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Dive Review of Scuba with Alison/Iberostar in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan/Cozumel

Scuba with Alison/Iberostar, Aug, 2003,

by Richard Powers, MI, USA . Report 632.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Akumal, Grand Turk, Jamaica
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, currents
Water Temp 82 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 100 to 150 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions Dive computer and air
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Will provide a pail of water on the boat for cameras. The boat is small but with plenty of room but no specific provisions for cameras.

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments The Iberostar is a nice property with good food and service. The rooms are four to a building in single story units and eight to a building in two story units. The buildings are scattered throughout the property and generally screened by natural and planted vegetation. The rooms are relatively small but were clean and well maintained. Requests for service(extra pillow, plugged sink, etc.) were responded to promptly. The beach is nice but once in the water it is rocky. The food and service were much better than at the Occidental Allegro, where we had stayed previously.

We dove with Alison Dennis(scubawithalison.com). She was previously an instructor at Dive Palancar at the Alegro for nine years . She now has her own operation with a small, fast boat that can handle 6-8 divers comfortably. She picks up at all of the resorts. This was our best diving in Cozumel(ninth trip). Alison lets you pick the sites and dive your computer and air. Her prices are very reasonable($57.50 for a two tank dive). She asks if you would rather dive deep or dive shallow with more bottom time. All of our dives were over 60 minutes. We generally dove the deep dives at 60-70 feet along the wall for 30 minutes and then finished the dive at the top of the wall where there are interesting coral heads and many fish and other critters. Alison is very safety conscious without being obvious about it. She is also very patient with divers who need time to equalize. Alison is a great instructor and is especialy good with children. She certified our daughter in 2001. You have to make reservations with her well ahead of time because she books up early. Alison is the best dive deal in Cozumel.

The currents were fairly strong and variable at the beginning of the week and very mild at the end. We saw several nurse sharks out swimming, numerous rays(stingrays, yellowrays, and an electric ray), and many turtles. We also saw two large(5 and 6 feet) jewfish, the first that we have ever seen. There were good numbers of grouper up to four feet, lobster, crabs, shrimp, and the usual tropicals. The visibility was very good(100 to 150 feet). It is hard to beat Cozumel for good diving at reasonable prices close to the US.

One tip that I will pass along. I have often had trouble equalizing pressure in my ears. I noticed that this condition usually improved as the week of diving progressed. This time I started "equalizing" about a week before we left. I did not have a bit of trouble. I believe that "exercising you eustrachian tubes" improves your ability to equalize.
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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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