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Dive Review of Dive Paradise/Hotel Cozumel in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan/Quintana Roo, Mexico

December, 2004, an Instant Reader Report by James Fritch, CA, USA
Report Number 1498
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy  
choppy, currents  
Water Temp
78   to 79    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
80   to 120    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
80 Feet maximum depth.  Dive according to tables not according to your
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
2 stars  
Small Critters
  2 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
A large fresh water bucket was present on all boats for camera equipment. 
No camera table or tray was present.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
1 stars
Service and Attitude
2 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
1 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
1 stars    
   I expected crowds of people over the Christmas holiday and was not
disappointed.   I was disappointed with the hotel Cozumels food and the
Dive Paradise dive operation.  The outgoing flight was effortless as we
booked the Continental flight from Houston directly to  Cozumel, but we had
to wait several hours for our room, which was not ready upon our arrival. 
The room we had at hotel Cozumel was excellent: plumbing worked fine; good
third story views of the pool; good lock box included in the room;
excellent patio layout permitted drying gear securely.  The food, on the
other hand, was substandard.  My wife (who has been ill less than 5 times
in the last 20 years) became violently ill after the second day.  Food
poisoning was the culprit.  Then I became sick during the Nochebuena
fiesta by the pool. After a visit to the CMC hospital, the diagnosis was
the same: FOOD POISIONING. I paid a substantial extra for the all-inclusive
option assuming that we would always have a safe source of food at the
hotel. (Far more than I would have paid had we taken meals at a local
restaurant)  The food that was available was very bland and unappetizing. 
Only on one day (Mexican food day) was the food appealing and since I was
recovering from food poisoning, I could not fully appreciate it.  Although
I might stay at this hotel again because of its price and location, I would
never eat the food served there.
   The Dive Paradise operation is one of the oldest on the island, dating
back to my earliest memories of diving at Cozumel.  It soon became apparent
that Dive Paradise operates for the convenience of its dive masters, not
the paying customer.  We were treated as though we were rank amateur divers
even thought I am a dive master and my son has experience throughout the
world.  Every day we were assigned another boat and had to prove ourselves
all over again.  The boats depart at 8:20 AM and make stops along the way,
putting us well behind the others on Cozumels crowded reefs.  I inquired
about some of the more challenging dive sites listed on the waiver form
provided by Dive Paradise.  I was told by the dive shop manager that these
were unavailable.  Dive masters seem indifferent to US divers, but pay
special attention to their Mexican clients.  On one occasion the majority
of the divers on a boat wanted to dive the C-53 wreck.  A lone pair of
Mexican divers wanted to dive Columbia reef instead.   The immediate
response of the crew was to dive Columbia reef.  It was not until a crew
member sensed the inequity of this situation that he suggested that we do
both sites.  We were very lucky in our selection of days to dive as the
weather quickly became too windy and rough to send boats out.
   My recommendations: 
The hotel Cozumel has excellent facilities, price and locationbut dont
eat the food.
Dive Paradise is included in many packages and competitively priced, but
pay the extra dollar to go with one of the first-rate operations that put
the needs of their customers first.
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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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