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Cozumel versus Roatan or Bonaire

Discussion in 'Cozumel' started by herbdb, Jul 21, 2013.

  1. herbdb

    herbdb Contributor Rest in Peace

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Allentown, PA
    1,241
    284
    When I travel to dive, I like to dive a lot. We made our second trip to Coz last April and once again came away with the feeling that the cost per dive was just too high. The diving is good and the resorts are nice, but two boat dives is just not enough. We did a night and wreck dive, but that was extra $$. We always dive Nitrox where appropriate, also extra $$.

    It will probably be a long time before we return. Bonaire and Roatan give more dives for the money spent.



    A ScubaBoard Staff Message...

    This thread has been split from a side discussion in another thread about 3 tank dives in Cozumel. Marg, SB Senior Moderator
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 23, 2013
    tracydr likes this.
  2. Christi

    Christi PADI MSDT/Dive op owner ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Cozumel, MX
    7,229
    4,690
    Sorry - have to respond to this. You are obviously entitled to your opinion and to spend your vacation diving dollars however you'd like, but your argument is weak and not thought out in my opinion.

    Of course extra boat dives cost extra money. Do you think the crew works for free, or that the fuel to get you there is free, tanks, boat maintenance, insurance, etc. etc. etc. This is not a hobby for dive shops - it's a business just like you are in or employed by whatever business you do for a living. Do you work for free or for fun? Do your bills get paid by giving your products or services away?

    Prices for a two-tank dive (and additional dives) are set based on expenses to operate with a very, very tiny profit built in for our work so that you can enjoy safe quality dives (even though some people seem to think we don't deserve to earn a modest living). A real business person/administrator knows exactly what it costs them to move the boat from the marina, before they even start adding divers - and then they know exactly what their cost per diver is for any given charter. Trust me, the margin is slim and keeps getting slimmer.

    As far as the cost per dive, I don't know who you dove with - but if you dive with one of the ops that allows you to dive your tank and computer, it will cost you less than $2 a minute of bottom time - less if you are getting 60 - 70 or 80 minute dives like we (and others) very often get.

    I'm guessing based on your statements that you haven't been to Belize, Cayman, Turks and Caicos, BVI, or anywhere else in the Caribbean - Cozumel is a bargain to all of these places where two-tank dives are $100 - $160 there

    Comparing Bonaire shore diving to Cozumel boat diving isn't even logical. I haven't been to Roatan, so I can't really comment with authority - but from what I hear, the boats don't have to travel as far to the reefs so fuel costs are a fraction of what they are here - and getting dropped off on the same reef for the second dive everyday and diving back to shore doesn't sound the least bit appealing to me.

    To each is own - and sorry you didn't feel that you had enough bang for your buck. I would encourage you to try some different operations to see if you can get more of what you are looking for - there are enough here that someone will meet your needs!

    Happy diving!
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2013
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  3. herbdb

    herbdb Contributor Rest in Peace

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Allentown, PA
    1,241
    284
    I don't have a vested interest in pushing Cozumel like you do. Cozumel has some beautiful reefs, but it is not inexpensive.

    A week on Roatan or Bonaire will cost less and have more diving. That is just a fact. The Roatan operations I have used do three one tank boat dives per day, nitrox is generally included. A two tank boat dive on Bonaire is $51.
     
    tracydr likes this.
  4. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Contributor

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location:
    1,756
    678
    What kind of flight prices are you getting? We looked into both Roatan and Bonaire, and the flights were WAY more expensive, and all required overnight stays in connecting airports for us. So while the cost of the dive might be lower, the cost of the vacation was way higher, for us. That's why we chose Cozumel.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2013
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  5. robint

    robint Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Albuquerque, NM
    6,540
    1,150
    yeah, I am confused by that myself. Cozumel has always worked out to be the cheapest place in the Caribbean for us. I always do a "price per dive" breakdown, and it always comes out less.

    herbdb, I know you stayed at SCC back in April, but you said you only did 13 dives. That is pretty low for us for a week. The unlimited free shore diving gets us at least 1 extra dive per day. And our last 2 trips there, we had no problem getting more boat dives in afternoons. All we had to do was ask at the dive shop to put up a sign-up sheet for extra afternoon dive... our last trip we got 25 dives in 8 day trip. The trip before we got 19 in 7 day trip.

    We have been to Bonaire and Roatan both, and gotten in the same average number of dives per week.... yes, those places they are rolled into a package. But airfare to both, as well as the food costs in Bonaire made the overall cost to BOTH more than Cozumel.

    ~ and before anyone says the shore diving in Cozumel is a waste, you need to watch my shorediving videos again. Like I mentioned after last year's trip, a girl saw me and hubby getting out of the water at SCC. She asked "did you see anything?" "What?" Are you effing kidding me, I am thinking. She says "we did the shore dive the day we got here and didn't see anything!" We both just laughed. When we got back to our room, my husband and I both said we should have told her to go get her gear and meet us at the stairs... we would SHOW her what is to see.

    Don't get me wrong, I love both Roatan and Bonaire, but Cozumel diving is better variety (reefs and fishlife) to me, so worth the trip even if the prices were equal.

    I have no financial gain for any of these places... just an avid diver married to a diveaholic.

    robin
     
  6. judydivescoz

    judydivescoz Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Cozumel, MX
    1,498
    431
    I have never dove Roatan but have been to Bonaire a few times. I had always thought it was on the pricey side when I added up the air, diving, lodging and food. I went looking for the $51 two tank boat dives online and could not find anything even close to that. I did not check every dive op in Bonaire. Most were between $70-$80. The big dive savings would come from just shore diving and much of that savings gets eaten up with truck rental.
    That said, we go to Cozumel and feel our dive and vacation $$ go pretty far. The flight does not involve an overnight flight. Most times we get an early morning flight and are in CZM by noon. We rent a condo in town, have a light breakfast there, and have dinner in town. I like doing 2 tanks but my husband likes to do 4. Never have a problem working that out. We feel our money goes farther there than any other Caribbean destination we have traveled to. I have no vested interest in diving Cozumel.
     
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  7. ggunn

    ggunn ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Austin, TX, USA
    11,320
    4,471
    That's a common refrain to anyone who defends Cozumel in here, that they do that to protect their moneyed interests by "pushing" Cozumel, but the fact is that since this is a Cozumel sub-forum we in here are a self selected group who are for the most part fans of Cozumel already. "Pushing" Cozumel is not necessary.

    All things considered (air fare, lodging, meals, diving...) Cozumel is indeed a relatively inexpensive place to dive.
     
    jpomerantz, Christi, Sue Sue and 3 others like this.
  8. mstevens

    mstevens Toadfish. Splendid is implied but not guaranteed. ScubaBoard Supporter

    2,620
    1,214
    How does that even make sense? Doesn't a week have as much diving as you do, irrespective of location?

    There's no reason you couldn't do 5 boat dives and a few shore dives a day in Cozumel with scant effort. You probably shouldn't, but it's certainly possible.

    Different locations have different characteristics. I once did a 2+ hour dive on a Bahamian reef where my maximum depth was 17 feet. My first-ever dive was an hour scrubbing the bottom of a swimming pool (well, 10 minutes scrubbing and 50 minutes breathing down the tank lying on my back having a revelation about why I wanted to dive). Some places have deep wrecks, ice, no current, special organisms, etc.

    What counts as "more"? Number of dives? Duration? Some formula that somehow encompasses both number and duration? How does one take into account what one sees and does during the dive? (Surely there's a difference between diving with a pod of wild dolphins in crystal-clear water and sitting at the bottom of the deep end, though both were great in their own ways.) Your "more" and mine are probably different.
     
  9. Mike

    Mike Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Denver, Colorado
    3,952
    2,731
    Roatan is by far the cheapest place I have ever boat dived, with each tank averaging under $20.00. (the inexpensiveness of the diving there might be why it seems to be one of the main places on the planet for dive education and dive master certification) At one of the dive centric resorts you could dive 5 times a day easily with a combination of boat and shore dives.

    Bonaire is the cheapest place per dive I have ever dived hands down. With unlimited tanks being the norm in Bonaire and the main reason to dive there is shore diving, it's undoubtably the cheapest diving per tank anywhere I've experience. Yes, you could do 5 shore dives a day in Cozumel, but who the heck would want to since the reefs of Cozumel are farther out and are the draw of the place, in Bonaire 5 shore dives could just be a normal day, since the shore diving is the reason to be there.

    Cozumel is all about boat diving. Bonaire is all about shore diving, but some boat diving usually gets done as so many of the better dive resorts include some boat dives as part of a package with staying there. Roatan is mostly boat diving, with the exception of staying at the really dive centric dive resorts where they have a house reef and you can combine boat and shore diving.

    I find it almost impossible to define which of the three is less expensive when it comes to the entire package of air/hotel/diving, since each place has such a variety of choices for hotel and diving in the lower and middle area budgets. On the other end defining which of the three could be the most expensive if you decide to go that way, I'm pretty sure hands down it could only be Cozumel, as Cozumel has the most expensive and highest rated accomidations out of the three which would be the Presidente, with nothing like that existing on Roatan or Bonaire. Dive operators too, on the high end places like Aldora simply don't exist on Bonaire and Roatan. I just am not aware of any dive operators on Roatan or Bonaire that would top the prices of the high end valet dive ops on Cozumel.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2013
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  10. divingpyrate

    divingpyrate Contributor

    306
    61
    Cant agree here, I always wanted to Roatan but no matter what options I chose Roatan is a lot more expensive before ever factoring in Dive costs
     
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