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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

KLM To Increase Capacity to Bonaire Beginning in June, 2009

At a time when many airlines are restricting flights, KLM has just announced that, beginning June 8th, 2009, they will increase seat capacity to Bonaire.

Each Thursday, starting June 8th, there will be an MD11 Flight originating in Amsterdam, making a stop in St. Maarten, and then completing the flight in Bonaire.  The flight will then return non-stop to Amsterdam from Bonaire.

At the same time, the current Thursday flight rotation (Amsterdam-St. Maarten-Curacao-Amsterdam) will move to Saturdays.

Lastly, KLM is now allocating more seats on its flights from Amsterdam to Quito, which stop in Bonaire, to passengers heading only to Bonaire instead of Quito, due to less demand for Quito.  (Source:  TCB-Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on March 31, 2009 at 12:44pm AST
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Monday, March 30, 2009

Bonaire’s Coral Spawning Prediction Dates Are Announced by STINAPA

Each year, generally in the months of September and October, Bonaire’s corals, as well as other marine organisms, spawn within a few days of the full moon. 

Since many visitors wish to plan their fall trips around the event, STINAPA has provided a prediction and forecast chart.  Please be aware that the times provided are not guaranteed spawning times, but are the best predictions that can be made after factoring in previous years’ data, as well as when the full moons will take place this year.

You can view, download, and/or print this year’s schedule by clicking here (in PDF format). (Source: STINAPA)

Posted by Susan Davis on March 30, 2009 at 9:57am AST
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Friday, March 27, 2009

Bonaire Celebrates Landmark Anniversaries in 2009 with Festivities Throughout the Year

The island of Bonaire has reason to celebrate this year when their national parks both reach landmark anniversaries: the Washington Slagbaai National Park attains its 40th year, while the Bonaire National Marine Park reaches its 30th. 

A Bonaire press event was held today at the famed Rockefeller Center Club in mid-town Manhattan, to launch the programs surrounding the activities scheduled for celebrating the anniversaries of the two national parks.  Ronella Tjin Asjoe-Croes, Director of Tourism, Tourism Corporation Bonaire, was the official spokesperson for the event, and was joined by Elsmarie Beukenboom, Director of STINAPA. 

From now through November, there will be a multitude of educational activities and festivities in honor of Bonaire’s national parks and the island’s continued commitment to conservation.  Some of the planned events include:

• Full-moon walks in Washington Slagbaai National Park which will follow the Kasikunda and Lagadishi walking trails
• An Earth Day event whereby 40 trees will be planted at Pos Bronswinkel in the park
• A special benediction at the Visitor Center of Washington Slagbaai National Park with special invitees born on May 9th, 1969 and May 9th, 1979
• Nature NGOs from Bonaire will join visiting students to execute community projects
• The island’s BONAI student archaeological group will work an excavation site in the park
• Nature conservation documentaries will be shown throughout the year
• There will be numerous beach and underwater cleanups
• Evenings to sample local cuisine at “Taste Of Bonaire” events
• There will be a children’s poster drawing and poem competition, culminating in an exhibition at the island’s Kas di Arte
• And various open houses and other fun events such as a dominoes competition

A complete calendar of events for the festivities is available by clicking here.

The island of Bonaire has always played a leading role in the conservation of its nature areas.  Washington Slagbaai National Park was the first nature area in the Netherlands Antilles to be set aside as a national park and consists of nearly one-third of the island’s total land.  Additionally, for many years now, the Bonaire National Marine Park has been the benchmark to which other marine conservation areas strive to match, garnering award after award for its innovative preservation measures. (Source:  TCB-NY, Caption for above image, from left to right:  Ronella Tjin Asjoe-Croes, Director of Tourism, Tourism Corporation Bonaire, Hugo Gajus Scheltema, Consul General of the Netherlands, New York, Elsmarie Beukenboom, Director of STINAPA, and Simone Kreutzer, Counsul for Press & Cultural Affairs, New York)

Posted by Susan Davis on March 27, 2009 at 4:11pm AST
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Villa Kiki Bonaire Offers Booking Special for May, June, September, and October, 2009

Vacations should be special, memorable events, and Villa Kiki on Bonaire just recently announced that they are offering a special value-added boating excursion, for new reservations in the months of May, June, September, and October, 2009.

All guests who make a reservation for those months are eligible for their choice of two different boating excursions on Bonaire’s waters.  Visitors may choose between a sunset sailing cruise on-board the stylish ship “Bowalie,” enjoying snacks and drinks while watching the sun set into the Caribbean Sea, or for those who wish to be on their own, or perhaps make a visit to Klein Bonaire, a half-day speedboat rental is an option. Fuel is included. You need only pack your picnic box and off you go. 

Either excursion is included, free of charge, in your room reservation for the months of May, June, September, and October, 2009.  Villa Kiki does request that you advise them of which excursion you wish at the time of booking.  Some restrictions apply.  For more information, visit their web site by clicking here. (Source:  Villa Kiki Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on March 27, 2009 at 3:37pm AST
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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Dive Friends Bonaire Announces First Anniversary Shore Diving Sale at Dive Friends at Dive Inn

It was just one short year ago that Dive Friends Bonaire opened their fourth dive facility on Bonaire at Dive Inn, and, to celebrate their first year at this location, Dive Friends Bonaire is offering a First Anniversary Shore Diving Sale.

Valid for check-ins from May 1st through June 30th, 2009, any Bonaire visitor may register for shore diving at Dive Friends@Dive Inn, and receive the special rate for six (consecutive) days of shore diving of $114.00 per person (5% sales tax is additional).  This represents an 18% savings from the regular rate of $139.00 per person.

Even though check-in and the orientation will be held on Dive Friends @ Dive Inn, registered customers may use the convenience of the company’s other three locations to pick up tanks or utilize other services.  These locations include Dive Friends @ Yellow Submarine, Dive Friends @ Port Bonaire, and Dive Friends @ Hamlet.

Additionally, those certified to dive with Nitrox may receive a free upgrade to 32% mix, or, if Nitrox training is necessary, courses can be arranged at a 20% discount ($79.20 per person, with a minimum of two persons, plus applicable sales tax) for the PADI Enriched Air I Specialty Course. 

To be eligible to receive these special rates, advance reservations are necessary, and the “Dive Inn Anniversary Special” must be requested at the time of booking.  Reservations can be made by e-mailing info@dive-friends-bonaire.com .  Or, visit their web site by clicking here for additional information.  (Source:  Dive Friends Bonaire)


Posted by Susan Davis on March 26, 2009 at 10:37am AST
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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

New Restaurant Review, Paradise Moon Bar and Restaurant

Created by popular restaurateurs, Pam and Carl Perpich (former co-owners of Papaya Moon Cantina), Paradise Moon is their latest addition to Bonaire’s culinary scene.

I had the opportunity to try out the new restaurant and the new menu this past Sunday evening.  The location, on the north side of the Harbour Village Marina, is ideal--it’s breezy enough to keep pesky mosquitoes away, as well as keeping one cool, and the marina-side tables add a magical touch as one can watch the masts of the various sailboats bobbing gently in the marina.

True to Pam and Carl’s dining legacy, the menu is extensive; I found lots of old-time favorites, such as the bacon-wrapped shrimp en-brochette, stacked steaks, and fish tacos.  However, there’s lots of new, exciting meals to try such as Ginger Cilantro Tuna and Fiesta Lime Chicken.

My dining companion and I decided to both try linguine dinners; mine was with chorizo, shrimp, and scallops in a garlic butter sauce (pictured above), while my friend decided upon the Coconut Curry Vegetable Stir Fry.  While we awaited our dinners, I tried the new pumpkin soup, which was excellent, and we had to, for old time’s sake, have an order of Walking Sticks to enjoy.  For those who are not familiar with Walking Sticks, they are an appetizer which are deep-fried pastry tubes, with a piped-in mixture of cream cheese, bacon, and just a touch of jalapeno.  They are served in a sweet and spicy chili sauce.  Very tasty!

When our dinners came, they arrived with two crostini on the side and were bountiful with the seafood or vegetables.  My friend exclaimed that her coconut curry sauce was light and subtle, but the flavors came through wonderfully.  The marriage of the shrimp and scallops with the chorizo in my dinner worked so well, there wasn’t a bit left on the plate.

Although we were entirely full by that time, we did decide to splurge and shared one of my favorites, Peanut Butter Pie, and also a new dessert, Fried Cheesecake with Mango Coulis.  The wait staff had to roll us both out of the restaurant at the end of the night, but we were smiling as they did so.  I was glad to see that Grandma’s Sizzlin’ Apple Pie had made the cut to the new menu, but that will have to wait for another visit!

Speaking of the wait staff, all were pleasant, charming, and attentive.  Amy had a wonderful knowledge of every dish, drink, and dessert, so she could guide us in our decisions.  All in all, it was a wonderful dinner, and we are looking forward to returning to try some of the other new dishes.

Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling (locally) 717-5025.  Paradise Moon is open Wednesdays through Mondays; happy hour (with 1/2 price drinks, except wine) is from 4:30 to 6:00 PM, and dinner is available from 5:30 until 10:00 PM. Live music is available each Thursday evening from 7:00 to 9:30 PM.  (Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on March 25, 2009 at 12:50pm AST
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Monday, March 23, 2009

Golden Reef Inn Offers Special for May and June, 2009--Rolls Back Prices

Golden Reef Inn has recently announced that they are rolling back prices to the same rate as when they first opened years ago.  This special is good for May and June, 2009 and is for last-minute bookings only.

The special nightly rate is only $65.00 for a one-bedroom unit, and includes a full kitchen, hot water showers, air-conditioning, free WI-FI, and Cable TV with premium channels.  This special may be combined with any of their packages, but payment must be made in full at the time of booking to realize the savings.  Book now through June 30th, 2009 for travel between May 1 and June 30th, 2009.  Some restrictions may apply; price does not include government room taxes and energy surcharges.  This special is for new bookings only and cannot be aplied to reservations already made.  A minimum stay of three nights is required.

For additional information call Toll-free in the U.S. and Canada at 1-866-790-7333 or visit their web site by clicking here(Source:  Golden Reef Inn)

Posted by Susan Davis on March 23, 2009 at 3:37pm AST
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Friday, March 20, 2009

Divi Flamingo Beach Resort and Casino Re-Opens the Flamingo Balashi Bar Tonight

This popular watering hole, which was damaged by the tropical system Omar last year, has been all snazzied up and is set for a fun re-opening tonight.  Everyone is welcome to come and enjoy the festivities with the newly expanded bar and seating area.

The weekly Manager’s Bash will now start at 5:00 PM and run through 6:00 PM with free Fruit Punch and Rum Punch.  Snacks will be served by the staff.  Two-for-one Happy Hour runs from 6:00 PM until 7:00 PM, and afterward is an all-you-can-eat Pasta Night for only $12.00 per person. (Source:  Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino)

Posted by Susan Davis on March 20, 2009 at 10:39am AST
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Monday, March 16, 2009

Bonaire to Host Karol Meyer, Free-Diver, During World Record Attempts

This summer between July 25 and August 30, 2009, Bonaire will become the backdrop when all eyes will be on free-diver specialist, Karol Meyer, who will make several attempts to break the current record in free-diving. 

During her stay on Bonaire, she will be conducting a clinic and several talks, to help share her enthusiasm for this growing-in-popularity sport.  Thanks go to Buddy Dive, for hosting her stay; guests of Buddy Dive will be able to participate in the clinic free of charge.  (Source:  Karol Meyer)

Posted by Susan Davis on March 16, 2009 at 11:05am AST
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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Prime Rib Sundays Now Available At Divi Flamingo Beach Resort and Casino

Theme-night buffets at resort restaurants are often popular with visiting tourists, as dining can be easy, filling, and tasty.  There are a variety of theme night buffets around Bonaire, but now, Divi Flamingo Beach Resort and Casino has launched a new one--Prime Rib Sundays.

At their Calabas Restaurant each Sunday, the dinner buffet is served just off the beach in a cozy, relaxed atmosphere.  There’s live music, and the buffet continues non-stop between 6:00 PM and 10:00 PM.

Those dining will have their choice of salad bar, carved prime rib au jus, a baked potato bar, mixed vegetables, vegetable pasta, and the goodies for a “make-your-own sundae.”

The price is $28.50 USD, excluding 5% sales tax.  Reservations are recommended and can be made by telephone 717-8285, extension 444.  (Source:  Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino)

Note Update March 15, 2009:
Our apologies, we incorrectly reported when this buffet occurs.  It is held ONLY the first Sunday of each month.  We apologize for any inconvenience. 

Posted by Susan Davis on March 12, 2009 at 4:26pm AST
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