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Dive Review of Blue Angel/Casa Mexicana in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan/Cozumel

Blue Angel/Casa Mexicana, Jul, 2006,

by Patrick Wikstrom, NC, USA (Contributor Contributor 14 reports). Report 2615.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Bahamas; Belize; Bonaire; California Channel Islands; Cayman; Cocos; Costa Rica; Cozumel; Florida- springs, west coast, & keys; Indonesia; North Carolina; Massachusetts; Palau; Puerto Rico; Roatan; Socorro; South Africa; Thailand; Truk; Turks & Caicos; TVA lakes; Yap; Yucatan Caves;
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy Seas calm, choppy, currents
Water Temp 82 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 60 to 90 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions no deeper than 130', not much longer than an hour please, back on board with 300psi
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Located at the Caribe Blue Hotel, Blue Angel Diving had a pretty organized, professional operation. My buddy had dove with them for years but this was my first time. Alejandra, the owner wasnt around during our visit, but the on-site manager, Victor, was both personable and seemingly anxious to get us the kind of diving we requested. The 22 room hotel caters mostly to divers and provides wireless internet, fresh water pool, secure milk crate lockers, decent gear rinse and outdoor shower facilities, and a restaurant/bar with reasonable prices for drinks and standard Mexican & American food. The place was freshly repaired, cleaned and painted, appeared mostly full, and has a lot of loyal repeat customers. The dive op seems prosperous with 4 or 5 fast boats with Bimini tops that carried a maximum of eight, and a cabin cruiser presumably holding larger groups. Boats I was on had first aid and DAN O2 kits, VHF radio, cold bottled water, and a camera rinse bucket. 95cu.ft. tanks and Nitrox were available.

On our first dive day they took out an afternoon boat for just two of us. Jose, the divemaster, let us select our sites, provided a decent briefing, and was competent both above and underwater. On Santa Rosa, which turned out to be in better shape than several sites Id seen, we had a pleasant dive curling in and out of the columns and crevices along the wall stumbling across several schools of large HorseEye Jacks, a 6ft Nurse Shark tucked in an overhang, and a large Caribbean Octopus foraging out in the sand. One of the weird unforeseen results of Novembers hurricane Wilma seems to be that octopi are coming out during the day much more often than in the past. Whether this is because their predators are fewer or because their food supply is diminished and theyre working harder to find prey has not been determined. Another memorable dive was a ripping flight across Tuniche where we pulled ourselves cross-current on hand holds of dead coral to traverse from side to side of the principal reef spine. Dropping down behind coral boulders we joined large schools of grunts hunkered down out of the rushing torrent.My overall impression was good. I liked the feel of the hotel and dive shop combo and the dive op went out of their way to satisfy us. Id use them again. But I wasnt staying there.

Id signed on with a small group that was staying at the recently opened Casa Mexicana. This is a high end downtown hotel right on Ave Rafael Melgar, the main coast road. Somewhere I read that the architect had won awards for the design and this five story structure does have an interesting modern Mayan look about it. The ground floor street level rents out to various high end shops. A pair of escalators slide guests up to the large lobby located on the second story. The internet computer room, swimming pool, and miniscule bar are also located on this level looking out over the hustle and bustle of the main road. The small decorator styled pool looks nice in the brochure photos, with bikini girls stretched out on the lounge chairs, but somehow its location right in the lobby sort of restricts folks from many poolside activities. This is an affluent, staid, and proper clientele and nobodys going to tolerate a herd of screaming kids running and jumping all over this place.

An open core up the middle of the structure is covered with a giant skylight and surrounded by guest rooms. At the bottom (floor # 2 third story) is a garden with patio type tables which is used for the complimentary breakfast buffet each morning. My friends stayed in one of the better rooms which have an ocean front balcony with a birds eye view of the action down below. My garden view balcony looked out on the steamy garden which was never used by anyone except at breakfast, so the most exciting thing I observed was the birds flying in stealing food from the plates of the less vigilant. Both class of room were expansive, had nice tile floors, refrigerators, room safe, large tub/shower units, hair dryers, internet service, 50 channels of TV (two in English), and functioning utilities.

The morning breakfast bar was really pretty good. Serving from 7:00 to 10:00 there were eggs cooked to order, a complete continental selection, juice, fruits, and cheeses, along with several hot breakfast entrées including Mexican dishes, meats, potatoes, pancakes, and rice. One could easily skip lunch after the chow down on this all you can eat extravaganza. No other meals are served although a short menu of room service items was available at other times. But the Casa Mexicana doesnt really cater to divers. There is no dock, dive shop, gear lockers or rinse tank. My bath tub worked well for this but I was the only guest hanging my dive gear on the balcony. I got some mean stares from the wait staff when I went down to breakfast and if Id stayed much longer Im sure they would have asked me to desist. But for a business man or a couple who came to stroll the downtown shopping this first class hotel would probably be a good choice. Although air and land packages are sometimes associated with this property my late reservation cost me the full rack rate of $105 per night
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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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