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Dive Review of Tres Pelicanos/Park Royal Cozumel in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan/Cozumel

Tres Pelicanos/Park Royal Cozumel: "Great Diving and a Fair Place to Stay in Cozumel", Aug, 2015,

by Dana Timaeus, TX, US ( 2 reports). Report 8336.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments I booked the diving and flight direct with Tres Pelicanos and United Airlines. I tried to book the room directly with the hotel. I soon realized that the websites for Park Royal and variations of the name are owned by travel agents and booked a reasonably priced room through an agent in Florida.

We flew in on a Friday, July 31 and arrived coincident with another flight. The immigration desks were all operating and the trip through the airport and to the hotel, check in and settling in were smooth.

The hotel is large, intended to provide all inclusive accommodations,and well maintained. There are three pools, a bar at each pool, two other bars that are open most of the time, and burger and snack bars sufficient to meet between meal needs and to provide nourishment on your dive schedule even if you are lunching at an off restaurant time.

The rooms are clean and the staff is friendly. The beds are comfortable and the showers work well. The air conditioning is reportedly weak on the top floor and the hotel is less than generous in replacing dirty towels. Twice, we had to get towels from the lobby. When we were there, the resort had more Mexican tourists than any other nationality and there were more kids than divers tracking water into the buildings. The floors are tile in the rooms and hallways and the building, like most in Mexico, allows blowing rain into the common areas. There were a lot of slips and falls among the guests despite staff that was constantly on guard and quick to use their squeegees and towel mops.

There was plenty of food and most of the meals were good. The iced tea is not what you would want in a restaurant in the southern US. The fruit juices were excellent. The staff puts two small bottles of water in the room each day and there are water dispensers in each of the bars.

The resort is a nice place to rest and play, but is not set up for diving. They claim that Aquaworld is their official dive operator, but the staff of the hotel does not have much of a working relationship with the staff of Aquaworld. We were told that we would be paying an exorbitant fee to board and disembark at their dock. After some discussion on our own, the Aquaworld staff charged us a reasonable $8 per person per week to use their dock.

We were doing four dive most days -- two morning and two afternoon. When we returned to the dock at 6 or 6:15 pm on the first dive day, the gate across the sidewalk between Aquaworld and the resort was locked on the resort side. We exited to the street and dripped our way through the lobby of the hotel to get into the resort compound. Despite repeated complaints and some spirited discussion with the hotel staff, we were not allowed direct access to the resort in the afternoons until the 6th dive day.

The concierge was honest enough to let us know that they get a commission for directing guests into a sales pitch for resort membership and tried to get us to set up an appointment for a sales session. We learned on the ground that the internet connection included in the package is inadequate to connect the guests in the hotel to their respective email accounts. For a little more, or attendance at a sales pitch, you can have a better internet connection that still only functions in the lobby. Unfortunately, that connection is still deficient and if you need internet for your business or a family situation, be ready to use Ernesto's across the street as plan B or go to town and find a better connection. I rate the hotel good, about 3 stars, and in need of a couple of improvements to fit divers well.

Regarding the dive operation, it is difficult to criticize people who give what you ask and ask what they can do for you. We had three different boat captains, but stayed with Jorge Cabrera as our favored dive master. Steve Belmont, one of the Tres Pelicanos owners, dove with us for the first several days. He is a pleasant guy on the boat and a skilled diver in the water, staying in until the last of the guests surfaced.

We were allowed to dive our computers and had nitrox available as requested. We started at Chunchakaaab, but missed the site and dropped in south at the top of Maracaibo. We began a couple of days at Cathedral, where gray reef sharks and a large bull shark have taken up patrolling the wall and even gliding through some of the swim throughs. We found a pair of gray reef sharks at Santa Rosa doing some shark flirtation, the male nipping the female. Over the course of a week, we worked our way back and forth on the reef. We dove all of the common dive sites, Palancar Horseshoe, Palancar Gardens, San Francisco, Tormentos, Yucab, Francesa, Columbia Deep, Delilah, and Tunich. We spent several dives bridging the gaps between established and named sites, starting at the north end of one and drifting into the dive site immediately to the north. We dove Cedral Wall several times because of the quality of the reef and the wildlife. On our last day, we finally ran north to Barracuda. The current was on the strong side of the dives that I have experienced up there and there were some divers who had to ascend early in the dive. Despite having some difficulty staying together and holding position on the reef, we all got back to the boat and did our next dive on San Juan.

We saw every coral and animal that divers can put on their Cozumel wish list. There were too many turtles to count, including a couple of loggerheads. We saw nurse sharks on most of our dives and at least half of the dives included green morays. The reefs are full of common Caribbean reef fish, like triggers in several varieties, cow fish, angel fish, file fish and lobsters that are bold enough to roam the reef in daylight. Spotted drum were a regular and were found in a variety of sizes and stages of development. The parrot fish are bigger. The sergeant majors were guarding nests. We found one cut in the reef with a nurse shark nestled in next to a green moray and another cut with two green morays. One of the morays rolled over on its back and the sat up and opened its mouth for a large cleaner shrimp that floated down and started working on the inside of the moray’s lower jaw. We found several other varieties of moray. There were fewer spotted morays than on prior trips and we only found a couple of sea horses and one pipe horse -- at Palancar Bricks. The lion fish are still reasonably easy to find, but generally smaller and fewer in the established dive sites. Of course, there were the endemic splendid toads. The sand and rubble piles were dependable for jaw fish and stingrays.

We dove from a small boat, the Skinny Shark, built for 10 divers and a couple of dive masters with a cloth canopy stretched over a tubular aluminum frame. The controls are forward and the power is a 300 hp four stroke Yamaha outboard. Water entries are all back rolls and water exits returning to the boat are on an aluminum ladder with whatever help the diver requires. The camera soak station is an ice chest of fresh water.

The captains are competent and reasonably helpful. There is plenty of water on the boat and fruit and cake to snack on between dives. One of the guys made some lion fish ceviche one day and conch ceviche the next day. One couple was having gear problems all week. Accommodation of diver preferences and needs was excellent. One of the divers on our boat felt that she was too short to back roll from midships and did all of her entries at the stern. One of our divers has had a couple of back surgeries and put her gear on and took her gear off in the water. The crew acquired replacement high pressure hoses for both of them during the week and brought them to the boat. As always in Cozumel, it is advisable to have a safety sausage as much for general visibility and traffic avoidance as for any other reason. The other ascent advice that was obviously valuable is to stay below ten feet until there is no motor noise and ascend the last feet deliberately and make yourself visible on the surface. We had a couple of instances in which our own boat drove over submerged divers and several other instances when other boats drove above us. I rate the dive operation five star and hope that they are successful enough to be prosperous and stay small enough to keep up their level of individual attention.

We only left so we can go back next time.
Websites Tres Pelicanos   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Bonaire, Honduras, Gulf of Mexico, Florida, Australia, Caymans (each of them), Bahamas
Closest Airport CZM Cozumel Getting There United from Houston, American from Dallas -- direct flights

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas choppy, currents
Water Temp 81-83°F / 27-28°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 65-100 Ft/ 20-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions We were given common sense expectations of maximum depth and no limitation on time except our computers. There was no scolding for those who exceeded planned depth and no instance where we did anything foolish.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

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 2 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 [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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