Roatan in Sept. - Anthony's vs Coco View?

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CycleCat

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My wife and I are starting to make plans for our 25th anniversary trip next year. As recently certified divers (2020) we have decided to make it a diving trip. We considered several live aboards but decided land-based would be best for now and after reading reviews here on SB have chosen Roatan as the destination. We are considering either Anthony's Key or Coco View in September 2023. That is a month before our anniversary but probably better weather and Oct. is getting too close to the start of my busy season at the ski resort.

I've visited both websites and read several trip reports but I'd love to hear from people who have been to both about why one is better than the other. Food? Grounds? Rooms? Better beach diving? Better boats, crew and dive sites? Better bar? Both are within $200 of each other for a week long stay so cost is equal as far as we are concerned.

AKR:
Longer meal windows of 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 hours.
3 Boat dives a day.
Hiking up the hill to the restaurant.
No free booze.

CCV:
Meals windows are 1-1/2 hours every meal.
2 Boat dives a day with the option to get dropped offshore of the resort for a second dive each time.
No hike up the hill.
No free booze.
 

OMyMyOHellYes

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Never been to CCV. But ...

For AKR -
Tuesdays and Thursdays, there are 4 boat dives (if you include the night dive).

There should be no hike uphill to the chow hall at AKR.

They strung it out and strung it out and strung it out, but as of two weeks back when I was there, they were planning to open the new check-in/reception/bar/dining room this week. (But last September, they were speculating by last November too....) They say they can't get stuff through customs... Two weeks ago, most all furniture appeared to be in and they were letting guests wander around through the facility. It is a really nice facility, but views won't match the sunset vistas from uphill. And, it ain't open til it's open.

Overall, it was an enjoyable week of 20 dives in 5 1/2 days (viz was not pristine, and as rainy WX starts moving in in Sept, plan accordingly ..... may or may not be a factor).

OMMOHY
 

tridacna

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Don't forget the ease of shore diving at CCV. The Prince Albert is a fun dawn/dusk/night dive. I've done both but IMO CCV is the better and easier dive resort.
 

Carlos Danger

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My wife and I are starting to make plans for our 25th anniversary trip next year. As recently certified divers (2020) we have decided to make it a diving trip. We considered several live aboards but decided land-based would be best for now and after reading reviews here on SB have chosen Roatan as the destination. We are considering either Anthony's Key or Coco View in September 2023. That is a month before our anniversary but probably better weather and Oct. is getting too close to the start of my busy season at the ski resort.

I've visited both websites and read several trip reports but I'd love to hear from people who have been to both about why one is better than the other. Food? Grounds? Rooms? Better beach diving? Better boats, crew and dive sites? Better bar? Both are within $200 of each other for a week long stay so cost is equal as far as we are concerned.

AKR:
Longer meal windows of 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 hours.
3 Boat dives a day.
Hiking up the hill to the restaurant.
No free booze.

CCV:
Meals windows are 1-1/2 hours every meal.
2 Boat dives a day with the option to get dropped offshore of the resort for a second dive each time.
No hike up the hill.
No free booze.

Personally, I would stay in West Bay for all the topside options when you are not diving. While the diving access from Anthony's and Coco is good, their locations are pretty remote; especially if you want some variety and to be able to walk and/or water-taxi to restaurants, bars, shopping, or the little town in West End, etc.. Plus, the beach in West Bay is one of the most beautiful I have been to in the Caribbean. The area also has a zipline just up the hill, good snorkeling down at the southern iron-shore, as well as access to some shore diving for those in the know.
 

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drrich2

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I've only stayed at CocoView Resort. Meals were buffet, so all you can eat, and good (I never felt constrained by meal time 'window' issues). Another poster in a past trip report was disappointed with portion sizes at Anthony's Key Resort. I'm a big eater, so hearing that turned me right off. I like the option to do a shore dive, though I admit the one at CCV is one you do from drop off dives coming back in anyway (ah, but you could do some night shore diving).

CocoView Trip Report May 2021 - Trip Report - CocoView Resort May 8-15, 2021

My Research Notes from planning a Roatan Trip - My Research Notes from Planning Roatan Trip
 

living4experiences

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I can only give my opinion about Anthony's Key, not having been to Coco View. I was at AKR in May 2022. As noted in your comparison, the AKR dining times are longer; however, when I took advantage of that by having a late breakfast on a non-diving day, they had run out of most everything at the late end of the dining time. Lesson learned. Dine early. It's a menu style of dining and you're only allowed one entree, so if you are still hungry or just want to sample another dish, they will charge you extra for it. I found that off-putting, because it's advertised as all-inclusive. The all-inclusive also doesn't include any alcohol or soda. The new dining hall looked completed but was dormant and looked like it needed to be furnished. The hike up the stairs to eat at 70+ steps each way got old. Combined with the no-see-ums that are constantly gnawing at you, I just got room service.

You do get 4 dives per day plus 2 night dives if you stay from Saturday to Saturday, but since my stay was not lined up with this schedule, I could only do one night dive, which was fine, because I wouldn't have done the second night dive given the explosion of jellyfish in the water. Most of the dive sites are less than 10 minutes from the shop, some only 3 minutes away, so they advise to suit up on the boat. What I noticed, though, is that in order to do 4 dives a day, they need to stay close to the dive shop, and these sites have become a bit worn out. I ended up doing a few repeat dive sites during my trip, and when I asked if they go to farther away sites, I was told that it's too far to do a 60-minute dive and make it back to the shop for the round trip, change tanks, surface interval, etc. It made sense, but I would have gladly done three dives on a given day to go to a farther away site to experience a different reef/wreck that had less diver traffic.

You mentioned going in September. I'm not a climatologist, but September is notoriously the worst month for hurricanes in the Caribbean, IMO. With climate change, it's hard to gauge what the weather is going to do these days, but it is a roll of the dice during hurricane season. In May, there was no wind in the morning and the dives were nice, but by 1 p.m. the winds kept building and building into the evening and sounded like my bungalow would be blown off its stilts. The afternoon dives were pretty rough both in visibility and difficulty getting back on the boat.

The property at AKR is beautiful and well manicured. My room was an over-the-water bungalow with good A/C, plenty of hot water, and well sealed from the bugs. The dive staff were top-notch. The reef, though, was not in great shape and the viz was a bit low. I will try other dive locations before returning to Roatan.

I took a dive trip in December 2021 to Curacao, and it was much better than Roatan...a place I would love to return.
 

OMyMyOHellYes

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You do get 4 dives per day plus 2 night dives if you stay from Saturday to Saturday, but since my stay was not lined up with this schedule, I could only do one night dive, which was fine, because I wouldn't have done the second night dive given the explosion of jellyfish in the water. Most of the dive sites are less than 10 minutes from the shop, some only 3 minutes away, so they advise to suit up on the boat. What I noticed, though, is that in order to do 4 dives a day, they need to stay close to the dive shop, and these sites have become a bit worn out. I ended up doing a few repeat dive sites during my trip, and when I asked if they go to farther away sites, I was told that it's too far to do a 60-minute dive and make it back to the shop for the round trip, change tanks, surface interval, etc. It made sense, but I would have gladly done three dives on a given day to go to a farther away site to experience a different reef/wreck that had less diver traffic.
Twice to AKR in last 9 months. Only 4 dive days were Tuesday and Thursday, the night dives being the 4th dive of each day. All others were 3 one-tank dives daily. You can do the shore dive daily to make 4 day dives. J-fish two weeks ago were minimal. Three night dives and only saw one when instructor Pete pointed it out. Slight stinging getting out of the shore dive, but it wasn't bad. Don't think it was a full-on jelly attack. Last August into September was a buttwhompper of a jellyfish show (right after full moon cycle) with the entire boat doing vinegar spray-ons afterwards (I got zapped inside my upper lip going into the water which made that a miserable dive).

Rather than the mid-morning dock return, I think they would do a lot better to have one two-tank dive in the morning and use the surface interval between just plowing off on the way to more remote sites. Last month I found the dock time on the morning turnaround was minimal. Less than a half hour, sometimes as little as 15 minutes. Silly, as boat staff loaded two tanks for each diver at the start of the day so not swapping tanks.

One two tank dive schedule may kink the schedule in favor of those doing dive vacations, not vacationers doing dives (them that want to sleep in). At the end of the day, it's the schedule that works for the resort, not the divers. Add to that fuel costs 3-4 times what it was a year ago, and the resort is coming out of a year-log Wu-flu hiatus so they're trying to squeeze every nickel out of the week that they can.

Oh, Julio, did I mention that you should ditch the full-fleet Maya Key Monday fiesta? Save that fuel oil. Or use it to go to more varied sites on the north side. Or is the thought to give non-divers something else to do?

OMMOHY
 

Trailboss123

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I have never stayed at AKR- but I researched it plenty and have friends that stayed there and even one that spent a month doing his Instructor Certification there. Like you, I narrowed my choices down to AKR and CocoView and I ended up going with CocoView back in 2018 for a few reasons that may not be relevant to you at all. So, take that for what it is worth. Not sure if you researched all the way back to 2018, if not, here is my CocoView experience on that trip. Trip Report - Coco View Trip Report: July/August 2018
 
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