We went diving at CocoView the last week in March, 2017. The resort and the diving were great. The boats were a bit crowded and would benefit from another divemaster in the water with sometimes more than a dozen divers. Food - good, rooms - good, staff - good. I’d return to the resort.
I won’t go back to Roatan or Honduras. Here’s why:
Entry into Roatan was painfully slow, taking more than 1-1/2 hours. Exit was worse, taking over 2 hours. All the time was spent standing in line waiting for the most egregious violations of privacy I’ve experienced: Full ten-finger fingerprinting, scan of passport and an extra photograph taken with glasses, hats etc removed. Exiting the island was the same process.
So for a total of 3-1/2 hours standing in line for this unnecessary abuse and violation of privacy we get into and out of the country.
If you refuse, the officious fingerprint/picture-taker told me, my options were only one: immediate deportation.
Some things to consider:
1) If Yahoo, other large companies, and yes, even governments cannot protect data, how can Honduras protect it? When it is stolen, could there be a better or more thorough identity theft opportunity for the bad guys? Probably not.
2) If Honduras is cheeky enough to require more data than we needed to give for a Global Entry pass into the US, what will stop them from asking for a DNA swab next time, or even a blood sample? I don’t think I’ll go back to find out. Example: four fingers and the passport photo are sufficient for US citizens to obtain Global Entry permits, compared with all ten fingers, the passport and an added photo for Honduras. Why? Because they can?
3) Roatan has thousands of cruise ship passengers every day. Are they demanding this kind of intrusive violation of privacy for each one of them? I doubt it.
It looks like divers are being discriminated against in a big way.
See ya, Roatan. Our fourth trip there is our last…