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Dive Review of Dive Palancar/Occidental Grand Cozumel in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan/Cozumel

April, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Eric Ault, IL, U.S.A.
Reviewer   (5 reports)
Report Number 4881
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Hawaii, Galapagos, Bahamas, Saba, St. Kitts, Grenada, Dominica, Bay
Islands, Belize, Los Roques, Turks & Caicos
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

surge, currents  
Water Temp
80   to 81    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
75   to 125    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
You could dive your own profile but we mostly followed the divemasters as
these were drift dives.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
No actual camera table, but there was a large rinse "bucket" for
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
3 stars
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
3 stars   
4 stars    
Our dive club, Scubaneers of Glen Ellyn, IL visited Cozumel in April of
2009.  We last visited Cozumel in 2005 after the big hurricane.  Both the
Island and the reefs seem to have recovered nicely.  We chose the
all-inclusive resort Occidental Grand Cozumel.  The resort is beautifully
landscaped and the rooms are clean and comfortable.  Our room was on the
third (top) floor; guess they thought we needed the stair climbing
exercise.  The air conditioning seemed to struggle a bit; rooms on the
lower floors were cooler.  I doubt that the a/c would comfortably deal with
mid-summer heat.  Breakfast and lunch were served buffet-style with plenty
of choices.  Dinners were also buffet style.  The food was not gourmet but
was plentiful and pretty good for the most part.  Depending on your resort
package you may opt for a certain number of meals in the Mediterranean
restaurant, the grill or the pizza place.  We liked the food in the
Mediterranean restaurant, Los Olivos but the steaks in grill were poor. 
After 9:00 p.m. the pizza place was open to all comers.  We ate there after
our two night dives.  All drinks including established name brands are
included in your package.  Service is good and friendly just about
everywhere at the resort.  We found that a little extra tipping kicks
things up a notch.  Non-divers enjoyed sunning at the pool and spending
time at the resort spa.  A shopping trip to town was also on their agenda. 
Dive Palancar is the on-site operator.  Since we had fourteen divers we got
our own boat and had the same crew every day.  The dive shop staff carried
our gear back and forth from the shop rinsing everything for us at the end
of the dive day.  We tipped them accordingly at the end of the week.  Our
package included six days of two tank morning dives but most of us opted
for extra dives including two night dives.  Chief Divemaster Gustavo was
assisted by Divemaster Lobo.  Both did an excellent job, providing a
thorough briefing and pointing out unusual creatures.  Lobo was quite adept
at coaxing the endemic Toadfish out of their holes.  This was the first
time any of us had actually seen an entire Toadfish, not just the head. 
The resort is located fairly far South on the Island putting it close to
the best sites.  As a result most of the dive sites were only a short ride.
 The reef at these sites seemed to be healthy and there was plenty of fish
life along with more turtles than Ive seen just about anywhere else.  The
fish seemed to be habituated to divers and even the usually wary Rock
Beauties were approachable.  We especially enjoyed swimming through the
canyons created by the huge pillars of coral at the deeper dive sites. 
Most of the diving was drift diving with the current being pretty strong in
a few places.  We enjoyed being lazy and just going with the flow.  At the
end of the week we all agreed that a return visit to Cozumel and the
Occidental Grand was in our futureThis was a great trip.  
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