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Alex provides feedback on her recent ReefCI trip!!

1.       Reservation process and pre-departure communication
Jo made everything SO easy, and was easy to get a hold of.  She always responded to emails quickly.  She is always enthusiastic, and made the whole process of coming to Belize stress free.

2.       Accommodation
I am still in shock at how nice, comfortable, and clean the house on the island was.  I slept so well each night, and was never uncomfortable.  We were never hungry (too full at times!).  It was so nice to have our own rooms, and the views were beautiful.  I am still impressed that everyone was able to get a shower every day!  If there was anything anyone needed everyone on the staff was ready and willing to help us with whatever we needed.

3.       Meals
My Mother and I were a little bit worried because we are not huge fans of seafood, but there was never a point at which we were hungry.  We tried new things, and actually ended up enjoying all of the fish that was prepared.  There might have been too much food at some times!  I enjoyed the family style dinner, and getting to know other guests at dinnertime.  The dinner bell made it easy to know when meals were prepared.

4.       Conservation training
I cannot comment on all of the conservation training because I was getting my dive certification, so did not participate in all of it.  The parts I did participate in I learned a lot!  It was nice to learn the basics about how our presence in the oceans affects ocean life, and the benefits the ocean provides us.  I have never had the privilege of learning about fish types and species, so that was my favorite part.  I enjoyed learning about the different species of fish, and how they all rely on the coral.  It might have been nice to learn more about how we can help support ocean conservation once we get home!

5.       Dive training (please specify which courses you took, if any)
I took the Open Water Dive course, and I cannot say thank-you enough to Tracy and Simon for helping me finish in the week I was there.  Simon was patient with all of the students, and made sure everyone was completing the skills they needed to.  We had six students in the week I was there, and that seemed like a lot for one instructor as we had to wait for everyone to finish skills one at a time.

BUT with the large class, and a day of bad weather it looked like I was going to need to finish my last open water dives at home.  On the last day it was raining and windy, but I was able to get my first deep water dive in with Tracy. The course was so personal, and the effort Tracy and Simon put in to get my certification finished will always be so appreciated!  I did not think it was going to be completed, and somehow they got it in.  I was on cloud 9 for a week after I got to dive off of the boat for the first time, even with the bad weather during the end of the week.

I feel that Simon paid strict attention to safety details, and that I will be able to take the skills I learned during the week with me whenever I dive from now on.

6.       Diving/Snorkeling
For most of the week I dove off of the dock because I was not certified.  With this being said, I got to see all kinds of fish, nurse sharks, and the eagle rays multiple times during the week.  I did not feel that I missed out at all not being able to dive off of the boat.  We did snorkel most of the time around the island, and almost every time a member of the staff would swim out and meet us and show us things to look for around the island.  I got to see most of the fish we learned about with Tracy, Simon, and Jason while just snorkeling around the island.

7. The ReefCI team
There are no words on how much we appreciated everyone at ReefCI during our week there!  The personal attention every single guest received from ALL of the staff members was unbelievable.  Tracy and Simon worked SO hard all week long to make sure everyone was safe and thoroughly enjoying themselves.  We commented all week long on their hard work, and how smoothly they made everything run.  They carried a crazy amount of O2 tanks throughout the week, and we never waited on equipment to be set up.   Jason was always excited to tell us about marine biology, and explain every question we had for him.  When diving the staff was so attentive, and I felt that they were able to communicate under water even better than on land.  I felt completely safe diving with them all week.

8. What did you like best about your time with ReefCI?  Why?
My favorite part of the week was after we weren’t able to dive for a whole day because of wind, and it looked like we weren’t going to be able to dive the last day because of the same; which meant I wouldn’t be able to finish my certification.  At the last minute the staff decided to take us out (my first time from the boat), and finish my certification.  I wont ever forget it!

So, my favorite part was how hard the staff worked to make sure everyone was having a productive, fun, and safe week.