Dive Op Review

Anthony's Key Resort (Dive Op) : Roatan, Honduras

Submitted by : Addict
Date: Oct 30, 2004

Anthony's Key Resort is an all inclusive resort that includes accomodations, meals and diving. It is located on Roatan, one of the Bay Islands, just off the coast of Honduras in Central America. Because this resort is all-inclusive, I will be providing 2 Undercover Diver reports. This one covers the diving Facilities. The other report will include information on the room, meals and service provided by the resort.

Overall Rating: 8/10

Dive Operation Name: Anthony's Key Resort
Address: Sandy Bay, Roatan, Honduras (Bay Islands)
Phone: 800.227.3483 (Reservations)

Type: Standard Dive Operation
Cost: $825 for room, diving (3 dives per day + 2 night dives + unlimited shore dives), 3 meals a day

Staff: 9/10
Were they organized? Yes
Did they have a method for accounting for your presence on the boat? No - no on board method that I was aware of.
Were they knowledgeable about the area? Yes
Did they point out underwater life? Yes
Were they Friendly/Personable? Yes
Were they interested in helping you have a good time? Yes
Did you feel safe? Yes
Comments on staff: Aside from them being not quite as outgoingly nice as the AKR 'hotel' staff - they were still very friendly.
The method used for accounting your presence on the boat, I assume, was just the divemaster and captain remembering that you were there. They did have a 'sign-up' board at the dive-shop, but that wasn't on board, and it was erased after the morning dives.

Boats: 6/10
What is the capacity of the boat? It appeared the capacity was 18 divers.
How many dive masters per diver? 1 divemaster to 18 divers
Was there first aid on board? Oxygen? We saw a first aid kit, and were told that they had oxygen on board.
Did you feel cramped or was it roomy? Cramped at times
Was the boat in good condition? Yes - very good condition.
Was the boat fast? Yes.
Did you have adequate room for your gear? No.
Were there special areas for camera equipment? Yes, but it was too small for our boat.
Did they have a fresh water rinse for gear on board? Yes for cameras only.
Fresh water rinse for divers to shower? Yes.
If a diver shower was provided was it on the boat or on land? On the dock
Was food/drink provided? Yes
If so, what was it? Water dispenser
Other comments about the boat: The boat was nice when we weren't full. It seemed that everyone (including us) had a camera. The table for camera equipment barely fit all of the equipment - it was kind of like moving around puzzle pieces to make every camera fit.

Our boat typically had 10-14 divers on board with a max of 17. You started to feel cramped on the dives with 17 divers - especially with the limited camera space.

Dive Sites: 7/10
What was the condition of the reefs/coral? Excellent
Was there a lot of small life (namely fish...)? I would say the fish population was slightly below average.
What about large life? (Sharks, Rays, Turtles, etc...) We saw one turtle out of about 20 total dives. Several large green moray eels.
How was visibility? 35-75ft.
Type of diving: We did have a couple drift dives, but in most locations there was no current.
Please elaborate on the dive sites: The dive sites were abundant with healthy reefs. Several sites had some really cool swim-throughs. My favorite was 'Mary's Place'. It had the clearest water, and a large swim-through with a huge shaft of silversides running through it.

Depths of our first dives typically ranged from 100-130 ft. The divemaster expressed that you could follow along above if you wished not to dive to those depths.

There are 3 wrecks that we knew of. One in the channel by Anthony's Key (I believe it was a small aircraft). One named the Odessy which was a large tanker (forgive me as I do not know the style of ships that they were), and a smaller ship. These were our first wreck dives, and each had a couple of swim-throughs.

Available transportation/price:
Can they pick you up from your resort? This was not needed as we stayed at the resort with this dive operation.
If so, which resort did you stay at? We stayed at Anthony's Key.
Comments on getting to the dive shop: For us, staying at the resort, we just took a 30 second boat from the Key (where our room was located) to the dive shop.

Value for the price paid: 10/10

Overall rating: 8/10

Additional comments not listed above:
(Please list anything about the dive operation not addressed above)
The dive operation was quite good, only loosing out for slightly full boats, and lower visibility than I am used to. The visibility was typically around 70ft, but went down to about 35 or so on some sites (probably stired up by previous divers).

They ran a pretty tight ship dealing with all of the divers - they have about 9 boats. You signed up at the dive shop for the dives you wanted to take during the day, and you were always on the same boat with the same people and the same divemaster - which was nice.

They only had one shower on the dock, and 2 rinse tanks. If all of the boats returned from the morning dives at the same time, you may have waited in a short line to use these facilities.

If you plan to do shore diving, they offered tanks on the Key. Problems were that you had to lug your gear from the dive shop area, into the boat going to the Key, across to the opposite side of the Key, then lug it back after your dive. We heard reports that the shore dive was very good, but complaints about having to lug your gear that far to get there.

You stored your gear (at the end of the day) in a building on the dock that had several hooks to hang your gear. It was locked at night, and an armed guard hung out around that area - not that it was necessary, but it was reassuring to us. I would have like to have been assigned a hook, as every day I was storing my gear in a different place in the building - cause someone got my hook...

In one instance my wife had problems with her fins hurting her feet, so we rented some from the dive ship (slip-ons). These tore up her feet. Unfortunately, they only offered slip-on rentals - so we were in a bind. Luckily, Denny (the guy who ran the dive shop) was kind enough to allow her to use his own personal fins. We really appreciated that as she probably wouldn't have been able to dive otherwise.

Anthony's Key advertises a 'Dive Shop' and 'Photo Lab'. Don't get too excited about these places. You won't find replacement bulbs for your light, or really anything other then rental gear in the dive shop, and film processing in the photo lab. You could buy a 'snorkel set' at the snack shop (kind of k-mart quality) if you were in DIRE need.

Overall, the value was exceptional. We are likely to return due to this fact.

Do you have any tips or tricks that could help other people using this dive operation?
They do offer dolphin dives and encounters (for a premium price - $150?). We did not feel that a few personal minutes diving with dolphins was worth the price, but others raved about the experience. Some others felt the costs were unjustified.

If you read my 'hotel' report on this same resort, you will see a tip for free dolphin interaction. That report can be seen here


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