Don't feel bad, we went on a cruise last spring so the entire family could go, a family vacation with Grandma too. We dove in Roatan. It was nice, but I know what you mean about having only one day and scooted back on the ship. The people were great and they are very environmental there. It looked like a great place to go back and stay on the island to dive. There was a resort across from the dive shop that had little cabin type rooms that looked really fun.
Thanks for the reply Creatura.. West End Divers was the dive shop at the top of my list, so it is good to hear the positive feed back. We are in a similar situation. My mother has wanted to take a cruise for awhile, but doesn't have anyone to travel with. We finally got her to go if we went with her.(I have never been on one and can't say I would be going except for her.. but who knows- could be fun in itself.) We picked the ship based on the ports of call so BC and I could dive. We'll be in Roatan one day and then Costa Maya for another day. Can't wait. I have had contact with West End Divers and Native Son's and both seem very laid back, flexable, friendly and professional. Since I have never been on a cruise and don't know what to expect, I am leaning toward West End Divers due to the fact if your ship doesn't dock there for whatever reason (I guess weather or something?) , they'll refund your deposit 100%.
I'm a little embarrassed to say that we were on a cruise, Royal Caribbean. We wanted to take our mothers somewhere and didn't believe they could tolerate anything but a cruise (my mother especially is losing her memory at an alarming rate and has become pretty fragile). So we chose one that went to Roatan specifically. It was great, but we hated having to arrive and leave on the same day. I'm not sure I'd want to do it again. We talked about going back and just getting a shack to stay in while diving every day....doesn't that sound great?!?!
I don't know how old this conversation is, but I just returned from diving Roatan (yesterday), and we used West End Divers. They were very professional, the atmosphere was calm, and there were only three of us in the group. What a difference! We'd been to Roatan 13 years before, and the diving is still fabulous!
When I arrived to Roatan I walked into all of the dive shops to get a feel of them. West End has a great reputation but it was similar to some of the others with a party feel. I went with Native Sons because it's smaller and calmer. I was diving by myself both times and didn't want a party scene mixed with my diving. You are good hands with any dive shop you go with. Where are you staying?
I LOVE ROATAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Last year I went for my Feb break with a non-diver and only got in about 5 dives. I then booked my April break in Roatan again and dove every day 4-5 dives with Native Sons. From both of these trips, I have decided to take a leave from work and get my divemaster's there for 3 months. Let me know if I can help with any questions. You will have a blast no matter what- but be aware of the sand fleas- they are awful.
Dived there June 2007;2 dives a day/1 week and it was FANTASTIC! Knowledgeable Dive Master and professional staff, wonderful history, places to shop, bars to visits (sadly a very poor country), people are friendly and so helpful, warm water, beautiful scenery; vivid, bright, lots of marine life and you don't have to go that far down to see the beauty. There is a sunken plane and a ship to view as well as shark dive that is available for an extra fee.
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