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Dive Review of Dive Balam/Royal Haciendas in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan/Playa Del Carmen

April, 2012, an Instant Reader Report by Ms Lynda Durfee, VA, US
Top Contributor   (38 reports, with 2 Helpful votes)
Report Number 6529
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
all over the Caribbean, Hawaii, Palau, Lake Tahoe
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy, dry  
Water Temp
76   to 79    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
60   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Stick with group, no deco  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  1 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
small boats; no rinse buckets or camera shelf
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
3 stars   
3 stars    
Two small (10-15) passenger boats; none full.  Neither has head.  Canopy to
protect from sun.  Smaller boat (most dives), back roll; then return hang
on line, remove BCD, etc. and hand to crew.  No one could get back on board
until crew had changed over the tanks between dives or break down gear
after 2nd dive.  Very uncomfortable bobbing on the line in the wind. If you
need to "check the props" you have to speak up or they'll zoom to
the next stop or return to the shop.  No dock; wade through shallow water
to/from boat.  Trip on bigger boat to Cozumel ran three times that week;
need to reserve in advance because all three filled up.  Very professional
crew; will store your gear overnight, but no lock on door! I took off my
computer before storing my gear.  Hot showers and restroom (clean!) next to
show, and outdoor showers nearby to rinse your wetsuits.  Saw lots of fish;
Cozumel dives were the best, but local PDC area pretty nice; one day was a
fast drift.  Some days, both dives were only to 45 feet, so this was boring
for the experienced divers.  The resort is isolated (as are the others in
the area) on the beach, so you're limited to restaurants onsite unless you
take a cab into town.  Nothing to do in the pm; even the fitness center
closes at 8 pm (opens at 7 am) and is closed all day Saturday.  Good
security (noticeable on beach and by pool); rooms cleaned daily; I was in a
studio on a timeshare exchange.  I wanted to dive the cenotes, but they
need a minimum of 3 dives, and the other two cancelled the day before;
bummer, because that's what I came to PDC to cross off my bucker list.  For
am dives, meet at shop at 8:30, leave abt 9 and return between 12 and 1
(except 2 pm for Cozumel trip).  I would dive with Dive Balam again, but
would book maximum number of Cozumel trips in advance.  Another bummer, I
couldn't book the tours to the Mayan ruins on my non-diving days (Sun &
Fri) because the tours weren't running!  Having said this, RH owners seem
to really like the resort and often stay for 3-4 weeks at a time, diving
only a few days a week and sightseeing or relaxing on other days.  Rumor is
that RH will go "all inclusive" next year; I can't eat and drink
enough to make it worthwhile.
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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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