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Ways to Experience VIP Diving
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Reviewed January 16, 2014

This was a repeat visit to Bonaire - after taking our advanced open water PADI with VIP in July 2013. If anything, VIP attention was even better 2nd time around: Bas knew our diving interests and pace - matched us up with Tim (great instructor) for our 5 guided dives and helped us to book great accommodation close by. VIP's strength really is its personalized service. Bas re-jigged the timing of our dives when we arrived a day late from Caracas (a canceled Insel flight...). Tim showed us new dive sites suited to our interests (eg the double reef area down by the Hilma Hooker) and revisited our favourite (Salt Pier), giving us tips on care of gear and diving skills all the while. Nice hired gear too, including brand new wetsuits. Good to catch up with Frank (our summer instructor) and get his detailed advice on underwater cameras. Bob - we missed you... Nothing is too much for these guys. Pretty sure we'll be making a 3rd trip with VIP in 2014... definitely Bonaire's Number 1 attraction for us.

Date of experience: December 2013
Thank Sarah T
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

Hello Sarah.

Thank you for such a nice and detailed review! I love that!!! It was great seeing you back at VIP and to hear that you felt we were even better than the first time is great news. All our guests are VIP's to us but repeat guest like yourselves are extra special and we do our best to make you feel that! We look forward to trip number 3 for you and we'll make sure you will feel like royalty :-)

Sunny regards!

Bas

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Reviewed January 16, 2014

What great service! It started with the initial emails. Bas answered most of my questioning emails within a few minutes of hitting send. Bas also offered to help us find a place to stay in Bonaire when we had need for an extra night.

Once we arrived in Bonaire, the welcome at the shop was excellent and getting us set up with our instructor/guide Menno was smooth. The equipment (BCDs and regs) was almost new and was well looked after. We were able to pick up tanks any time (even on New Years day).

A couple of us took the Advanced Open Water course. We have done many dive trips, with guided and on our own diving. Menno was by far the best instructor we have had. He was enthusiastic, and explained things extremely well. It was clear that he is still excited about his job and enjoys spending time with his guests. On the way to dive sites he stopped to show us historical sites on the island. He also knew the best places to stop for lunch. The night UV dive was another highlight.

Once we finished the course, Bas recommended the best dive sites on the island and even recommended where to go for Saturday BBQ chicken!

This was a great experience - we highly recommend VIP Diving!

Date of experience: December 2013
Thank Neil C
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

Hello Neil.

It was a pleasure working with you and your family! Thank you for taking the time to write such a nice review. Makes me happy and proud :-)

If (or should I say when?) you come back to Bonaire I would be more than happy to help you set things up.

I hope your memories from Bonaire will get you through the cold winter days.

Sunny regards!

Bas.

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Reviewed January 15, 2014

I've been home for over 2 weeks since coming back from my first trip to Bonaire, and I am still gushing everyday to everyone I come across about the spectacular experience I had -- courtesy of Bas and crew at VIP Diving.

Every step of the way, my friend and I had our expectations exceeded by leaps and bounds (see his in-depth review here: http://bit.ly/1eIiDA9). From the very beginning, Bas worked with us to plan the details our trip and was very accommodating. When we finally arrived on Bonaire and got to diving, we never felt like we were dealing with a business. It was more like spending time with friends (I think many others can say the same, from seeing all the other reviews from clients who've also become friends of theirs).

It almost goes without saying that all of VIPs equipment, instruction, and instructors are top notch.

Additionally, everyone at VIP has an obvious passion for Bonaire as well as diving. I did all my dives with Bas and Menno-- they both had great recommendations for activities and food outside of diving. It makes a lot of sense to stick with VIP as a one stop shop for planning your Bonaire vacation. I will certainly be returning in the future.

I hope they will be able to continue offering such amazing, personalized experiences as they get busier and busier.

Date of experience: December 2013
Thank Ray T
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 Ray.

Exceeding expectations, giving you the feeling that you were not 'doing business' with us but that you were amongst friends...that is exactly the feeling that we strive for! I'm happy that we succeeded and we can't wait to see you back on Bonaire. It was great to see you make big steps in your diving skills and I can assure you that there are many more cool adventures waiting for you when you return. All the best with your iOS game...I can't wait to see it!

Sunny regards!

Bas.

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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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