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Dive Review of Fantasy Island/Fantasy Island Resort in
Honduras/Roatan

Fantasy Island/Fantasy Island Resort, May, 2007,

by John and Marilyn Walker, CA, USA (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 7 reports with 6 Helpful votes). Report 3319.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Roatan three years ago, Utila, Bonaire, Turks and Caicos, Indonesia, Fiji, Thailand, PNG, Australia.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, noCurrents
Water Temp 81 to 83 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 50 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions They attempted to restrict dives to 50 minutes, but we rebelled and insisted on longer bottom times. The dive master gently and tactfully emphasized safety stops and did not lead divers below 90 feet deep. No nagging about staying with your buddy.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 2 stars
Small Critters 2 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

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

Subject Matter 2 stars Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 2 stars Shore Facilities 1 stars
UW Photo Comments The rinse tub aboard the boat had clean water daily, but the basins on shore were empty. We dunked our two housings in the crowded boat tub but did not leave them there, fearing damage from the other heavy camera gear, preferring to carry mine on my lap while in transit. That way I could keep it out of the sun, since the boat has no camera table. The boat driver and dive master were careful handling the camera gear. We had to charge batteries in our room due to lack of camera work room. Happily the room electricity was stable though outlets were few. Bring a multi-plug power strip. Photographic subjects were disappointingly scarce, compared to prior Caribbean trips. The off-resort, costly shark-feeding dive excursion prohibited video cameras, so we did not go.

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

Accommodations 2 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 2 stars Shore Diving 2 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 2 stars
Comments Unfortunately, the resort and dive operation suffers from lack of maintenance. Three of the four compressors were down - we missed dives because they could not fill tanks! Nearby Coco View resort filled Fantasy Island tanks during the week, but sometimes they filled short, presumably to make sure they could service their own guests. Nitrox was in even shorter supply and when we could get it, was frequently short in O2, EAN 30 instead of 32. Since their sniffer was unreliable we cannot be sure what the real measurement was; I worried about the reliability of their nitrox generation since so much else was in poor condition. In future dive trips we will bring our own analyzer. The rooms have many problems with low water pressure, broken toilets, damaged air conditioners and small breakages that contributed to the impression of a third rate operation. We felt that the owners were not interested in providing a quality experience but just banking the profits; the resort was full so the reputation of Fantasy Island has apparently not caught up with its current reality.

Food is abundant and varied but often excessively salted. Flies crawl on the salad and fruit and pastries. Our room had a notice that the tap water is not potable. Filtered water is supplied via a single refrigerated pitcher filled by the housekeeper from a jug. Strangely, not all rooms had the notice concerning the tap water so many people do drink and brush using tap water. We don't know of any specific tap-water related illness in our party of seventeen, although several people did experience digestive upset.

Smokers ruin the atmosphere in the lobby and bar and even in the restaurant; there are no non-smoking rooms, but ours did not smell bad. The king sized bed was uncomfortable, transmitting every twist and turn from one spouse to the other so disturbingly that sometimes relief was found on the floor. They have wi-fi Internet in the lobby, which worked OK.

The island in general features many biting insects; we slept with the air conditioner on and sprayed with DEET but still have red, itchy welts.

It was not whale shark season, but we knew that ahead of time and to their credit they raised no false hopes of sightings. With a full resort, it was all cattle boat diving, 20 guests to a dive guide, all crowding around to see what he could point out. The moorings tend to be quite close to the resort so the runs are short but there was usually another boat just leaving or on another nearby mooring. No chance of an undisturbed dive site and pretty frequently not just 20 divers but two or even three boat loads on the small stretch of reef. The iconic "Mary's Place", a deep swim through, is dived on so tight a rotation that while one boat is finishing up on the top, a second group of divers enters the crevice.

In general, fish are small and scarce except in areas where they are being regularly fed by the dive guides. Feeding is probably necessary since otherwise the place seems fished out. There is no marine park to protect the animals, and we saw a huge fishing fleet docked in town.

We enjoyed our vacation, but we cannot recommend this resort or the diving to others and will not return.
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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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