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Dive Review of Living Underwater/La Ceida in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan/Cozumel

Living Underwater/La Ceida, Sep, 2003,

by Ross Ruddick, BC, Canada . Report 727.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving B.C., Washington, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco, Cancun, St. Thomas, Dominican Republic, Bahamas, St. Croix, St. Martin.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas surge
Water Temp 0 to 0 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 100 to 150 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Dive the plan, allowed deco dives, went to 133' although they allow more, group surfaces with first low on air diver. Dive times from 60 min. to 97 min.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Rinse tank

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments COZUMEL LIVING UNDERWATER

Prior to this, my first trip to Cozumel, I read through the various years of Chapbook reports and narrowed my list of dive operators to a fairly short list. I followed this up with an email to those operators with a list of questions about their diving operations. This cut the list down to a handful and I choose Living Underwater and hoped it was the right decision.

It was. They were punctual in their daily pick-up from the La Ceiba dock, professional in the pre-dive briefings, allowed the guests to pick the dive spots and allowed more than ample surface intervals in which to off gas. As promised there were snacks, towels and jackets on board and the steel 120s allowed all of the divers to shed some or all of our weight. Jeremy, as dive master, was a thoroughly enjoyable and extremely competent leader and allowed us enough in-water freedom without compromising safety. Although pricier than many of the operations in Cozumel, the extended bottom times and surface intervals probably give greater dollar value than many other operators. There were several other dive ops that picked up divers from the La Ceiba dock that week and the only other one that seemed to always be on time and return quite late was Aldora. Fellow divers at the hotel complained about late pick-ups, short or almost non-existent surface intervals often spent entirely on the boat, crowed cattle boats and large and unwieldy group sizes.

Living Underwater had a nice fast and small boat and, although promising not to exceed six or seven divers, we never had more than five during my visit. Probably the greatest limitation right now is their small size as a company. Certainly this will allow them to provide more personalized service and maintain quality control but it does also mean that they are forced to mix divers of varying experience. I missed out on a couple of sites that I had been looking forward to because of thisnot a big dealjust a reason for a return visit. In spite of that, Jeremy (and Pepe who was our dive master for one day of the five) took me to many of the spots I had requested and the overall diving experience was outstanding. Devils Throat was a highlight as was the military wreck. I will use this company again.

La Ceiba was as advertised, a diver friendly hotel with well maintained facilities, a friendly staff and dive shop operation from which to rent tanks for the night shore dive and a good beach and pool. My only complaint is the on-site time share operation which uses the Tuesday evening divers get together as a come on to a time share pitch.

Restaurants that we went to and would recommend include Primas, Guidos, La Chosa, Casa Dennis, and La Mission. The European bar is a great spot for cheap drinks and has free access to the internet to check your email.
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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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