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Need help deciding between Cozumel of FL for diving this year...

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by BlueTuna, Sep 18, 2020.

  1. BlueTuna

    BlueTuna Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Columbus, Ohio
    19
    12
    3
    Hey everyone,

    I posted earlier about trying to go to FL for some diving and hopefully do a budget vacation.


    However, I just had our local dive shop post a trip to Cozumel (with 3 spots LEFT)

    This the Package they're offering;

    OCTOBER 30th- NOVEMBER 6, 2020
    ALL INCLUSIVE 7 NIGHTS, DRINKS, MEALS , RT AIR, 14 BOAT DIVES, and ATV JUNGLE TOUR!!!
    Hotel Cozumel features 3 restaurants and 4 bars! All open!
    All-Inclusive Breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner -all buffet style; domestic alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks; plenty of scheduled activities by the swimming pool, night entertainment, open-air gym, pool tables, bike tours, snorkeling and kayaking!
    The Beach Club’s shore has been blessed with a beautiful natural reef formation; guests can enjoy a spectacular snorkeling ride or fantastic shore diving. Swimming and kayaking, too! For divers, Hotel Cozumel offers; rinse tanks, hangers to drain diving gear, fresh water showers, 150 lockers to keep diving computer/gear safe, private pier, and Dive Paradise, a PADI full Service Center with the biggest and most reliable operation in Cozumel since 1984.
    Dive Paradise will take us to many amazing dive sites around the island! An extravagant selection of fish and brightly-colored coral makes this a truly unforgettable dive adventure. Keep an eye out for octopus, parrotfish and angelfish as you swim!
    Experience an exciting ATV adventure, then enjoy a grilled lunch, drinks, water, soft drinks, and beers (after the ATV ride), and relaxing Balinese beds by the crystal clear water on the beach.
    Meet your ATV guide at the entrance to Playa Mia. After attending a safety briefing and getting ready, we go for an exciting ATV ride in an old open stone mine. Dare with your skills to ride on mud, dirt or rocks.
    Then, enjoy the crystal clear ocean for a delicious lunch that includes burgers, hot dogs, quesadillas, fresh guacamole, crispy tortilla chips, sodas, and cold beer.

    Pretty much an all inclusive package for $2k (maybe 2300 for me with Single room occupancy).

    The other nice thing is I would be with people from my local dive shop and always have a dive buddy + unlimited Shore dives @ $7 per tank.

    The only Con is $2k was a bit more than I was planning on spending this year for vacation.


    VS

    Florida
    $561.50 so far for Flight + hotel (1 week).
    Not sure about the costs of food and dives, but I looked up 2 tank dives it looks like $80 per 2 tank dive. so assuming I did one per day. That's another $560.
    I also have a buddy that should be able to dive with me most of the week. He's also a professional Skydiver, so I might be able to do some diving of a totally different kind as well.
    Otherwise, I would probably have to find a stranger or do shore dives?

    Cons:
    Trying to figure this whole package out.
    Maybe not having a dive buddy?
    Inferior diving?

    What do you guys think? I've heard the diving in Cozumel is a lot better and bonus ATV riding sounds like fun too.
     
  2. flyboy08

    flyboy08 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: NYC
    3,505
    2,384
    113
    What’s costs have to do with it! Isn’t it suppose to be the experience? Hey, if you never been to Cozumel, then it’s a no brainer. From an experience perspective:wink:
     
  3. Scubagolf

    Scubagolf ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Sacramento, California, USA
    1,229
    260
    83
    +1 to what flyboy08 said. No contest on the diving and cultural experience. Hotel Cozumel would not be my choice but lots of SBers like it.
     
    Satrekker likes this.
  4. Barnaby'sDad

    Barnaby'sDad ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Virginia
    1,037
    771
    113
    For the FL trip...how are you planning on getting around while you’re down there? For days that your buddy isn’t diving with you, is he lending you a vehicle? If not...you’ll need a rental.

    You said shore dives...you need a dive float w/flag. Not expensive, but it’s something else you have to spend money on. You’ll have to rent tanks and pay for refills for follow-on dives.

    I really think you’re going to be closer to $2k than $1k for the Florida trip. Does the $80 for two dives include tank rentals? How about your food budget? Boat diving/DM tips?

    If the Cozumel trip is really all inclusive, it’s the better deal. Why? It will be much easier for you to control your expenses for that trip than the one to visit your buddy in Florida. For Cozumel, boat diving/DM tips should be the only expense that is not included (in theory).

    Even if you eat Ramen noodles three meals a day while you’re in Florida, you’re not getting done with that trip without spending $2,000+ (putting on my Nostradamus hat there).:popcorn:
     
    Streydog likes this.
  5. Johnoly

    Johnoly ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location:
    2,443
    2,042
    113
    @flyboy08 said it.........You've never been to Coz.

    Go to Cozumel, spend the money, come home ADDICTED TO COZ !!
     
    Streydog likes this.
  6. Streydog

    Streydog Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: DFW, TX
    998
    679
    93
    I have never dove in Florida but have gone to Cozumel quite a few times. I have been looking into Florida and will do sometime soon, Goliath Groupers are calling me. I have never gone to Cozumel with a group but if cost are your biggest concern you should be able to do Cozumel much cheaper than Florida on your own. Hotel prices and the need to rent a car are the biggest difference in cost I see from Florida to Cozumel. The diving prices seem to be pretty close to the same. You can get a decent hotel in Coz for under $50 a night and can eat and drink well for under $50 a day. I have stayed at Hotel Cozumel solo with AI for around $100 a night but I prefer staying in town and eating at different restaurants. I have never had an issue by not having a buddy with me. I used Dive Paradise my first trip to Cozumel, they are fine but there are several much better shops on the island.
     
    Snoweman, Johnoly and Jayfarmlaw like this.
  7. Jayfarmlaw

    Jayfarmlaw Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Tuttle, Ok
    1,392
    1,203
    113
    We just got back from an inland diving trip to Florida. You probably need to add the cost of tanks and weights to your Florida budget. Fl. Was fun. A rental really drove the cost up and the hotel was over twice what we stay in Cozumel for. I checked Manatees and Devils Den off my bucket list...along with playing in the amazingly strong current of an underground stream blowing you out of a small cave. (I didn't even know that was in my list.)

    That being said, Cozumel IS my happy place. I just booked Casa Mexicana for $57 a night, used points to fly SW into Cancun for around $300, and we dive with Aldora for about $100 a day. We like to stay in town and all of our favorite places to eat are mostly within walking distance of CM. Aldora picks us up about a block away every morning. Jorge (Jorgito) and Sharief are two of the best divemasters in the world and are like family.

    Throw in a day of diving Cenotes in Tulum with Martin at Cenote Xperience and it's a no brainer. I'm not a fan of the all inclusives. The Lionfish Marsala at New Especias will prove my point. BUT WAIT...THERE'S MORE!!! The Scallops at Guidos, the pazole at the restaurant formerly known as Los Otates, the pablano burrito at The Thirsty Cougar, the coffee at El Coffee Cozumel, lobster rolls at Lobter Shack, any of the Tacos at Quatro Tacos, Vanilla Ice Cream bars and fruit drinks at Michoacán, Sexy Shrimp or grilled fish at Casa Dennis, lobster Bacon Sandwhich at La Chef, pastries at Zermatt or the Mega bakery, burritos at Krazy King or Burritos Gorditos, the breakfast buffet at CM (pre-Covid), even the hot dogs (with cabbage) at midnight at the little rolling cart next to Casa Mexicana, all will convince you that the cost of the all inclusive meals while being held hostage by a $25 cab ride to town (both ways) is a waste of vacation dollars.

    Now throw in drinking Bohemia Obscura's (THE best beer in the world...if you disagree, you're wrong) Or Noche Bueno's (same brewery's seasonal beer....also good!) and I am a happy happy fat man!

    The diving, the food, the people, and for now, no cruise ships, all make the island the only place in the world that I feel at home. But like I said...I'm a little biased!!

    Either way, your going to have a great time.

    Safe travels,
    Jay
     
    Redfoot, eleniel, RyanT and 2 others like this.
  8. BlueTuna

    BlueTuna Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Columbus, Ohio
    19
    12
    3



    Well, after reading the comments, it sound Cozumel IS the best choice if, for no other reason than the superior dive experience.

    However, to answer that question above. Here are the costs for 2 tank dives in the Keys, including Air.
    upload_2020-9-19_7-54-12.png

    Now, Idk if the diving costs would be the same in the Ft Lauderdale, West Palm Beach area ( It seems like this where most of the dive spots would be located)

    Here's a quick spreadsheet I made of the bare minimum costs as of last night.
    Flight + hotel package (from Expedia) 561
    Dive boat Rental w/ Tanks
    7x 2 tank dives dives $90 per trip 630
    Food for 7 days $30 per day 210
    Total $1400.

    Tank refills are approx $7, but that applies to both Cozumel and FL





    Are you saying I should make my own trip to Cozumel vs going with the Vacation package?? How much was your total trip costs? That food sounds delicious, but I can't imagine it keeping your costs under 2k.
     
  9. formernuke

    formernuke ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: New England
    1,536
    1,322
    113
    Ok, I've never dove either spot. My diving is New England and one roaton trip.

    Besides cost and dive experience remember we are still in a time of covid and travel restrictions are changing at local, state and federal levels almost daily. In other words there is still a risk you might get stuck wherever you go, more likely with international travel. For this reason if it were me I would stay in the US, that way is a ban comes and you get stuck at least your still in the US.
     
    DanSinks and Barnaby'sDad like this.
  10. Ze Hippo

    Ze Hippo Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: KY USA
    13
    3
    3
    I only want to add that Casa Mexicana Breakfast is a FEAST. Its a fantastic spread last time I was there
     

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