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“Fantastic diving experience (open water certification)” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Avadon Divers - CLOSED

Avadon Divers
Placencia, Belize
011 (501) 503-3377
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Owner description: Scuba diving, dive training, snorkeling, Mayan ruins and rainforest adventure tours. Dive training for kids age 8 and older. Snorkeling for younger children.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Fantastic diving experience (open water certification)”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013

I got my diving certification with Avadon on Dec. 17, 2012. The first 3 dives were at Glovers Reef and the the next 3 at South West Caye. I had a referral from Canada and completed only the open water part with Avadon. Right from the start, Avadon was very professional: Anne Marie answered all the questions I had in regards to the schedule for the day, their fees structure was clear and I never felt pressured. The morning of the dive, the driver was on time to pick me up from the hotel and drive me to Avadon to take the boat to the dive site. The boat was excellent: 2 showers with fresh water available, a well kept washroom, good breakfast, yummy lunch, really appreciated the ginger tea and fresh fruits between dives to take care of the salty water (nice touch Anne Marie!) and most importantly the equipment was always prepared/ checked by their team. The instructor, Arthur, did an amazing job in making me feel comfortable under the water ( it was my first dive in the Ocean) and from someone glued to her instructor like a Nemo fish, he made me feel like the Ocean can become a familiar place. I have seen sharks, eagle rays, turtles, lobsters and the most amazing formation of corals. I loved the wall diving and the sensation of silky sky diving was really cool! The full team worked relentlessly during the trip, and they were all knowledgable, with a real passion for diving: thank you Anne Marie for your good advises and for being so welcoming, thank you Patrick, Sean, Moses and Warren for making everything go so smoothly you make such a strong team! Thank you Arthur for trusting I can be a good diver, sharing your knowledge with me and getting me hooked for life to the diving experience. I will try to go at leat once a year diving. The next diving company will have a hard time to meet Avadon's standards. I think I am spoiled for life now. Big thank you to all! Camelia

Visited December 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
23 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Snorkel and Dive on reefs”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013

Three snorkel and dive expeditions to nearby sites, planned for us by Maya Beach Hotel, included snacks and lunch each day as well as attentive on-board staff who enabled the best experiences for our mixed group of divers and snorkellers.

Visited December 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brantford, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Very thorough dive experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2013

My husband and I do not scuba dive, but wanted to try it to see if we liked it. We chose Avadon after reading good reviews onTripAdvisor, and we weren't disappointed. On our first day in Placencia we dropped by their office unannounced, and found it clean, well organized and very professional looking - just what I want to see in a company that will be looking after my well being.

Anne Marie was very helpful and patiently answered all of our questions. Even though there was a large group of divers and snorkelers on the boat when we went to Saltwater Caye, we had our own instructor for the shallow water portion of the training. The orientation was thorough and not rushed. Before knew it we were down 20 feet (eventually getting to 50 on our 2nd dive) and we felt very comfortable.

By the time the third dive came around, I wasn't feeling well so asked to stay behind on the island, which they happily agreed to (and a few others stayed as well).

We were there at the high season, over Christmas, so they were quite busy. At no point did I feel they were wasting our time. Rather they were taking the time to make sure all equipment was working properly, everyone was looked after and the diving was safe. I appreciated their attention to detail.

We also asked Anne Marie to organize some other excursions for us which she did. Free lance guides were used, but they were both quite good, and Anne Marie personally saw us off on our 8am kayaking trip, even when there was no need for her to make the trip out to the launch site.

We had a great trip to Placenica, largely because of the excursions we did through Avadon.

Visited December 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fairfield, California
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Too many people on the boat”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

We went to Southwater Cay with Avadon Divors today and the boat was packed with people. The first snorkel was not worthwhile and it took a long time to get started. After the snorkel we were herded to the boat and then we waited to leave. Most likely they were doing a required interval between dives but if that was the case why not let the snorkelers enjoy some free time on the island? We noticed during the first snorkel that the leader tended to discourage people from snorkeling over the coral reefs that had some activity. Most had none.. We realized that protecting the reefs are a priority but there should be some consideration of the snorkeler skill level - not everyone is flailing about. This would be easily accomplished if there were fewer people. The wasted time could also be minimized with fewer people. The trip was the worst of four dive or snorkeling days we experienced this visit to Belize. It was also a drag having to wait for a taxi at the end of the day.

Visited January 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seawasp, Owner at Avadon Divers, responded to this review, January 12, 2013
Thank you for your review. I'm trying to recall who you are, and realize we had 2 experienced snorkelers from Surfside Escape on Thur 3 Jan. I'm wondering if that's you guys. At any rate, we do take our guests comments and reviews very seriously. We are sorry your experience with us was less than sterling, as our service is always good. Looking at your comments you site a few things:

1) You mentioned that the boat was crowded. We adhere to the legal guidelines for maximum number of passengers at all times, and also to the legal ratio of guides to snorkelers. You visited us at a busy time of year during the holidays here in Placencia, and we do get a lot of people wanting to dive and snorkel then. However, we do our best to ensure everyone gets attended to and has a good experience.

2) Also mentioned was the experience level of the snorkelers. In the future, we will ensure that we separate our less experienced snorkelers from the more experienced ones like yourself. It is true that this would've allowed you a better day as experienced snorkelers.

3) Bringing you back to the boat after the first snorkel session is important to keep everyone together and accounted for. Also, we want to ensure that everyone gets our fruit service provided on board during this break. Staying on the boat for the break was not mandatory as there is a comfortable seating area right at the dock for anyone who wanted to take advantage of that. We will make sure our passengers know that in the future.

4) Waiting for a taxi at the end of the day is something that we work hard to avoid as we always call our taxis to come 10 mins before the boat actually arrives at the dock. We know our guests are anxious to get back to their hotels at the end of a day of sun and sea. We have communicated with our taxi service to ensure this does not happen again.

Again, we apologize for not giving you the kind of experience you'd hoped for. Please contact me personally for further discussion of this matter at: anne-marie@avadondiversbelize.com
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salt Lake City, Utah
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Did not have a good time!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012

If you're into public and repeated humiliation, you'll love their lead dive master. He completely, relentlessly and unnecessarily made fun of me in front of my family and all the other guests on the boat. I would never put myself through such a horrible day again with these people. Use this company at your own peril.

Visited December 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seawasp, Owner at Avadon Divers, responded to this review, January 12, 2013
We are so very sorry you and your family had to have this experience while diving with us. During this very busy time at the holidays, we had additional crew members that are not a part of our regular team. Unfortunately, you did not have the chance to experience the top quality service our regular crew provides because of your experience with this individual. We know exactly who was responsible for making you feel that way, and we are truly sorry. This issue has been addressed with this individual in the most serious way.

We hope that you will give us an opportunity to show you a better time than you had on this past trip when you return to Placencia.

Stay in touch and let us know when you're coming back. Also, please contact me personally for further discussion of this matter at: anne-marie@avadondiversbelize.com

Wishing you and your family the very best for the New Year.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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