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

Dive Palancar/Occidental Grand Cozumel, Apr, 2009,

by Eric Ault, IL, U.S.A. (Reviewer Reviewer 5 reports). Report 4881.

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

Weather sunny Seas surge, currents
Water Temp 80 to 81 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 75 to 125 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions You could dive your own profile but we mostly followed the divemasters as these were drift dives.
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 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments No actual camera table, but there was a large rinse "bucket" for cameras.

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 3 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments 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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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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