Blue Hole Dive Center

Posted By: dragonet

Blue Hole Dive Center - 01/15/02 12:20 AM

Does anyone have any feedback on the Blue Hole Dive Center?
Posted By: alcmaeon

Re: Blue Hole Dive Center - 01/15/02 07:19 AM

We used them while we were on AC over New Years. They are rumored to have a great set of scuba classes but we did not use them for that. The other function they serve is as a tour coordinator. They can sign you up for any activity on the island. However it was kind of a crap shoot as to who you got. We used them to book a couple of trips-- a Lamanai trip with (it turned out) Seaducded (great trip), a Hol Chan/ Shark Ray dive/snorkel, a Blue Hole Dive/snorkel with Amigo Del Mar ( I wrote about the Blue Hole experience in a thread called: "Trips to Atolls: one diver, one non-diver",
look it up if you want. An we also used them for a Mexico Rocks/Tres Cocos snorkel which had a great guide but a lousy boat--one of his outboards kept conking out and he rammed Ramon's dock when he picked us up.

Long story short, Blue Hole Dive Center is a convenience. You can arrange all the trips on your own, elsewhere, or directly with some of the companies (Amigo Del Mar or Seaducded for example). It was great to have everything planned and taken care of all at once, however, as I said above, it was a crap shoot. I would not go with the guy who took us to Mexico Rocks again nor would I go with the two guys who took us on the Hol Chan trip again (the Hol Chan trip had a great divemaster but a lousy snorkel guide).

To do over again, simply to have an idea of whom we were going to end up with on the water, I would not use Blue Hole again. I would book directly with whomever has the trip I want to go on.

Just my 2 cents. If you were looking for a critique of the scuba classes I sure didn't help you much!
Posted By: seashell

Re: Blue Hole Dive Center - 01/15/02 09:26 AM

I met some people that had used Blue Hole Dive Center and they said they would not use them again. They said that there was nothing intrinsically wrong with them but all of their diving was done with Amigos so why should they be paying a middleman. They said that in the future they would just book directly with whomsoever they chose to work with instead of using Blue Hole Dive Centre.
Posted By: jkdiver

Re: Blue Hole Dive Center - 01/15/02 06:02 PM

Check out Barefoot watersports/diving. They have all of their own boats, which are kept in good condition. They also can arrange any tour that you want! Great experience!
Posted By: NewBelgeezer

Re: Blue Hole Dive Center - 02/05/02 06:25 AM

Unfortunately, I just found this thread about Blue Hole Dive Center. We've already booked a hotel/dive pkg with them cause they offered a great deal staying at Coconuts and including an overnight dive at the Blue Hole and an atoll or two. I want to make sure we are diving with safe, experienced people. Both my husband and I are new to diving with just a few dives under our belt since certification. I thought Blue Hole Dive Center was a dive operator, not just a tour booker. Now I'm kinda worried, after what I've read here. Any suggestions for us? Like does anyone know if we can request specific dive operators, and if so, which ones we should ask for? Yeah yeah I know, I should've done this research before. But at least we're not under water yet.
Posted By: denverdan

Re: Blue Hole Dive Center - 02/05/02 06:45 AM

Well... I personally would ask them!
Did you already do the cash thing? If it's credit you may be able to cancel as we speak?!
Can't hurt to ask, request, or even cancel.
Ya best find someone your comfortable with. Take a bit of time and go door to door if ya have time to. OR... do a "search" on the board and request from there.
Posted By: Marty

Re: Blue Hole Dive Center - 02/05/02 07:03 AM

the folks that run Blue Hole are long time divers, they will take care of you well. they are friends with the folks at coconuts, and they probably do biz with them a lot.

have no fear.
Posted By: barefoot

Re: Blue Hole Dive Center - 02/05/02 04:01 PM

Marty is right they are long time divers, however they do not own any boats and contract all of their diving out to other operators. You may or may not dive with the same boat twice depending on how busy they are or who they are using at the time. Would suggest in the future you ask questions of the package provider if they actually provide the services or contract them out. You can also ask specifically who you will be diving with if they do contract it out.

Posted By: [email protected]

Re: Blue Hole Dive Center - 02/05/02 08:49 PM

Well I think thatís about all the misinformation I can handle for now. I have refrained from posting to this board because, as a business owner, my "opinions" may be interpreted as advertising.

This board is intended as a free exchange of ideas and opinions. Unfortunately many users have a personal agenda, or, even worse, have completely uninformed opinions to offer. If someone has a legitimate complaint against us then by all means voice your opinion.

Alcmaeon has a legitimate beef in that the boat was not running properly. Boats break down. This isnít an excuse, itís simply a fact. Iím sure Dawn will agree with that after what sheís been through with her boat. What isnít mentioned is that the trip was during the busiest week of the year when people were clamoring for trips, and we were able to provide one. If alcmaeon was less than satisfied then we apologize, but I donít recall it ever being mentioned to me personally.

Seashell offers an "opinion" based on second hand information. Would you buy stock based on information like this? If you would, please send me $20 right away.

Denverdan, have we met? Have you ever dived with us? To suggest that someone cancel based on the posts to this thread is irresponsible to the extreme! Yes, everyone has the right to dive with whomever they choose, and to request any information they require, but you do the readers of this board a great disservice to suggest that your "opinion" is based any kind of factual basis or experience.

And while Iím at it, jkdiver, enough with the Barefoot commercials already. If you want to advertise buy a sign! If weíre such poor company then why did Barefoot drop off a new price list last week? Could it be they want us to contract to them?

NewBelgeezer, Iím a little taken aback by the tone of your post. When we corresponded, were your emails answered promptly and honestly? Was the package offered at a reasonable price? Have you looked elsewhere for opinions about us? I would refer you to current independent reviews in Lonely Planet, Rough Guide or Footprints. All give us high marks for quality service and honest advice. If you have specific questions about safety, boats, dive masters, or emergency equipment onboard Iíd be happy to answer you personally.

The fact is this; Blue Hole Dive Center has been in operation for over 10 years and my wife and I have been the owners for the past 2 years. We provide diving and tour services to thousands of divers yearly. Anyone who thinks Iím exaggerating can come and see my customer record sheets. If we serve thousands yearly, and if the posts on this thread are the worst people have to say about us, well, quite frankly, that ainít bad! We work hard to satisfy our customers by offering a good, safe service, reasonable prices and MAXIMUM flexibility.

Yes we contract diving and charter boats for our guests. We use only reliable, licensed guides who we personally know and dive with. This means you can get the trip when you want it, not when the operator wants you to go.

Do we satisfy 100% of the people who visit us? No. If your business does then please share your secret. However, 99% of our guests shake my hand when they leave. Not bad when you consider the vast number of different expectations that walk through our door every year. Throw in weather and you can begin to appreciate how we offer our guests a flexibility that other operators canít.

NewBelgeezer, since you ask, Iíve been diving for nearly 20 years. Iím military trained, Iím a NAUI instructor( trained by military and RCMP instructors), Iím trained as a Public Safety Diver, Iíve taught diving and run a charter operation in Canada, I was a commercial diver (hardhat surface supplied stuff, under the ice), and Iíve produced underwater documentaries for TV and been involved with a number of underwater archaeology projects around the world. The reason I didnít respond to this thread yesterday was because I was actually out diving with a large group of guests from Mexico. Repeat visitors who plan to return in two weeks. Theyíre not coming back because Iím witty and charming. Theyíre coming back because we are a safe, experienced operation that offers a great experience at fair market value. Tomorrow Iím diving again to teach a photo course. How many owners actually go diving regularly?

Well, thatís it. Have at me then. Iíve stated our position for the record and I donít plan to post again. As I stated at the beginning of my little rant, this board is for opinions and I donít want my opinions confused with thinly veiled advertisements or mudslinging. We donít have to fish for compliments or trash our competition to feel good about ourselves. Weíre too busy taking care of our many customers.

If anyone has specific questions my name is Kent Gardner and my email is [email protected], or you can reach my through our web site at

Here endith the lesson.
Posted By: jkdiver

Re: Blue Hole Dive Center - 02/05/02 09:21 PM


I only want to say that I believe in promoting businesses that I have dealt with if I am happy with the service. I am sure if I had dove with Blue Hole, then everyone would have been tired of me mentioning them. I have never said you were a poor company!

I also say good things about The Palms because I stayed there and had good service.

[This message has been edited by jkdiver (edited 02-05-2002).]
Posted By: seashell

Re: Blue Hole Dive Center - 02/05/02 09:29 PM

Make up your mind Kent. If, as you say, this board is to allow for expression of opinion, you can't very well then turn around and tell us not to offer one up.

Now having said that, I did not offer my opinion, I factually reported the opinion of my diving companions. In other words, I answered the question posted to the best of my ability to do so. Further, I qualified it and also did not present it as my own opinion. The original poster can do with that info what they will. I have no axe to grind with you, at least I didn't have.

If I were to have a personal opinion on this matter, it would be such that, I would make enquiries to see whether or not your prices are lower or higher than what I could arrange on my own for diving and tours. If your prices are equal or lower then I'd see no harm and some definite advantages to the "one-stop shopping". If your prices are higher than arranging my own tours, then I'd be questioning what other value you were offering to me that would make me want to pay the premium.

By the way, my friends did not meet you, did not dive with you and didn't see any reason to book through Blue Hole Divers again. That was *their* opinion, which they freely shared with me on more than one occasion and with NO prompting. If they were members of this board, I'm sure they would have posted same themselves. Then what would you reply to them? That you can't make everyone happy all of the time? No doubt that is very true and so again, the original poster can make up his/her own mind.

You just keep doing the best that you can do at pleasing your customers and you won't have to ever worry about what a couple of people said here on this board. I note that some others said good things about you, yet you have not chastised them to keep their opinions to themselves even though they've no first hand experience with Blue Hole Divers either. They apparently just think you are a nice guy and a good diver.

You've criticized people for saying good things about Barefoot. Looks like people must be happy to dive with Barefoot then and they are freely expressing their opinion here about that.
Posted By: Chris

Re: Blue Hole Dive Center - 02/05/02 09:41 PM

I'm the founder of Blue Hole Dive Center. I sold the business to Kent and Laurie two years ago. I agree with every word Kent says in his post. EVERY WORD. Those of you referred to in his post....his words to you might just as well have come from my mouth.

I thought I ran a pretty good business at BHDC, not perfect, but pretty good. I kept it for 8 years....stayed in business, did fairly well.

I can re-assure anyone who wants to dive with Blue Hole Dive Center that not only is it a much better operation than when I had it, but that Kent and Laurie are much nicer folk with TONS more diving experience than myself.

I did try running my own boats but soon realized that this was best left to local professionals....folk whose boats were their livlihoods. My boats stayed busy, but mentally for me they were a drain.

Of course, that was much better than spending hundreds of thousands of bucks on boats that are always tied to the dock. I would have HATED to be in that position because it looks rather silly.
Posted By: seashell

Re: Blue Hole Dive Center - 02/05/02 11:29 PM

Chris, good thing all those local professionals have all those siily looking boats tied up at their docks, or you and Kent wouldn't have had a business at all, would you?

Now maybe we can end this before it gets any uglier. I don't think you two are helping yourselves or each other at all. And *that* is my *own* opinion and anyone who cares to can sure take stock in that.
Posted By: Chris

Re: Blue Hole Dive Center - 02/06/02 01:12 AM

Hi seashell;

The reason I mentioned the bit about boats being always tied to the dock....the good boats/crews don't stay tied up...they're always busy. They're the one's I always used at BHDC and I know Kent has followed the same pattern.

And let's put this into perspective. I am concerened that some of the replies on this thread were made by the same entity using different "names" to log in. Not you, of course, you have 503 posts to your name on this board, you're certainly entitled to your opinions, many of which I've agreed with.

But, some of the posts on this particular thread look suspicious to me, especially the timing. I believe some of the posts were placed there by a competitor....whose boats are always tied to the dock. I think that Kent was certainly entitled to say what he said based on the sum of the posts.

seashell, you're good people. I understand why you said what you said, but just wanted to try to clear things up.
Posted By: trina

Re: Blue Hole Dive Center - 02/06/02 01:21 AM

I only offer opinions on this board about things about which I have PERSONALLY experienced, not "what I've heard". Or I refer folks to publications I think are good. I thought that's what these message boards are for anyway. On those terms, everyone is entitled to their opinion. Regarding diving, I dont' blame people for being super cautious. Diving can be dangerous, especially at open water dives sites like Blue Hole. Safety and the group leader's experience/credentials are of paramount importance. But making decisions based on gossip or second hand info is not good either. People need to do the research...and most of all....have fun!!!

[This message has been edited by trina (edited 02-05-2002).]
Posted By: seashell

Re: Blue Hole Dive Center - 02/06/02 01:45 AM

Trina, good for you. No doubt a wise practice and awfully good of you to point that out.

That said, a few things should be noted. I dove with those people all week on the same boats with the same operator that actually owned the boats. We also socialized together and shared all matter of opinions on this and that. Their dives were booked through the Blue Hole Dive Center and I was booked with and diving with Amigos. They enjoyed their dives as much as I enjoyed mine. That is not in contention.

Reread the original poster's question and see if it wasn't answered as written. The poster did not ask for only those with first-hand *positive* experiences to respond.

None of the initial responses were malicious either.

The point is that if someone asks about Blue Hole Divers, you don't have to have booked with them to be able to tell that someone that Blue Hole contracts out and that they are a middleman. Apparently, my big mistake was in relating what my friends had said to me about not using them again. OK, fair enough. Mea culpa.
Posted By: denverdan

Re: Blue Hole Dive Center - 02/06/02 03:02 AM

Geeze Kent.... havin a bad day are we?! lol

It was NOT my intention to slam you or your company! I also did NOT base my "opinion" on other posts in this thread.

I AM HOPE! lol

NewBelgeezer sounded a little stressed... "worried" ya know, and you don't think of options when your stressed.

I gave her options.
Talk to you.
Do some homework.
Ask you if you could arrange her dives with a company she felt good with.
And cancel if she wasn't happy with the answers.

But ya know, you can count on me NOT to use you in the future JUST because of this.

Hope ya have a better day!


Oh and Chris...
please delete my e-mail address, we are no longer interested in Waterfall Court.
Posted By: seashell

Re: Blue Hole Dive Center - 02/06/02 05:51 AM

Well, I got my dander up a bit. Sorry gang.

I believe that part of the problem here, (most particularly on this thread)is that right now things are *too* slow in SP. Even over the Xmas season, things were slow some days. A couple of days, even though the weather was good, still, I had to whine, look pathetic and beg other divers to sign up so that I could go dive. As much as they love me, some boats just won't go out with me as their *only* customer. [Linked Image]

I think it is a shame that people are hurting down there. These are the times that even the well-run, value added businesses may have trouble.

As Trina said, let's get out there and have some fun . . . and I'll add, let's spend some money and keep our much loved location in the black, whichever operator(s) you prefer.

Just my opinion, of course. Hmmm, would that make it my 504th opinion? At least! LOL
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