Spent and dove here for a week with my three children and my wife. We dove about 12 times (so twice a day) and did a combination of shore dives (3) in the South and boat dives from Harbour Village (8 day dives and 1 night dive).
The set up couldn't be better. They do a great job of taking care of your equipment, and seriously the staff couldn't have been nicer and the overall professionalism exhibited by the operation was nearly 5 stars. The reefs appear to be in good shape and my kids really enjoyed diving with Great Adventures.
Not a lot of big life to be seen on the South Side (mostly hard and soft corals, small/medium reef fish, etc)..if you want to see big life you have to go over to the East Side.
A special word to Ken who was our private Divemaster for the week. He was the consummate professional and made our trip there perfect. He should get a raise!
While I want so bad to tell all my readers that the dive shop at Great Adventures Bonaire was 5*, I simply cannot for two reasons:
1. During the time we were there, it was a total cattle car operation on nearly every single morning dive. At times the boat was at capacity (maybe 20+ divers) with only one guide. That being said, they do a good job of getting people on and off the boat so I have no issue there but when you have that many divers on a boat with one guide and a whole spectrum of divers (from those being certified to those taking new classes) it seems a bit careless and at times underwater a bit chaotic.
The BEST thing I did was hire Ken for the week to be the private guide for my daughter because not only was he amazing he was able to help make my daughter a much more confident and better diver. If we hadn't had Ken I would have been worried about my three daughters diving with this large of a group with one DM (especially on night dives).
In fairness, afternoon dives were often much better with less people. I know everyone is trying to make money but if you are going to have 20+ people on a dive (a night dive as well) how much does it really cost to hire a few more guides? You are charging $50/$60 a dive...if you are jammed up that tight I would like to see either more guides and probably another boat. That is just my opinion.
Again, we had a great time but if you are thinking 6-10 divers and a guide on a dive boat you need to understand that simply wasn't our experience (at least in the morning).
2. This irks me quite a lot. I go to check out the last day and the bill comes to around $2K (that is for a lot of dives and a full week of a private DM). I review the bill and they add a 15% service charge to the bill. When I asked what this was, I get the most nonsensical response ever. The dive shop says it is 7.5% for them and 7.5% for the hotel....I don't even know what that means? So when you say the dive cost $50 or $60..it really is $57.5 or $69 a dive? Why screw with pricing that way at a dive shop. When I asked the front desk about it I get a completely different story, saying that it used to be included in the price and now they just add it as a service charge so that there is no sales tax put on it, huh? Mind you this is above and beyond the sales tax line. The whole thing just left a bad taste in my mouth. In my opinion, be up front and state the price don't play games with service charges unless that 15% is going to staff and if that is the case then tell people that when they ask how much dives and equipment cost.
All in all, I want to LOVE Great Adventures and tell everyone I know to seek them out (their staff alone - all of them- would make it a 5 star operation). However, I would be hesitant to recommend unless the guide to diver ratio (or even boat to diver ratio) was amended. Finally, the tick tacky add-on intentionally ambiguous "Service Charges" leave a bad taste in one's mouth after spending a lot of money with the shop.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.