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Dive Review of Sand Dollar Sports/Carnival Cruise Line in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan

Sand Dollar Sports/Carnival Cruise Line: "Always Ask About Alternatives", Dec, 2017,

by Craig Williams, AL, US (Reviewer Reviewer 4 reports with 3 Helpful votes). Report 10095.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations N/A Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 4 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments I write this for the divers who go into a port on a cruise ship that have booked the excursion through the cruise line. There are usually many choices of dive operators in the ports that cruise ships go into. We choose to use the cruise line operator because they have specific obligations to get you back on the boat for its scheduled departure. If you book independently, you run the risk of having something go wrong and the operator can't get you back to the ship. If you miss the boat, you're out of luck and on your own as to getting home or catching up to the ship at it's next port-of-call.

In Cozumel, we had the experience of meeting with the operator and representative of the cruise line on shore to depart for our two-tank dive. We were informed that the boat scheduled for us had broken down and it would not be repaired in time nor a replacement boat available. December is high-season in Cozumel. There were seven large cruise ships in port the same day. All other operators were booked and the cruise line representative offered no alternatives, except to say, "they were sorry and your money would be refunded". The cruise representative did mention a Marine Park on another part of the island. The park charged $21 per person to enter and you could snorkel around. We asked the representative from Sand Dollar about alternatives. He mentioned that they have a dive shop at Sunset Beach (about 3/4 mile from the docks). He did not know how busy they were, but said there was a full operation there for shore diving. So, we took a short cab ride to Sunset Beach and Sand Dollar Sports thinking any diving is better than none.

Exiting the cab we were met by the manager of Sand Dollar Sports. He graciously let us know what was going on and could definitely accommodate our group of six. He assigned us a divemaster, Antonio. Antonio helped us with gear. (five of us had our own gear) needing just one full set-up and tanks and weights for the rest. We were in the water for most of an hour on a fairly shallow shore dive. Antonio did a great job of showing around the area. It was not the best diving in Cozumel, but still was a vibrant small reef area where part of the island's coral restoration project takes place. We were charged the discounted price for a group of snorkelers and our divemaster Antonio was no extra charge. ($10 per person and a nice tip to Antonio). There was plenty of staff around after to assist with rinsing gear and such.

Attached to Sand Dollar's dive shop is a nice little restaurant on the beach serving good food and cold beers. Our possible disaster in Cozumel was made good by some quick thinking, being persistent about alternatives and the great staff and management at Sand Dollar Sports.
Websites Sand Dollar Sports   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Roatan, Bonaire, Hawaii, Thailand, other Caribbean locales
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 81-81°F / 27-27°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 60-100 Ft/ 18-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters N/A Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
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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