We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

any questions?

Menlo Park...
Level Contributor
5,139 posts
84 reviews
Save Topic
any questions?

I know may regret this, but here's my offer. I'm leaving Monday for 2 weeks in Roatan...a week at Fantasy Island (an all-inclusive dive resort on the south side) and then a week at Sueno del Mar (a boutique hotel with diving in West End). I intend to stay wet for 5 hours a day with diving and snorkeling. But after I dry off I want to explore what's new in the areas I'm staying. i won't have a car and I will stay well clear of Coxen Hole. If anyone would like me to check something out for them, let me know on this message track. I can respond on my iPhone, but I can't see or respond to PM's until after I return. If there are already 200 TA reviews of some resort you are considering, there's not a lot I can add. But if there's something specific I can look into, I'll try. Like if so-and-so is still the dive master or bar tender somewhere.I already have more than 7 favorite restaurants in West End, so trying a new place to eat may be challenging. So ask away.

Chicago
Level Contributor
194 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: any questions?

Dhauk, when you get back to West End, make sure you hop on the water taxi and come and see us at Infinity and we'll pop a few cold ones just like last year.

Menlo Park...
Level Contributor
5,139 posts
84 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: any questions?

SH, you're on. So the question is: Salva Vida, Barena, or Port Royal?

Chicago
Level Contributor
194 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: any questions?

I say we drink several of each and decide which is the best.

Burlington, Canada
Level Contributor
2,645 posts
27 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: any questions?

I'd vote for Barena...I think that is the tastiest. Nice offer Dhauk to help others who have questions...good on you.

Menlo Park...
Level Contributor
5,139 posts
84 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: any questions?

I'm at Fantasy Island after an overnight flight from SFO through San Salvador. You have to see that airport. Imagine a quarter mile long duty free shop.

I swam out to the reef and saw very little. If I'm trying to compare this part of the island to West End so far WE is winning. FI is huge and decent but it's empty. Maybe 15 people here. The dinner buffet could be trouble. Good variety and lovely fresh fish. They make up for it by making the free drinks rather small

It's very hazy and windy. So not optimal diving conditions. But I should be here long enough to give it a fair evaluation. On the boat Ibiza tomorrow morning. After a large buffet breakfast.

Minneapolis...
Level Contributor
4,490 posts
129 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: any questions?

thanks for the update... experiencing severe snorkel-envy...

Calypso, North...
Level Contributor
676 posts
1 review
Save Reply
7. Re: any questions?

The best snorkeling off of the Fantasy Island Gazebo is on a calm night. The top of Newman's Wall (just South of the Wreck of the Prince Albert) is good, but only if it is calm and bring that flashlight.

The best snorkeling from FIBR is to cross the channel, to the North of the wreck, and float over the shallows of Coco View Wall.

This very localized shallow zone of vertical walls that are bathed in Sunlight all day has a lot of florid growth. You will see delicate soft corals as well as hard formations. This area has a lot of moored dive sites that are situated in 35 feet of water. Snorkelers will have to venture in shore from there for a closer look.

Diving along this specific South side zone should be concentrated from the top of the reef (usually starts in 5 to 10') down to no deeper than 60', but really best in the 30-50' zone. This is where all of the colorful macro creatures live on the local soft corals.

Better DMs will have a flashlight at all times. The best will carry glass magnifiers to really make your eyes pop. Look for local treasures such as Neck Crabs, Arrow Blennies, Decorator Crabs, Sea Horses, Pipe Horses, Pipe Fish, and more.

Diving from the shore at FIBR can be a great way to venture into night diving. You can shore dive or they will take you out on a boat and drop you off right over the Prince Albert Wreck. It is uniquely shallow and has remained intact since 1985 due to the South side's being protected from storm surge. It lays, upright, in 35 to 65 feet of water on a gently sloping bottom over it's 140' length. Once you understand the ship and the local landmarks, you are very unlikely to get disoriented much less lost.

The run what is called a European Dive Schedule, running usually 2 single tank boat departures in the AM and then one in the afternoon. Night dives from a boat are offered once a week. Shore diving is also an option, but the shore dive entry is 1/5 mile walk from the gear room area.

FI has had some very rough times over the last few years, as even recent TA Reports will attest. It has had in the last few years a very very few visitors except for Semana Santa and one large group last fall 2013. It is rumored that the changes in their financial and marketing model is intentional and suits their needs. Since its earliest days, the management (and ownership) has been transitory and capricious. They have so few room nights that this dive resort has fallen off the radar screen completely at www.ScubaBoard.com

The best thing that FI brings to the table is their Dive Master staff and Boat Captains. They have consistently overcome mechanical shortfalls and they are the part of FIBR that garners the most A+ ratings. These offset the overwhelmingly negative ratings of the room repair condition, lack of hot water or water pressure, almost non-existent internet service, phantom charges, or food and lack of house staff service.

I have great hopes for its future as it is in the middle of a superb zone for very interesting diving. In this area, you do not see the more common fish as one might encounter at the West/North of Roatan. It takes good buoyancy control and honed observation skills (plus that flashlight), but because of the Sunlit vertical walls and the shallow depths, plus all the soft and hard corals- that is what sets this area apart from anywhere else in the Caribbean. It rewards the slow diver, who just pokes along and gets in close to take a look.

This area is the nursery of life. Go slowly, see the babies. No wonder why when the world recognized U/W photographers show up to Roatan, this is the area that they select to base their explorations.

UNITED STATES
Level Contributor
2,859 posts
123 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: any questions?

dh...thanks for your post on f/I was wondering how this place would compare (for our next trip) to Staying on W/B (we were at the Posada Seremein)....thanks for any input you wish to offer on F/I.

Have a fantastic trip!

Menlo Park...
Level Contributor
5,139 posts
84 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: any questions?

OK that settled it. The third dive of the day is too much of a good thing. So I'm going to skip the third dive from now on and spend the time looking for good snorkeling following WillGrovel's suggestions. Thanks Will

I've heard so much about Mary's Place dive site. But the dive master said they went there yesterday before I started diving. Story of my life. He said we'd go there Sunday morning. The dive crew here at FI are great.

I wander the world
Level Contributor
3,965 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: any questions?

I stayed at Cocoview for a few days last March only to snorkel what they call the front yard. That being what Will was talking about. I truly enjoyed it... check out this pic gives an idea of the channel between Cocoview and Fantasy Island. I followed the sea out the channel and around.. good fun that.

…photobucket.com/albums/yy254/Houser_Photogr…

Shezz, that is a heck of a pic!!

Get answers to your questions about Roatan