A family vacation at a scuba diving resort in the Caribbean was an incredible way to ring in the New Year. We flew to Anthony’s Key Resort on the island of Roatán on New Years Eve and spent the next week scuba diving, swimming and enjoying getting out of freezing Minnesota temperatures.
This trip was sponsored by the resort, as I won their 2015 best promotional video competition and was awarded a free week stay. I feel so lucky to have won, and I can safely say that my GoPro purchase back in 2014 has definitely paid itself off.
Roatan is an island that is mainly for scuba tourism. There are a lot of all-inclusive scuba resorts, but Anthony’s Key is the original on the island. The cabins are incredibly simple and rustic, the staff have all been there for years and everyone truly cares about your experience as a guest there. You’re greeted with a delicious rum punch upon arrival and are given an orientation and schedule of all the activities planned out for the week.
When you arrive for a diving package, you are assigned to a boat for the week with other divers also staying at the resort. We really lucked out with our group – everyone was super friendly and they were all photographers, so it was super cool for me to see how fancy underwater rigs for photography worked.
The diving is really great on the Caribbean reef – there are lots of fish and corals, tons of sponges, turtles, the occasional stingray and spotted eagle ray, and moray eels. We were so lucky to have sunny days every single day we were there – there was rain in the forecast for the weeks after our stay.
Whether it was sitting in the hammock in front of our cabin or the sensation of hitting the water each time when I jumped in for a dive, every aspect of our vacation was perfect. Each day was filled with just enough activity to make me feel like I was taking advantage of the beautiful diving, while also allowing enough time to rest and relax. Our dive master and boat captain were great, they made the experience absolutely fantastic throughout the course of the week. The resort takes pride in having knowledgeable professionals who truly care about guest experience, coral reef conservation and education about marine animals.
It was also incredible to get to scuba dive with my dad for the first time, as he is the reason I ever had an interest in it in the first place.
For people who don’t dive but are traveling with divers, you’re in for a treat by choosing a dive resort. Because boats and divers go out all day, you’ll likely have the pool all to yourself to relax and unwind. My mom loved this aspect of our trip.
The sunsets every single night were so breathtaking. The beds were so comfortable I fell asleep every night within minutes of laying down. The food was great – every day they have a variety of different seafood and other dishes to choose from. I loved sipping tropical drinks from the bar – using the “vacation” excuse to guzzle down the extra sugary calories in margaritas, Bahama Mama’s and piña coladas. Yum 🙂
With all the threats facing our environment and our oceans, it’s becoming more and more important that people start caring about the health of coral reefs and ocean systems across the world. I highly encourage anyone with the slightest interest to pursue their PADI open water diver certification. Having firsthand experiences with coral reefs and the animals that inhabit them is eye opening and life changing. If more people had this exposure, I believe there would be more of a fight to defend and protect our oceans globally.
I look forward to my next time scuba diving, I’m not sure where I’ll go next for it, but it definitely is an exciting thing to plan traveling around 🙂