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How to fit EVERYTHING in?


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#1 stargazer5468

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 03:52 PM

We have a decent sized group of 7 going on a cruise in June. We all realize we can of course save money moving away from the pack and doing our own thing. Our issue is we have several different things everyone wants to do. I'm not even sure if they are all available if you don't go through the cruise! I for one would like to visit Chankannab Park (anyone know if it's worht it?) but we hve people wanting to also swim with dolphins, visit ruins, scuba, and just shop. Does anyone know if all of the above is available in tours not through the cruise? (Specifically dolphins nd ruins). And also whats the best way to work the schedule if you have 7 people wanting to a lot of stuff?! Split up? Thanks!
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#2 Guest_pecosgirl_*

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 04:05 PM

Yes. Just have different folks take different cabs to wherever you want to go. There will be a ton of cabs at the pier. They will wait for you wherever you go. I think you are very smart to do it that way and save money and not be herded around in a big group.
Please, please do research about the capturing of the dolphins before you go see them...be informed and then if you still want to do it...fine. Many dolphins die enroute to the island don't even make it to their prisoner life in the small cage/prisons.
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#3 sailsgal

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 04:47 PM

We can offer your group exactly what they want to do and where they want to go...we have a small but very personalized tour company and can take people to certain activities and arrange to gather them all back at the end before heading back to the ship.
If you are going to swim with the Dolphins at Chankanaab, the entrance fee is included
in your fee for this event...if you just want to go to Chankanaab and hang out you will pay $21.00 per person to enter. Renting snorkel gear is $10 per person and then if you want to eat lunch or have a drink, there is another cost. You can decide what you want to do.

If people want to scuba and are certified with their PADI cards, we can arrange that through dive shops we know and trust on the island. Do they have equipment or need to rent it?
Ruins are $6.75 entrance fee per person, plus transportation to get there and back to town or to your ship pier. send me a Private email at casaplaya@rocketmail.com and I can give you some prices for your group. Thanks Susan
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#4 ericadawn

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 08:40 AM

My husband & I just went to Chankanaab the other day & it was really impressive! I can't even swim very well, but I wanted to snorkel, so one of their employees toook me out & showed me where the most notable stuff was. I felt very comfortable the whole time, & I don't want to give away any of the details, but you can see some really cool stuff out there.
As for the scuba, you don't need to be certified. My husband had never dove before, but they have a beginners dive for something like $70 for over 1.5 hours. He was blown away & can't wait to dive again now.
We've done lots of other stuff here, but keep talking about Chankanaab; it's truly a gorgeous place.
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#5 sailsgal

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 09:03 AM

Obviously your husband did a resort or discover scuba session. Its a way of trying out the equipment from shore with an instructor to see if you like it or not before spending the time and money for the Open Water course. You have to have this Open Water course to be able to dive from any dive boat. Glad to hear he enjoyed it and hope he comes back again and gets certified and really have more adventures on the reefs here in Cozumel.
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#6 Willie

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 10:14 AM

When I did Discover Scuba I would have sworn I fell off the side of a boat. Not sure if it was legal like that, but I have done it both ways. From shore and off of boats. Off of boats is much better since you are right over the reefs and get more "good" bottom time. I do it every year but have never bothered to get certified.
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#7 sailsgal

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 12:42 PM

Well you are taking a BIG risk doing it that way...what if you got Decompression sickness (it can happen) and you have no DAN insurance because you are not "certified"...
I had DCS 3 years ago and no fault of mine, just happened and I was in the chamber for three different sessions....we live here, so no issue about changing hotels or flights, but I couldn;t fly for 10 days and I couldn;t dive again for at least a month.
The bill was $8,500.00 US$ and DAN insurance paid it all in full.
If you have unlimited funds I guess go ahead, but also the dive operator that you are using could lose their licence to operate if caught doing this. The Liability is just too great!
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#8 cvchief

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 02:37 PM

Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought the resort course was some time spent in a place you can stand up and then you can dive up to 40 feet or so with the instructor? Right or wrong, I imagine the resort course has given lots of people the bug to go on and become certified divers. I also wonder on the DAN insurance. I bought it way back when before I was certified to cover me during my open water training. Does DAN require certification?
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#9 sailsgal

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 04:58 PM

As far as my husband knows,and he is a divemaster for over 18 years, you have to be a certified diver to obtain the insurance from DAN. They have two or three levels of coverage.
My question is why would you risk diving at all without any kind of diver insurance? You may pay each year (approx $120 per year for both of us on their family policy) and never need it but then one day you do need it? I just wouldn;t take the chance!!
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#10 cvchief

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 06:09 PM

Oh, I agree. I just wondered about buying the insurance without being certified. I checked DAN's site and the exclusions and I don't see a requirement for certification. I have have the super gold plated master plan and they never asked me to provide proof of certification. My point was if you are planning to do the resort course thing, buy the insurance anyway. Its like $30 for the basic plus your DAN membership.
Added: Reading from the Dan site it defines a covered dive as:Covered Dive means a recreational dive or diving while a scuba instructor, divemaster, underwater photographer, or while performing research under the auspices and following the diving safety guidelines of the American Academy of Underwater Scientists (AAUS). A dive begins upon entry into the water and ends upon exit from the water. A Covered Dive must begin while Insurance is in force.

So I think you might be able to get it and be covered?


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#11 Willie

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 09:02 AM

I have done the resort both ways and never been down more that forty feet or so. I know you can get in trouble at that depth with compressed air, but normally only of something goes really wrong or you freak out. I would imagine my daily commute to work and back is much more dangerous and I do that every day just so I can go to Cozumel and be "daring" lol. I do lots of dangerous things just like we all do. Its called life. Its dangerous out there.
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#12 ljohnson

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 03:02 PM

Hi Friends,

As the DAN Field Rep in Mexico, I know that you do not need to be a certified diver to get dive accident coverage from DAN America or DAN World. As far as I know all the DAN regions allow you to sign up for at least some level of coverage before getting certified. Both DAN World and DAN America have a free coverage available to students enrolled in a open-water basic level certification course. That Student Diver coverage does not apply to people taking a Discover Dive or Resort Course. However, anyone including people taking a Discover Dive or Resort Course have the option to sign up for the full DAN coverages available in their respective region. It's very very rare that someone would get decompression illness after only doing a Discover Dive but it is possible. Each region of DAN has different levels of coverage and different prices.

Decompression Illness is actually not a very common thing among recreational scuba divers. If you look at the statistics of incidence compared to the number of dives occurring each year by recreational scuba divers, it is actually a very small probability. There are definatley certain things that make some individuals more prone to getting "the bends" compared to others and when it does occur it can be very serious. In the case of decompression illness, treatment in a hypberbaric chamber is the best case senario for resolution of symptoms. Unfortunately treatment for Decompression here in Mexico is VERY expensive compared to other countries in the Americas and the Caribbean. That's why I would never dive without my DAN coverage, no matter my level of certification or the number of dives I do each year.

I enjoy diving and recommend that those in your group who are interested in diving try it while they are here. Cozumel diving is like no other. It's easy drift diving, inexpensive compared to other dive destinations, has some of the most beautiful reefs in the world. It would be a shame to pass up the opportunity. Not everyone will be able to do it because of medical reasons, and some are just outright afraid to try. But for those who are able and wiling it is like stepping into a whole new world.
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#13 cdlu

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 05:49 PM

Back to the original question from Stargazer. I went on a cruise with a group of 21 people. I did my research on what was available without going through the ship. When I decided on what I wanted to do, I simply sent everyone a link via email telling them what I had planned. I also sent links to other options I found to everyone. Some went with us and some didn't.
You can do just about everything the ship offers without going through the ship; however; if you go outside the ship, make sure you board in time; they will not wait.
Chankanaab is great; we always spend at least a day there when we go to Cozumel. You have the Dolphins, good snorkeling, nice beach, a lagoon, food, pool, etc.; it is a very nice place to spend a day.
As posted, there are a gazillion cabs waiting to take you anywhere you want to go on the island.
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#14 cvchief

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 10:18 PM

Thanks, LJ!
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#15 CZMDM

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Posted 08 May 2011 - 09:31 AM

I beg to differ that it is a mistake doing Discover Scuba. It is one of the most popular activities on the island. We have done it dozens and dozens of times and have never had an accident. Almost every dive shop on the island offers the course. Thousands of people do that course every year here in Cozumel without incident. PADI is a very conservative and litigation minded organization. No way would they endorse this course if there was even a moderate percentage of problems. Yes with scuba there is always the chance for an accident, just like when you are driving a car, but to make a blanket statement that Discover Scuba is unsafe when worldwide hundreds of thousands of people do the course incident free every year is just not correct.

Although anything is possible to make any kind of life threatening error on a dive of 35-40 feet would take a incredibly stupid mistake. The area's where most of the Discover Scuba takes place are the same locations that are used for the Open Water Diver course. Due to the current I would certainly recommend doing the dive from a boat as opposed to doing it from the shore.

Personally if I was going to book a tour I would book locally and not through the cruise line. There are dozens of excellent local booking agencies here on the island that can help you and if you have a problem they are right here on the island to help you out. If something goes wrong with any tour and you are using a local agent any problems that may occur are very easy to address.

For certed divers DAN insurance is a must.
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#16 cozdude

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 07:04 AM

yep, count me among the folks whose first dive experience was a "resort course" in Cozumel, and who was so utterly captivated by the experience that I came back to get my Open Water cert. Been diving in Coz every year since. For me, if you are a first time visitor and are in relatively good health, doing a "resort course" dive is a MUST-DO in Cozumel. Mine was off a boat (after a couple hours of instruction on the beach and in shallow water), and I did several dives that week (down to around 50 feet) after taking the course. Some of the best money I ever spent.
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#17 cozitsnice

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 02:34 PM

I did Chankanaab outside of the cruiseline as well. The trip with the ship didn't offer the dolphin foot push option and I really wanted that. We had a small group (6 of us) so we got to feed and interact with the manatees as well as part of our adventure) It is clean, with free lockers, showers and is without hundreds of vendors asking you to buy things and get your hair braided. It wasn't any less expensive but I booked directly through Chankanaab and they provide one way transportation if there are two or more people booking. My partner booked later and they gave us a voucher to get back to port. I would suggest going directly from the port there. After the dolphin (do the Royal Swim it's awesome!) adventure we went to the end of the area where the palapas are and rented snorkel gear for $5 for the day and got the free life jackets from the beach (jackets are required in the water) which were the blow-up kind so you can still dive down while you snorkel. The reef buts right up against the shore so you don't have to swim out to see the great things that are in there. The next day we snorkeled in Belize and were both disappointed after the Coz experience. The currents were strong and all of the fish blended in with the coral unlike Chan. Check it out, it's really worth the expense.
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#18 vickyaaron

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 07:05 AM

you can do a discover dive from the boat when you have done skills in the pool or very shallow waters before. the maximum depths is 40 feet and there are not more than 4 students per instructor allowed. but a decompression sickness at this depths is highly unlickly since you haven done any deeper dives that other theday before. when you answer the medical questionaire truly, you should be fine and my insurance even covers my students/discovers...
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