Diving in Cozumel 2009
For our umpteenth trip to Cozumel we used mileage to fly direct from LAX to Cancun. The shuttle was a lot more, I think maybe $30 each. We arrived in Cancun about 2:30 and made it to the ferry just in time to make the 5:00 pm crossing.
When we returned, we took our down day in Playa del Carmen and returned to the Cancun airport via taxi for about $35. Exchange rates were swinging between 14 and 15 pesos to the dollar.
I used CancunTravel.com to reserve rooms at the Barracuda and Colibri. The large web sites (Expedia, Orbitz, blah blah) all LISTED these hotels but would say there were no rooms on the days I requested. I had no problem at all booking through CancunTravel.com.
Cozumel is changing fast. I can't believe how much it has changed since I first went there in 2001. The city has more than recovered from hurricane Wilma. The reefs are still recovering. There were at least two days when 7 cruise ships we docked at the various piers. There may have been one day with no ship but all the other days had at least one cruise ship in port.
Across from the Barracuda (right next to the Navy buildings) is a new Mega Store. It's huge and new. This is the closest I've stayed to the town center and I really liked the easy walk. I'll do it again next time.
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|I loved Alaska Airlines. I used 70,000 Continental miles to purchase two round trip tickets from LAX to CUN. Total cost after all the taxes and fees came to $166.20. The seats on Alaska had a lot more leg room than other carriers I have used. The return flight departure was delayed two hours. I would fly Alaska again in a second. But when I look at total cost, including shuttles to and from Playa I think the better deals are the direct flights to Cozumel (CZM).|
|I have stayed at Hotel Cozumel and Scuba Club. This time I
decided to stay a little closer to town. I really enjoyed Hotel
Barracuda. If you stay at the Barracuda, find Gregario at the front
desk and remind him that he told Randy that the elevator would be
installed soon. Yep, four stories and no elevator. If you
have to schlep your gear to the fourth floor, it's a pain. They
have a nice outside area and with all the partying going on I was
surprised at how quiet my room was at night. Things settle down
Blue XT-Sea Diving
|I have used several dive operators in Cozumel, including Living
Underwater, Dive Paradise, Scuba Club, Aqua Safari and now
Christi Courtney's Blue
XT-Sea. It's a small operation with two boats, one fast and one
slow. The fast boat had twin 150 hp motors and a canopy.
Very nice. Getting back in the boat is a little difficult trying
to climb the ladder thrown over the side and avoiding the canopy.
They offer a personalized dive profile. Basically, you stay down
until you or your buddy run out of air (700 psi). During our trip
we had between 3 and 5 divers on the morning dives.
Our first couple of days we dived with John and Jeri, then we had Len and Jake join us on alternating days.
On the down side, Christi only guarantees one night dive a week. If she gets four or more she'll offer additional dives. My wife and I wound up scheduling one night dive with Dive Paradise. Christi accommodated us by giving us two night dives, one with just the two of us and the other with three additional divers.
On the plus side, Christi knows her market. She's what she calls a boutique dive operation and includes a service to store and rinse your gear every night. Very nice feature if your room is on the fourth floor at the Barracuda.
|I have stayed at Colibri several times. I love that place.
There's a little bar and taco joint on the beach. Just very cool
and great views. The sad thing is how much Playa is changing.
I don't know how much longer the Colibri will manage to stay in
business. The good view rooms go for about $130/night.
There's a new condo complex next door that rents out at $400/night.
You can call or email these guys direct, but I suggest using CancunTravel.com. It's just easier. You'll see.
Ferry Departure Times
Waterjets Ferry has a website at Cruceros Maritimos del Caribe,
click on the Servicios button and then select Horaios to bring up
Cruceros Maritimos del Caribe
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We've had Divers stop by to visit!