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“Good, safe dive shop with great guides” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Frenchie's Diving Services

Frenchie's Diving Services
Avenida Hicaco, Caye Caulker, Belize
501-226-0234
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Ranked #14 of 29 Activities in Caye Caulker
Type: Water sports, Sightseeing Tours
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Attraction details
Owner description: Passionate about diving, dedicated to sharing what we love. That's why we dive 7 days a week, all year, and that's how we've built our business on reputation. With more than 70 years combined experience, our captains, instructors and divemasters create a safe environment in which you can explore our Caribbean wilderness.And our signature is small groups . . . We are PADI Certified and also a DAN World Business Member.Dive sites are Hol Chan, Blue Hole, Turneffe North, Spanish Bay, Turneffe Elbow, Coral Canyons.We also do Overnight Camping trips. 6 dives - all inclusive
London, England, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
101 reviews 101 reviews
40 attraction reviews
Reviews in 58 cities Reviews in 58 cities
137 helpful votes 137 helpful votes
“Good, safe dive shop with great guides”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2014 via mobile

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!

Visited June 2014
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English first
Melbourne, Australia
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
“Snorkelled and Dived”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2014

My partner and I used Frenchies to dive and snorkel. I think it must be known, that the boat ride out there is 2-2 1/4hrs one way so be prepared for a bumpy ride. Take seasick tablets if you don't like boat rides. They had a bigger boat but didn't use it so everyone was bashed around in the rough waves. However, overall it was safe, rewarding and well worth it.

Snorkel:
I joined the boat to do some snorkelling. We went to the Blue Hole, Lighthouse Reef and Half Moon Reef. The Blue Hole was great but we didn't see a lot. It is definitely interesting to see the hole so I think it's worth it, even as a snorkeler. The Lighthouse And Half Moon Reefs were much better. Saw nurse sharks, barracuda's, turtles, plenty of reef fish (some of which followed you and came face to face) and rays. They provided lunch (sandwiches and drinks) and snacks on the way back (rum punch and nachos with dips). It is quite expensive for snorkelling but it is a full day and I enjoyed it.

Diving:
Frenchies were professional in their management of all dives mentioned here in this post. They were patient & helpful with less experienced divers which was appreciated. I thought I might see more coloured coral or variety of fish so this was a little disappointing at these sites, but the blue hole dive location is an amazing experience anyway. As noted above, if the bigger dive boat had been used passengers would not have been thrown around so much which is pretty uncomfortable for a 4hr (return) trip. Bruised backsides the next day !

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4 reviews 4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Really Fun and Professional. ”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2014

Best dive shop on the island. Great people and great diving.

The only downside is the fairly small boat which goes to the blue hole. Makes ya feel a bit sick if it's choppy.

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Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Almost excellent”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2014

We are a couple who dived on 3 days with frenchies and overall I am glad I chose them. Just one small issue which stopped them being excellent.

We arrived in cage caulker and went to chat to them. We spoke to a helpful, personable guy and explained we hadn't dived for 4 years. He said we would have to do a refresher course which made me feel safe and reassured. We said we wanted to dive the blue hole and he said he would recommend some warm up dives first - again good advice. We also went to see bds and although their office is much plusher we and our lack of recent experience was said to be a "problem" so on that basis we chose frenchies.

On day 1 we did our refresher course with ed, a caye caulker local. it was excellent. He was calm, very professional and reassuring. He was very kind and had all the time in the world for us. We spent a lot of time going over everything before we went out in the boat. We the did a shallow dive on the house reef where we worked through the refresher exercises and then went on a lovely reef dive. We had some time out, received feedback on the boat about buoyancy and the did a second buoyancy skills focused dive. After this careful and kind instruction I genuinely felt like my diving was better than it had ever been, despite having done about 25 dives before. Our equipment was new and worked well and ed was also good at showing us marine life. Worth every penny.

Day 2 was the only day that went a bit wrong. I think the issue was that we turned up on time and everyone else had turned up early. Our equipment from the day before had been given out and there were 2 boats going out so we only had older equipment to choose from and it all looked quite tired. This time we went out in the boat to esmerelda. Be warned, once over the barrier reef the sea is rough, but the crew prepared us for this and looked after us very well, doing the briefing etc before we hit the reef. On the boat was an open water course, an advanced course and our fun dive group being led mike, an American. We were put in the water which is inevitably rough and told to descend and meet group at the bottom. When we got in, my boyfriend realised his BCD would not inflate and had a tear. I shouted this to mike on the boat who didn't believe me. He then got in and checked and agreed this was the case. He then said that we should continue with the dive anyway, presumably conscious of the people waiting down the bottom. I refused. It had been made clear during the safety briefing that if we got low on air we would ascend and do a safety stop with our buddy. I did not want to ascend with my boyfriend, alone with a BCD that would not inflate, in open, rough water. After I insisted, mike swapped his BCD with my boyfriend. We then went on to have a very fun enjoyable dive. The site is gorgeous and the marine life is amazing. We also had a second excellent dive.

On day 3 went went on the trip to the blue hole. We went out with armbands, snake and and another guy (sorry can't remember his name). All were excellent. A basic but very nice breakfast of coffee, bread and preserves was provided. The trip is very rough but all the crew prepared us for this and took good care of us. It is 2 hrs30 mins so if you don't like rough water I would consider this carefully. We divided into 2 groups of 6 divers, one advanced and one open water qualified. We were given the most detailed briefing on marine life and safety I have ever received with very clear, sensible instructions. I found the blue hole dive very special and unlike anything i have done - very glad I did it and very good guiding by armando. We then had a lovely lunch stop at half moon caye. I can't really understand why some people have complained they weren't entertained enough on the lunch stop. The lunch was simple but nice and the island is beautiful. Our fun group had a lovely time hanging out together. The second and third dives were very beautiful. On the way home the whole boat had a fun time and were given rum punch which was a great ending. I felt like we all really bonded! I loved the way the guys turned it into not just a day out diving but a fun day trip. On this day our equipment was great.

Just to note, I pointed out the faulty BCD to staff back at the shop and we agreed it would be thrown out.

So that's my whole experience. All in all, I loved the care, experience and fun shown to us by ed, armando, snake and the captain guy, but mike, dude, on this kind of occasion, the customer is always right. If they point out there is an equipment problem, you need to sort that right away, never suggest that they make do. It was all fine because I was assertive about it, but don't let it happen again. One issue away from being excellent.

Visited June 2014
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Boise, Idaho
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4 reviews 4 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Outstanding experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2014

These guys are pros very accommodating to our family which included two experienced 30+ dives each certified divers and three brand new never dove before young teen divers. Took us on our family only dive ; were pragmatic kind put safety first. Teens became very comfortable in water and were great by second dive. Armando and Joey are Caye chaulker natives so know best dive Spots. Great for recommendations for all other things on island too!! These guys are amazing and their services are priced fairly

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