After reading lots of reviews for all the dive shops on the island and going to talk to a lot of them, we chose to dive with Frenchies because they were going out in their bigger boat and the sea was pretty choppy. We were a little nervous initially as there have been some not great reviews, admittedly from last year and earlier, but we had nothing to worry about at all. We dived for 3 days to Turneffe North, Esmerelda and then the Blue Hole. The crew and divemasters were great, briefings were thorough and we were so glad we'd picked the bigger boat on day 1 and 3 - if you get seasick even slightly, take your Dramamine and you'll be fine - it is bumpy!
Frenchies equipment is in really good condition and you set it up on the dock each day to check everything before getting on the boat. We dived with Ed on all 3 days and he made sure everyone was ok at all times. All the rest of the DMs and crew - Armando, Errol, Carlos, Jose - were friendly too and made sure we had a lot of fun, as well as being safe.
The only small thing that would have been an improvement on day 1 was that groups were not put together based on experience as the depths were ok for open water and advanced divers. This meant that we did get the 45-50 minutes dive time, but most people had enough air for longer, but we'd come up as people were back on the boat already and they didn't want people getting seasick. I understand that in a big group of 16 divers it is hard to please everyone, but I asked one of the DMs after day 1 to see if we could be in a group of the same experience and they sorted it out so on day 2 and 3 we were all advanced in our group and it felt much calmer and we got slightly longer underwater. Thank you!
In terms of dive sites, the coral dives after the Blue Hole at Aquarium and Half Moon Caye were much better for us than Turneffe North on the days we went, and the nurse sharks and turtles at Esmerelda were great to see up close, as they would swim right up to you! The Blue Hole was good to do, and is good to see from the top of the boat, but it is a short technical dive with not a lot to see. If you know that before you go, it's worth doing, but don't expect a dive full of sealife and great visibility!
Overall, 5 out of 5 for Frenchies and their crew, and they're cheaper than the other big company on the island. Book ahead for Blue Hole if you can - when we were there, there were 2 trips a week and the first one was full so we stayed for the next one. Sandy Lane is a great place to stay too and very cheap!
If you own or manage Frenchie's Diving Services, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.