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Reviews (922)
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All reviewsbuddy divedrive thruthe pool bar restaurantphoto centerthe friday night bbqthe reefsair stationfree nitroxgreat divingpickup truckone bedroom apartmentmanual transmissiongrand caymanlion fishbreakfast buffet isliving areaklein bonaire
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Reviewed 29 May 2018 via mobile

I will still stay there as I have for 20 years, but was a little disappointed this trip. There are positives though!

First the negative.

1. BLENNIES Restaurant menu had changed in the last two years. Food was not as good and portions had been cut in half. We ate there 3-4 times then went to the market for food and prepared our own meals.

2. HOUSE REEF. Not a negative on the resort, but the corals on the House reef were really distressed. I know that is happening all over the world, but it was disappointing to see. There were a lot of little reef fish but hardly any eels. After 3 dives on that reef I only saw 2 baby eels. As little as 2 years ago there were LOTS of them, different species, large, anytime you dove. Perhaps they moved deeper because of the dying corals in the shallows.

3. BOAT CREW. My husband and I have been diving Bonaire for 25 years, many years twice per year, 95% of that shore diving. We like setting our own profile and utilizing the drive-n-dive. That feature was a game-changer for them! Love it! However, on our first shore dive away from the resort, my husband suffered a medical episode. He contacted DAN and they told him not to dive. So not having a buddy, I had to boat dive. NOW THE NEGATIVE. The boat crews say “divers choice”, BUT that means they only go to Klein or a few just north of the resort. We did 2 dives on Klein, and we did go as far north as Rappel my last day, but all other dives were just a few minutes north. One day I even did the same reef twice with them. They kept saying each time the boat went out that there were time-constraints, so I’m sure that’s why they keep going to the same sites, but if you don’t have a buddy and want to dive sites around the southern part of the island, it sucks! I will say that Julia gave me 2 excellent dives my last day.

4. BOATS. Boats are aging and not well maintained. They worked on one boat a couple times before we could head out.

5. GEAR. We owned our own equipment and took good care of it but decided a few years ago, since we are aging and diving less, we would donate our equipment to a local marine biology program and rent gear in the future. Why? Because Bonaire is mainly where we dive now and Buddy’s had nice new gear to rent. It had been 2 years since our last stay and the equipment rented this time did not look at all like what we used last. BCDs were ragged and hose inflater was hard to press, usually had to use two hands. But that’s not the worst thing. At the end of our 3rd dive at the house reef , I was tootling around at 15 ft taking pictures when all of a sudden my regulator flooded. I reached for the octopus and it did too. Thankfully I had had a safety stop and surfaced. Very dangerous. They gave me a different reg and I didn’t have any other issues. I’m already looking for new gear.

6. TRUCKS. Love that they come with the room and that they had some new vehicles; HOWEVER we were given a real lemon. Emergency brake didn’t work, a belt squealed loudly always from the moment it cranked. When my husband turned it in he complained politely about it and they told him you have to ask for a new one.

NOW FOR THE POSITIVE

1. APARTMENTS. We were in a 2-bedroom 2-bath apartment. They had been upgraded with new cushions, drapes, and appliances. Very comfortable and great view! HOUSEKEEPING kept it spic and span! They get a 10!

2. BREAKFAST. Also a 10! The choices are superb and everything delicious. And the omelet ladies do know their eggs!!

3. DIVE INSTRUCTORS. A friend with us did a Referral Certification and she was really pleased!! Most of the dive masters were pleasant.

4. BENDING POLICIES. When my husband was told by DAN not to dive, the dive manager allowed me to use part of the boat dives my husband had and gave me a voucher for those left. The resort also gave us a partial discount on the bill since he couldn’t dive. All was unexpected and very nice. We appreciate that. Management will work with you in unusual circumstances.

I do LOVE Bonaire and will continue to dive there and stay at Buddy Dive. No complaints with them in 20 years until now so I gave them a 4. I’m hoping this is just a bump in the road for them. I probably vented more than I should have, but want you to be prepared.

Stayed: May 2018, travelled with friends
2  Thank drogers4488
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 May 2018

Buddy Dive was exactly what I needed. I had been there almost 10 years ago and thought it near perfect then. It has only gotten better in the last decade. The staff was wonderful, the truck I was assigned worked, the kitchenette was quite usable, the room, a 2 bedroom, was clean and comfortable and the property was a delight. The diving was the highlight of course and it was spectacular. There is nothing I can think to suggest be changed. I enjoyed it enough that I plan to return next summer with my adult children to celebrate my 65th birthday.

Stayed: May 2018
Thank ericlwright
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 May 2018

Our 8th trip to divers' paradise (7th at Buddy's). Bonaire seems to be managing its growth well and we couldn't have been more satisfied with Buddy's: dive operation (efficient, friendly, well-maintained; easy boats; drive-thru tank pick-ups), the respect for the reef (the care taken at orientation to explain marine park rules), the shared love of diving. Our room was fantastic (ocean view, shady patio, well-functioning quiet AC, clean). Included breakfast is outstanding; the restaurant is adequate. Bonus this year was taking PADI coral restoration course & helping clean nursery and transplant elkhorn. We'll be back (again)

  • Stayed: May 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Susan W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 May 2018

Buddy dive has just about the perfect setup for divers. On site dive shop, boats leave from their dock and an awesome house reef. Other dive oriented resorts have similar facilities, but Buddy also supports offsite shore dives like no other resort. Included with your room is a 4 door pickup with access to dive through tanks which you are free to take to offsite locations. And Bonaire has practically unlimited shore diving sites.The hotel facilities are a step up from basic. Our unit had newish appliances, new bathrooms, and was very comfortable. The onsite restaurants are fine: a bit expensive but the service throughout was extremely friendly and professional.

  • Stayed: May 2018, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank rokko193
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 May 2018

Our room was fantastic with ocean view of water and pool. Dive shop employees were so helpful. A truck was included and provided easy access to dive sites around island with tank rentals also included. The morning breakfast was amazing! Will definitely return.

Room Tip: Pool View Rooms and two bedrooms exceptional
  • Stayed: May 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Cecelia C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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