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

Dressel Divers/Iberostar Cozumel, Jun, 2006,

by Dr. Michael Pangelinan, CA, USA . Report 2630.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Fiji, the Philippines, Palau, Hawaii, and California.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy Seas calm, currents
Water Temp 82 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 90 to 120 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions NOT FOR DIVERS WANTING UNLIMITED FREEDOM! Groups were small w/4-6 divers/DM. DM's kept the groups relatively close together due to stronger than normal current.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 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
UW Photo Comments 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):

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