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

Dive Paradise/Hotel Barracuda: "Hotel Barracuda - Dive Paradise", May, 2016,

by Henry O Ziller, CO, US (Top Contributor Top Contributor 31 reports with 14 Helpful votes). Report 8946.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 2 stars Food N/A
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 3 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments This was our sixth trip to Cozumel so we knew the routine. After we passed through immigration and customs we headed straight to the right when you leave customs to by-pass the hawkers. The ride to Hotel Barracuda was short considering the $10/person fare. There are ATM’s in the airport, but dollars are accepted everywhere in the area so there is no need for pesos.
This was our first stay at Hotel Barracuda, and there probably will not be another. The cost was great, $676.00/pp for 7 nights and 5 days of three tanks diving, the location is great, close to downtown and directly across the street from the “Mega”, the store that literally has everything! (Think super Wal-Mart only more) BUT! The hotel has a 3 story section and a 4 story section neither of which has an elevator, nor do they have a bellhop. We were on the 3rd floor and the room was large enough and had two double beds. There is a night stand, some shelving, closet for hanging garments, and a chest. The bathroom has a shower, sink and toilet. They ask you to not throw paper in the toilet. There were no toiletries in the bathroom until a couple days before our 7 nights were up, but then we did not ask, we just bought our own at the Mega. The A/C works and there is a ceiling fan. We had two different TVs and neither worked for long. We did not ask for a third. The view from all rooms is to the west over the Caribbean. The restaurant on site is not run by the hotel and prices appear to be double what you would pay anywhere else in Cozumel. We only ate once there and the lunch cost us $54 USD. There also appeared to be a couple of “working girls” with clients at the bar.
There are good restaurants within a block, Jeanie’s and Rock & Java were great for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They both open at 7AM. There is a good Italian restaurant a little farther south just past Jimmy Buffet’s Margarita Ville called Rolandi’s. There are also a couple sports bars in this area. If you want to explore the town, this is a great location.
Hotel Cozumel is a third of a mile farther south and Scuba Club Cozumel is just this side of it. They are both all-inclusive and while we have not tried either of those, people on our dive boat were staying at Hotel Cozumel and said it was great.
Dive Paradise has a dive shop on site at Hotel Barracuda and they have one rinse tank but it was without water due to a water line leak. They fixed the water line to it by the last day of our stay. There are lockers to put your gear in after you rinse it and we managed to get both sets of dive gear in one tub in the locker. The rent for the week was $25 USD. There is rental equipment in the shop. Dive Paradise is the largest dive outfit in Cozumel. They have several locations in Cozumel. We were picked up at 8 AM every day because we were the north most hotel and the last off the boat. They have several boats and we were never on the same boat nor did we have the same crew. They do have two fast boats, but most are slow large boats holding 18 to 20 divers and crew. A boat orientation is given every day and all the necessary safety equipment is provided. There is a head on all the big slow boats, some on deck and some below deck. A water bottle is given when you get on the boat each day and a 5 gallon jug is provided to refill your bottle using a hand pump. Snacks consisting of cookies and fruit plus cans of soda were given out after the first dive. After the second dive you return to your hotel and you are picked up again at a specified time, which for us was usually 3 PM. This makes for a quick lunch or some snacks for us at times due to first on and last off. On May 3rd our names were somehow left off the list for the 3rd dive and even though we told the crew we would be going for the 3rd dive they left before we returned at 2:52. We were told we would get credit for the lost dive, but we haven’t yet. We also missed May 5th due to rough seas. Even cruise ships were not allowed to dock.
One item of note was the failure of multiple tank seals on every dive. We never had so many failures on any other trip. It must be fairly normal for Dive Paradise because they always had a new one to put in.
On our last day of diving the seas got rough and Dive Paradise captain told us we would have to walk from Hotel Cozumel’s dock to our hotel because it would be too rough to dock the boat there. It is a third of a mile which is not too far but with all our dive gear it kind of sucked.
We had a similar occurrence in 2009 where the captain was not going to be able to take us back to our hotel dock, but he furnished a cab to transport us. I think we will find another dive outfit next trip here.
We did several repeat dives on Paradise Reef. My guess is it was due to time restraints of going too far south on the third dive. We did two seahorses and we had not seen any on previous trips. We also so the splendid toadfish, nurse sharks, turtles, scorpion fish, rays, pipefish, as well as all the typical reef fish.
Websites Dive Paradise   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Throughout the Caribbean and Central America, Micronesia, Indonesia, Philippines, Maldives, Tanzania, Australia, and Fiji.
Closest Airport CZM Getting There Denver to Cozumel with a 50 minute stop in Houston. Same route returning except a longer layover in Houston.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy, dry Seas calm, choppy, currents, no currents
Water Temp 80-81°F / 27-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 2
Water Visibility 40-100 Ft/ 12-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Depth and air or time
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments There was a 5 gallon bucket for cameras and one for other items.
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Subscriber's Comments

By Gregory S Brucein WA, US at Jun 07, 2016 10:27 EST  
Next time you are back in Cozumel, I would highly recommend staying at the Hotel Plaza Cozumel and diving with Blue Magic Scuba. Both are right downtown in very convenient locations. You will be out on high speed boats with groups of no more than 7 people. The hotel includes a really great breakfast and total cost is going to be comparable to what you paid for Dive Paradise package. Actually should be less. Check my reader reports for more details.
By Jill Rainin WA, US at Jun 07, 2016 11:24 EST  
Sounds exactly the same as when I did that combo 20 years ago! You get what you pay for, never more true. Except when one of our dives was called off they loaded us all into the back of an open pickup, which was a lot of fun, and in the pouring rain, but now I hear it coulda been worse, heh. The Hotel B is also very noisy, between the bar and the road traffic. After one experience with DP we have dived with Aldora. Yeah, it costs more but it's a MUCH better experience (see the various reviews of them). There are likely other good dive ops. Cattle boats are awful, and potentially dangerous. I used rental equipment that trip and the inflator on their BC got stuck 100' down. If I hadn't managed to disconnect it, could have been my last dive.
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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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