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Buddy Dive
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Reviews (913)
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Reviewed August 28, 2012

Bonaire and Buddy Dive - a very hard combination to beat and you know it as soon as you show up. The dive shop is first class and the accommodations are neat, clean and inviting. And talk about convenience. You simply take a few steps outside of your room and you wade into world class diving. Their equipment storage is well located and has plenty of space but the exciting part of the day is simply walking up and having all the air tanks you want.... its like being hungry and walking up to a well stocked buffet. The food is very good in both the restaurant and the bar and there are a number of very nice restaurants within minutes of the resort using the pickup truck furnished with the package. This place is first class and whether you are a bigger or a seasoned pro diver you will have a good time at Buddy Dive.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Bill F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 15, 2012

Buyer beware about this resort. Don't book a vacation here unless you can afford pre-purchased trip insurance. My husband and I were to stay a week there in early Aug., but, unfortunately, he broke four bones in his foot six days prior to our trip and we were unable to go. Luckily, we'd purchased trip insurance for our airfare and, due to our medical emergency, we were able to recoup that money. We didn't, however, have trip insurance for the resort and diving portion of our trip. The choice to not purchase trip insurance, of course, was ours and its definitely something we'll give consideration for future trips, but we were extremely disappointed in what the resort offered us given that this was an unavoidable medical emergency. We certainly didn't expect them to refund our money, but we were shocked when they offered us only a third of what we'd paid in the way of a resort credit. Because of the nature of our reason for canceling, we expected a credit for the full amount or at least close to that amount. If we'd rebooked at a more expensive time of year, we'd have been happy to pay any upcharge, etc. We would have even understood a small rebooking fee, but we did not expect them to keep 2/3 of our money because we had a medical emergency. They cited their cancellation policy of 60+ days out as a reason and acted as if they were doing us a favor by offering us a third of the total in a resort credit. When I asked exactly how one plans for a medical emergency, they had no response.
Let me say again that I realize the responsibility of purchasing trip insurance rests with the traveler and we chose not to do that in this case. We certainly didn't plan for this emergency, but we did expect a bit more empathy and understanding from the staff at Buddy Dive Resort. Their offer of only a third of our total in the way of a resort credit was, in our opinion, lacking in empathy, reflective of poor customer service and, frankly, insulting. After reading some of the other reviews, I suppose they needed to keep our money in order to do some updating and repairs. It doesn't sound like the place is in great shape, so I don't think we missed much by not being there.
My husband and I were very much looking forward to our first dive trip to Bonaire, but we will most certainly find another place to stay when we do finally get there.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank skhsk6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 13, 2012

This review is following my first stay on Bonaire and at Buddy Dive. I am comparing the resort against other properties in Grand Cayman, Bahamas, Turks & Caicos, and Curacao. The room/condo was clean and maintained well by the housekeeping staff, however the in-room AC units were noisy, and in my room water leaked down the wall dripping through the light fixture mounting, then it created a water fall off the wall mirror to the desk top. I saw no bugs/ants until the last night when I found a giant roach on my floor. You are issued a beach towel at check-in that you are accountable to return for a $20 deposit which is an unnecessary logistical concern every day. WIFI on the property costs hourly or $40 a week and it totally sucks. There is no good time to use it, the signal is very weak, and it frequently fails when needed most. The walkways and driveways were not cleared well and the water quality in both pools is DISGUSTING to say the least. Water pressure in my room was very poor at peak times (morning and dinner time). The house reef diving is acceptable and the dive boats in use were more than adequate. If you are there to just dive only with very little collateral focus then it might work for you. The pickup trucks on-site are also very suitable to diving remotely. There is no noise between rooms/units to be concerned about because of the construction used. Drinks are expensive at the bar, and food service for lunch and dinner could be much improved. Breakfast was the highlight of each day. On-site security at night was present but, seemed obviously laid-back. The check-in process at the front desk caused gridlock at peak times, and it would behoove any visitor to get the registration form in advance to speed-up the check-in process. Although the staff was friendly, communications with them were frequently confusing (may just be a Dutch thing). My suggestion would be to look elsewhere, but be aware that the same owners may own the alternative property you are looking at so ASK first as problems may span multiple properties/resorts. As for travel to Bonaire, be very careful about any weight overage on your luggage as they are STICKLERS for every ounce overweight.

Room Tip: If I had to chose a room it would be off the ground floor, away from the pool, and preferably a 3 bedroom condo.
  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled on business
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Thank kv1361
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 12, 2012

This is my second trip to Buddy Dive and it has had a marked decline from two years ago. I however found it very hard to pick a number rating for the review. This is because certain thinks like the location and dive center were fantastic, but the facility maintenance, care for the customer, room furnishing were all lacking. Especially helpful and useful was Francesca at the dive shop. What a fantastic resource for local dive info.

To start with, I stayed in room 407, a 1 bed room apartment on the second floor. There were a number of problems: The king size bed was two twin beds pushed together, not really acceptable. The bed room had an air conditioner, but not the living room / kitchen. It was always hot in the living area. The staff brought us an extra fan, but there was no place in the bedroom to plug it in so you could blow cooler air into the living area. More than 5 roaches were found in the room during the course of our stay. The room had a "wicker" couch that was rather uncomfortable. There was no cork screw in the room, and we asked multiple times for one. Finally we were told to have to bar open the bottle of wine for us. (Seriously) The room was supplied with shampoo only 2 days during the course of a week. We started with 4 bath towels and finished up with 2. The maid just didn't brin them back. There were no wash clothes, even though we asked several times. It wasn't possible to drive the truck to the apartment for loading and unloading 90% of the time. This is because Buddy Dive allowed people to park and block the drive way. The Internet would not stay connected for more than 10 minutes. Crappy 19 inch "old school" tube TV in the room. Also the AD didn't work on the first truck we received from Buddy Dive. And yes they replaced it with another truck, but only after some complaining. Cooktop stove was ancient and took forever to warm a pot of water.

There were some nice things with Buddy Dive. The breakfast was nice. Tasty and lots of variety. The location for breakfast can't be beat. The reef at Buddy dive is quite nice. And there was never any issue with getting tanks. Also, they seemed very relaxed when getting weights and towels back. --No up charging here. I also think Buddy dive did a good job picking up and dropping off at the airport.

All in all, I felt Buddy Dive has declined since I visited two years ago. It wasn't a good value for the money. I paid approximately $215 per night, including breakfast for two. I'll probably stay elsewhere next time I visit.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank chriskoob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 6, 2012

Septic smell in rooms.
Pot holes in road.
Mold growing on walls in several units.
Rank and file employees could care less.
Management tried to resolve problems but staff was resentful when asked to do their job.
Dive operation was top notch.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank DeputyDan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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