One of the reasons we visited this resort two years in a row is the excellent snorkeling right at the resort. Floating on the surface of the water, breathing through a tube, never knowing what will be swimming around the next sea fan or head of coral- this is a favorite activity for my husband and me. Unfortunately, the boys have not been very interested, but this year Ben did accompany me underwater, using goggles, instead of a mask and snorkel. Feel free to skip the camera background below and go right for the pictures later in the report if you dont care what I used to take these photos and why. Since 2008, my camera style of choice has been a point and shoot that is rated for underwater use. I love being able to take it wherever I go and not having to worry about finding a locker or be concerned about theft since I dont have to leave the camera behind with our stuff. Last February during our trip to Barcelo, in addition to Mark, Nate and Ben, my trusty Olympus Stylus 1030 SW was my constant companion. The last day of our trip in 2010 saw pretty rough weather. Overcast, some rain, rough surf. Well, Mark and I really didnt get out snorkeling as much as we wanted to on this trip, so I decided to push it and go out one more time. I didnt get very far. Conditions were horrible, waves were crashing and sand was blowing everywhere. Within 30 minutes of leaving the water, my camera died. Water must have gotten through the seal somehow. Fortunately, it was the last day of our trip, and I still had my sons cameras as backups for our last few hours. I think I got the Olympus right before an August 2008 trip to Disney. It had been through Tropical Storm Faye in Orlando. It performed admirably at Atlantis, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon at Disney World and the beach. It had taken THOUSANDS of pictures. RIP. In March, I ordered a new camera. Satisfied with my Olympus, I decided to replace it with the same camera. The new model offered was the Olympus Stylus Tough 8000. I ordered it online and used it for the next few months, but I had not tested the waterproof feature yet. On the last day of school in mid-June, I hosted a pool party and finally tested the camera in the water. The first few pictures were great. Then the lens fogged over! Apparently, the camera did not like the change in temperature from the heat to the cool of the pool. After a couple of days, I called Olympus. And here is what they told me to do. Put the camera in a Ziploc Bag. Get as much air out as you can, making a vacuum. Leave the camera overnight to see if the lens clears. The lens did clear. So the next day I took it to an outing to a fun park with my boys- lazer tag, go carts, mini-golf. Again, when I took the camera from the airconditioning out into the heat of the day, the lens fogged up. At this point, I had lost confidence in my camera! It still continued to take pictures, and I even used it underwater, but some quirky things started to happen. We lost sound when recording videos. But found it when viewing snapshots on the computer! You can look at a picture and hear Smile! Move to the left. Freaky! I did some research and decided to try a different camera, the Canon Powershot D10. This camera was also rated for underwater use to 33 feet. It is a little bulkier than the Olympus cameras, so it doesnt fit as conveniently in my pocket or in my hand. And the panoramic stitching in the camera is not as easy. But I have been thrilled with the photos from the Canon. I was excited to see how it would fare on our trip. I still had the Olympus, and I took that along as a backup, just in case The conditions for snorkeling this year were improved, but still pretty rough. It was extremely windy, which resulted in pretty high surf for a lot of this trip. There were a couple of days that were calm and bright and Mark and I took turns going out into the water, mostly in front of the Palace, but Ben liked going near the pier. So without further chit-chat, here are the photos. I will try to identify the fish, but if anyone can add the names I would appreciate it! Blue-striped grunt Brittle Sea Star? French Angelfish Can you find the camouflaged fish in this photo? Bottom-left corner Tang?, Bluehead, Goby Smooth Trunkfish 4-eyed Butterfly Fish Fairy Basslet Zebra Angels? Sea Fan The Barcelo has a reputation of being an excellent place to see Sea Turtles while snorkeling. I am sad to report that while I heard a lot of other people say that they saw turtles the week we were there, I didnt see any. But it is sort of my fault because I stick mostly to the rocks and coral where the colorful, pretty fish are instead of the eel grass or sandy areas where the turtles tend to hang out. Mark saw a turtle when he was out kayaking with Ben. Mark didnt see any turtles while snorkeling, but he saw a ray and a grouper-type fish. By the way- my Canon performed perfectly during this trip. The backup Olympus, however, died on the last day of our trip, just like its brother did last year.