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Dive Review of Sand Dollar Sports/Carnival Fantasy Cruise in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan/Santa Rosa & Chankanaab Reefs

November, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Carol Cox, FL, USA
Contributor   (14 reports, with 1 Helpful vote)
Report Number 5269
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Red Sea, Caribbean, Palau, Truk, Guam, Rota, Florida, North Carolina,
Honduras, Turkey
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
78   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
80   to 120    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Max depth was supposed to be 80 feet but it wasn't strictly enforced :-) 
Time was 40 minutes on each dive.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  2 stars
Large Fish
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
There was a water bin on board reserved for cameras.  It barely accomodated
the housings for my husband and myself with a total of 3 strobes.  Since we
were just doing two dives on one day, we didn't really need any other
camera facilities.  I didn't see the onshore operations.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Service and Attitude
Environmental Sensitivity  
2 stars
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
2 stars   
4 stars    
My husband and I went on a cruise with our daughter and my sister for
Thanksgiving.  We booked a dive through the cruise ship while in Cozumel. 
My husband and I are used to doing dedicated dive vacations so we didn't
really expect much, but decided to make the best of it.  We were plesantly
surprised and had an excellent experience.  The dive boat met us at a
smaller pier next to the cruise ship pier.  We didn't see the meeting area
when we passed through the busy shopping plaza, and had to go back to fill
out the paperwork, but the dive boat watched our gear so we didn't have to
schlep it again.  The paperwork went quickly and they actually looked at
it--I was questioned about a medicine I am taking for my stomach.  We
boarded the dive boat and made a short trip to the dive shop where most of
the guests picked up gear.  The operation went smoothly and we were off to
our first dive site only 15 minutes away. We received a minimal safety
briefing.  It was OK for my co-divers, but some of the resort divers could
have used a good briefing about staying off the coral.  The 18 divers were
put in 3 groups.  The divemaster paired off with the lone individual in our
group that he correctly pegged as someone needing extra attention.  After
getting bumped around by him, we soon learned to keep our distance from
this fellow--he should have signed up for the beginner boat.  We saw the
usual Cozumel fish life, but I gave our guide extra points for finding a
splendid toadfish early in the dive.  Just as I was lining up my shot, the
flailing diver hit the bottom and kicked up a snowstorm blotting out the
toadfish.  This was after the diver had already looked at the toadfish, but
apparently he wanted to make sure we didn't get any good photos.  This
dude, along with a diver from another group that kept trying to join our
group, kept the divemasters pretty busy.  Fortunately for my family, we
were allowed to hang back and let the sandstorm settle so we could get a
few some shots of the toadfish.  This dive may sound bad, but my family had
a great time and saw lots of fish.  I appreciated the divemaster for
letting us hang behind and do our own thing, instead of keeping us tightly
coraled with the less experienced divers.  We enjoyed ourselves because we
accepted that we would be limited by the cruise ship's schedule and we
expected inexperienced divers.  Despite the expected inconveniences, diving
was the favorite part of the cruise for my husband and me.  If doing a
cruise to Cozumel, I recommend it. 
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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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