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Dive Review of Fantasy Island in

Fantasy Island, Mar, 2003,

by Bill Bailey, TX, USA . Report 413.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 4 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Our group went to Fantasy Island knowing several things to be aware of: sand fleas/no-see-ums, good food, unlimited shore diving, friendly/helpful staff, and laid-back atmosphere. And we were not disappointed on any of these, though the sand fleas seemed to be less antagnostic than usual - probably to liberal doses of DEET.

On Wednesday, we had a rare opportunity to observe Orcas - a pod of 8 killer whales appeared on the south side of the island. We rushed out to observe, and got several great above water shots as they swam toward and under our boat. Some of the videographers captured some great underwater footage. Truly a rare occurance so far south. Was told that they appear about the same time the last 5-7 years.

The boat captain (Kelly) and divemaster (Robert - also Dive Shop Manager) were helpful, friendly, kind, cheerful, and went out of their way to make sure we all had the best experience - from the least experienced (<30 dives) to most experienced (> 300 dives). The videographer (Luis) also assisted, pointing out critters while we cruised underwater.

Robert made sure we saw plenty of stuff - sea horses, morays, squid, octipus, crabs, lobsters, and pointed more fish than I can name or find in our ID books. We conducted several REEF fish counts as a group. Even the most experienced divers were satisified with the opportunity to see critters. Actually saw a spotted moray eat several fish on a night dive. Not too many big fish other than groupers.

We tried to dive one day on the north side around the west end, but the water was so rough that several boats from the north side came around to the south to dive. We aborted, and did one dive in that area and the second morning dive back at Mary's Place. We were able to dive any site that we wanted, and did dive several twice as there was an aboundance of critters to see. Most of the dives were close to the resort (10-20 minutes out), making best use of our time. Had we wanted to go farther from the resort, all we had to do was ask.

To shore dive, the staff would ferry you and your equipment around to the Gazebo, along with tanks, give a slight breifing, and you were off. They would leave tanks there for divers to dive after hours (8 PM). The same area was great for snorkling, and on our off day we saw almost as many fish as we saw diving, including a free swimming green moray that stayed around under the Gazebo.

The food was plentiful, hot, and the variety was remarkable - fish, beef, chicken, pork every night, an amazing salad bar, several vegtables, breads, and of course, many desserts, including several types of icecream.

The only hitch in the whole trip was checking in for the return flight on TACA - we were listed as open seated due to down computors, which meant that our group boarded last, and had to find seats where-ever. Lesson: have the resort verify your flight/seats midweek.

Understand that the ownership has changed in the last several years. There is evidence of renovation of the dive shop area, the dining rooms, and general maintenance. Was told they had spent 3 million in updating water system, kitchen, and additional buildings. Some rooms could use a face lift, but all in all a good place to dive. Looking forward to a return trip.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Anthony's Key - Roatan, Capt. Don's - Bonnaire, Ocean Frontier - East Grand Caymans, St. Maartan
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, noCurrents
Water Temp 81-84°F / 27-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 1
Water Visibility 60-100 Ft/ 18-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Generally we kept to less than 60 minutes in order to get in more dives, and back to the boat at 500 psi.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales >2
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 4 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 4 stars
UW Photo Comments Each boat had seperate rinse tanks for masks and for cameras. In addition, on shore there were also seperate rinse tanks (2 each) for cameras and equipment. They were kept full, and always had fresh clean water. I used digital so did not use processing.
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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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