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AI hotel and onsite dive op recommendation?

Discussion in 'Cozumel' started by jdevic, Nov 9, 2020.

  1. jdevic

    jdevic Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Toronto
    I usually stay at Flamingo in Centro and dive with Blue Magic and occasionally Tres Pelicanos. But now due to COVID, I'd rather stay in a resort and dive directly from the beach, instead of the daily taxi commute to the marina.

    Air Canada vacations have some good deals right now, and I've narrowed down to the following options (all approx. $700-900 USD a week including flights):
    • Allegro (Pro Dive)
    • Iberostar (Dressel)
    • Grand Park Royal (Aqua World)
    • Occidental (Pro Dive)
    I've never done AI in Cozumel. I've heard of Pro Dive and Dressel but not sure about their CZM locations. Any recommendations? Many thanks!
  2. Manatee Diver

    Manatee Diver Stop throwing lettuce at me! ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Tampa Bay, FL
    I've dove with Pro Dive at Allegro (which uses the same boats for both sites but different guides).

    Dives sites were picked by the staff, trips out were typically pretty short, dives were 45 minutes to an hour depending on how fast you sucked down your tank. Divers went up in pairs and repaired if one was low and the other wasn't. But if you were there more than a day or two they were pretty good at matching single divers up based on consumption.

    Typically came back with a ton of time to get lunch and relax a bit before the boats boarded for an afternoon trip.

    I really have no complaints with them. Well except that they cave diving price is a bit ridiculous.
    jdevic likes this.
  3. GreggS

    GreggS Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Thomasville, NC
    I've stayed at Allegro and dove with Pro Dive. Both are fairly decent operations. As Manatee Diver said, the rides are short to the dive sites. The resort is about 10-15 minutes from downtown.
    jdevic likes this.
  4. jonhall

    jonhall Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Indianapolis
    Dove with both Pro Dive and Dressel although we didn't stay at the associated resorts. Did get to eat the AI at Iberostar (very good, IMO) and have walked through both Allegro and Iberostar resorts - by appearance and location I'd gladly stay at either.

    The dive with Dressel was a one day affair from the mainland where we were staying, but diving with one of their resort locations for the $$$ deal on dives. Dove Palancar Gardens and Columbia Shallows, a couple of decent dives.

    Both Pro Dive and Dressel have their own small piers and nice boats. Dressel will store your gear in a secure manner, not sure about Pro Dive. Both are in the marine park, so short boat rides to sites. Dives with Pro Dive lasted longer than the Dressel dives by about 10-15 minutes - Dressel does/did a lot of instruction and tried to stay on their schedule. Dressel does a nice job of posting the dive plan for the day outside their shop. The only real drawback I see with some of the resort ops is that dives are typically shorter than going with non-resort ops. Both had a young, international staff, so interesting to talk to.
    jdevic likes this.
  5. imoto

    imoto Nassau Grouper

    I've found after diving with Dressel for several years that the morning dives are about 55 to 60 minutes. The afternoon will last about 50 minutes. It is possible to do 4 dives a day with Dressel, 5 when they offer a night dive. Night dives are usually twice a week. Dressel keeps to a schedule of sites and times. It's nice staying at Iberostar there because Dressel returns to the resort after each dive and you can grab a drink or snack in between your dives.

    You can prepay for dives with Dressel for a 20% discount and nitrox is free. They have crates to store your gear and chains. I think you may have to bring your own lock though.

    Diving 18-20 dives during 6 days will find you repeating some of the sites though.
    jdevic likes this.
  6. umhlangan

    umhlangan Angel Fish

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    I've done the Allegro / Pro Dive combo three times now and have had no problems. PD will store your gear for you and has a good set up.

    A big plus is the short trip to the dive sites, and they have enough boats that you will probably get grouped with divers of similar ability. I've found that the divemaster will stay down until the last diver is up, within reason obviously. I've just checked my log and I've had quite a few 65 minute dives, and nothing under 55 minutes.
    jdevic likes this.
  7. beaverdivers

    beaverdivers ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

    We just stayed at Secrets Aura and dove with Dive House the last week of October.

    We had a Norte fighting hurricane Zeta. Zeta won causing port closures. Yet Dive House worked very hard with us to get all our dives in which included two incredible night dives!

    The staff at Secrets was excellent, working relentlessly through the onslaught of rain, wind and weather.

    It is an adults only property.

    Cozumelanos need your support no matter where you stay or who you dive with. They have had a tough month of weather.
    jdevic and Redfoot like this.
  8. jdevic

    jdevic Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Toronto
    Thanks guys! I think I'd go for either Allegro or Iberostar. It seems both PD and Dressel offer free nitrox which is nice for 3-4 dives a day. Based on Tripadvisors, it seems Iberostar is probably a better resort.
  9. rick00001967

    rick00001967 Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: canada
    i would first decide if you want to be south of town or as close to town as possible.

    south puts you closer to the main reefs and has great beaches.

    in town has its obvious attractions.

    i have stayed at allegro but it was many years ago. we prefer to stay closer to town.

    the park royal is a great place with excellent food and bar service. you can easily use marine world or scuba shack which are both right across from the hotel. the shore diving is decent there as well.

    maybe also consider hotel cozumel. it is very close to town. dive paradise is on site and it also has decent shore diving. we enjoy diving it best at night. i heard it was sold recently and pricing has been up and down depending on dates. but in the past we really enjoyed it there. great pool area. dive op. rinse tanks. lockers. good easy night dives. great staff. and for us from canada, the price upgrade to AI was so cheap it was crazy not to take it. we could still afford to go into town and have a few nice dinners off resort.

    many here recommend scuba club. same shore dives as hotel coz. seems pretty basic. and i think i may have read recently they were no longer doing AI ?? i may be incorrect on that.
    jdevic likes this.
  10. ggunn

    ggunn ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Austin, TX, USA
    I'm pretty sure that's a temporary COVID response.
    ChuckP likes this.

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