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“Very attentive despite a packed boat”
Review of Avadon Divers - CLOSED

Avadon Divers
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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.
Reviewed January 20, 2013

From the moment I contacted Avadon prior to our trip, Anne Marie was great. Don't let the simple "store" fool you, this is a class act and their energy goes into their equipment, the boat, and everything else. No splashy (pun intended) storefront. Our dive instructor, Patrick, was super attentive and almost even overly cautious! Believe me, I am all for overly cautious with this sport. You never know who your customers are. Number of dives don't tell the whole story, you only know when you go under. He never lost site of anyone or what his job was. He even took my fins off for me when I was climbing back on the boat. Nice touch!

The food was really wonderful and everyone ate well. They served nice breakfast sandwiches, fruit all the time, and a lunch that I can't believe was so good given the number of mouths to feed... on a boat! Anne Marie served us herself. Can't say enough about her wonderful energy and professionalism.

I'm not wild about such full boats. It helped when the snorklers were let off but if it were possible to have separate boats, that would be way preferable. However I understand that this wouldn't be cost effective. With what it is, it was first class.

The only reason I give this a 4 instead of a 5 is one of the instructors who was increasingly rude. He made fun of our dive calculators and on the last of three dives made disparaging remarks about my husband's hair "jokingly" threatening to cut it off right before he was entering the water. My husband was having none of this and threw back a comment that this guy didn't like. He's a big guy. He's clearly used to being intimidating with no one responding. I won't mention his name here on the chance that he was just having a bad day. I also have no intention of this reflecting on Avadon directly as he was so different from every single other person on board.

I would still absolutely go back to Avadon if/when we return to Placencia.

Thank Jennydew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anne-Marie M, Owner at Avadon Divers, responded to this reviewResponded January 27, 2013

Hi Jenny - We appreciate your very fair and honest comments. We are happy to have had the opportunity for you to dive with us. During the time of year you were visiting (the end-of-year holidays), we have a lot of people visiting Placencia wanting to dive and snorkel, and it can get a bit crowded at times. Because of that we take extra care to make sure we attend to everyone's needs. The Dive Master you are referring to is not a regular crew member. We brought him on during that very busy period. We are truly sorry you and your husband had to be exposed to this behaviour and treatment. We have dealt with this individual in the most serious way, and will not have any of our guests exposed to this in the future. We are happy to know you had such a good time otherwise. We look forward to your return trip to Placencia Belize, and hope you dive with us again. Please contact us directly when you are planning a return trip: anne-marie@avadondiversbelize.com

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Reviews (261)
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49 - 53 of 261 reviews

Reviewed January 15, 2013

We came to this place to go scuba diving while on our honeymoon. We went there because it was the first place that we came across and it was incredibly fortunate. I had never been diving before and my husband has been several times though isn't certified. First, Anne Marie (owner) is extremely professional and extremely warm and friendly. The guides and instructors are amazing! I started freaking out to myself before we got near the dive site. They handled me so well, calmed me down almost instantly and taught me basic skills. Before I knew it, I was scuba diving! They were very competent and I felt safe and taken care of. I was able to relax and really enjoy myself because they were so good! Now we are going to get certified because that scuba diving experience was so good.

1  Thank Whitney2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 13, 2013

I went on two three-tank dives with Avadon in December and loved most every minute.
The office is very professional and friendly. I went down the day before and filled out the paperwork, showed my c card and was fitted for rental gear.
On dive day, a lot of divers showed up from their resorts. It was almost overwhelming--for me. The Avadon staff was prepared and took it in stride as if they had everything sorted out, because they did.
Breakfast was provided and it was tasty.
Their boat is very nice, a Newton 46' dive special. Very stable. When we crossed the barrier reef into the open Caribbean, the result was--fine. This boat handle the swells as ably as the crew handles the large group of divers.
The rental gear was better than my own so I was glad I had not bothered to haul my own stuff.
The divemasters were attentive and checked in frequently, on the boat and under the water.
The food was delicious and abundant. No one will be hungry or thirsty on an Avadon dive.
Why "only" four stars? Well, I'm a teacher and assert that a "B" is a very good grade. :-)
I guess I've been spoiled by "boutique" dive services in which I am the only diver on a small boat: a boat captain, the divemaster, and me. Just me. Invariably, the boat is tiny and bounces on the smallest waves. The food is, well, basic fruit slices. The marine head is the side of the boat. But I like that personal attention, where you tell the divemaster what you want to see, the boat goes there, and the divemaster takes you to see that. Avadon offers a different experience. I always felt safe and comfortable with Avadon, and yes, I'll dive with them again.

2  Thank Terdal_Erik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anne-Marie M, Owner at Avadon Divers, responded to this reviewResponded January 27, 2013

Hi Erik - Thank you for your detailed, thorough, and fair remarks. As a Dive Instructor - teacher :) - I do understand and appreciate your "B". During the holiday periods and the end of the year, we tend to get quite busy as an awful lot of people come to Placencia for diving and snorkeling. The crew and ourselves do try very hard to make sure we take care of everyone on board and pay attention to the details all the time. We're so very glad you had a good time with us. We do appreciate your love for boutique diving as that feel is indeed a good experience. Most of the time, we are able to offer our divers and snorkelers this experience, as we are not as crowded as we are during the holidays. Do stay in touch and let us know when you plan to return to Placencia, Belize: anne-marie@avadondiversbelize.com

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Reviewed January 10, 2013

We picked Avadon for the 100 foot walk from the resort and the recomendations from the resort. I am extreamly satisfied with this dive group! I loved my first three dives so much that I decided to get my advanced with them. I did a total of 8 dives with them and had a blast each time. I plan on comming back to do some other dives including the whale shark! While I was diving my family was snorkling and they have tons of great pictures and the dive masters leading the snorkle group was always pointing out fish. If your going to go diving in Placencia or even Belize Avadon is a must!

-Evan

1  Thank Evan M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2013

From before we ever arrived, Anne-Marie was as attentive and helpful as I could ask. Once we arrived, she was so great about insuring we were all set for the open water referrals the other members of my family needed. Once on board, it got even better! Arthur was incredible to all of them in finishing up their training and the rest of the crew (Patrick, Moses, Elvis, Warren, etc) bent over backwards to insure everyone was attended to. The boat was clean, neat, organized and diligently kept that way with very strict but courteous protocol followed by everyone. The dive sites were all spectacular with well orchestrated entry and exits by all divers in spite of some heavy swells due to weather. All in all, a fantastic diving experience from beginning to end.

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

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