Trip Report Bonaire - Capt Dons - May 28 to June 4

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tkaelin

tkaelin

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just to add a little more detail, the chalk board lists by time slot (8:30, 11:00 and 2 PM), with the name of the boat, the name of the crew and the dive site. There are a number of boxes under each representing the number of spaces on the boat. You put your dive number in a box for the dive you want. If diving nitrox, put an "N" next to your number. If you want a 63 tank, put a 63 next to your number. A 63 nitrox, a 63n.

We have put our numbers up the day before and the next day taken our number off for one reason or another. You are only charged or they only count the boats you actually get on.

If there is a large group, they usually get their own boats. I think the Capt Don's website says they will post the next days dive late in the afternoon. The week we were there they were posting them after the 11 AM boat left.
 

Doctorfish

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Beware of nefarious individuals wiping names off the board when full and replacing with their own. Not a bad idea to take a photo of the board after signing up and checking again early AM day of. There is no shortage of A holes in the world at large including the dive community.
I could not believe it the first time I was a victim of this particular insult.
 
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tkaelin

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I could not believe it the first time I was a victim of this particular insult.
Sad. What did you do about? I imagine it could have led to an interesting discussion with Roger and the other divers involved.

In 5 trips I have not encountered it and hope I don't. I would be pretty ticked off, especially if it was a dive I was really looking forward to.
 

deeper thoughts

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Thnx for sharing sounds like a good time
 

drrich2

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Travel: United nonstop from EWR went well and no complaints other than the ridiculously high airfare. We originally booked the trip in '19 for '20 and rescheduled a couple times due to Covid. With an extra space seat and bags tickets were around $1,000 each. We can fly to CUR and GCM for far less.
Couple of follow up questions. Did you fly Economy? I'm guessing so, but just to confirm. Also, since airfare is a big (but not the only) part of total trip cost, what did you think of your total trip cost to Bonaire vs. Curacao and Grand Cayman for the value you received?

Some divers may find this thread and ponder their options. While it's often an apples-to-oranges comparison (especially Bonaire vs. Grand Cayman), it's a decision people have to make. Sometimes you have to decide whether to buy an apple or an orange.
 
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tkaelin

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We flew economy. Booked the tickets originally in '19, cancelled and rebooked in spring '20. We paid approximately 1,600 for the two tickets and another $400 for upgraded seats, priority boarding and luggage.

As far as costs, as you know somethings tend to balance out with some high costs associated with one island and lower costs for others. The package from Maduro Capt Dons seemed affordable. About $2,300 for lodging, truck and all the diving. Food and eating out is comparable to CUR and we spent around $600 for all food and dining out which is more than we would normally do because we did not have a full kitchen. I can still do a comparable CUR trip for less primarily due to the less expensive airfare and less boat diving.

GCM food, housing and diving costs (assuming you are doing mostly boat diving) are much greater in GCM but the airfare is usually significantly less than BON which tends to even some things out. Rental car rates in GCM were relatively inexpensive (one of the few things we found so there).

Not sure what else I can add other than we hope to continue diving all three islands but CUR for us is the least expensive.
 

Tunaman68

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just to add a little more detail, the chalk board lists by time slot (8:30, 11:00 and 2 PM), with the name of the boat, the name of the crew and the dive site. There are a number of boxes under each representing the number of spaces on the boat. You put your dive number in a box for the dive you want. If diving nitrox, put an "N" next to your number. If you want a 63 tank, put a 63 next to your number. A 63 nitrox, a 63n.
Great info. I'm hoping I can get to Rappel and La Dania via boat. Did this last trip with WannaDive and they were some of my favorite sites on the island. I'll be happy with anything just to be wet and warm.
 

SoccerDad

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Couple of follow up questions. Did you fly Economy? I'm guessing so, but just to confirm. Also, since airfare is a big (but not the only) part of total trip cost, what did you think of your total trip cost to Bonaire vs. Curacao and Grand Cayman for the value you received?

Some divers may find this thread and ponder their options. While it's often an apples-to-oranges comparison (especially Bonaire vs. Grand Cayman), it's a decision people have to make. Sometimes you have to decide whether to buy an apple or an orange.
You would need to factor in the cost of lodging and food for GC much more expensive than Bonaire.
 

drrich2

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You would need to factor in the cost of lodging and food for GC much more expensive than Bonaire.
Another big factor is that, while Grand Cayman has shore diving, it seems from reports boat diving is the main thing there, and shore diving supplemental for some. Problem: boat diving is a bit more expensive in GC than some competitors, and then there are tips to think about. Bonaire has boat diving if you want it, but some of us do mostly or exclusively shore diving, and with that I feel no obligation to tip, so the diving is far cheaper (though it's needful to haul around, setup up, break down and rinse your own gear, and deal with shore entry/exits).

There's more to value than just the price tag, but people on a budget (which is a lot of us) need to know what the price tag is.
 

SoccerDad

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Another big factor is that, while Grand Cayman has shore diving, it seems from reports boat diving is the main thing there, and shore diving supplemental for some. Problem: boat diving is a bit more expensive in GC than some competitors, and then there are tips to think about. Bonaire has boat diving if you want it, but some of us do mostly or exclusively shore diving, and with that I feel no obligation to tip, so the diving is far cheaper (though it's needful to haul around, setup up, break down and rinse your own gear, and deal with shore entry/exits).

There's more to value than just the price tag, but people on a budget (which is a lot of us) need to know what the price tag is.
So right the cost to boat and shore dive is a lot more expensive in GC and unless it has changed you are limited to diving at just the dive ops site and are not free to just shore dive wherever.
 
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