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Mitsugirly BREAKAWAYs for a summer cruise: Review/Pictorial

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Mandy's Eel Garden on West Bay would be our dive destination. It was located right in front of the dive site.

 

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"A great site for photography"

"Swim thru channels"

"Garden Eels retreat into their holes in unison as you approach"

"When snorkeling or surfacing from a dive always remember to be aware of the glass bottom boat that often passes directly overhead"

 

Now one thing I did want to mention is that during my conversation with the dive site, prior to coming here, I was told "We are a 5 star PADI dive center that specializes in small group, concierge diving (meaning we carry, set up, wash and store your gear for you) all you have to do is dive." However, we ended up having to carry our own gear. I'm not sure if the other instructors were out on a dive with regular scuba divers, but our instructor seemed to be the only one around other than someone working at the front desk. I honestly didn't mind that we had to do this...as long as there are no steps involved because I simply can not get up and down steps with the added weight on my back. I've tried before. It's brutal for me. They had a ramp to use and we walked right down to the beach and into the water where we started our skills. I will say that she did offer to do it if we felt that we couldn't or didn't want to do it, but we said we were good. So, at least she offered. It would have just taken up a lot of our time.

 

Since we were the only 3 in our group, our skills check off went fast and it was time to head out. I was super excited and once again NOT NERVOUS OR ANXIOUS! I'm finally getting the hang of this and enjoying diving so much now. I think this will make 3 or 4 dives for me that I didn't have any anxiety at all and it went so smoothly. 

 

Now I handed Sakari one of the camera's and I took the other. She started taking pictures immediately.

 

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Then all of a sudden....nothing! Absolutely nothing! The camera stopped working. We have no idea why. The battery was good and we hadn't had problems out of this "older model" camera that we've had for several years until now.

 

I told her to turn it off and back on.

 

So she got this...

 

 

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Then off we went again

 

 

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She said she was playing in my bubbles...

 

 

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A couple more times she gave me that "look" and pointed at the camera. I turned it off and back on and she continued.

 

 

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Then that was the end of it. It wouldn't turn back on anymore. Darnit. I just shrugged my shoulders and she would just have to go without unless she was able to get it to work again later. I felt so bad because she likes to take pictures when we are diving.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

So now comes the abundance amount of pictures I took. Mind you, this is just a fraction of what I got that day, but it's still a lot. I'm just a picture freak...especially when it comes to being in the ocean.

 

When we first started, I completely forgot to put my camera on the under water mode and ended up with the green pictures...so forgive me. The setting I "usually" use is the underwater motion setting. That way if something is moving, it won't blur on me.

 

I also decided to take my fisheye lens with me on this dive. Although I forgot to put the camera on the underwater mode, I did remember that when the fisheye is on, I needed to adjust my settings in the camera to lighten the pictures because it makes them darker and the blues brighter as well. I love the way the pictures usually turn out with the color and feel that when I don't have the lens on, the colors aren't as "bright".

 

But, I have found that when you go underwater, you always get this bubble in the lens where the lens meets the camera and you have to shake the camera around to get it out. Otherwise you end up with pictures like this...

 

 

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Now the reefs at West Bay are pretty shallow in areas when you start out so we were told to "snorkel" on the top but yet under water with our regulator.

 

 

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Edited by mitsugirly

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On 8/17/2019 at 6:14 PM, mitsugirly said:

It was getting late and we decided to head back to Spice H2O and check things out. After 7pm, they allow children back there and we hadn't been back there yet. I wanted to check out the waterfall area...only to find that it was closed and roped off.

 

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Then the screen started flashing this...

 

 

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So I knew there was going to be a party. Sakari was excited about this and wanted to stay. She was able to get a non-alcoholic drink like mommy and daddy were drinking and she was super excited.

 

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She took her straw and drew in her chocolate against the side of the cup....she was missing her dog Loki.

 

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Then the party started and everyone was dancing.

 

 

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Sakari has always loved to dance...I look back at her younger years of cruising and she was always dancing. However, over the last few years, she hasn't been much into it. She's going through that awkward preteen stage and is usually embarrassed about things like that now. But...with the help of this Fortnite game all the kids are playing (Sakari is not but knows about it) they have these dances they do at the end of the game (my understanding) and all the teens have learned these moves...Sakari is really into them and does them non-stop around the house or when there's music playing. LOL It has brought her out of her shell somewhat these days.

 

She couldn't wait to drag daddy out there for some moves...

 

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Before long...mommy was drug out there too. She didn't want to stop at all. She was having a blast.

 

 

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Here's a funny video of her trying to teach daddy the moves...it starts out with daddy's signature move of just holding hands and bobbing up and down, then a little dab, then Sakari breaks out into the Orange Justice, and then attempts to teach daddy how to "floss". LOL  She's hilarious but at least she's coming out of her shy shell she's been in for a few years now.

 

 

 

It was about 1am when I decided we needed to get back to the room and get to sleep since tomorrow would be a port day and we also had a time change where we set the hour up one hour.

 

Then we got to the room and noticed that we wasn't in port until 10am...thank goodness.

 

 

 

 

 

I see that the kids can go into Spice after 7pm.  What time do they have to leave?

 

 

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It didn't take long before I discovered I was on the wrong setting and corrected it.

 

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Sakari was trying to equalize her ears.

 

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While she was getting the hang of that, I was taking pictures of the cute little puffer fish you see all the time.

 

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Sakari is pretty good and knowing how far to go down and when trying to equalize her ears when to come back up and try again slowly. It takes her awhile in the beginning, but she will finally get it. We hung out on the bottom while our instructor stayed with her until she was able to finally equalize before going on.

 

 

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Then we were able to go on...

 

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We could see the snorkelers above us.

 

 

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The coral was just so beautiful.

 

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There were a lot of channels in the area. It was just so full of color and life down there. Simply amazing.

 

 

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Then we heard this very loud noise. We looked up and seen a boat coming toward us...oh my. The instructor went over to grab Sakari and make sure she was out of the way. At this point she had managed to equalize her ears, but had came up some during the swim and needed to get back down out of the way. It was somewhat scary for me to watch that. I know we were down far enough, but it seemed like the boat was right on top of us and it was a little crazy looking and sounding.

 

 

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Hubby was doing good and I'm so grateful we have found the perfect pair of goggles that allows him to dive with us without having ear issues since he don't have ear drums. He has absolutely no problems with these goggles with the ear covers and he enjoys himself so much now with no worries of water getting into his ears or ear infections.

 

 

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17 minutes ago, mitsugirly said:

Mandy's Eel Garden on West Bay would be our dive destination. It was located right in front of the dive site.

 

Nice!  I'll be sailing the Breakaway on the same itinerary in less than a month and have booked dives in Roatan, Cozumel and Costa Maya.  Last Sept (Getaway) and Feb (Carnival Dream) I dived Roatan with Anthony's Key and saw lots of wildlife there, from massive Moray Eels to Turtles and Singrays. 

 

Are you all certified or was this a "Discover Scuba" outing?  If not I hope you know you can get your PADI open water on Royal Caribbean ships (I'm sailing with one of my friends who is passing his certification on the RCCL Symphony of the Seas this november).

 

Pat

 

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We had made it down 20 feet so far and all was good.

 

 

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Lots of little fishies everywhere...

 

 

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Then I noticed a sandy bed...and in that sandy bed was garden eels.....eeek! However, we didn't stop and our instructor didn't stop to point anything out so I assumed that since we were moving on that this wasn't exactly the eel garden, but merely just some garden eels in this area.

 

 

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We had made it down to 35 feet now.

 

 

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I absolutely love the purple sponges. They are some of my favorite...along with the blue and red. They are just so pretty.

 

 

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Then we made it to the actual eel garden and wow there were a lot! It was so fun to watch them come out of the hole and slowly go down as we crossed over them. I think garden eels are just so cute. We had one in our tank for a short period of time....until it decided to jump in the back of the tank and got caught up in the motor. 😞

 

 

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Just look at all of them!

 

 

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If any of you read my last review from a couple of months ago, we did a scuba in Barbados and the hubby and Sakari came across some garden eels and I totally missed it (even though I managed to capture some pictures of them, I had no idea they were in the pictures). I have been on a mission since then to see them for myself.

 

Now while I was taking pictures of them, my camera started acting funny. It started flashing that it was "too deep" and I was like what the heck! It had never done that before. So, I looked at my pressure gauge and noticed this...

 

 

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I was down 50 feet!!! Oops!!! Yikes!! So it was time to come up some since we are only supposed to go down 40 feet when you are a DSD.

 

Sakari and Sam were even further down than I was. She was trying like crazy to get her camera to work.

 

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Our instructor wrote something on her writing board saying that there were more on up that wasn't as deep as this area.

 

So we kept going up...and they were just everywhere.

 

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A video of them...they are just so cute. You can also hear the boat going by us overhead as well. It was just back and forth all day.

 

 

 

 

I had managed to complete my mission of seeing the garden eels! I was so happy!

 

 

 

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We were finally holding steady at 40 feet now and my camera was back to normal. I guess I now know that it will not want to function properly after 50 feet. It does say good to 50' on the camera and I guess it means exactly 50'.

 

Now I will say that I felt like there really weren't a lot of fish during our dive. I'm not sure why. I mean if I was a fish, this would be my paradise to live in. There were a lot of damsels and little fish and every once in awhile you'd see a parrot fish or something, but not many bigger fish like I expected.

 

Then I ran across a trumpet fish and got overly excited to see something different than just the coral and damsels.

 

 

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I did spot a huge fish off in the distance, which looked like a Bermuda Chub.

 

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I spotted a surgeonfish

 

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Sakari was still desperately trying to get her camera to work.

 

 

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Then we heard the boat passing over us again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Finally a school of fish!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This fish was so pretty.

 

 

 

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A school of yellow tail snappers

 

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There we go...now we're talking. That's what I like to see. Now I feel like I'm swimming in an aquarium!!!

 

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Look at that big fish with Sakari

 

 

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Ok, the kids and grandkids have stopped by several times today and I'm worn out. Time to lay down and rest. I'll continue tomorrow with the ending of our scuba diving.

 

I hope you are enjoying the review and pictures.

 

Have a great night everyone.

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I’m glad you finally got to see your garden eels. They really are cute!

 

I did the same thing with my camera on our my last dive. I forgot to put it on the underwater setting. Unlike you, I didn’t figure it out until after my dives were over. I have a lot of very green pictures from those dives! I’ve never done that before. 

 

I have had my Olympus TG 2 down to 50 feet, even deeper than that a few times. So far it has survived, but I know I’m pushing my luck. My other underwater camera is a SeaLife, which requires a housing. It’s a good camera, but I just don’t like it as much as my Olympus for some reason. It can, however, go deeper than the Olympus because it has the housing. I wish the housing for the Olympus wasn’t so expensive!

 

Sounds like you’re starting to feel a little bit better. Hope that continues. Please try & take it easy even though your pain is better controlled. You still have a lot of healing to do. Giving yourself time to recover now will get you healthy and back on your feet again and back to your normal activities a lot sooner in the long run than over-doing it now and causing any setbacks. 

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Thanks Kim for the amazing photos...

Hope you feel that much better again tomorrow...

Pain Management is simply a PAIN!!

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13 hours ago, Tigerman4LSU said:

Thank you for the review so far and the pictures.  Hopefully the recovery goes well.

 

Any thoughts on the food?  I am always afraid that the food quality has gone down hill.

 

George

 

You're welcome.

 

As mentioned early, I feel like the food quality has gone downhill as well since the last time I cruised with them and comparable to other cruise lines I have been using over the last couple of years.

 

9 hours ago, Shoppie124 said:

I see that the kids can go into Spice after 7pm.  What time do they have to leave?

 

 

 

They are there the rest of the night. They just can't be there during the day only up until 7pm.

 

9 hours ago, Pat.D said:

 

Nice!  I'll be sailing the Breakaway on the same itinerary in less than a month and have booked dives in Roatan, Cozumel and Costa Maya.  Last Sept (Getaway) and Feb (Carnival Dream) I dived Roatan with Anthony's Key and saw lots of wildlife there, from massive Moray Eels to Turtles and Singrays. 

 

Are you all certified or was this a "Discover Scuba" outing?  If not I hope you know you can get your PADI open water on Royal Caribbean ships (I'm sailing with one of my friends who is passing his certification on the RCCL Symphony of the Seas this november).

 

Pat

 

 

I have always heard that Anthony Key was an amazing dive. Some day I hope to try it.

 

No, we are not certified. We do the Discover each time we cruise. Yea, they had a PADI shop on our last RC on the Freedom. We just have no interest in getting certified at this time. I'm not even sure the hubby can get certified with his ears, which would make it pointless for us.

 

 

3 hours ago, perfect match said:

I’m glad you finally got to see your garden eels. They really are cute!

 

I did the same thing with my camera on our my last dive. I forgot to put it on the underwater setting. Unlike you, I didn’t figure it out until after my dives were over. I have a lot of very green pictures from those dives! I’ve never done that before. 

 

I have had my Olympus TG 2 down to 50 feet, even deeper than that a few times. So far it has survived, but I know I’m pushing my luck. My other underwater camera is a SeaLife, which requires a housing. It’s a good camera, but I just don’t like it as much as my Olympus for some reason. It can, however, go deeper than the Olympus because it has the housing. I wish the housing for the Olympus wasn’t so expensive!

 

Sounds like you’re starting to feel a little bit better. Hope that continues. Please try & take it easy even though your pain is better controlled. You still have a lot of healing to do. Giving yourself time to recover now will get you healthy and back on your feet again and back to your normal activities a lot sooner in the long run than over-doing it now and causing any setbacks. 

 

I've forgot to switch my settings a few times but usually catch it quickly. However, I have also managed to to accidentally roll the switch while swimming/diving a few times too and didn't realize it and ended up with a bunch of green photos. Ugh! The older Olympus cameras didn't do that and you had to actually go into the settings and set it to do that. With the new, there's just a dial that rotates to change them and it makes it easier to accidentally "roll" it off the right setting.

 

I have definitely been taking it easy but felt I was up a little too much yesterday (due to my kids coming over to visit for several hours and different times) and my leg was so swollen yesterday from it. Hopefully today (Monday) I'll be able to rest more. I'm up now at 5am in pain and waiting for the pain meds to kick back in to go back to sleep. This bites.

 

2 hours ago, Von & John said:

Thanks Kim for the amazing photos...

Hope you feel that much better again tomorrow...

Pain Management is simply a PAIN!!

 

You're welcome and glad you are enjoying them.

 

Pain is definitely a pain and management is a pain in the arse. 😞

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This area has a lot of neat channels in it and they look so cool.

 

 

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Then all of a sudden I noticed our instructor went in one and out of site. I look down and see the hubby down there about to follow her and do the same. Sakari and I were several feet above that (as you can tell from the next photo) and knew if we wanted to follow, we would need to go down deeper to go in.

 

 

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I wasn't sure what Sakari wanted to do. So I waited. As much as I wanted to go into the channel, I wasn't about to leave her or if she decided she wasn't going to do it then I would go over the channel at the top with her so that she wouldn't feel bad for not being able to do it. But, I seen her equalizing her ears over and over as she dropped down. I knew she was going for it. (After the dive she said there was no way she wasn't going to do that and was so excited about it).

 

As we made it down, I caught the end of the hubby...

 

 

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In went Sakari

 

 

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It was pretty cool and we both high fived each other when we made it out. I wanted to turn around and do it again but the hubby and the instructor had moved on. LOL

 

 

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Here's a short video...sorry about the way it turned out. I was so excited about this that I wasn't paying attention to the direction I had the camera.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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So on we went...

 

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Then we found the cutest little pipe fish

 

 

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And then a school of squid

 

 

 

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Then the hubby spotted a sideways flounder. They are always so cool to look at.

 

 

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We were heading back and only at around 15 feet now.

 

 

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Some more cute puffer fish

 

 

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P8060600%20copy-L.jpg

 

 

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Huge fish alert...

 

 

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It was way bigger than what it appeared in the photo/video

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We were following a lot of channels at this point, just none that were enclosed like a tunnel

 

 

 

 

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We had to come up to the top to go over some of the shallow coral reefs...

 

 

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They we would go back down some.

 

 

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Sakari spotted something that she liked and waited for me to catch up and show me.

 

 

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At first I thought they were some Christmas tree worms (the bright neon orange things under the rock)

 

 

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But then as I got closer, I noticed they weren't.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Then we spotted another trumpet fish

 

 

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And a huge Lobster

 

 

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And then our dive was over. We came up and swam back to our dive site at the beach. It was a great dive. According to my watch and pictures, we were diving for 1 hour and 10 minutes from the first picture I took when we headed out after skills to to last before I came up and inflated my bcd before the swim back to shore. That was a great and long dive and I was so happy about it!

 

 

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Edited by mitsugirly

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12 hours ago, mitsugirly said:

We arrived at the dive station, I'm guessing, within about 20 minutes or so and checked in with our instructor. The thing I like about NCL is that their dock (Coxenhole) is closer to West Bay than Carnival's Mahogany Bay and therefore, you get there quicker.

 

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She knew our history of diving and said she would make it a "quick" class. She legally had to go over everything of course, but she did it quickly as a review and we took our test. I was getting a good vibe from her, which I feel is important when diving and feeling confident.

 

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We geared up with our equipment and was ready to roll....or dive...or sink....or something entertaining.

 

 

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Ok, I gave in...sticking out the tongue is the "in" thing to do I guess. I wasn't fighting her anymore about it so I joined in.

 

 

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There is nothing like Roatan diving or just snorkeling. We are not divers but love snorkeling there. AS for your review and pics so far, you know everyone loves reading them. Have you thought about going pro? 

Sorry there have been some downside when it comes to the ship and crew. We are going to take the Breakaway again in Oct because it worked the best for what we wanted on the upcoming vacation but the Breakaway isn't our favorite ship and mainly because we have not had the best service.

Now keep improving that leg and stop hurting so much. Take care. 

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