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Dive Review of Cozumel Marine World/Casa del Mar in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan/Cozumel

Cozumel Marine World/Casa del Mar: "Caribbean diving in mild current with lots of coral and fish", Mar, 2019,

by Joel Snyder, AZ, US (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 29 reports with 30 Helpful votes). Report 10880 has 2 Helpful votes.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 2 stars Food 1 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Cozumel Feb 2019 Trip Report

We went diving for a week in Cozumel. The trip was organized by the OBDC and included an all-inclusive stay at Cozumel's Casa del Mar and diving with Cozumel Marine World (the on-premises dive shop). During the last days of February, water temperature was very nice, typically in the range of 78 to 80 degrees; I dove in my 3mm jacket with no problems and no need for additional protection. Like all Cozumel diving, there are currents, although we saw few strong ones except at depths. Outside weather was lovely, with A/C in our rooms but good air temperature during the day and night---not too cold and not too hot. We had some rain in the evenings, but not during the days.

The hotel, Casa del Mar, was of average quality---rooms were clean and large enough for our stuff; we had a small balcony that was ideal for drying gear overnight (and this seemed to be the custom at the time). The "all-inclusive" plan let us eat all we wanted of decidedly mediocre food and spotty and confused service. If I were to go back, I would forgo the hotel food and simply walk to one of the dozen or so restaurants that are within 100 meters of the hotel (which is on Cozumel's malecon, about a mile outside of the real core center of town). The Casa del Mar is near the large cruise ship terminal---there were always 2-4 cruise ships in port when we were there---which explains the high restaurant and service density even though we were a bit away from the true center of Cozumel.

The dive operator Cozumel Marine World was similarly average. They ran slow boats, which meant a 45-75 minute ride out to the dive site every morning (and a similar ride back) even though other dive shops had faster boats. Divemasters were good, corraling groups of up to 8 divers at a time. That meant that they spent all of their time keeping track of divers and not much timing looking for interesting things. Facilities on shore, such as lockers, were sub-par. We've been diving in Cozumel many times, and although there was nothing unsafe or unacceptable about Cozumel Marine World, I would not choose to dive with them again as there are better choices available. Since most divers did only 2 tanks, CMW discouraged nitrox with a USD10/tank surcharge. We only used Nitrox on the day we insisted on a second boat (4-dive day).

Diving in Cozumel has probably already been well-documented, but for those who haven't read the innumerable descriptions: lots of Caribbean fish mixed with beautiful reef formations and a moderate selection of corals and sponges. The park is protected, so we found not a single piece of fishing line the whole week, as well as lobsters in the 3-6 pound range. Turtles were common and unconcerned with divers, although each had a small entourage of angels that picked at whatever the turtle dug up. Reef condition is good; no signs of coral stress or crown-of-thorns damage. Occasional lionfish, but this didn't seem to be affecting fish populations with abundent angels, butterflyfish, groupers, triggers, tangs, damsels, flounder, filefish, parrotfish, and rays. Small schools as well as individuals everywhere. Toadfish, a Cozumel specialty, were hidden in holes but not hard to find if you looked for them. On one dive, we ran into a pair of spotted Eagle rays crusing at 70'. Photographers can find adequate macro subjects (although Cozumel is not Indonesia), but it really is a normal-to-wide-angle location.
Websites Cozumel Marine World   Casa del Mar

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Asia; Carib; Mexico; Hawaii; Red Sea
Closest Airport Cozumel CZM Getting There Infrequent international flights, but still good access from the US. Not hard to get to. Avoid coming from Cancun via Ferry.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 78-80°F / 26-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 75-100 Ft/ 23-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Keep with divemaster, return to boat with divemaster if at all possible.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 4 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 1 stars
UW Photo Comments This shop doesn't really cater to UWP. There is a rinse tank on the boat, but divers and dive masters throw other stuff into it. The tank would not be big enough for some of the large rigs that people carry nowadays. Cameras are welcome, but this is obviously not a big draw for them.
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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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