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Dive Review of Dive Paradise/Hotel Cozumel in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan/Quintana Roo, Mexico

Dive Paradise/Hotel Cozumel, Dec, 2004,

by James Fritch, CA, USA . Report 1498.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 1 stars
Service and Attitude 2 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 1 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 1 stars
Comments I expected crowds of people over the Christmas holiday and was not disappointed. I was disappointed with the hotel Cozumel’s food and the Dive Paradise dive operation. The outgoing flight was effortless as we booked the Continental flight from Houston directly to Cozumel, but we had to wait several hours for our room, which was not ready upon our arrival. The room we had at hotel Cozumel was excellent: plumbing worked fine; good third story views of the pool; good lock box included in the room; excellent patio layout permitted drying gear securely. The food, on the other hand, was substandard. My wife (who has been ill less than 5 times in the last 20 years) became violently ill after the second day. Food poisoning was the culprit. Then I became sick during the “Nochebuena” fiesta by the pool. After a visit to the CMC hospital, the diagnosis was the same: FOOD POISIONING. I paid a substantial extra for the all-inclusive option assuming that we would always have a “safe” source of food at the hotel. (Far more than I would have paid had we taken meals at a local restaurant) The food that was available was very bland and unappetizing. Only on one day (Mexican food day) was the food appealing and since I was recovering from food poisoning, I could not fully appreciate it. Although I might stay at this hotel again because of its price and location, I would never eat the food served there.
The Dive Paradise operation is one of the oldest on the island, dating back to my earliest memories of diving at Cozumel. It soon became apparent that Dive Paradise operates for the convenience of its dive masters, not the paying customer. We were treated as though we were rank amateur divers even thought I am a dive master and my son has experience throughout the world. Every day we were assigned another boat and had to prove ourselves all over again. The boats depart at 8:20 AM and make stops along the way, putting us well behind the others on Cozumel’s crowded reefs. I inquired about some of the more challenging dive sites listed on the waiver form provided by Dive Paradise. I was told by the dive shop manager that these were unavailable. Dive masters seem indifferent to US divers, but pay special attention to their Mexican clients. On one occasion the majority of the divers on a boat wanted to dive the C-53 wreck. A lone pair of Mexican divers wanted to dive Columbia reef instead. The immediate response of the crew was to dive Columbia reef. It was not until a crew member sensed the inequity of this situation that he suggested that we do both sites. We were very lucky in our selection of days to dive as the weather quickly became too windy and rough to send boats out.
My recommendations:
The hotel Cozumel has excellent facilities, price and location—but don’t eat the food.
Dive Paradise is included in many packages and competitively priced, but pay the extra dollar to go with one of the first-rate operations that put the needs of their customers first.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving [Unspecified]
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas choppy, currents
Water Temp 78-79°F / 26-26°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 80-120 Ft/ 24-37 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions 80 Feet maximum depth. Dive according to tables not according to your computer.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments A large fresh water bucket was present on all boats for camera equipment. No camera table or tray was present.
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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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