palm, The Plaza’s house reef, continues to provide many things to discover while diving. We saw eagle rays, turtles, various eels including a very large green moray. We were also very fortunate to see an enormous bait ball out front. Unfortunately getting from Toucan Diving to the beach to gear up can be a challenge as the shop sits at the front of the resort and the beach in the back. There are wheel barrows to haul equipment back and forth. A few more would have been nice.

It was another excellent get away to a diver’s paradise. We wish we could have stayed longer.
Websites The Plaza Resort

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Florida Keys, Bahamas, Roatan, Statia, Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, Crete, Tortola, Rhoades, Capri (Italy)
Closest Airport Flamingo Airport Getting There Baltimore Washington International to Atlanta. Change planes, then Atlanta to Bonaire.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, dry Seas calm
Water Temp 80-82°F / 27-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 60-75 Ft/ 18-23 M

Dive Policy

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

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Bonaire is a great island for underwater photographers beginners to advanced. Fantastic for macro photography as well.
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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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