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Dive Review of Dressel Divers/Iberostar Grand Paraiso in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan/Riviera Maya

Dressel Divers/Iberostar Grand Paraiso, Apr, 2013,

by Gary J Giberson, NJ, US ( 1 report). Report 6955.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments I dove three times with Dressel and the second dive to the Tortugas Reef was by far the most exciting. We had our dive briefing during the 30 min ride from the resort to the reef on their brand new (04-23-2013) 40+ foot tri-haul dive boat with twin Yamaha outboard engines. The vessel easily accommodated the 12 divers, (two groups of six) and crew of two and provided a comfortable ride and protection from the sun. The dive operation did provide water for the divers from a cooler with a spigot and small plastic cups. My only suggestion is that a cooler been available to keep a small bag of fruit in after the dive. Also since we geared up at the dive center, we left our dive bags at the facility and there was no storage for personal items that were brought on board i.e. prescription glasses and fruit. The captain did accommodate me by placing my prescription glasses and their case along with my fruit in the overhead bin that contained his Marine radio.

The dive site lies between Playa Del Carmen and Cozumel and has a maximum bottom Of about 90 feet. The currents were somewhat strong and we drifted from South to North. The ocean had a 1 to 2 foot chop and the water temperature was around 81°F. The corals, fans, and other elements of the reef were in relatively good health to my surprise.

About five minutes into the dive we drifted past seven or eight sea turtles. Several were very close and the others about 50 feet away. Approximately 10 minutes following the turtle encounter, there was a nice school of blue tangs, hog fish, and parrotfish. There was also a sighting of the invasive lionfish hiding in a barrel sponge.

About 30 minutes into the dive we were greeted by a large 6 to 7 foot bull shark that was no more than 30 or 40 feet from our group. A very impressive creature at that range. There were also a trumpet fish about 2 feet in length that we drifted past.

As we gathered at the bottom to prepare for our assent and three minute safety stop, we were pleasantly surprised when a group of four Sailfish stopped by to investigate us. The crew that stayed behind on the boat said that the Sailfish were at one point leaping from the water. The Sailfish were in the 3 to 4 foot range and stayed by the assent line for several minutes about 15 to 20 feet below the surface. Some divers had also mentioned upon returning to the boat that they had seen tarpon and flounder during this dive.

Of all the dives that I have done throughout the Caribbean, this one will stand out. I was able to get pictures of the Sailfish and shark that the staff at Dressel divers asked for so they could post them on their Facebook page. Kayla was the dive instructor that led our group of six and Carlos lead the other group of six. Kayla did a tremendous job of staying in close proximity to the group and keeping everyone gathered together as we drifted. The group was well experienced and she kept an eye on everyone. The dive operation ran very smoothly and was well organized. I dove with Carlos on my first dive to a shallow reef which gave me time to become familiar with my new camera housing. I'm sure Carlos did a spectacular job with his dive group during this time.

The Dressel dive center offers dive lockers at their facility for divers to store their equipment if making repeat dives with them. This would give you a place to hang your dive skin/suit and dry equipment.

The facility is located at the north end of the resort and has two large dunk tanks for divers to rinse out their gear at the end of each dive. Another nice feature of this dive operator is the large mural that they have behind the counter. It outlines the entire shoreline that they service along with the names of the reefs and dive sites clearly marked. I found this very advantageous when recording my dives at the end and receiving the dive centers stamp.

I probably should have mentioned this earlier, but for those who would be interested, the aluminum air cylinders are filled to about 3000 psi. My air cylinders had between 2820-2900 psi during my initial check.

Overall I would have no issues diving again with Dressel divers. They were professional and ran a clean well-equipped vessel. For those who have dealt with them before, with the addition of the new boat, they now have two in operation.

As a certified PADI rescue diver, and having seen this done on other vessels, it would've been nice if they had taken a roll call at the end of each dive. It was true that our dive groups were small, and that the divers were looking out for their dive buddy and we all surfaced within minutes of each other, but it is always a nice feeling when the a roll call is performed at the end just to confirm that all divers are on board.

I realize prices will change, but at the time of this writing, I was charged $56 US for each single tank dive. I found this to be a reasonable fee for the services rendered. Also please keep in mind that my rating of the accommodations and food is based upon my stay at the resort. The dive operation itself did not provide accommodations or food.
Websites Dressel Divers   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 51-100 dives
Where else diving Turks and Caicos, Florida Keys, Aruba, Grand Cayman, Bahamas, and Cabo San Lucas.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, currents
Water Temp 81-82°F / 27-28°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 75-110 Ft/ 23-34 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions The dive master asked that we notify her when we reached half our tank (100 Bars or 1500 PSI) and then to let her know when I reached 1000 PSI. We surfaced with 500 to 600 PSI.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? no

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 2 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 4 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 2 stars
UW Photo Comments The dive boat did have a fresh water tank just for cameras but there were no tables or other things that a photographer with a lot of gear may require and there was no setup for film although everybody with a camera was shooting digital.
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Subscriber's Comments

By David Cohenin FL, US at Jul 09, 2013 21:37 EST  
We are considering Dressel and found this review very helpful. Thanks!
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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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