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Advice On Dive Opperators


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#1 Agnes62

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 08:04 AM

Hi! I am coming down with some friends this month (YAY!) and some of them are going to dive. I am not a diver, and need some advice on how to pick a good dive opperation for them. I know it is hard to give opinions without stepping on toes - but maybe some pointers on how to choose wisely?
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#2 mstevens

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 01:25 PM

In my opinion the divers should choose. They're the ones who know their own preferences. Do they want a small, fast "6-pack" boat or a larger one with a head and shower? Do they care about being picked up at a pier vs. the caleta? Do they want their gear washed and stored between dives? How big an issue is price?

On Scubaboard's Cozumel board this is a perennial discussion. It tends to come down to a small number of highly-recommended operators, another small number of less-expensive options that are still pretty good, and a bunch of also-rans. Of course, there's much arguing about which shops belong in which group.
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#3 Agnes62

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 02:41 PM

Thank you - I have passed the site information along. I have no idea what they want, so I am sure this will be a great help.
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#4 Carey

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 02:47 PM

Living Under Water is one of the good ones as I understand it. Careyitos is another good one. You definitely won't go wrong with Living Under Water from everything I've heard. Small op owned by an American. Book as far ahead as possible.

Many experienced divers prefer one of the smaller ops with boats that typically hold only 6 divers (hence the term 6-packs). These boats are faster to get to the dive sites which is a consideration if you are not staying in a hotel in the southern zone. But the ride is not as mellow or comfortable so you have to decide what you want and need on that front.

My husband likes a slower boat but one that doesn't hold massive numbers of people. 12 or so is okay. Takes longer to get to the site but the trip is pleasant.

Many suggest, however, staying away from what are sometimes called 'cattle-boats' -- large boats that hold a whole lot of divers.

So that's a little background knowledge from one non diver to another but I happen to know a little about it as you can't help but if you live here as it is one of the major industries on the island.
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#5 hillbilly

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 04:58 PM

When we were down in May for two weeks a friend took us over and introduced us to Sergio Sandoval of Aquatic Sports who operates out of the southern marina and bases out of his house on 21st around 15th in Corpus Christi. I was surprised when he took just the two of us out and we were hooked as to who we will dive with from now on, As we dove more with more people another dive master was included as no more than five people to one dive master is his rule. We have never felt safer or in better hands than this life long resident of the island.
The lunch he serves is worth it alone, apparently his daughter holds several records for swimming the channel from Xel ha or somewhere incredibly far to cozumel. Laid back diving, very relaxing and believe you me he knows where to dive. We could always see his boat as his crew functions very well together.
I am surprised I never heard of him before but I can thank Steve Hamp for introducing him to us.
Whatever just an opinion.
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#6 Carey

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 05:28 PM

I, too, have heard nothing but good things about Sergio Sandoval.
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#7 Guest_casacozumel01_*

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 12:53 PM

There are two businesses owned by the Sandoval family.
1) Aquatic Sports & Expeditions run by Sergio Sandoval Suarez Jr. Coz. cell 987/111/1172. www.cozumeldivingwithsergio.com E-Mail suarezaquatic@gmail.com

2) Aquatic Sports run by Sergio Sandoval Vinzano Sr.. Coz business #987/872/0640. www.scuabacozumel.com E-mail scubacozumel@gmail.com

Both operations, in my opinion, are excellent. You can reserve places on the boats or even rent the boat(s) for your own group. You will love the personal attention, lunches, and service. I have been associated with the family for over nine years. Jr. Dives with a large boat in small groups of 6 & Sr. dives with a small boat in groups of six as well.

You can contact either Sergio directly or contact us and we would be happy to help you.
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