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“A quality operation , but pay attention”

Bonaire Dive and Adventure
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 7, 2012

This May made 6 trips for us with Bonaire Dive and Aadventure. They are a quality professional shop. Perhaps because I am "of an age" with Andre I can sense when he is getting irritated with an issue or a customer. Yes they have certain things they do in a certain way. Get there on time for the orientation. Pay close attention to the tank sign out and return procedure. Make special requests in the less busy part of the day. Hang up your stuff.
On our May trip we had several failures with our own (Antique) equipment. The technical staff was fantastic at fixing what could be fixed and swapping out what could not.
If you have special dive requests, give them advance warning. We are older and slower and they were happy to work with us.
I note that someone mentioned 2800 psi tanks. I never had any trouble having a tank topped up on the dock if it was short. We used their small tanks and they were happy to keep them ready to go.

I must strongly disagree with one reviewer who suggested that Andre would mistreat any diver in distress. I have personally seen cases of sick divers or passengers landing at the dock and being handled with skill and care.

Thank Emeritus24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"bari reef"
in 35 reviews
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in 9 reviews
"gear storage"
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"free upgrade"
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"boat crew"
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"andre"
in 39 reviews
"bda"
in 48 reviews
"operation"
in 18 reviews
"nitrox"
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74 - 78 of 98 reviews

Reviewed November 28, 2012

My past experiences with dive and adventure have been very poor. Andre has a good staff but unfortunately he does not let them take care of his customers. We signed on with dive and adventure and on arrival met with a very rude Andre who refused to let his staff give us our check-out dive and orientation even though being a return customer within a year was told, in an email, that we would be able to. Arguing did not solve anything but to have Andre say no "no refunds" and get in his truck and drive off. Later during our trip Andre fired an employee trying to help us with a tire that was low on air. The worst event was watching Andre follow another company's divemaster help an injured diver to a car only to be continuously harassed by Andre because they dared cross his property. I recommendation is to absolutely not use Dive and Adventure for anything but instead sign on with Dive Friends (Yellow Submarine) for your diving needs on Bonaire. They are truly the best. they have four dive shops located conveniently on the island including Sand Dollar. You will not be sorry..... Joel C

7  Thank Joel c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 20, 2012

There is quite a dispute going on between some condo owners at Sand Dollar and Bonaire Dive and Adventure, the dive operation that was originally associated with Sand Dollar. As a result of the dispute, now if you call the reservations office in the U.S. and do not specifically ask for them as your dive operator, you will be pushed to use Dive Friends Bonaire (which only recently opened a shop on the Sand Dollar property in October 2012). While the Dive Friends operation is okay - the people running the operation are friendly and helpful – there are some issues with it: namely, they are located at the back of the Sand Dollar property so that getting from the dive shop to the water’s edge is somewhat of a chore if you dive the reef in front of Sand Dollar (called Bari Reef). In our opinion it is much better and easier to use Bonaire Dive and Adventure as the dive operator because of the location of their dive shop, the proximity to the dock, the location of the tanks on the dock, and the large gear room where you can hang and store your gear, and the large rinse tanks in two locations – one set on the dock and the other closer to the parking lot for divers who want to dive off-site. Dive Friends currently has gear for rent and tanks at several locations on the island, including the shop at Sand Dollar, but only one set of rinse tanks and tanks at the shop at Sand Dollar. Dive Friends only has a few relatively small individual lockers with locks (several of our group are short and the upper lockers would be useless for us) to store gear and one set of rather small rinse tanks. The real problem is that Dive Friends has no dock or pier of its own at Sand Dollar so that the shore entry/exit to Bari Reef is over precarious rocky terrain. We are certain that this is not going to work for our particular group and could prove dangerous when the water is rough. For example, the first day at our check out dives, there was such a strong surge in the water (unusual for Bonaire) that everyone needed assistance to get out of the water, the waves were that strong. While Dive Friends is trying to rectify this situation and has been trying to get its permits and other permissions in line, they are not able to build a floating pier just yet in front of Bari Reef.

One of the other things we like about Bonaire Dive and Adventure is that they have a professional naturalist who leads dive trips (preceded by a detailed illustrated lecture) and also can take you out for bird watching tours. Several members of our party did both with Jerry and enjoyed themselves and learned a lot.

1  Thank aircarl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 10, 2012

This year I was fortunate to visit Bonaire twice: first in June with a friend and then in October with my wife, marking our fifth year on the island. Year after year we find ourselves returning to Bonaire Dive and Adventure (BDA), co-located with our favorite place to stay, Den Laman.

What brings us back to BDA is the amenities of the shop and the simple (to the customer) operation.

The amenities include a well stocked rental facility, a very reasonably priced retail store, a great dock with easy access in and out of Bari reef, plenty of tanks at the dock and also at the car loading station, reliably mixed EAN32, and responsive staff.

All these amenities are available to divers in a simple, easy, laid back manner. Tanks are available 24x7 as is access to the secure gear locker room. You want to go in for a splash at 3 am? No problem!

Overall we continue to find BDA our kind of dive shop and one very much in tune with Bonaire's famous attitude towards diving freedom.

1  Thank Leo I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 4, 2012

Best reef on the island, Den Laman is one of the best places to stay and the owners of BDA do read the Trip Advisor reviews. The dock is in excellent shape with brand new benches. 28 dives in two weeks and only one leaking o-ring. We noticed lots of new o-rings and even new valves on many of the tanks. There was never a shortage of Nitrox tanks in either size and their method of making tanks and gear room available 24 hours works better than any other place we dive.

So what about "mean Andre?" Both he and wife Katherine work along side the small staff doing everything from cleaning rinse tanks to filling dive tanks. There are smiles, friendly hellos and some engaging conversations.

I read a complaint about 2800 psi tanks. On the dock, tanks are 2800 psi because of the long run from the compressor. If you want a tank with 3000 psi up at the drive pickup all the tanks are at least 3000 psi. Every dive operation has its quirks but overall we will continue to dive using BDA.

1  Thank SalesLegend
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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