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Dive Review of Dive Paradise/Barracuda Hotel in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan

April, 2007, an Instant Reader Report by David Sifre, NY, USA (1 report)
Report Number 3277
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
51-100 dives
Where else diving
Cayman Brac, Little Cayman, Belize, Hawaii, Jamaica
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

calm, currents  
Water Temp
82   to 83    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
100   to 175    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Generally told to stick close to the guides and were advised, "First
dive 80 feet for 30 minutes" but dives always lasted at least 45
minutes (we did not remain at 80 feet the whole dive).  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  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
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
3 stars  
All of the boats (I was on a total of 4 or 5) had a camera bucket.
Sometimes it was literally a bucket not large enough for anything but point
and shoots without external flashes, and once it was an actual plastic
garbage can which was plenty big (ironically, only point and shoots made it
into that bucket). Crew was helpful in terms of handing gear to divers
after giant stride entries, and was quick to take the camera upon exiting
water-- they almost always placed camera in the bucket).  Unfortunately,
defog (soap only it appeared) was tied above camera and mask buckets and
both buckets were full of suds by the time the first dive started).  No
camera tables.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
2 stars  
Shore Diving  
2 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
1 stars   
3 stars    
Previously dived with Aldora Divers in 2005. Dived with Paradise Divers
because my dive buddy was certified with them a year ago, and had a very
positive experience.  Unfortunately, the dive operation was, on average,
mediocre.  One or two divemasters were truly excellent, and appeared to
love their job, eager to point things out and make sure everybody was okay.
 The rest gave the impression they were working for a living and not
particularly interested in making the dive pleasurable.

The "slow" boats literally take an hour to get to the first dive
destination.  On our first day, the boat did not return from the second
dive until 2:15 -- the afternoon dive was scheduled for 3pm.  The second
day we made it clear we did not want to get back so late and were told,
"Relax, its your vacation" as if taking a dive vacation meant we
ought not be concerned about missing the third dive of the day! Finally,
since 7 of the 14 people on the boat had a 3pm dive, the crew did not go as
far as it had originally intended.  No idea why they schedule people doing
afternoon dives with those who are not scheduled, but they do. And they
really don't care if you miss your afternoon dive -- in fact, maybe thats
why they scheduled things that way, in the hope that people will cancel
their pre-paid third dive rather than get their gear off the boat, get
food, and get their gear onto a second boat within 45 minutes.

Dive Shop discouraged my buddy from renting a dive computer saying it was
not necessary. I insisted. They suggested sharing my computer. I said no. 
Finally they relented.  They advised others that a dive computer was not
necessary as well. 

The rental gear was not well-maintained. Gauges did not work for one person
on 3 occasions. My buddy's first stage was "popping" at the
surface before they replaced it.

They set your gear up for you if you rent. And they set it up between
dives.  But they don't do a great job of it.  One crew member was advised a
tank had 1500 psi when they were supposed to be at 3000 psi.  They swapped
the BC, left the tank and shortly thereafter put somebody else's tank on
the half empty tank. She was a new diver. She discovered the problem only
after her family jumped off the boat. The crew acted very quickly to swap
out her tank but we were very far from the divers by the time it was
accomplished due to the current.  Then we left her in the water to get to
the second drop off for the rest of the divers. She had a hell of a time
but was eventually linked up with the divemaster and reunited with her
family on the dive.

Person next to me did not have the air turned on and only noticed it
because the pressure guage read low (no excuse for his failure to turn the
valve himself before putting his bc on, as he was an experienced diver).

My buddy's tank slipped off the bc at the beginning of the dive.
Fortunately she was able to get my attention, convey the problem and I was
able to slip the strap and tighten it for her.

Essentially, buddy checks were very difficult to do. And it was VERY
rushed. Despite the hours ride out to the dive site, once they told us to
"suit up" they practically threw everybody off the boat, making
errors and mistakes common.

This is a mediocre dive operation for an experienced diver. A poor
operation for a beginner. Very little hand-holding and support.  Only one
divemaster required people to "shut up" during the dive

There is an option to pay an extra 6 dollars to get on a "fast
boat" which has no sun protection and no head. I have no idea whether
those divemasters were any better.
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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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