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Dive Review of Dressel Divers/Iberostar Cozumel in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan/Cozumel

June, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Dr. Michael Pangelinan, CA, USA
Report Number 2630
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Fiji, the Philippines, Palau, Hawaii, and California.
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, rainy  
calm, currents  
Water Temp
82   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
90   to 120    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
divers/DM.  DM's kept the groups relatively close together due to stronger
than normal current.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
2 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  
No separate rinse tanks for cameras & gear.  Boats were strictly day
boats.  Surface intervals were often at the resort-a 5'-10' ride back.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars   
3 stars    
I was a little apprehensive as so many of the (primarily older) reviews for
Dressel divers online in numerous websites were very bad.  I went with my
C-card holding (but pregnant and not diving) wife and 12month old daughter
so we chose Iberostar for the resort and not for the dive operator.  

I completed the DPV (diver propulsion vehicle) & Nitrox classes there. 
DPV's are very useful in moving around through current and TIGHT
swimthroughs. Ian, Michael Sanchez, Paul, and Alex were excellent DM's and
instructors.  The boat captains and crew were very good but only water was
offered.  Tanks were changed out for us and weights were avaiable on the
boat.  The boat crew made for EASY entries (giant stride not backroll and
they handed us our camera gear) and exits from the large dayboats.  Ladders
were secure on the boats and we merely had to hand up our camera gear and
fins and were helped aboard.  

Iberostar is pretty far south and VERY close to the main dive sites-at most
15min rides but more around 5min from the dock.  I did not observe any
divers being hassled by Dressel for being picked up by other dive boat
operators as was previously reported and I was at the dock to dive several
different times every day.

This is NOT a dive operator for divers wanting freedom to roam!  Groups
were kept small w/4-6 divers/DM and close due to stronger than normal
current.  Aluminum 80's were used and dive times were 50min on the first
deeper wall dives (down to 90') and over 60min on the shallower reef dives.
 I wore a 3mm and ended a few excellent dives early (at 70min!) due to the
cold.  As current was relatively strong little to no effort was required
unless you wanted to photograph sometime on top of or beside the reef or
wall (staying behind the wall out of the current made for easy
photography.)  The reefs still have a lot of sand on top from Hurricaine
Wilma last year but are coming back.

We dove the classic dives at Columbia Deep, & Shallows, Palancar
Gardens, Bricks, Horseshoe, & Caves, Paso del Coeral, Punta Dalila, and
several others.  In general, the shallower second dives were much better
and more heavily populated.  We saw nurse sharks, small mantas, turtles,
& large grouper on virtually every dive.  The Cozumel Toadfish,
lobsters (some completely surrounding the swimthroughs), small barracuda,
and seahorses were the other highlights.

I can happily report that the organization and staff at Dressel Divers
Cozumel were professional and EXCELLENT!    They were warm and greeted me
by first name from the first day.  Overall an excellent experience.
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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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