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Dive Review of Dive with Martin/El Cid La Ceiba in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan/Cozumel

Dive with Martin/El Cid La Ceiba, Sep, 2006,

by Tonya Zander, NC, USA . Report 2928.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving 8 times to Cozumel, several Bahamas, Florida, NC coast, quarries
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm,currents
Water Temp 83 to 86 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 2
Water Visibility 100 to 120 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions first dive, 80-90 feet deep, 2nd dive of day varied on depth (shallower than 1st dive), 3rd dive of day shallower than 2nd dive. Begin ascents around 700psi for 3 to 5 min. safety stops. 1 hour to 1 hour 30 min surface intervals at beach area.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments This was our 8th trip to Cozumel and our first time using Dive with Martin. DWM is a very small operation that I will return to over and over because of the personal attention that we received while diving with them for 5 days of 3 tanks this past week. The owner greeted us almost every morning making sure our dive week was progressing well. He has fast small boats with some shade. You do backwards entry rolls, and there is a ladder to climb back onboard after handing up your weights, BCD/tank, then your fins. We dove with the same divers all week (5 total), had the same excellent dive master (DAVID), and only changed boats/captain once the whole week! We were offered cold gatorade, bottled water, watermelon, cantelope, papaya, freshmade guacamole and/or tuna salad each day with chips, and granola bars. We also were given a loaf of bread, packs of ham and cheese with mayo and mustard to make our own sandwiches.

Divers pick the dive sites of the day (if it is within the group's experience level), and if the current is not too swift, then that's where you go. The deep dives like Palancar Caves and Bricks, Columbia, and Punta Sur Cathedral, had awesome swim throughs that allowed us to marvel at the huge formations which had not been damaged from last year's Hurricane Wilma. There was some sand deposited, but the view was still magnificient!. The 2nd/3rd dives of the day like La Francesa, Palancar Shallows, Santa Rosa Shallows, Las Palmas, Paradise, and San Juan each had broken areas from last year's Wilma, but instead of focusing on that we just kept watching for the next turtle, nurse shark, barracuda, king crab, lobster, huge Rainbow Parrotfish, massive sized Groupers, Eagle Rays, Sting Rays, Scorpion fish, and/or the infamous Cozumel Splendid Toadfish. The coral reefs are absolutely mesmerizing as you glide with the wonderful easy/lazy drift diving. DWM goes to a gorgeous beach area where the boat can tie up for your hour to 1 hour 30 minute surface intervals. We loved that 3 dives could be completed from 7:30AM boat departure to around 1:30PM to 2:00PM return times. Our DM also made us 2 DVD's to bring home. Over 5 days of 16 dives, I averaged 53 minutes bottom time that was so enjoyable due to the small dive group and excellent DM. We are so glad we chose DWM this trip to get away from the cattle boat operations we had used on previous dive trips to the island. His shop is currently located just inside the damaged International Cruise ship pier while their shop is being reconstructed. We'll definitely be back to enjoy their services!

The La Ceiba was fabulous too. Our welcome with Gabby was a pleasant treat. Our room was spacious with a kitchenette, 2 balconies, a king size bed, huge garden tub, separate shower area, and 2 sinks. The resort has made great strides in reconstruction to the restaurant/beach area after Hurricane Wilma. The quiet walk in beach with the waterfall into the ocean is a tranquil area, plus they have a jacuzzi with swim-up bar, nice size pool, hammacks in the shade under the pool deck, a big man-made beach area with sun/shade areas, beach volley-ball, and steps into the ocean with hand rails. The plane wreck is still out there, but much smaller now. The hotel's dive boat pier was still being reconstructed, so for this dive week we simply walked next door to board our dive boat. It's a $4 taxi ride into the town square area for dinners at our favorite local restaurants, but $5 back to the hotel.
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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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