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Coconut Tree or West End Divers?

Discussion in 'Bay Islands' started by froggydiver, Jun 5, 2010.

  1. froggydiver

    froggydiver Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Park City, Utah
    24
    0
    1
    Hubby and I are planning our first of many trips to Roatan in Oct and would like some help picking which dive shop to go with. We have (I think) decided to stay at Cocolobo, it seems to be a little more quiet and out of the "mix". We were looking at Bananarama, but I think they might be a little too over the top, granted we will have to give up the sweet looking beach, but the deck and pool with a beer at Cocolobo sounds pretty nice too.

    If anyone has any suggestions about lodging we might be open to that too, as of now the only thing we have purchased is plane tix. We are not big fans of the AI experience, we like to explore during our SI's and like nothing better to find an awesome little spot to take it all in. Don't get me wrong we are not a couple of snoozers, but we also don't want to be in the middle of cruise ship central.

    Anyway, to the point --does anyone know anything about Coconut Tree Divers or West End Divers? We are advanced divers and don't mind (and actually most of the time prefer) setting up our own rigs, I am Nitrox certified and Hubby would like to get his while we are there. Any opinons are welcome so please share.

    Thanks in advance :kiss2:
     
  2. RTBDiver

    RTBDiver Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: Jacksonville Fl/ Roatan Honduras
    1,397
    203
    63
    I never dove with either but I am sure either will let you set up your own gear and i am sure either can give a simple nitrox class. It's not like it is rocket science/ Now if you were looking for trimix or similar then coconut tree is . I believe, the more tech oriented.
     
  3. dpisme

    dpisme Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Newport Beach
    2
    0
    1
    I have dove with Coconut Tree Divers and Bananarama. I can say both are good - but usually tend to dive with Mel or Sophie at Bananarama, they are some of the best DM's on the island in my opinion.
     
  4. mottja

    mottja Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Texas
    31
    0
    0
    We dove with Coconut Tree Divers last Feb (2009). We are going back in July/August of this year and plan to use them again. If it is still the same, you set up your own gear. The do have nitrox. I think it is $7 or $8 extra per tank. There were several people diving nitrox last year. I think they have two boats...although one was in dry dock getting fixed the last time I was there. Groups were relatively small. 6 divers per DM or so. A lot of their students are on the afternoon dives, but they go out with the instructor and non-students go with the DM. I actually liked the afternoon dives sometimes because there were times that there were 8 divers on the boat, but 6 were students, so it was the DM and two of us. We went to several areas (swim throughs, etc) that DM said he usually did not take people because it was difficult with more than 2-3 people.

    I have no experience with west end divers.

    Back in 2003 stayed at fosters in west bay and we got our AOW with Banarama. I think they have changed hands a couple of times since then, but I still hear good things.
     
  5. Shawnda

    Shawnda Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Montreal/Roatan
    53
    1
    0
    We stayed at Cocolobo in Jan. and dove with Coconut Tree. CTD is closer to Cocolobo than West End Divers.
    Cocolobo - you can't go wrong. Great place and Ron & Bonnie (managers) go out of their way to make you feel at home. I highly recommend it.
    If you are considering Seagrape, stay far away from them, we had a rather unpleasant experience there.
    Coconut Tree Divers - They are the Tech Diving School on the island, so there are always more than the normal # of professionals hanging around. They offer great service, competitive pricing and they are really fun to dive with. Very nice group of people!
    I have not dove with West End Divers, but I have not heard anything negative about them. They and CTD are well known to be two of the best dives shops in West End.
     
  6. zekethesheik

    zekethesheik Divemaster

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: SW Washington State
    28
    0
    0
    Going back for my 3rd vacation with the great people at West End Divers. John and Gary run a great shop. Mickey is the best Divemaster I've been around in my 37 years of diving!! The rest of the gang are welcoming and warm. Good location, good boats, and top notch gear if you need it.
    I've heard good things from friends about Coconut Tree, too....
     
  7. seahorsey

    seahorsey Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Deadman Valley, BC ( 100 km from Kamloops)
    107
    1
    18
    Dove extensively with Bananarama and agree, Mal and Sofia run an AWESOME shop, nothing over the top there! A real family place. All staff has worked there forever and knows the divesites like the back of their hands. Have you considered staying at West Bay Lodge in West Bay? 3 min walk to that gorgeous beach and BR, but provides you with a quiet oasis on cruise ship days, when the beach gets a bit busier. Their tasteful pool and landscaping make their backyard a true tropical paradise, and it's pretty classy accommodations (and good food, but not AI) all around.

    Did my two weeks of IDC at Coconut Tree just now, and they are a very nice dive shop, too. Very safety and standards conscious, and plenty of staff. They do have a reputation in West End as the shop that does things by the book. I like that! Extremely experienced in giving every kind of course you could ever wish to do. Great boats (nice safe, easy ladder!) and good quality rental gear.

    The main difference I would see between the two is that Coconut Tree seems to go a little bit deeper in general. Slightly more aggressive profiles than BR. That may make it more interesting if you're an experienced diver in great physical condition. On the other hand, if you like to keep things more conservative and laid-back, or need to dive more conservatively due to some predisposing factors, BR is your better bet. It is a smaller operation with two smaller boats instead of the one big boat Coconut Tree uses most. So you may have more influence over dive site selection. BR gives you more personal attention.

    The average diver at BR is older, I think, and maybe not as experienced, as at Coconut Tree, where most divers seemed to be young, fit and quite competent. West End in general (I assume West End Divers, too) is more hard-core divers, and young (at times I felt that at 49, I was the oldest person in the town). West Bay is more 'lets have a wonderful tropical holiday and also go diving".
     
  8. georoc01

    georoc01 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Denver, Colorado
    857
    7
    0
    We just got back from diving with Coconut Tree, and if I was going to take a class in the West End again, I would certainly put them way up on my list. They exceeded in the PADI requirements for both my DSAT Tec Deep and my buddy's Wreck Diving specialty and I believe they still require a dive as part of their Nitrox class, something that is no longer in the PADI requirements.
     
  9. dpisme

    dpisme Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Newport Beach
    2
    0
    1
    One more thing ... if you can we chartered a private sail boat to Cayos Cochinos. It is BY FAR the best diving IN and AROUND Roatan. Much of the Coconut Tree Diver staff and DM's were over on a private boat - and they were on a vaca and wanted to go out to the islands and dive. Shops pool together and there is usually a day boat that will go out there if there is enough divers. 1 hour boat ride
     
  10. leadweight

    leadweight Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives:
    Location: USA
    1,634
    9
    0
    Most of the dives around West End finish in shallow water. The shops keep the bottom times relatively short due to scheduling of multiple boat runs. Nearly all of them come back to the dock between dives. Nitrox is a complete waste of money there as divers seldom get near the no stop limits on air. However, I realize that some must have it, for that warm and fuzzy feeling. Whatever the improvement in safety is, its like going from highly unlikely to very highly unlikely. Its not like air is dangerous.
     

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