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

Sand Dollar Sports/Carnival Fantasy Cruise, Nov, 2009,

by Carol Cox, FL, USA (Contributor Contributor 14 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 5269.

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

Weather cloudy Seas calm
Water Temp 78 to 82 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 2
Water Visibility 80 to 120 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Max depth was supposed to be 80 feet but it wasn't strictly enforced :-) Time was 40 minutes on each dive.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 2 stars Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments 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):

Accommodations N/A Food N/A
Service and Attitude N/A Environmental Sensitivity 2 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments 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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