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Dive Review of Fantasy Island in
Honduras/Roatan

Fantasy Island, Oct, 2006,

by David Cuoio, ID, U.S. . Report 3049.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Cook Islands, Florida Keys, Belize, Grand Turk, Salt Cay, Moorea, Maui, Catalina, Bahamas St. Thomas, Cozumel
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 84 to 88 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 30 to 60 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions In the mandatory first-day briefing, we were told our max. bottom time would be 50 min. Fortunately, the DM on our boat did not strictly enforce this, but a couple of divers were "scolded" when they hit 70 min.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 2 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 4 stars
UW Photo Comments There were separate tanks on the boats and in the dive shop area for underwater photo and video gear, but there was not enough room on the boats for anyone who preferred to keep their photo or video gear on the deck.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 2 stars
Comments I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the Fantasy Island accommodations and food, and the level of service. The all-inclusive package was the cheapest I have ever seen, anywhere, anytime, and that's why we took the trip, so my expectations were very low. As it turned out, everything topside was either very nice or more than acceptable.
A storm had come through the week before we arrived, and the vis never did improve while we were diving at the resort. Also, as in two previous visits to Roatan, I did not see many fish, and certainly no big animals. (Ironically, my best fish experiences were at the Atlanta aquarium on the trip home. If you haven't visited it, you must see this wonderful attraction if you're ever in Atlanta.)
The highlight of our dives, for me, was represented by the quantity and quality of the hard and soft corals and sponges. I saw only one very small area of bleaching and the underwater landscape overall was wonderful and very healthy.
Others reporting on this Web site about the Fantasy Island dive op have mentioned the cattle-boat diving and the fact that only one DM goes in the water, no matter how many divers are on the boat. We had nine to 15 divers on our boat during the week, and I certainly would rather dive six-paks, but the set-up on the boat enabled us to generally keep from bumping into each other. Of course, it didn't hurt to show up early and grab one of the two front position to get a little more elbow room.
Regarding our DM, Mark, I thought he was one of the most safety conscious and helpful divemasters I have ever encountered. On a theoretical basis, it would be better to have two DMs in the water with 15 divers. But on a practical basis, I don't think any of us ever felt as if we were in an unsafe situation with Mark around. His calm demeanor rubbed off on everyone, and he was very willing to visit specific dive sites when we asked him to do so.
The Fantasy Island dive op has a large indoor area devoted to dive gear storage, and it was nice to be able to leave my reg, BC, and wetsuit there instead of schleping everything back to the room, even though it was close to the dive shop.
Since this was my third visit to Roatan, and since the island doesn't seem to attract any large animals (except at the shark-feeding dive at another op), I am not planning to return. But that feeling is not specifically related to the diving or accommodations at Fantasy Island. The resort delivered more than I expected, and certainly was a great value for the money.


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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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