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Ways to Experience VIP Diving
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Reviewed January 11, 2014

I had a great experience with VIP Diving over Christmas/New Year's with my friend Christian. I've been diving ~10 dive operations in various places, and from that experience, I can say that regardless of your experience level, VIP Diving is a great dive operation. I handed the owner, Bas, a challenging task: get Christian an Open Water Cert while keeping me, a Rescue Diver, entertained. This was during the busiest week of the year and after I had accidentally messed up the dates on our diving reservation. Bas did a great job with this. He, and the entire staff at VIP Diving, provide very professional service, and do the best job they can cater to all customers needs and desires while maintaining a small (4 person max) group size. They listen to what you want to get out of your experience and design a schedule that meets or exceeds your desires.

I dove with Tim and Menno, and they are great instructors that I recommend. I also had the pleasure of diving with Bas. He's a great instructor: fun and very knowledgeable about the island in and out of the water.

Finally, I need to give a ringing endorsement of Frank Eiking. Frank is one of the best instructors with which I have ever had the pleasure to dive - and I've had some great ones! The thing that sets Frank apart from other instructors is his knowledge of Bonaire (he's been here for ~eight years and is certified to give island tours, I think), his knowledge of diving and marine life (which he loves sharing), and his expertise as an instructor for both experienced and novice divers.

Watch out VIP Diving - I may be back for my Divemaster cert!

Date of experience: December 2013
Thank RebeccaT78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
vipbas, Owner at VIP Diving, responded to this reviewResponded January 22, 2014

Hi Rebecca.

We are already looking forward to seeing you as a DM trainee at VIP!!! I'm very happy that you had such a good time, especially since you dealt with pretty much every dive butler we have on staff :-) It was a pleasure having you around and we hope to see you again soon!

Warm regards from your friends at VIP Diving.

Bas.

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Reviewed January 9, 2014

We enjoyed several guided dives with Bas, Frank, Menno and Tom. What a great experience and knowledge these very professional instructors have. We liked to go to some 'special' places on request, so they took us to truly amazing off-the-beaten-track sites South and North of Bonaire. Those sites were you never will go ! VIP Diving showed us most remarkable places and guided us with confidence. We recommend VIP Diving to anyone ! Will come back that is for sure !

Excellent maintained diving equipment, friendly staff, very high safety standards.

VIP Diving where Quality above and underwater is Key !

Maarten & Barbara

Date of experience: January 2014
Thank Asador247
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
vipbas, Owner at VIP Diving, responded to this reviewResponded January 10, 2014

Hi Maarten and Barbara.

You came to us having been to Bonaire many times before and with a bunch of previous dive adventures under your belt. That put the bar pretty high for us to top....but I'm glad to hear that we were up to the challenge. It was our pleasure guiding you to some of the coolest off the beaten track sites and I have to compliment you again on your lionfish hunting skills! You did great and I look forward to hunting with you again! If the winds are a bit more gentle next trip we will do some serious damage to the lionfish population there! I hope your experience with VIP will rejuvenate your Bonaire enthusiasm and we look forward to welcoming you at VIP diving sometime soon!!

Sunny regards!

Bas.

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Reviewed January 8, 2014

VIP Diving is an excellent dive operation. Bas ,one of the owners, tailored the diving to our needs and helped us find a great place to stay. Our family had not been diving for 6 years and I was apprehensive about diving again. Our group of four dove with Tim who is an excellent teacher. He was very sensitive and patient and lots of fun.He was very attuned to the strengths and weaknesses of each of us and knew how model good practices. With a few dives we gained our confidence were enthralled by the beautiful reefs and abundant sea life. He was also a great guide on land and shared what he has learned about Bonaire, which made our trip even more interesting. Every member of the staff at VIP has a high degree of safety and environmental consciousness, which we appreciated.They are a highly motivated group of professionals who seemed dedicated to making our trip a wonderful experience and they succeeded!

Date of experience: December 2013
Thank Nancy W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
vipbas, Owner at VIP Diving, responded to this reviewResponded January 9, 2014

Hi Nancy.

Our new 'valet diving service' is all about full service packages. I'm glad you feel that this formula is the way to go! It was my pleasure organizing your private villa, car rental, dive package and dive butler services. It was great meeting your family and it warms my heart to know that you enjoyed diving so much after almost reaching the point of not wanting to dive any more! I hope you will have warm memories to help you through the cold winter!

Sunny regards from your dive butlers!

Bas.

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Reviewed January 5, 2014

Being 55 years old, it is not always easy to handle the diving gear. Diving in Bonaire is beautiful however mostly shore diving. The team of VIP did really everything to make our dives comfortable (my partner has back problems)
Without any problems, they offered ample assistance in a very friendly way......it made it a wonderful experience. No questions asked: they just take the inititatives by themselves.
We know that fish is not "waiting" for us when we go diving......but we do know that the VIP staff is there to give us all that is necessary to have a great time!

Date of experience: January 2014
Thank Ams1958
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
vipbas, Owner at VIP Diving, responded to this reviewResponded January 9, 2014

Hi Ams.

I'm happy we could help...that is why we are the dive butlers!!! My personal highlight was finding your beloved fin back 3 days after you lost it at Salt Pier. (FYI for the readers...Ams lost that fin while snorkeling WITHOUT a VIP dive butler...otherwise we would have found it back right away :-)

We work best when we can make a difference and I am glad we could for you. Come back any time to dushi Bonaire!!!

All the best from the VIP diving team!

Bas.

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Reviewed January 5, 2014

The team at VIP Diving was a pleasure to work with! Our group came mid-November on the recommendation of a friend who'd previously dived with VIP. We had a group of 8, 7 taking the Open Water course, and 1 taking the Advanced Diver course, and VIP was incredibly flexible with the variety of skill levels present. We did the coursework online through the PADI e-Learning option and did the skills on site.

- Bas was very easy to work with; always providing prompt feedback both before and during our visit to any questions we had about the course, the equipment, the reservations, the island, and anything else we came up with. He consistently went above and beyond normal service, whether that was individual training (see below), hand-drawn maps for recommended dive sites, or deals at local restaurants.

- Chris was a great instructor: he took the training very seriously and made sure we were well-prepared, while keeping the whole experience entertaining. He was able to keep both the faster and slower learners engaged and challenged without making anyone feel like a hindrance. We all enjoyed learning with him (and quoting him). :)

- VIP's focus on personal touch really stood out for me when I freaked out the first day of the course and didn't complete the scheduled training. The VIP team rearranged things to give me a second chance, with both Bas and Menno working with me the next day to work through things at my own pace. Although this created an additional diving group and put a strain on VIP's human and vehicle resources, they were unfailingly accommodating and happy to help.

Menno continued to work with me one-on-one so I was able to finish the course along with the rest of the group. He was an excellent instructor: always supportive and patient, even when a skill took a long time to achieve; always encouraging and as pleased about our successes as we were (if not more!); very invested in teaching well and helping his students get the most out of not just the course, but the experience of diving.

- Tom was a fun part of the team; he wasn't as directly involved in our training, as he was still working on his Divemaster training, but like everyone else there, he made us feel welcome and at home, and helped keep the shop running smoothly.

The V in VIP stands for Value and they really went overboard here - it felt like we were cheating them for how much we got out of the trip and how little they charged for it. I'd say it's worth coming to Bonaire just to dive with this group - too bad you can't bring them along to other parts of the world!

Date of experience: November 2013
Thank Jen L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
vipbas, Owner at VIP Diving, responded to this reviewResponded January 9, 2014

Hi Jen.

It must be 'write poetry as a review week'!!! What a beautiful essay you wrote :-)

Thank you thank you thank you for taking the time for this. I loved the detailed 'per person report' style :-)

Come back any time!!! We'd love to help you reach the next level in your scuba career :-)

Sunny regards from dushi Bonaire.

Bas and the VIP boyzzz

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