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View Full Version : Coz trip 3/29-4/2 report, sort of



scubagirlj
04-02-2010, 22:36
is 12:21 Am and just got unpacked- will have some time tomorrow to make a proper report, as i took notes daily(well at least for 1st few days)-have to figure out how to post photos as have at least one spendid toadfish & a spotted scorpionfish, in addition to some others-have to preface my report that it will anger some "coz-ites" as i was kind of dissappointed with my trip in general-you will know why tomorrow-til then TTFN(have to go to work at 6am!)

Diver Kat
04-02-2010, 23:18
Sorry you were disappointed, but I look forward to your report!!

scubagirlj
04-03-2010, 11:54
ok-bear with me as i am not anexperienced blogger:
day 1-awoke to pouring rain(2am), got to parking facility only to have to wake shuttle driver, who refused to help me with my bags(nice guy)-a bunch of fellow travellers were there 2 hr before take off only to find that we couldn't check bags or go thru security until 75 mins before take off and there was no coffee available until we got to gate-flights full but uneventful(was spring break for elementary schools not college, fun fun)-immigration took forever in coz as so many families with small children arriving, bags showed & caught prebooked shuttle-don't know why they made me pay for 2 as shuttle was packed & i had booked private-didn't want to get into it, just wanted to get going! Safari Inn is right between ferry terminal & cruise ship terminal, in other word, middle of town-this was what i expected but what i didn't expect was my room to not be ready until 4pm when i specifically said i would arrive ar 11:30 am-after saying i would go elsewhere my room was magically ready!was put in front which was better than rear(road noise better than hearing tanks clanking from 5am until 10 pm) and had nice balcony-floor needed mopped badly,room very spartan and bed was like sleeping on a slab of concrete but thats what you get for 50/night-port was closed to dive boats due to rough water so had to amuse myself(no phone or tv, put did have wifi, just wish that they had told me when i asked because i didn't bring computer)by going deeep into town to eat at concha de caribe-was a very local joint back in 08 but found the food americanized to my dismay-ended up drinking at hard rock cafe as was only one there & it was nice & quiet after having souvenier vendors accost me on the street-got gear ready for next days diving-had nice cross breeze in room and street was quiet after 9 as cruise ships were gone
day2-water looked pretty rough(whitecaps in harbor & didn't get much sleep with howling winds)-went to breakfast around corner to costa brava(suggested by DMs)-after being told couldn't get on fast boat all of a sudden there was room-opted for larger more stable boat since water looked inside of a blender-we had 2 stops to pick up other divers but the trip to palancar caves took 1&1/2 hrs! only 45 mins or 700lbs ther then another 45 mins to yucab reef, got 50 mins or 700lbs there-saw 2 small turtles,reef shark,peacock flounder, oyster toadfish, huge spotted moray & a set of nassau groupers in addition to "regular"caribbean fish colletion-current was really moving and did not find this an enjoyable feeling, had to really work to stay in position to take photos-passed on afternoon boat as was exhausted & cold(an hour back to dock), especially trying to get back onto boat in 4'swells-crew did best they could but it was a day i would have called the hole day if i was staying longer-went out to real taco stand about 10 blocks away from tourist area and did some souvenier shopping for friends
day3-made sure that i tipped well day before hoping to get same crew(didn't)did get better DB(girl from finland whose husband was too ill to dive)-after marathon boat ride(did i mention diesel fumes?) we had flat water but clouds-dove palancar gardens & tormentos-really nice light current and nice coral formations-one thing i did notice is that there is alot of"wasteland" between formations, just plain sandy bottom-saw usual stuff plus huge lobster,hairy crab, another spotted moray and alot of angels(quenn, grey & french)-did do aftenoon dive(had 25 mins between am docking & pm departure)but that was best dive-did paradise reef with group of guys from BC & we saw all kinds of juvies, 2 splendid toadfish, huge grouper, another huge lobster and the cast of regulars-was especially fun as these guys were realatively new to warm water diving and weren't used to seeing these kinds of fish-was REALLY tired when we got back, ate local, read & went to sleep early
Day4-was supposed to go to devils throat but got bumped(GRRR)went to columbia & cathedral pass-same DB so that was a plus-high point of both dives was the spotted toadfish!-current a bit strong and thats just not fun for a photographer-had a couple of different divers along(must have beeen new as they"swam" alot)-did afternoon dive with the guys from BC again but there were alot of ships in port & they must have stirred things up because viz was not as good as day before-did get some shots of some flamingo tongues and a juvie spotted drum-had a 4'barracuda swim alongside me for a couple inutes, that was really weird-best part of dive was the BC guys saw their first spotted eagle ray-after long ride hoem, rinsed & hung gear, eat & went to bed
day5-early to eat breakfast and pack-said my good byes and went to sit at airport for required 2 hrs prior to flight(should have waited an hour)-had interesting time making connection thru d/fw as had never been there before & found tram system like a disney ride!-got home late(11PM)unpacked and turned in as had to be at work at 6am sat

Bottom Line-not impressed with amount for marine life, there seems like a good variation, just not much of it
was taken to task about using my oceanic vt3 & octo z-told i couldn't dive without a independant spg & octo and standard inflator(said i would go elsewhere & that was end of discussion)
boat crew great(except for one instructor that gave me the creeps), office a bit brusque-couch in room had small bugs all over it and when i mentioned it was told"you're not paying for the ritz)
never got a tank above 2750, some guys had 2500-make sure you go with a buddy because no real attempt was made to get me paired up and DMs(not crew) didn't seem to want to be "stuck" with another diver, even though i tipped VERY well
town shuts down betweeen 9-10 pm so make sure you have food in room if hungry later in night-minifridge in room is an igloo cooler but they do give you a big bottle of water daily
as said before, beds are HARD & towels are like sandpaper-and bathrooms have adjoining windows so you can hear/smell anything going on in adjoining bathroom
the cruise ships make being in town UNBEARABLE! people are rude & pushy, prices are way higher that they should be and the street vendors are down right annoying

all in all, i got what i paid for-i will probably not return to coz as there are many other places to dive that i have not yet explored-it was not just the acccomodations & DO but the afforementioned lack of abundant marine life & vast expanses of just sand were also a turn off. i know this will inflame the "coz-ites" but it is just my opinion. next stop, key largo in june!

arokdad
04-03-2010, 12:17
I'm going to Coz in June on one of those $#&$^ cruise ships :)
Going to take one of the cruise's scuba excursions.
I've read many posts on Coz trips and even have a very good friend who makes several trips each year. Of course they love talking about the dives. But rarely do I read the behind the scene stories... customs, baggage, hotel features, etc.
Your report was extremely helpful! Thanks!:smilie40:

scubagirlj
04-03-2010, 17:03
few corrections(sorry for spelling, am still kind of wiped out)-saw spotted frogfish and splendid toadfish-almost forgot best part of trip, got pulled aside at 4:30 am and had my carry ons and self completely taken apart(in US) and wanded and swabbed(i carry high level tsa clearance card, go figure)-will try to download some pics, especially the one of the BC guys mooning me on departure day(they were rather young)-oh yeah, took plastic lawn flamingo diving with me one day for photo contest, made things very interesting buoyancy wise, even with hole drilled in it but got the shots and had fun embarrassing everyone by making them have their picture taken with it(strangely enough the men didn't mind as much as the women)-and as far as wearing gloves goes, its a NO, unless you have been diving with same DO for years and then they turn a blind eye and one couple was using chopsticks like reef hooks, found that and the dangling consoles on almost all rental gear just unfathomable-even the DMs consoles were not secured all the time

Diver Kat
04-03-2010, 22:35
Sorry your trip was so bad. You definitely did not get the best of Coz on this trip, and some of the stuff you dealt with was downright weird!! Especially them questioning your equipment set-up. I hate to see you write Coz off on 1 bad trip, but I can totally understand if you do. BUT, if you do go back, there are any number of DO's that let you dive your tank w/out time restrictions, and don't have you swimming over sand for half your dive. There are also places to stay that are still reasonable, but not dumps. My first experience diving Coz was actually a major fiasco (dives were okay, the DO was one screw up after another!) but luckily we went back, and have had many, many great experiences since. Not counting a few cruise ship stops, I think our June trip will be #12 to Coz. Hope someday you give it another whirl, and have a much better time!

scubagirlj
04-04-2010, 08:20
thanx dk- will definately go with a db if i do go back, and will definately stay further south, even if it means an ai but for now am already booked thru 2/2011 in gc, ft laud, kl(2x),truk & palau

Travelnsj
04-04-2010, 08:42
Sorry you did not have a good time...although I'm not much of a Caribbean diver...Cozy is one of my favs I've been to. I've stayed at Del Mar and Hotel Cozumel and may go this summer and stay at Scuba Club Coz. I have also found the marine life to be lacking....but as good or better than anywhere else I have dove in the Caribbean. Try it again but stay some where better and dive with a better dive Op.

Daved
04-04-2010, 12:43
I thought it was just me--I too will not be going back. Maybe a few years back before the storms and multiple cruise ship dockings it was great---. Now on a ten scale I would be hard pressed to go above 5.5.
Just my two cents.

rayaa3
04-04-2010, 20:37
Wow - thanks for sharing your experience with the DO and accomodations.

scubarobin
04-05-2010, 16:30
I hate to say it but "you got what you paid for". Staying at a cheap room in town you are going to get a cheap room in town! The dive op is a big one, not known for personalized service, and you can't control the weather. So, sorry you had a bad trip, but if you had paid a bit more, done a bit more research on dive ops and locations, you would have had 100% better time and enjoyed the diving much more.
here is a post I did recently to help Cozumel newbies have a better trip:
http://forum.scubatoys.com/cozumel/30655-going-cozumel-playa-del-carmen-cancun-areas.html

robin
I'll be at Scuba Club Cozumel in 2.5 weeks!!(more expensive but worth it!!)

Travelnsj
04-05-2010, 17:02
I'll be at Scuba Club Cozumel in 2.5 weeks!!(more expensive but worth it!!)

Robin....I thought you said you were not going back to Cozumel?

I'm (maybe) thinking of going this summer and staying at Scuba Club as i have heard very good things about it.

scubagirlj
04-05-2010, 18:06
did plenty of research-just didn't get answers from right people obviously-money wasn't an issue, didn't get response from other spots(papa hogs, scuba club, etc) when ready to make my reservations-doubt a different DO would have made a difference in what is u/w but like i always say" there's a lid for every hopper", and coz is just not for me-glad you and others enjoy it, i'll enjoy my next few trips to KL, FT L & GC

Clernix
04-05-2010, 18:55
You should give Coz another go. Ask board members for OPs and use Trip Advisor for hotels. The diving is really good. You will be hard pressed to find better warm water diving for the price. You have to get away from cruise ship rip off area (although that can be fun too) and find the true Coz. Nice little places to eat really nice local people. We rent from an expat that has a cute little garden house she rents out.

Scout
04-06-2010, 11:51
We rent from an expat that has a cute little garden house she rents out.

Details? Name or website?

Thanks!

scubarobin
04-06-2010, 16:30
I'll be at Scuba Club Cozumel in 2.5 weeks!!(more expensive but worth it!!)

Robin....I thought you said you were not going back to Cozumel?

I'm (maybe) thinking of going this summer and staying at Scuba Club as i have heard very good things about it.

:smiley2: We have rethought our issues we had last year and planning to go back because the good things were really good. It is also the cheapest week trip we can do right now. The reefs still are not what they were before, as I said, but still good diving can be had, especially when staying at SCC where we can shore dive anytime we want.

robin

scubarobin
04-06-2010, 16:39
did plenty of research-just didn't get answers from right people obviously-money wasn't an issue, didn't get response from other spots(papa hogs, scuba club, etc) when ready to make my reservations-doubt a different DO would have made a difference in what is u/w but like i always say" there's a lid for every hopper", and coz is just not for me-glad you and others enjoy it, i'll enjoy my next few trips to KL, FT L & GC

I am not saying Cozumel is the best diving in the Caribbean, it isn't IMHO. But it is good in many respects and it sounds like you didn't get the most from your trip due to many issues. Personally, I would not stay downtown for any reason - too noisy, too touristy... I like "dive resorts" as I want to hang out with other divers, talk about diving, and be in bed by 9-10pm each night. I also expect to get in 3 dives per day, another reason we like Scuba Club.

Scuba Club can't be booked online except through a dive travel agent: Under the Surface. Over the Top. Dive Travel and Vacations - Caradonna Dive Adventures (http://www.caradonna.com) or Island Dreams Travel scuba diving vacations, cozumel scuba diving, dive travel, dive resorts, diving trips (http://www.divetrip.com) or Bay Adventures :: Dive Adventures and Island Vacations :: 888.599.3483 (http://www.bayadventures.com) etc. If you e-mail them you might get an answer, but its best to deal with one of the professionals listed above. They all get the exact same package rates and can also arrange airfare if you want.

As far as comparisons with KL, FT L, and GC - I have been to the first two and think Coz is much better in all respects. Haven't done GC because the price and too many tourists turns me off. Yes, Cozumel has cruise ships now, yuck, but I never go downtown during the daytime so they don't affect me too much. The island has changed a great deal since I first started going there 10yrs ago!

robin:smiley2:

scubagirlj
04-06-2010, 20:28
i can do GC(& have done) for just a bit more than coz cost me & have unlimited shore diving in addition to the 2 AM boats & the biggest breakfast known to man(included)-probably because you live nearer to houston & i can get nonstop to GC from philly-and i stay outside tourist zone there, in fact don't even go into town, no need to

Diver Kat
04-06-2010, 23:06
I wish we could do GC for the price of Coz, but yeah - for us being in TX the airfare is usually pretty good to Coz. We can normally do Coz for less than going to the Keys - even though we have a paid for timeshare. Food, gas, diving - pretty much everything is more expensive in FL.

scubarobin
04-07-2010, 06:15
I wish we could do GC for the price of Coz, but yeah - for us being in TX the airfare is usually pretty good to Coz. We can normally do Coz for less than going to the Keys - even though we have a paid for timeshare. Food, gas, diving - pretty much everything is more expensive in FL.

ditto, airfare to Fla is about the same as to mexico for us. I'm not saying I won't go diving in Fla ever again, it is just different than Coz and PDC (cenotes). But having lived in Fla for 10yrs, I can say I have had my fill of it, especially the traffic in So Fla. :smiley5:

The airfare to GC from here is ridiculous! Every time we talk about going to Caymans and I start figuring up costs, we decide to go elsewhere. For the same price I can go to Bonaire.... and you know who is going to win out in that debate!!!! IMHO, the diving in Bonaire is the best in the Caribbean on many levels, especially the 24/7 shore diving. It is also a diver's paradise topside. Probably our next trip to the Caribbean will be back there. (that is after our Coz trip this month)

robin:smiley2:

scubagirlj
04-07-2010, 07:58
would love to do bonaire but to get reasonable flight would have to stay 7-8 days and i like to do 5 day mini trips every 2 months or so- i paid 350 for my ticket r/t n/s to GC and 675 r/t 1 stop for coz

Desert_Diver
04-07-2010, 08:43
I enjoyed your report even though you didn't have a stellar experience.

I have to agree with the other divers that the extra money for Scuba Club Cozumel is worth it. The cruseros (sp?) are an annoyance and an embarrassement to me (as an American). Divers are a much better behaved and more interesting crowd. And you are still within walking distance of town if you need to shop for something.

I haven't actually dove Coz for a while. It is my understanding that the hurricanes have not been kind to the reef there. I have dove all three Caymans off a live aboard (Nekton) but they don't cruise the Caymans anymore. I don't know if Aggressor does the Caymans but it might be worth checking. Pay no attention to Travelnsj's opinion of live aboards. He gets seasick walking across puddles after a rain storm. :smiley13:

In my opinion (FWIW), Bonaire has good coral but limited fish life, especially big stuff. Bonaire is fun, but you need to understand what to expect.

Coz has its good points (expense), and bad points (cruise ships). I have found the diving acceptable, but would NOT rent equipment there. I hope you have a better experience next time around.

Art

dkh6070
04-07-2010, 08:56
I feel bad you dd not enjoy yourself. I typically have a good time in coz. Yeah, the hotel is not the best in comfort but My wife and I dive all day, (We use the same DM So we do what we want) shower fro dinner then go to bed. I actually had a mini fridge in the room both times I stayed there. The wife adn I go down on FF miles and stay 4 nights and dive 3 days for $600 total. If I could do that in GC I would.

Sorry your trip wasn't better. Like you said, everyone has there favorite.

BRsnow
04-07-2010, 17:15
I think it is all about the DM, we use the same one each time....home cooked lunches that are unreal fresh konk/lobster ceviche, tuna that I caught fishing between dives...also invited to family bbq's and shown the locals side of night life in Coz...I enjoy it there, easy to get to from CO, I have seen cruise ships in the harbor but never really ran into any crowds, they might be gone by the time we get back from diving....BR

Clernix
04-08-2010, 11:15
Scout
Look up Casa Tulipan in Cozumel it is also listed on Cozumelliving.com think its .com. Tell them Michael from Ohio sent you.