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Home > Member Reviews > lilibeter's Port Reviews of Roatan, Belize City, Cozumel

lilibeter's Port Reviews of Roatan, Belize City, Cozumel
Carnival Conquest cruise in February 2013
Member Name: lilibeter
Cruise Date: February 2013
Embarkation: New Orleans
Destination: Western Caribbean
Member Review: lilibeter's Carnival Conquest Review
Roatan
Port Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
The initial, tourist area of Roatan is new and fairly nice. I went on a ship-sponsored diving excursion to Anthony's Key, which was quite a drive away, and the rest of the island is very different. The land itself is beautiful - very mountainous and covered by jungle. The civilization is very third world though, so I would not recommend wandering off on your own.

For the dive in Honduras, we purchased the ship-sponsored, 2-tank certified dive excursion. The muster point was a short walk from the pier, and once we completed the necessary paperwork, we were escorted to small buses for the drive to Anthony's Key for our dive. Each bus carried about 20-25 passengers, and the trip to Anthony's Key took about a half hour. Once at Anthony's Key, the dive masters took you directly to your dive boat. There were about 20 divers per boat, and the boats did seem to be in excellent repair. The dive masters took care of gathering and assembling all of our equipment for us, which was nice, and the dive outfit itself had very nice facilities. The dive masters did not query anyone about their amount of diving experience, though, and since this was my first ocean dive and I did not know enough to volunteer that information to the dive master, my first dive proved to be extremely challenging and could have ended very poorly if not for the intervention of the dive masters, Louis and Ben. The boat ride to the dive site was only about 2 minutes. The weather was rainy and very windy, so the water was quite choppy with 6'-8' swells. Because there were so many of us on the dive boat, we were somewhat rushed off of the boat so that no one wasted their air waiting on such a large group to enter the water. I was sent off the boat with my snorkel still in my mouth and without having a chance to test my BCD or my weights. Unfortunately, I took in a large lung-full of salt water, could not locate my regulator, was unable to inflate my BCD, and began panicking in an effort to keep my head above water in the large swells. Fortunately, the Louis spotted me after about 5 minutes and swam out to me to find out what was wrong. When I explained my issues, he attempted to calm me down by telling me "don't worry, you've done this many times before." When I responded that this was my first ocean dive, he was visibly shocked and said they should have been told. He then did a fantastic job of calming me down, getting my BCD inflated, getting my regulator into my mouth, and towing me back to the drop site because the current had taken me so far away from the others. The first dive was to 80', and the visibility was very good. We saw quite a bit of wild life, and even saw a baby sea turtle who was too small to know any better and kept swimming up to all of the divers to check them out! Unfortunately for me, my hyperventilating had caused me to blow through my air supply, so when Ben asked for the first air check at the expected 1,500 PSI mark, I discovered that I only had less than 300 PSI left in my tank. Since 700 PSI is what was needed to get me back to the surface including my safety stop time, we went straight to Ben and showed him my air gauge when he seemed to misread my air supply report. When he saw how little air I had left, he immediately gave me his secondary regulator, and buddy-breathed me up to the safety stop. Once at the safety stop, he switched me over to buddy-breathing with my husband's secondary regulator, gave us instructions for how long to stay at 15', and went back to take care of the rest of the group and get them back to the dive boat. We did make it back to the surface without any further issues. We went back to the dock for our surface interval, then after another 2 minute boat ride, we arrived at our second dive site. Fortunately, this dive went far better than the first, although the water was still extremely choppy due to the weather. The second dive was to be over a wreck then around across the reef and back up. Although the equipment seemed nice and in very good repair, we discovered on my second dive that my depth gauge did not work. The dive was only supposed to be to 60', but since they sent me in as the third diver so I could get my bearings, my husband caught me at about 85', yanked me back up to 60', and when he tried to show me my depth faux pas, realized that my depth gauge was broken. The dive masters kept a closer reign on me for this dive, and although there were no further issues, I did blow my tank before the rest of the group again and had to surface about 5 minutes before everyone else. The dive masters took very good care of me once they discovered I was a novice diver, but I would strongly recommend to anyone else taking this excursion that you make them aware of your dive experience if you are less than an expert, experienced diver.

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Belize City
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
In Belize, the ship is too large to dock, so expect a fairly long tinder to shore - about 30 minutes. For our Belize dive, we dove with an off-ship company because of their extremely high recommendations on the PADI site, Sea Sports Belize. Belize is where I fell in love with diving. While I had read that Belize has the best diving in the Western Hemisphere. experiencing this for yourself is very different. The diving in Belize was spectacular! It was like diving in an aquarium. The weather was sunny and very windy, so the swells were 6'-8' like they were in Honduras the day before. Underwater though, the reef and the colors and the abundance of sea life were stunning. The dive experience with Sea Sports Belize was amazing as well. If you are a diver and you get the chance, DO NOT miss diving Belize, especially with Sea Sports Belize as your guide!
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Cozumel
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
For our Cozumel stop, my husband and I elected to be tourists for the day. We'd been to Cozumel back in April with his two sons (9 and 13), and we'd run the Amazing Cozumel Race, which is far and away the best ship-sponsored excursion I've ever done. For this trip though, we walked around, shopped, drank cold beers along the way and visited many of the sites and attractions that we'd blown by running the Amazing Cozumel Race. Cozumel is a very tourist-friendly town, and its downtown boardwalk is a fun place to spend a nice, lazy day.

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