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Dive Review of Sand Dollar Sports/Wyndam in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan/Cozumel

Sand Dollar Sports/Wyndam, Nov, 2010,

by Randall S Preissig, TX, US (Top Contributor Top Contributor 30 reports with 5 Helpful votes). Report 5784.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Truk, Palau, PNG, Sipadan, Kono, Fiji, Tahiti, Cocos, Gallapagos, Bonair, Red Sea, Cayman and others
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm
Water Temp 81 to 82 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 4
Water Visibility 60 to 200 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Group, quided diving, limits strictly enforced. Experienced divers could go to Punta Sur, etc. I was at first in a group with experienced divers which allowed some freedom. Later, on "regular" dive trips, it was more rigid.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 1 stars Shore Facilities 1 stars
UW Photo Comments Very few cameras. This is a bigger operation and "hard core" divers generally go elsewhere is the feeling I got.

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments The Wyndam is a very nice hotel with 3 levels of "quality". I was in the mid. If I went again, I'd go basic. I prefer hotels further south, nearer the best reefs, such as the Occidental Grand.
First, I'd like to say that I've had 20 trips to Cozumel over the last 30+ years, and I find it a far safer and more comfortable place now than before. Also, the marine life has greatly improved. You used to rarely see a turtle(they served them in the restaurants). I saw over 10 on one dive this trip! Big groupers are common whereas you rarely saw them before(ditto). Having dived a few months after Hurricane Wilma, I can tell you that most of the damage has now cleared.
We saw nurse sharks, octopi, australian lobsters, giant crabs and carribbean lobsters, many turtles including the biggest I've ever seen in the caribbean, small cuttlefish, banded coral shrimp, toadfish, juvenile drum fish, etc.
Lionfish were everywhere--how fast they've spread!! The divemasters "hunt" and kill them every dive. In fact, this became a nuisance as they were more interested in killing lionfish than finding and showing us critters. I applaud the efforts, but a better solution is needed--and quick.
The massive coral formations appear to be back to normal--and this is what Cozumel is most famous for. There did seem to be more orange sponge than before--maybe seeded from the hurricane??
Sand Dollar was a well run, safe and timely operation. Again, they don't cater to the hard core divers, but I personally found the trips relaxing(a sure sign of age?). Buying a "punch card" of 28 dives, which you can share, fiqured out to $29 a dive.
Cozumel is the quickest, most reasonable and best quality combination for most of us. I was in Houston at 9am and diving at 1pm--with great weather, great coral and viz. and plenty to see. This is why I've been 20 times.

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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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