HI J K
Congrats on getting certified! You are in for the most wonderful experiences of your life. I didn't get certified until I was in my 50's but it has changed my life.
Everyone of us has our personal preferences and one of the things I like about San Pedro Town is that most of us do not bad mouth any operation; we simply state who we dive with and why.
My first trip to Belize was in 1998. After 5 days of diving we were evacuated in anticipation of Mitch.
We had stayed at Paradise Villas, on the beachfront and could step out onto our porch and wave to Billy at Hustlers. It's a long story about how he took care of us and perhaps you will join me for coffee some morning at Lily's and get the full story.
Right now Billy has Everett working for him. I have never, in all my 500+ dives, had such good dive briefings. The reason I like diving with them is that there are seldom more than 6 people on a boat. One time they have took me out when I was the only one. I said, "Billy, you can't afford to do that." He said, "Harriette, we can't afford not to. We need to take care of our good customers."
I am an underwater photographer and have moved into digital video. It is important to me to not have a lot of people stirring up sediment or messing with the animals.
When I get back I am going to video Everett giving a dive briefing.
About equipment: I suggest you bring what you have of your own. It is always more comfortable. You can rent what you don't have. You will not need a wet suit. You will need a skin. If you are skinny and tend to get cold they have skins with some thermal protection, like the Henderson Polartex. Remember the water runs between 80º and 85º.
I look forward to meeting you.