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Dressel Divers Cozumel Alternatives

Discussion in 'General Travel and Vacation Discussions' started by rfield54, Aug 18, 2018.

  1. npole

    npole Barracuda

    444
    138
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    Reason?
     
  2. ReadyTo Dive

    ReadyTo Dive Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: United States
    88
    31
    18
    I’m very hesitant to even answer your question because this will basically be a negative shop review so I cavet with “This is my experience and opinion - YMMV and I’m not interested in starting or participating in a mass debate and/or flamewar about this. I am simply answering your question.”

    1) 20-ish+/- divers and crew onboard the boat. Boat crowding was elbow to elbow. I personally prefer and only book ops with groups of 4-6 max. On the best times it’s just me, my buddy and a DM. I’d expect no more than 7-8 divers plus crew on a boat of this size (sorry, I don’t know exactly what type of boat it was but I feel like it’s about the same size as the larger Aldora boats if that helps to clarify). This was a big issue for us.

    2) Had to walk and wade out to neck deep “wave-y” seas to the boat personally carrying all gear including tank/weights/etc (maybe 250-300yards?) Very, very minor issue for me but not ideal for my buddy and others around us (smaller as well as older divers) clearly struggled quite a bit with it.

    3) Several of the DM’s were unprepared and in my opinion unprofessional. Biggest issue of the day for us and explained in detail below.

    4) Several tanks that were supposed to be full were actually empty (500-600psi), several “full” tanks were way low (1850-2100-ish/etc). Can not with 100% certainty remember since it’s been so long since we were there but either the crew brought a mix of din and yoke tanks and had no adapter or a customers equipment needed an adapter and there was not one brought onboard. I believe it was the first bs the latter though only because I remember the crew apologizing multiple times because they clearly had knew of the need beforehand/before we arrived to the dive site but didn’t bring the adapter along. In general the crews gear was not well sorted/was not orderly at least not near like I’m used to experiencing with any crew and there was alot of “hushed discussion” amongst themselves but easily overheard by all guest because of close proximity about trying to sort all/gear all DM’s up last minute due to what we perceived as more poor planning. Dive site briefing was ultra-quick/not very informative/very standard at all. More importantly 1 of the DM’s and 1 (or possibly 2?) of the divers had to sit out the dive entirely because of the amount of empty tanks brought onboard (which again was not discovered until we arrived at the dive site and were all gearing up).

    MORE OF MY OPINION - This was also the same time that all of the constant horseplay/constant joking around (which I had happily ignored) amongst the crew stopped. From before our departure up to this moment the atmosphere onboard was, again IMO, one of the crew “grab-assing” amongst themselves while the guests were left alone/for themselves. I don’t mean to be ugly about it but that’s the best way I can describe it. The boat ride was probably 20-ish minutes long; long enough to where by the end the guests were all kind of staring at each other uncomfortably/sort of all looking at each other like “uhhh... hope this all goes well....”. Hard for me to explain but I think anyone who has dove with a variety of shops/ops/etc would get the general idea of what I am saying.

    5) Site chosen (currents). This dive was a nightdive and several divers were quite new (20-30 dives) and had never dove at night before. The site chosen was Barracuda (the Barracuda site shaped like a human hand, not the other more-infamous one) and currents were *fierce*. Normally in Coz in my experiences a DM splashes in and checks the currents before any divers enter. They will then either signal the crew as to the direction of the current or get back onboard and move the boat to another site. Instead we were all instructed to get in first altogether without that initial check. Divers were struggling on the surface to not float away while waiting on other divers to finish gearing up/etc. Several glow stick wrappers blew overboard during this time also and I was able to grab 1 and stuffed it into the top of my dive skin (which poked me the whole dive but w/e) however there were 1-2 more wrappers that flew overboard and disappeared. That was a big (personal) issue for me.

    Once the group was as gathered as could be we all descended and almost immediately people were floating off/fighting each other/banging into each other (as well as into the reef) struggling to get “between the fingers”. This continued on for the entirety of the dive and my buddy and I eventually fell back behind the mass of divers because we were being pulled on/ran into and had had enough. It was a tough dive made tougher because of the cluster/mass of confused divers fighting for calm water constantly.

    6) Once back onboard several of the divers were visibly and verbally upset/shaken and the ride back atmosphere was one of just relief that it all was over. Again, all of this is is my experience and reason and while I personally think it is great that they do free dsd’s at the resort pool getting people interested in the sport/showing them basics/etc that is personally the extent of what I’d utilize or recommend their services for regarding myself or any of my loved ones. YMMV and I apologize for any typos/run on sentences as I’m typing this from my phone.
     
  3. jonhall

    jonhall Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Indianapolis
    749
    273
    63
    Just to clarify for readers of the thread, this is for the Iberostar PDC Dressel and not the Coz Iberostar Dressel which does have a pier.

    But I do agree with most of your assessment for PDC. Fortunately the staff was professional and safety conscious when my buddy and I dove with them, but the diving was strenuous due to carrying gear back and forth through the water (and your right, shorter people struggled), the night dive having a long swim back into shore after the dive (in rain and waves for us), and waiting in the water to be picked up after surfacing. Pooped by the end of all the diving we did.
     
  4. npole

    npole Barracuda

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    I went both the IB at PDC and Cozumel... in neither occasion I had do carry a single gram of my equipment, if not the stuff I wanted to carry myself (my bag). I was "shocked" to be served like a rock star (coz I'm used to dive in much rough conditions and while taking care at all my things...), so I'm surprised to hear that you had to carry your tank in the water (!) to reach the boat. I neither experienced all the other stuff apart the crowded boat, I like to dive with few divers as well.. but the boat was so big and the groups were nicely split so it was OK after all. I must have got a couple of lucky days then.. :)
     
  5. Charles2

    Charles2 Barracuda

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Montgomery, Texas
    498
    294
    63
    I have also stayed at the Iberostar in Cozumel and dived with Dressel. I did not share any of the complaints that @ReadyTo Dive mentioned. As a matter of fact, my Grandson and I enjoyed the trip immensely. I don't remember the boat being particularly crowded and I certainly did not have to carry tanks to the boat. I did have to assemble my own gear before the dive as well as rinse and store my own equipment and hang my wetsuit up to dry afterwards, but the facilities available were very nice for that. My main reason for not returning is that the air-conditioning in the rooms was somewhat less than satisfactory. Dressel Divers seemed to me to be a very professionally run organization with a high regard for safety.
     
  6. texasgingerbread

    texasgingerbread Angel Fish

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    I guess i don't understand the question? My hubby has stayed at the Iberostar and dove with Dive with Martin and they pick you up right there? Is that not what you are asking for? dive operators that will pick you up at Iberostar???
     
    Coztick likes this.
  7. DawgFan

    DawgFan Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: United States
    48
    24
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    @texasgingerbread I'm curious if your husband or anyone on the board has recent experience with a dive operator picking up at the Iberostar pier (not a beach pickup). I've emailed with a couple of dive ops and gotten conflicting answers. One op said for a fee of $3 per diver per day that Iberostar will allow pier pickups. Another op said they had divers there recently who tried multiple times during the week to pay the fee inside the hotel or at the pier and nobody at Iberostar would accept it so they had to do beach pickup.
     
  8. texasgingerbread

    texasgingerbread Angel Fish

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    Hi this wasn't a recent trip. Probably a year and half ago. However, Paddi at Dive with Martin should be able to answer that question. I think she's actually located in Houston but has been booking for them for YEARS and very qualified. Maybe try reaching out to her? 503.949.5985
     
    DawgFan likes this.
  9. Wanna_dive_more_often

    Wanna_dive_more_often Garibaldi

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Dallas, Texas
    3
    1
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    I give the highest recommendation to Scuba Life Cozumel - you won't run into any of the issues you identified. My family of 5 has used Scuba Life Cozumel on 3 separate trips with 4-5 days of diving each trip. They are locally owned and operated and usually one of the owners - JP or Carlos - is on the boat, so everything goes perfectly! Their boats are great - smaller so you don't get crowded. I never lift anything with these guys and night diving with them is the absolute best. Their love for the ocean and all of its creatures is so evident, even though they've dove the same sites hundreds/thousands of times, they still get excited to share it with us recreational divers!

    Regarding dawgfan's question who in Cozumel picks up at Iberostar pier - I know Scuba Life Cozumel will pick you up most places, but I don't know if it is beach or the pier.


    Scuba Life Cozumel Diving I Scuba Diving in Cozumel Mexico
     
    DawgFan likes this.

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