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Seeking Alternative To Cruise Scuba Excursion

cruise scuba dive things to do excursion

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#1 63Kr

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Posted 30 August 2014 - 12:55 PM

Hi, I am new to this forum.

We are PADI OW divers arriving in Cozumel aboard a Carnival cruise ship September 23rd and looking for scuba recommendations from those who know. Cozumel has a reputation for great scuba diving so it was unfortunate to read several reviewers of the scuba shore excursion booked through the ship were unhappy with their experiences. We regularly dive reefs and wrecks along the Florida coast and specifically booked this cruise to Cozumel because we want a memorable dive experience. Since our ship docks at 11:00AM and doesn't leave port until 8:00PM we are looking for a two-tank afternoon dive.Transportation to the dive operator/boat from the cruise terminal is an important factor. We may or may not bring our own gear. Any recommendations would be highly appreciated - Thanks!


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#2 2cozlovers

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Posted 30 August 2014 - 03:37 PM

Give www.papahogs.com an email to see if you can do an afternoon dive. This is the low season and afternoon dives are not scheduled by most dive operations. They are located about one mile from the cruise ship pier and have their own location with a pier along with a restaurant. They do have rental equipment available. Easy cab ride taking only a few minutes.
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#3 Carey

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Posted 30 August 2014 - 03:45 PM

You are smart to be making your own booking rather than going on a cattleboat with 100 of your favorite strangers.  There are too many good ops on the island to name.  But you want to look for ones that have 6-pack boats that can tear quickly down to the southern reefs.  As I said, there are so many but Living Underwater is a good one that comes to mind, Careyito Divers another, Dive with Martin.

 

One thing -- dive ops cannot pick you up at the cruiseship pier itself.  The taxi union has a hammerlock on this business.  So you will either have to walk or take a short cab ride to your boat.

 

Carnival lines comes in pretty much exclusively to the Puerta Maya pier south of downtown.  This is about ?? 1 mile?? as the crow flies from La Caleta, the closest harbor, and from where most of the dive boats launch out.  You can get a cab in a nanosecond from the line out front and will be at the Caleta about 3 minutes later.  You could walk it in the winter when the weather is pleasant as there is a nice sidewalk.  I wouldn't do it from April through October, however.  Just pay the 6 bucks or whatever the charge is.  Taxi rates are posted on a very prominent sign at the cab stand and if you don't see one there, ask the taxi driver for his rates cart and check for yourself.

 

Have fun!


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#4 DJDiverDan

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Posted 30 August 2014 - 07:40 PM

There are over a hundred Cozumel Dive operators, and probably dozens that will work with divers off a cruise ship. Yes, you will save LOTS of money booking your own dives; the Cruise Lines extract a big kickback from all of their excursion contractors. As a general rule, I would not book through the Cruise Line for ANYTHING. On to Dive Ops. If you are coming in on the International Pier (the one a couple miles south of town), which I believe Carnival does, Dive with Martin is probably the most convenient Dive Op, as it's shop is right at the end of the pier. Also, Dive with Martin will include rental gear in the price they quote you. It is not a high end valet operator, like Aldora, Living Underwater, Blue XTC, but it will provide you with an excellent dive experience. I've been diving with DWM several times, and I'm going to be with them for 5 days of diving in December. Miguel and Roberto are both excellent DMs and both can show you lots of good stuff while diving Cozumel. DWM is a budget operator - AL 80 tanks, 45-50 minute dives, 1 hour surface interval. If you want Steel high capacity tanks, much longer bottom times, SI on a beach or at a beach club, check out the higher end operators. Aldora is my favorite, but there are others who swear by operators like Living Underwater, Blue XTC, Tres Pelicanos. Check out reviews on Scuba Board Cozumel Forum.

A bit of advice if you have never dived Cozumel before. It is all drift diving, and that makes some people nervous. I LOVE Drift diving - it is the most relaxing, least tiring diving you'll ever do, IF you remember some simple rules. First, do NOT fight the current - it is your friend, and will do most of the work for you, you are along for the ride. Second, stay behind (up current) of the DM at all times. If you get distracted and go by him, it can be HARD WORK to swim against the current to try to return to the group. If the DM stops, you stop. Third, stay at the same depth as the dive group. Currents can run at different speeds at different depths; don't think that you'll be "safer" or "use less air" if you try to helicopter 20-30 feet above the group. I hate that, the DMs hate it, and its highly likely that you'll be in a current that's traveling at a different speed than the group, meaning you'll drift out ahead of them or lag way behind. If the group is at 80 feet, you should be too. Fourth, learn the tricks of minimizing the current. Stay horizontal, presenting a small cross-section to the current. The current is usually weak very close to the bottom, and nonexistent behind a coral head, so if the DM stops to show the group something, a Moray, a Lobster, a Toadfish, whatever, you can stay in place and wait for the group by ducking behind something that blocks the current, or getting horizontal, close to the bottom, facing into the current; with a small cross-section, you can stay in place with minimal effort. Once you get used to drift diving, you'll love it.
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#5 mslf500

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Posted 31 August 2014 - 06:10 AM

I second Aldora and they leave from a pier  downtown.  They sometimes do an afternoon Lion Fish hunting expedition.

 

Another one I like is ScubaTony.  They leave out of Caleta Marina which is about 1 mile south of Puerto Maya where most of the Carnival ships dock.


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