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Dive Review of Advanced Divers/Barracuda Hotel in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan

Advanced Divers/Barracuda Hotel, Apr, 2009,

by Jack Gibson, TX, USA (Reviewer Reviewer 5 reports). Report 4740.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving : Cozumel, Turks & Caicos, Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, Little Cayman, Belize, Providenciales T&C, Grand Turk, Bonaire, BVI, Walkers Cay, various Florida Keys, Palau, Truk, Pohnpei, Solomon Islands, Indonesia, Galapagos, PNG
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm
Water Temp 80 to 81 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 80 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Virtually no restrictions other than stay with the group and surface with 500 psi. 70+ minute dives are common.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 1 stars
UW Photo Comments As with most day boats, there is no camera table or large rinse tank on the Careyitos. They will set up a large trash can with fresh water to use for a dip tank.

The Barracuda Hotel has no special facilites for shore divers with cameras.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 2 stars Food N/A
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 2 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Ricardos crew did it for us again, as we dove Mountains of Delilah, Delilah shallows, Chankanaub, Paloma, Palancar Point, and San Francisco over an extended Easter weekend. After diving with his operation for more than 12 years, I know you can depend on Ricardos team to deliver whatever you want from the thrill of Punta Sur to mantis shrimp at Delilah or Chankanaub. This weekend we had three hard core photographers on board and Ricardos team responded by splitting into two groups for some dives, slowing the dives down a bit for the photographers and putting us into some good spots for critters while our unencumbered friends went for a slightly faster more thrilling ride. We certainly saw plenty of large animals, too, including several large nurse sharks, several hawksbill turtles, a loggerhead turtle, and a huge lobster that feared no one.

The boat, Careyitos, is a 40-foot Bertram with twin diesels, a spacious dive deck, a nice sun deck above and plenty of shade below. She isnt one of the fast boats that some seem to prefer. Shes for those of us who like being on the sea a nice pleasant ride out to your first dive followed by a great lunch of turkey sandwiches, homemade guacamole, and fresh fruit during the surface interval. Then you get to dive again 75 minutes if your air consumption is good enough and cruise on back home. You only do two dives a day, but you can spend as much time in the water as youll get in three dives with most other operators.

And the crew is very accommodating. You set up your tank in the morning of your first day and they change it to a new tank during the surface interval. They rinse your wet suit at the end of each day and store your gear aboard in the evenings if you wont need it for a shore dive. The next morning youll find it set up on your tank and ready to go. On your last day of diving they will rinse all your gear on the trip in from the reef. Thats service!

The Barracuda Hotel is very conveniently located on the water with interesting shore diving. We enjoy cruising around the debris left from Wilma, photographing juvenile fish, such as French angles, and all sorts of shrimp, crabs, and other critters. Unfortunately, the guys running the dive shop shut down early on two days while we were there, which kept us from shore diving those days. However, on the third day, Ricardo came through for us, arranging for some tanks so we could do the dive. The Barracuda has the basic amenities, but it could use some sprucing up and could be a little cleaner. Cruise ship crews hang out by the pool during the day (which I find entertaining) but they leave and it quiets down by late afternoon.

The down economy has definitely affected Cozumel as it had nothing like the bustle and energy of Easter weekends past. If you like to get into the restaurants without a wait and not share the reef with a gizzilian other divers, now would be a great time to go. As for restaurants, you wont be disappointed with Pasta Prima, La Veranda, La Choza, Kinta, La Cocai, or Guidos. If you stay at the Barracuda, try Rock n Java for breakfast, just a few doors away.
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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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