Toucan Diving - The staff of Toucan Diving proved to be well organized and very helpful. Coordinating 146 divers on five boats with both morning and afternoon departures worked out about as seamlessly as I ever could have hoped with a group of this size. Prior to the first dive, each certified diver was obliged to pay the marine park fee of $10USD in cash and watch a 40-minute video about the marine park and its preservation. Once a checkout dive had been accomplished, our divers were ready to hit the water from one of Toucan's comfortable dive boats.
Plaza Resort Bonaire - Plaza Resort Bonaire proved to be equally accommodating. Spread across expansive grounds, the resort offers multiple levels of accommodations to handle single travelers, couples and even families in multi room villas. All rooms are an easy walk from the restaurants and bars, though some guests felt the villas were a bit of a distance from the dive shop.
The Lodging - While there I inspected a number of different room styles at Plaza Resort Bonaire. Each is spacious with ample room for spreading out your luggage and dive gear. The bathrooms are over-sized with a shower and bath configuration and are equipped with a small amenity pack and hair dryer. Each room has both a dresser and extra large closet for all your items. For your convenience and protection, the closet includes a small safe. Space abounds in these rooms is all I can say!
The Dining - Meals were well organized and service was fast and friendly with a nice variety of items. Breakfast was a buffet with cold cereals, fruits, breads, pastries and chafing dishes of scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, waffles and pancakes. For lunch items such as hamburgers, salads, sandwiches and even hot dogs for the kids are on the menu. Dinner included a variety of Danish dishes, U.S. style foods, and even a few Indonesian items. Prices were not much more than you would find in the US.
Even a Casino - Although the Casino was closed during my stay (to accommodate the NABS meeting requirements) it normally offers slot machines, roulette and black jack tables. Maybe lucky for me it was closed?!
Learn more about: National Association of Black Scuba Divers (NABS)
The Bottom Line - I was very impressed with the services provided by Plaza Resort and Toucan Diving and really loved the island of Bonaire. It is a great dive destination, made even better with it's unique shore diving opportunities. Divers of all skill levels will enjoy Bonaire's pristine dive sites offering a cornucopia of reefs, wrecks, and walls. As for the lodging and diving, I can't think of a better choice than the companies that so ably served our big NABS group. If you have any questions, feel free to run them by me, or just drop me a line when you are ready to see and enjoy Bonaire for yourself!
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