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We're going Feb 8 thru 18 for our first trip too. Two divers, 3 snorkelers. There's so much info to wade thru!I’m looking for a little advice as I start to plan a trip to Cozumel, probably in mid-February. So, while no rush, I know that things in traveland are starting to pick up and I don’t want to wait until the last minute and find everything booked. I will be traveling with my wife — who is not a diver — so that puts some restrictions in place, since I need to make sure she has a relaxation vacation (so she will let me dive!).
It seems there are two basic directions we can take: 1) Book a hotel and a diver operator separately, and then do our own thing for meals; 2) go the all-inclusive route and have more convenience but with more expense and fewer options.
For #1, I was thinking of booking something like Villa Aldora and going with Aldora Divers. I like that they use HP100 tanks for everyone and guarantee 70 minute dives. I’m not an air hog at all and can easily last that long on an AL80, but I hate it when dive ops start banging on the ladder for people to get back on the boat at 45 minutes because someone went through their air too fast. Also, it seems that booking Villa Aldora and diving with them too is pretty inexpensive. I read that the hotel has a private beach (necessary for my wife so she can relax while I dive). The downside would be having to take a cab to go into town for meals. Does Villa Aldora have a restaurant? And if so, is it any good?
For #2, I was considering the Iberostar and Dressel Divers. The big plus is that it is all-inclusive so it has the convenience factor. My wife would have a nice and relaxing vacation. The downside is that it is more expensive that option #1, and the even bigger issue is that I’ve read mixed reviews about Dressel Divers. No one has said that they are a bad op, just that they have a set schedule for dive sites, and that they limit dives to about 45 minutes. The former doesn’t really matter to me that much since it will be my first time diving in Cozumel. The latter is a concern because who wants to be herded back on the boat when you still have plenty of air left in your tank?
The plan is to do at least a 2-tank dive per day, perhaps with a few days of extra diving so long as my wife is happy and feeling relaxed
Anyone have any experience with Iberostar and Dressel? I know Aldora Divers gets good reviews, but I haven’t read much about Villa Aldora. Any reviews people can provide?