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Dive Review of Pro Dive/Occidental Grand Xcaret in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan

Pro Dive/Occidental Grand Xcaret: "Lots of walking", Apr, 2015,

by Frank Nelson, PA, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 7 reports with 3 Helpful votes). Report 8211 has 2 Helpful votes.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 1 stars
Service and Attitude 2 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 I would like to preface this with I didn't do my research in Undercurrent on this resort or operator.

Good Booking the dives via email was fast and simple and 10% off. Britt(Office) handled the email and payment with ease. As a matter of fact all concerned with Pro Dive were very professional and helpful besides being accommodating. They offered free transportation from the Occidental to their other shops since there was no dock at the Occidental. More later.
The cenotes were awesome. I got to dive in some very remote cenoted that they don't take many divers to. Dreamgate was one such one. Where else is there a pulley to raise and lower your gear into the cenote. The formations were just utterly unbelievable. This is the main reason I come down here to dive. There were only 3 of us at Dreamgate and it was a dream. The other cenotes Dos Ojios, and Chac Mol I have dove before and they are pretty commercialized but not Dreamgate. You had to pay extra for the cenotes$89 and you got a sandwich, chips and a drink. If you went to a special cenote the price jumped to $129
The Occidental's specialty restaurants were very good-steak, Italian, Oriental. We were waited on hand and foot. My only complaint would be if there is a rule(which there is) that men need to wear long pants and a collared shirt enforce it. Why have a rule and not enforce it!
The evening shows were ok but the highlight was the acrobat/jump ropers. They were just amazing. America's Got Talent would love to have these guys!
Maid service was excellent. I'm not sure if that is because of our daily tipping or this is the norm. What ever we asked for(we wrote in Spanish on a tablet) she delivered.
Pools were large and clean. There is a pool bar with a waterfall, an activity pool, a quiet pool, a natural saltwater pool, whirlpools, and a manmade lagoon.

Bad I was told to check in with the dive shop at the lagoon the day I got in. This was on the other side of the complex and an extremely long walk. When I got to the shop Pinky took my info but said I had to go to the base shop(hut) on the other side of the complex. Another long walk. When I got to the hut and filled out more paper work I was told they need to see my Instructor's card. I asked why since I was diving nitrox. It was stated it was a requirement. For what I have no idea. Of course I didn't have that on me at the time and was told I couldn't dive without showing it. I had to walk again back to my room to get the card. Once that was squared away I was told to come back later and see what time I would be picked up. This kind of stopping back was a daily thing because they didn't know until later in the afternoon when the other Pro Dive would be going out. Since there is no dock at the Occidental you have to travel to other Pro Dive shops/resorts. This can be a real hassle with the amount of time you are in a car/van. Occidental/Pro Dive is about a 10 minute drive to Playacar but you end up making more stops to pick up other divers/snorkelers. My first day I had to meet the driver at 7am so I had no breakfast since the Occidental didn't start serving until 7. I was in the van for almost 90 minutes with all the stops for other divers when the venue was only 10 minutes away in Puerto Aventuras. This kind of time was probably my own fault since I wanted to do an 8 and 10 o'clock dive. Valerie (Base leader) at the Occidental told me they had nothing going that early that next morning but she would try to find something for me, which she did. You have to realize that I brought my own gear so I had to carry it everyday to and from my resort to the other Pro Dive sites. This was a real hassle and a LOT of walking. When I was dropped off at the resort in Playacar the driver just pointed which way to go. I ended up walking down a service road until I came to the shop. There is no dock there so you had to wade out to the boat. It is not so bad if there is no waves but what are those chances. When the 2 dives were finished(sat on the boat for surface interval)we headed back to the resort. Approaching the shop the captain said the water was too rough so we would have to swim in. That wouldn't have been so bad but I had already disassembled my gear and had it in a bag and had my camera on my lap. When I was told this I was really disgusted. The divemaster offered to take my camera in with him and I would swim in carrying me dive bag/gear. It was rough going and when arriving on shore the other diver in the group just collapsed on the beach. I love diving but this to me wasn't worth the money or effort.

The Occidental's buffet was not very good. The service was terrible. The days I could eat breakfast I was the first person in the restaurant and went right for the eggs, bacon, sausage, French toast, etc. The food was luke warm at best and when my wife asked for water it took 4 different servers before she got her water.
Each building had a concierge but the one we had was to interested in selling time shares and 90% of the time his information was wrong. The resort and concierge tells you the tram runs by every 10 minutes. It doesn't. My wife waited after breakfast almost 40 minutes before a tram came by. The concierge told us that it stopped running at 7pm but we talked to one of the drivers and he told us 11pm. They need to get their act together.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Caymens, Bahamas, East Coast wrecks, Nova Scotia, Red Sea, Truk, Ponape, Palau, Yap, Cozumel, Cancun, Riviera Maya
Closest Airport Cancun Getting There direct flight from Pittsburgh

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas choppy, surge
Water Temp 78-84°F / 26-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 1
Water Visibility 25-100 Ft/ 8-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions [Follow the DM and return with 700psi. After the DM saw how you were in the water they pretty much let you go. They let the other DM's at the shop know how you were in case you dove with someone else.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 2 stars Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 2 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments There were no rinse buckets on the boat but the mates knew how to handle cameras.]
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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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