Cozumel Scuba Club, Mexico
Group Trip with Aquarius Dive & Travel, Castle Rock, CO., May 2000, Jim, Larry, Susan, Sherrie, & Dean.
Very relaxing and enjoyable. This resort is the perfect size, not
overly big. Very well designed for divers. Clean and spacious rooms.
Very nice beach 'club' room for breakfast, lunches, bar area. Dining
area is very nice. You could find Dean on a hammock whenever he wasn't
diving or eating.
Dive boats never overcrowded. The staff met our every need. Beach diving provided many special pictures. Boat diving met out expectations. In house SCUBA staff was very responsive. See other notes about Cozumel below. If you've new to diving, this is the place to go, good boat diving, good beach diving, nice rooms, all inclusive. No surprises. As experienced divers we also enjoyed very much.
Little Cayman Beach Resort, Little Cayman
Family trip with Wendy & Brenda Fields, December '98'
Crew: Shawn, Patrick, and Joe. Boat: Cayman Sister.
Little Cayman Beach Resort gets 5 Stars for its staff and Service. The moment we got off the airplane, there were Resort people there to handle out luggage and dive gear. All we had to do was point out our luggage and be driven to the resort.
The orientation was very casual and informative. Directory of resort and activities was clear and accurate. Clean large rooms with color TV and satellite connection. Large pool and hot tub.
Meals are served buffet style. Excellent chief and food staff. Nice dinning room.
Dive staff and dive shop: Complete Dive Shop service and full range of PADI courses available. Nitrox available and a very popular course. In November of 98, they started a T.D.I. resort and Semi-Closed-Rebreather (S.C.R.) courses. The three crew members (all instructors) on our dive boat were all very helpful and friendly. Fully fitted dive boats, limited number of divers to prevent crowding. Two morning dives, one afternoon dive. Water temperature was between 80 to 82 degrees depending on the computer. Visibility 80 to 100 feet. We saw an abundance of sea life including sharks and Eagle Ray's.
Sherrie and I both took the S.C.R. course and thoroughly enjoyed diving without bubbles. Shawn, our TDI instructor, was very knowledgeable and helpful. We were surprised to see the course cost less there then here in Colorado by a huge amount.
Fiesta Inn Resort, Cozumel, Mexico
Group Trip with Aquarius Dive & Travel, Castle Rock, CO.
Dive Operator: Sea Scuba, owners (David & Nancy Tovarl)
The trip was great. :-)
The Fiesta Inn is nice and the staff is courteous. The bar, cafeteria, pool service, and beach restaurant were all adequate for our needs. Our rooms were very nice. Maid service was excellent. During the week our room air conditioner went out. They responded within 30 minutes to our complaint and replaced the unit. We were disappointed to find no 'dive lockers' or storage for our dive gear near the boat dock. Every day we had to haul our stuff from our rooms, across the street to the boat dock. This isn't a long walk, but it would have been nicer if they would have these type of facilities for our use.
Shore diving was okay. We found ourselves swimming north a couple hundred feet in front of the Galopago Inn (Cozumel Scuba Club). Much more fish and things to see. The shore entry was a little tricking, you could get hurt on the rough lava rock if not careful.
The Dive Operator, Sea Scuba met our every need. They run two very fast boats, the Sea Maiden and the Sea Master. If your in to fast boats, these are the boats for you. You do get beat up a bit (I personally like the smooth slower rides myself), and I wouldn't suggest leaving camera or video equipment laying on the deck, they take a real beating bouncing on the deck. I scratched my video shell body up pretty good on this trip when I forgot to pick it up a couple trips. Our Captain (Pedro) was great, always there to help along with our Dive Master (usually David and sometimes Bazooka).
They took us where we ask and offered suggestions when appropriate. I consider it a real find when we find sharks diving in Cozumel. During our 6 days of diving, we only went 1 day without at least finding 1 sleeping nurse shark. During the course of the week, we saw octopus, eels, big groupers, stingrays, etc..
As always, we enjoyed many meals at Ernesto's. Sherrie and I have been eating fajitas there since 1985. There waiters are great, but the food is even better. You need to make a point to eat here when your in Cozumel. They are located downtown, just south of the Downtown Pier or just north of the International Pier south of town. Make a point to relax and enjoy there food and drink, you won't regret it. This is a medium to low price outing.
We discovered one of the best Italian Restaurant that we have ever enjoyed right in Downtown Cozumel (109 A. Rosado Salas), (Prima Pasta Seafood & Pizza), much more than pizza my friend, you really need to check this out. This is a medium to high price outing. You enjoy you meal on a second level open air level, very nice indeed........ This is a medium to high price outing.
If you want lobster, there's no better place to go than the Lobster House, located on the north end of Downtown. This is a medium to high price outing.
North Palm Beach, Florida
Sherrie and I were visiting relatives in Florida in May 97, so we decided to do a couple dives and checkout the Palm Beach area near our relatives. We also decided to get our Nitrox Certification while we were there, since Florida appears to be the biggest area of Nitrox divers in the world.
We used the boat 'Rampage', Captained by Bob Johnson, for our diving. A very friendly and helpful Captain. His boat is clean, roomy, compressor on board, and he limits the number on board to insure the comfort of his divers. We found him very knowledgeable and helpful. Check him out if your going to be in the area.
We did our PADI Nitrox certification from Eva Pusich (Eva email), in the same area. We recommend her highly. She is an independent PADI instructor and made every effort to work around our vacation plans. She was willing to do the classroom portion of the training in our hotel room. She is very professional, and is very cost competitive. Send her an email or give her a call (561-863-1457) if your interested in doing a PADI class in the area.
We saw 6 hugh sea turtles on a single dive in the 'breaker' reef area. All the diving here is considered 'drift' diving. But it is easily manageable.
Live aboard in Roatan
Dean & Sherrie in Roatan '96'
Peter Hughes Diving Inc., 1-800-932-623, Boat = Wind Dancer, Captain Paul
The boat and crew were fantastic. At least once a day the captain made a point to ask everyone if they had any problems of any kind. Any problems that came up, were attended to immediately. The Dinners were excellent. Breakfast was buffet or by order off basic menu. Lunch was buffet, very good and with different options every day. Cabins were small for 2 people but very nice. Each cabin had wall closet, drawers, sink, Head with shower, and a porthole. They had plenty of tools, rental gear, and fresh water tanks for our requirements. There was a 2 layer 6' X 3' carpeted area in the scuba assembly area dedicated to camera's and Video equipment. It was wonderful. Not only for assembly and cleaning, but it turned into a gathering place for most of the amateur photographers and the divemasters to help each other and compare stories and techniques.
Dive sight briefings were very clear and detailed. The divemasters drew us a map on a white board in the scuba assembly area for each dive sight. I was very impressed with this effort. It really helped us make our dive plans. We found we could easy do 5 dives a day. I was impressed that we were not 'herded' on our dive's. They required that everyone have computers and log there dives every day. They had computers to loan or rent if someone didn't have one. A very pleasant experience. Our group included Jim, Eric, Wendy, Nilla, Sherrie, and Dean.
Belize trip, 11/96
(from a well trusted scuba Instructor and buddies, Bill & Cookie) We just returned from the coast of Belize a couple of weeks ago. Had a really great trip to The Shores. It's an new resort located 30 miles or so south of Belize City. Very secluded.....just my kind of place. We spent several days there and also stayed on Tobacco Caye just east of Gangriga. The Caye is actually on the reef. We dove south from there and around South Water Caye. These are very small islands, about 4 to 5 acres of land area, all sand and palms. Really cool place to be. We were really into it and hated to see Sunday come when we flew back. Would loved to have stayed longer, but there is a real risk involved......might just decide to stay on for an extended time.
We saw some fantastic sea life and the coral was absolutely untouched everywhere we went. Great walls. The most amazing thing was on the third day when we saw a whale shark. It came over us just when we started out safety stop. It was at least 20 feet long and 6 feet wide ( almost as big as the boat) in fact I thought it was the boat at first. The most amazing thing is that it stayed with us for 10 to 15 minutes. We tried to wait it out thinking it would just go on it's way, but not so, it was fascinated by our bubbles and swam in around us. My wife and I finally had to go up ( we were down to 250 pounds on her tank) really were kind of nervous about surfacing, because you just don't know......! It actually followed us up to the top, and I swear it came up to me (within 3 feet) and just followed along with us. My wife was looking the other way on the way up and didn't see how close he was. It was a dive of a life time, probably will never be another like it ....ever.