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Dive Review of Aldora Divers/Coral Princess in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan/Cozumel

February, 2012, an Instant Reader Report by Kevin Munson, IL, US (1 report)
Report Number 6440
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
51-100 dives
Where else diving
Grand Cayman, Hawaii (Maui), Puerto Rico, Florida (Key West and West Palm
Beach), Epcot (divequest), Quarries (IL, OH, MI), Great Lakes, Bonne Terre
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
77   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
100   to 250    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Because I dove Nitrox the entire trip, the limiting factor was MOD, which I
only exceeded once at the Devil's throat for 5 ft and 20 seconds.  Stayed
with the DM most of the time; had to stay within direct line of sight
unless in a swim through.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
I only used a SeaLife Mini II without external lighting, but was able to
use it easily without any issues. Took so many photos and videos that I ran
out of batteries during each dive day.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
2 stars   
5 stars    
Aldora's stated brand promise is "Only the best of Cozumel".  I
haven't done much comparing (having only been with one other dive operator
in Cozumel), but I can certainly say that almost every element of my
experience was "the best".   They were "on-brand" at
every opportunity to impress me.

As other divers have commented here on Undercurrent, diving Steel 120's is
the primary differentiating factor for Aldora.  I had bottom times
averaging around 1 hour 15 minutes, with a few shallower dives
approximating almost two hours. This was the first diving I have done with
EANx where I actually had to pay attention to my no-deco time, yet I
usually surfaced with more than 1000 psi on every dive.

Boats:  We only dove the larger, 44' boat named Felicity twice, but it was
really fast, with goof space available and easy to dive. The rest of the
time we went out with the smaller, faster boats, which did the trick
although I would have preferred a marine head.

Aldora Staff: The level of service and professionalism was an unexpected
delight for me.  I got to know Memo, Guillermo, our DM Julio, DM trainees
and most of the boat captains.  Each of them paid careful attention to our
satisfaction with the experience at any crucial moment- adjusting as needed
to any feedback that we gave (which was - of course - mostly positive).  I
would say that customer service is a key part of the overall experience
diving with Aldora.

Diving: We pretty much had our choice of dive sites on any given day, and
Aldora accommodated our requests as much as they could. We saw Cantarell
(eagle ray dive), Chankanaab (night dive), Columbia (Deep), Palancar (Caves
and Horseshoe), Paso de Cedral (twice), Punta Sur (twice), Tunich, and a
few others I can't remember. The corals were all in good health, and there
was plenty of life to see each day. Not many big critters, but really
enjoyed the 12 Eagle Rays at Cantarell and probably 15-20 turtles (mostly
on Paso de Cedral). Also saw about 7 nurse sharks and 4 black tipped reef
sharks. We also went over to Playa del Carmen to visit the Chac Mool
cenote, which was really a neat dive as well.

Surface Interval: I didn't know whether I would like the daily routine of a
surface interval at Mr Sancho's Beach club, but I really enjoyed it. They
had good food, fast service and nice facilities.  Memo would often meet us
there and check in to see how things were going.  That was another
unexpected delight.

Hotel: Staying at the Coral Princess was a bit of a hassle in terms of
showing up at the Aldora docks each morning. Next time I would choose a
hotel that Aldora picks up divers at.  Nevertheless, Guillermo parked our
car for us every morning in the lot near the Aldora shop, which we really
appreciated.  The accommodations at the Coral Princess were average at
best, although it was nice to be able to do some night snorkeling easily
from the waterfront (saw some neat reef squid there as well as a bunch of
other life). Comparatively speaking, I would say the quality was almost as
good as a Hampton Inn in the US.

Overall: Without reservation, I would highly recommend diving with Aldora
Divers. For the kind of divers we were, they were the perfect outfit for
Cozumel.  The Coral Princess was only "OK" and I would probably
pick somewhere else next time.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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