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Dive Review of Living Underwater/Park Royal in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan

November, 2011, an Instant Reader Report by Daniel Fazekas, VA, US
Reviewer   (5 reports)
Report Number 6369
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Bonaire, Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, British Virgin Islands, St. Croix,
Belize, Roatan Puerto Rico, Kona Coast Hawaii
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

choppy, currents  
Water Temp
81   to 83    ° Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
80   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Dive Masters established the max depth for each dive, and made sure that
buddy teams ended their dive at the same time, so the boat could pick them
up while other divers could continue. Drift dives that had strong current
included rules to start and end the dive as a group, for safety.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
5 stars  
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
5 stars  
Crew handled gear like it was their own. They pass and retrieve camera gear
to divers after they roll in and before they climb back aboard. There is a
separate fresh water tank for camera setups.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
3 stars   
5 stars    
Our second trip to Cozumel in two years, and no planning was necessary.
Living Underwater was our choice two years ago, and we have no reason to
look anywhere else. The owner, Jeremy Anschel picked up our gear the
evening before our first dive, so that all we needed to do every morning
was meet the boat at the pier with our dry bag. (Note: there is a pier fee
of $2 per person per day, not for the dive operator, but for the pier
owner.) At the end of the week, he returned to settle our bill. (Note: all
tips are shared equally between DM, Captain and Crew, whether you pay them
individually, or wait until the end and add it to your bill.) The boat
arrived like clockwork at 0740 and we collected other divers on our way to
the first dive of the day. Our DM was Mario for five days, and Ari for one
day, Francisco and Ricardo (Captain and Crew) all six days. They are real
professionals, and very friendly. The "Jewfish" is the fastest
dive boat we have seen in Cozumel, which had us in the water first, even
with the holiday crowd. Our group of eight divers were backward rolling off
the side about 0830. Dives average about one hour, thanks to the steel 120
cubic inch tanks (Note: painted white, which helps keep groups oriented if
another group passes through). Upon surfacing, the boat collects each
divers camera and weights/tank/BCD before you come back aboard. By the time
you are out of your wetsuit, you are arriving at Palancar beach, which has
a restaurant and bathrooms, and the best fish tacos. After 90 minutes to
off-gas some nitogen, soak up the sun and listen to Mario's stories, we
would be back on the boat for the second dive. We never had to handle the
tanks, the crew always had things ready to go. We would be back at our pier
around 1-2 pm. The combination of fast dive boat, no handling of the gear
during the week, and short walk from the resort to the pier could not be
any easier, except for a liveaboard. 

Dive Sites visited were:

Palancar Gardens – lg jewfish, small hawksbill

Chankanab Bolones – six foot green moray, 3’ parrot fish, lg Nassau
grouper, lg arrow crabs

Palancar Caves – pristine, great swimthroughs

Tormentos – basket sponges, lg angels, too much current to enjoy critters

Columbia Reef – exc vis, nice swimthroughs, 3 lg spiny lobster @ 80’. Mario
took time to fix his sign, algae covered bricks on the sandy bottom that
spelled his name. Hawksbill, rays, snapper, garden eels.

Cedarales Paseo – sleeping nurse shark baby. Small moray, large angel,
hawksbill turtle

Chankanab – Our fist night dive in Cozumel. In the water about 6pm, and it
wasn't long before we found an Octopus. By the end of the dive, we had seen
six, and others claimed ten. One was oblivious to the dive lights, and
calmly floated from small coral head to coral head, expanding his body to
maximum parachute shape to flush out his prey. One was returning to his
lair, and methodically backed his way under a rocky ledge and into the
sandy "cave" to await his next victim or outing. Also saw two
large crabs, next to each other, looking ready to fight!

Devil’s Throat – 126’ max, 57 avg. complex of swimthroughs among towering
pillars. Enter first at 60 feet, descend to exit @ 120’, enter another
tunnel and then slowly ascend through to exit @ 80’ cruise around and about
coral heads for rest of dive. Awesome!

Punta Tunich – Long drift dive with occasional drops behind coral head for
rest and to see Drumfish. I found green blennie in coral head. All sizes of
reef fish from juvie to adult, squirrel, file, trunk, cow, scrawled file,
turtles and angels, large French and quenn pairs. We did not bring a camera
on this trip, and of course, all the fish were posing for us, begging to
take their pictures!

Barracuda Reef – Thanksgiving Day. Fast current. Rule was to enter
together, stay close, and surface as a group. The north end dive was a wall
dive, not a photo dive, no way to stop. Healthy coral and sponges.

Canterel reef – Lobster, banded coral shrimp under a large concrete block
(van sized). Large crab and two coral banded shrimp – the large crab was
sighted last. Bethann spotted tail of of a llg green moral, when I arrived,
it was showing half of his 6’ length. Sharps eel fully exposed on sandy
bottom near coral.

Palancar caves – Our new DM Ari (short for Ariane). Nothing new, but fun

Delilah Reef – Last Dive. My wife found another long green moray, and HUGE
spiny lobster. I spent most of the dive checking under coral near sandy
bottom for a splendid Toadfish. I was attracted by a large arrow crab and
coral banded shrimp, then glanced left, and their it was, a large toadfish.
Small hawksbill turtle, very friendly. Lots of schooling grunts, snapper,
large angel pairs.
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