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

Dressel Divers/Iberostar Paraiso: "Dressel Divers at Iberostar Paraiso - A well run shop", Nov, 2016,

by Eleodor Sotropa, OH, US ( 1 report). Report 9253.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food N/A
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments When it comes to dive shops in Playa del Carmen, the reviews are quite polarized. I had read several of the reviews on trip advisor and scuba boards about Dressel prior to our departure. I even had a discussion about Dressel with our local, Cincinnati based scuba shop (Scuba Unlimited). Craig, who runs the local shop and has a lot of experience and also high standards, recommended them.
Looking through boards, several of the reviews and postings are excellent and in the same breath several are negative with warnings. Scuba is such a personal thing, so I understand that some divers will feel very strongly about some things that make Dressel more particular: air limits, 45 minute dives, enforcing rules when it comes to diver behavior and reef protection.
I consider myself and my wife to be well trained divers and from a personal perspective we are very likely overly conservative in respect to safety and who we dive with. I mention that because headed down there, knowing and reading some of the post I was a bit skeptical on diving with them. Which leads me to the following evaluation and I hope this helps someone down the line...
Overall, this is a 5 star shop. Patricia is running a very professional and customer oriented shop at Dressel Divers. We dove for 5 days with them, including the Cenotes dives
We stayed on the Mexican Rivieraa at the Iberostar Paraiso Property and scheduled our diving through the Dressel Dive Spanish headquarters (they offer a 20% discount if you pay in advance).
Keep in mind that Iberostar is a huge resort, and if you stay at Lindo or Grand there is a good 5-10 minutes with a golf cart to get to the Dive shop. Plan to walk – look at 20 minutes from the more remote parts. On the pic attached, you will spot the Dive shop on the bottom right of the map (#136). There are many golf carts running all the 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. Equipment room personnel took gear box in and out every day and hung up wetsuit. At times I thought I had a valet because they wanted to rinse my gear – hope I don’t get used to this, because it does not happen with other shops.

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 helpful when recording my dives at the end and receiving the dive centers stamp.
There is no dock so you have to carry all your gear thru the surf to the boat. Tanks are already on the boat.
The aluminum air cylinders are filled to about 3000 psi. For the Nitrox certified, the shop offers EAN 32 (mostly) free of charge, which we took advantage of on the days we did three dives.
Now, onto the dives. Let me start with the highlight, which is the Cenotes Diving. We dove the Cenotes with Dressel, the guide was well informed, friendly, helpful and clearly very experienced. The dives were nothing short of AWESOME.
Only problem was the time it took. Had to leave Iberostar then go into Playa to pick up other divers, then go to Barcelo to get tanks and gear, then finally to Cenote. The cave instructor gave a history lesson of the cenote system and really stressed neutral buoyancy. They checked everything on everyone before entering cenote. What a sight! Simply breathtaking!

We also did local diving leaving from the hotel with Dressel right from the beach. Again our DM's were not only personable, friendly, informative and fun to dive with. They did their jobs - watching over the divers and lead great reef complaints whatsoever.

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.

On the DMs: Very environmentally conscientious, good dive briefings, very professional and watchful for newbies. There was no anchoring so everything was done as drift dive. No set pattern for re-boarding, sometimes all gear was removed and handed up, other times just fins and weight belt, other times just fins. Went out of way to find and point out critters. Front desk handled everything exemplary. There was O2 on board and all DM's certified to administer. The DM's even carried some divers gear onto and off the boat when my wife got sick on the first day during the boat ride back. Nice touch.

Happy Diving
Websites Dressel Divers   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 26-50 dives
Where else diving Great Barrier Reef, Bahamas, Belize
Closest Airport Cancun Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy Seas choppy
Water Temp 80-85°F / 27-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30-100 Ft/ 9-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Return at 800psi, 45-50 minute max dives
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities 5 stars
UW Photo Comments [None]
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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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