We booked a discover dive with Bananarama and paid in full prior to our arrival by cruise ship (which is the first time we have ever had to do that and usually only have to pay a deposit). Good communication many times before coming and all of my questions answered.
Our dive included transportation for an extra $20/pp and there was 7 of us coming. Driver was EXTREMELY slow with others passing us and it took over an hour to get there with a pit stop along the way to air up tires. Also heater in the back was stuck on and it made for an uncomfortable ride.
The staff was friendly and made us feel comfortable. We were informed that we would not be able to dive West Bay as booked because the weather was crappy and rainy and the water was very mad that day. We were told we were going to the other side, where it is calm, and diving from a boat. I was terrified! They made us feel at ease and explained everything there and once we got to the dive site.
The one thing we didn't like was none of the dive skills were gone over until after we were on the boat and anchored. My oldest daughter got sick and ended up not being able to dive because of it and feeling ill from sitting there too long before diving. They told her to go back to the boat when she couldn't dive from feeling like she was going to vomit, but she couldn't get back on the boat because it would make her sicker. She had to hang off the side of the ladder the entire time we were diving. She just wasted quite a bit of money on a dive she didn't get to do thanks to the way they decided to keep everyone waiting on the boat going over skills and equipment and so on. This should probably be changed in the future.
It was an amazing dive with so much coral and fish to see. I actually went over the wall (which I'm terrified of) and our instructor Andrea was awesome in showing us different things. The dive lasted about an hour and we decided to call it quits and told our instructor we were done. They had the boat come over to get us so we wouldn't have to swim.
As for the kids, both of our younger kids, age 9, are certified PADI seals and have been diving for over a year and have had 4 ocean dives. We were told that we would be diving with them (they just couldn't go down as far and only to 12') and as soon as we got in the water their instructor took them off in the opposite direction. Their dive only lasted for about 15 minutes. The other problem is that their instructor held on to them the ENTIRE time. Both kids were very disappointed in this and usually dive on their own. They complained that it was very hard to swim with someone holding on to the back of them and over top of them. I'm not sure why this was done nor was I informed this was going to be done and for only 15 minutes felt like a bit of a waste of money.
We had 1 non-diver and a toddler that stayed behind. Adult was charge $30 and was supposed to include something extra (a drink I believe) and he was not given anything including a beach chair or a drink. What was the extra $10 charged for? There was also an incident that happened at Bananarama at the bar that is very scary, but that is not the fault of the dive staff, so I won't discuss it within this review. Just know, you should be very aware of your surroundings and what is going on. Watch your drinks!
All in all, us adults had a great dive but the kids did not and that is the reason for the average rating...otherwise they would have gotten 5 stars.
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