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Dive Review of Subway Watersports/Turqoise Bay in
Honduras/Roatan

Subway Watersports/Turqoise Bay: "Disappointing. Partially infuriating.", Oct, 2019,

by Theodore C Recupero, UT, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 8 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 11201.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 2 stars Food 1 stars
Service and Attitude N/A Environmental Sensitivity 2 stars
Dive Operation 2 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 2 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 1 stars
Comments Stayed a week at Turquoise Bay Dive Resort. There are “PADI FIVE STAR DIVE RESORT” posters all over this place. Maybe someone could tell me what that actually means in regards to standards. Or is it just a money thing?
Started with a general briefing, mandatory, on the dock the day we arrived.
We would be going out in the morning for two dives, coming in for lunch, then going out again for an afternoon dive.
It never happened once. They don't have enough tanks for the divers that were there. So we went out, dove, came back, swapped tanks, went out, came back had lunch, swapped tanks, went out again. Lots of boat time, but they didn't usually go far. Truth be told, they didn't need to, it's Roatan, the whole place is a reef.
I do not recall getting anything in the way of a boat briefing. I don't know if they had life jackets or where they may have kept them. This not being the USA, maybe they don't do that.
The boarding ladders on the back of the boat were polished stainless steel. Several of the wrungs lacked any non-slip surfacing. A few were half wrapped in string, one had a loose piece of traction tape. some had tape, some were just polished stainless steel. At least one diver was slightly injured.
Between the engine noise and the hard canopy, the boat while underway, was one of the loudest environments I have ever experienced without hearing protection. People screaming to be heard didn't help.
The first day I told everyone, ”DO NOT TOUCH ME FOR ANY REASON”, “DO NOT TOUCH MY GEAR WHILE I AM PUTTING IT ON OR WHILE I AM WEARING IT” Then later I told them, “KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF OF ME”, then, “I DO NOT NEED OR WANT YOUR HELP”, “HANDS OFF”. Maybe it was the language barrier, but it took them 3 days to get the message. Frankly, I think they did it just to piss me off. Zero respect = Zero tip.
As some places do, the divemasters liked to brief for a 60 minute dive, then do all they could to get everyone back on the boat in 40 minutes. They led folks across the sand and through the trench bottoms at 70 feet instead of over or along side the reef at 40 feet. They never slowed down or stopped moving. Some of us didn't follow any closer than absolutely necessary, and usually got in a 60 minute dive. I usually found myself looking down 30 feet at the group from the edge of the reef. I usually tried to get ahead a little so I could stop and look at/for things. The divemasters rarely pointed out anything that wasn't obvious unless a diver had found it and called attention to it.
They had a videographer/cameraman with us one day. He mostly honored my directive to not point his camera at me, mostly. He managed to chase two turtles away from the group, one from directly in my path, the other divers would only see them in his video... He got in my way more than once. He probably got video of one of the divemasters harassing a big sleepy turtle and playing with the remoras on his back. Too bad the divers couldn't get a decent picture...
The divemasters did try to give decent briefings, but between the noise of one engine still running, the accents, the fast delivery and the divers trying to talk over them, well, it wasn't real good. They did try.
This is the only place I have ever seen air leaking from everywhere possible. I have never seen a tank/valve ring leak underwater before, but I saw several. I asked about it. They still leaked the next day. That noise behind your head is distracting.
The tank fills were very consistent..they were always between 2400 and 3400. Wow. Impressive.
I let them handle my gear. They did not put a gorilla rip on my regulator. Some days they took the weights out, some days they didn't. One day they took half of my wife's weights out. Good thing she caught it before stepping off.
On one dive they led the group, including some inexperienced folks, through a cavern/cave system. I am an instructor, I know the difference. Some of it had light coming through openings too small for a diver to get through, some was pure cave. I doubt the divemasters were cave certified, I doubt any of the divers were. My DM wife and I are not. Maybe they have different standards there... Maybe there would have been divine intervention had someone had a problem and panicked, what with one divemaster at the front, one at the rear and 16 people single file between them. There is a list of exclusions on my professional liability policy... I'm not sure they are insured at all... Not sure it's required there.
One day they took us to the west side. We did a wreck dive, then pulled into Mayan Princess/LaSirenas Resort for tank swaps, then a dive and then back for lunch. Then back towards our base. It was a better lunch than we would have gotten at our resort. All the food was hot/cold and quite tasty. I guess the idea was to show us the other resort. They are owned by the same folks. Couldn't tell it by the food.
The last day we did one morning dive. It was a wreck. They briefed the dive. Paraphrasing, ”Down the mooring line, a few minutes on the wreck, then finish up the dive on the reef in the shallows”. I inquired, ”How about those of us with skills go down the mooring line, dive our own profile, and come back up the mooring line?”
The answer was a fast “NO”. We all went down to the wreck, between 75 and 117 feet for 5-7 minutes, 12 minutes at 70 feet over the rest of the wreck and a lot of sand, then up to the top of the reef.
I wouldn't go back to Turquoise Bay/Subway Watersports if the trip was free. The resort itself is nice enough, the room was nice, the hotel staff is very nice. The food wasn't good and the dive operation left much to be desired, for me anyway. Maybe some folks like the way they do things. I don't. If I had driven here, I would have left after the first day.
I've seen some of the best, and this ain't it.
Websites Subway Watersports   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving USVI, Roatan, Bonaire, Philippines, Florida springs, Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic Wrecks, Colorado River impoundments, Missouri impoundments, mountain lakes, Great Lakes, California coast, Tahoe, Desert springs, irrigation ponds
Closest Airport Roatan Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, cloudy, dry Seas calm, choppy, currents, no currents
Water Temp 82-82°F / 28-28°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 30-75 Ft/ 9-23 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Can't dive own profile, must stay w group, Kindergarten diving.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 2 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments They have camera tanks on the boat. That is all
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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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