http://www.diveparadise.com

Trip Report Trip Report: Tres Pelicanos in Decemeber

Please register or login

Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

Benefits of registering include

  • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
  • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
  • You can make this box go away

Joining is quick and easy. Log in or Register now!

bvbellomo

Contributor
Messages
350
Reaction score
63
Location
United States
# of dives
50 - 99
Horrible flight down by Spirit. We took off over an hour late due to a routing problem, then sat a few hours at an unscheduled stop in Tampa as they had neglected maintenance on our water landing kit. They also refused to sell food or water after the first few hours, so I was up at 5am, but didn't eat or drink anything until Play del Carmen after 8pm.

Stayed with Quinta Suites, which I'd recommend, especially with the close distance to Tres Pelicanos. It is more of an apartment than a hotel, so get in touch with the owner ahead of time instead of looking for the reception desk as I did. Would have been much easier had I arrived before 9pm. The owner has a bike he lends out - took me about 1.5 hours to the far side of the island and back, so this was fun and could be useful.

Tres Pelicanos was a very laid back dive op, no strict rules, but there for you if you need them. Dives were much easier than I anticipated, nothing challenging, which I was fine with - especially with a new wing replacing my bcd. Saw a few Eagle rays, a few toadfish and some cool eels. Drift dives were very relaxing and we saw a lot, and Palancar caves and bricks had some really nice scenery. Unfortunately, I got a little sick and skipped my last 3 days of diving. Overall a great time with Tres Pelicanos, I'd use them again, and I understand why they are so popular on this board.

Minor complaints about Tres Pelicanos:
1) No head on the boat. I might never use it if they had one, but I'd be more comfortable knowing it was there. My understanding is very few boats on the island have heads. Restrooms on the dock were overcrowded, and cleaning staff seemed to always be present - I'd hate to try to use this when it was busy before COVID.
2) Gear prep and descent. For some reason, they ask you to put fins on soon, sometimes even before the boat is in the final destination. They also ask you to put gear on before you really need to (forget to rinse your mask first and you have a long hard bend to reach over the side of the boat). You can sit around a while on the boat in full gear. Once you are in, you don't need to do negative entry, but they do want you to go down instead of waiting at the surface, even if other divers are still on the boat. Then after the dive, they want you in the boat quickly. Just my preference, but I'd rather hang out on the surface or gear-free on the boat.
3) Access to your gear or to talk to their staff outside of dives is not easy. Having everything ready for you is great, but if you forget a clip or need to adjust something, you have to do it on the boat. If you want to change your dive schedule, it isn't always easy to find a time the store is open.
4) I always felt like I'd get left behind on the dock trying to find transportation back - this never happened, but it did seem confusing where to meet or who was taking me.

Food recommendations on Cozumel:
El Moro, La Inombrable, La Choza, Casa Cuzamil, Thirsty Cougar, Wet Wendy, Cerveceria Punta Sur

Food recommendations in Playa:
Case Cevich, El Chuleton, INTI beach

I did snorkel at money bar and in Playa, and after the diving, I don't think it was worth it. Money bar has a little coral and a few fish, but nothing compared to what you can see on a dive. Playa was mostly empty with bad visibility.

I found San Gervasio disappointing. The scenery was beautiful, but the ruins were underwhelming.

Flight back was even worse than on the way down. Spirit cancelled my flight after I got on the bus to the airport! Took United home at considerably more money, and nearly 2 hours clearing security in Chicago (Only 7 people working immigration at one of the busiest airports in the world) to miss my connecting flight.

Final seafood meal at Sushi Tequila at the Cancun airport was horrible and way over priced.

In theory, Spirit is great - a cheap direct flight to Cancun. Maybe I just had bad luck, but it doesn't matter how cheap or how fast the flight is if it doesn't actually happen as advertised.
 

MMM

Moderator
Staff member
ScubaBoard Supporter
Messages
11,764
Reaction score
4,763
Location
Sask. Canada/Cozumel, MX
# of dives
1000 - 2499
Ha! Seems like the new normal in travel. I have never yet found good sushi in an airport. I don't dive with TP so just guessing here...early fin donning is a safety measure if boat capsizes. I just ask a crew member to rinse my mask if I can't reach the ocean.

Thanks for your review!
 

mediumone

Contributor
Messages
1,274
Reaction score
594
Location
Vancouver, Washington
I knew a travel agent who said that she would NEVER, EVER book a customer on Spirit again for the reasons that you outlined.
 

Brodydog

Contributor
Messages
572
Reaction score
283
Location
Braselton, GA
# of dives
500 - 999
Spirit is off my radar when booking flights. I refuse to use them again. Their customer service was non existent way before Covid times. They would not answer phone calls nor would they return calls. At least have the decency to acknowledge me.
 

Brodydog

Contributor
Messages
572
Reaction score
283
Location
Braselton, GA
# of dives
500 - 999
It‘s interesting the different perspectives people have on things. I actually prefer to not hang out on the surface and do so only if the DM says it’s a must. Also I like to gear up almost completely before we get close to the dive site so that I’m not in a rush getting ready. When I see the DM changing his shirt or putting on his wetsuit and turning the the tanks on then I know we’re getting close so I finish getting all my gear on, including my fins. Since we’re drift diving I’m not going to be that person who holds everyone up by not being ready.

And in Cozumel I prefer the boats without heads that can get me to the dive sites faster. The boats with heads tend to be slower. If having a head is a factor for someone they should inquire about that before they book a trip. I don’t like diving on boats that don’t have shade over the boat, as I burn easily, so wherever I go I always make sure the boat has shade before I book.
 

drrich2

ScubaBoard Supporter
ScubaBoard Supporter
Messages
9,984
Reaction score
8,407
Location
Southwestern Kentucky
# of dives
500 - 999
Glad to hear you got some good diving in, and sorry you got sick and missed some more.

My understanding is very few boats on the island have heads.
Hard for me to imagine one fitting on the Loan Shark or Skinny Shark. You're not the first person I've seen express a desire for a head on the boat (though the first time I tried a bathroom on a boat, I learned it can trigger sea sickness badly, so be aware), but now you've got me thinking it's likely to be a logistics question.

A boat big enough to comfortably host a marine head might hold enough divers to get called a 'cattle boat' by some people, and may not be as fast, so they could get reviews criticizing them for slower boat ride rides. When I used T.P., they offered morning and afternoon trips, so I imagine getting back and forth fast is important!

If I needed a head onboard, such as if I had medical problems making it an urgent, pressing matter, I might consider a southern A.I. resort, one where I've read the boat trips are very short.

Good to know the details whatever one decides. Thanks for sharing them.
 

ggunn

ScubaBoard Supporter
ScubaBoard Supporter
Messages
11,818
Reaction score
5,105
Location
Austin, TX, USA
# of dives
500 - 999
Hearing all the stuff about Spirit Air invokes the old adage - good, fast, cheap, pick two.
It‘s interesting the different perspectives people have on things. I actually prefer to not hang out on the surface and do so only if the DM says it’s a must. Also I like to gear up almost completely before we get close to the dive site so that I’m not in a rush getting ready. When I see the DM changing his shirt or putting on his wetsuit and turning the the tanks on then I know we’re getting close so I finish getting all my gear on, including my fins. Since we’re drift diving I’m not going to be that person who holds everyone up by not being ready.
I never put on weights until the boat has slowed down near the dive site.
 
OP
bvbellomo

bvbellomo

Contributor
Messages
350
Reaction score
63
Location
United States
# of dives
50 - 99
Hearing all the stuff about Spirit Air invokes the old adage - good, fast, cheap, pick two.
I was looking for fast and cheap - I wasn't even trying for good. And cheap and slow isn't so bad if you eventually get where you are going, as I did on the way down - I'd do it again and just drink more water while I could. But last minute cancellations are brutal without an alternative way home or hotel voucher - there is no way you can save money if this happens often.
 

ggunn

ScubaBoard Supporter
ScubaBoard Supporter
Messages
11,818
Reaction score
5,105
Location
Austin, TX, USA
# of dives
500 - 999
I was looking for fast and cheap - I wasn't even trying for good. And cheap and slow isn't so bad if you eventually get where you are going, as I did on the way down - I'd do it again and just drink more water while I could. But last minute cancellations are brutal without an alternative way home or hotel voucher - there is no way you can save money if this happens often.
From what you and others have said about Spirit Air, when I want to go somewhere I don't even consider them. Southwest is about as far down the expensive scale I go.
 

mediumone

Contributor
Messages
1,274
Reaction score
594
Location
Vancouver, Washington
If I needed a head onboard, such as if I had medical problems making it an urgent, pressing matter, I might consider a southern A.I. resort, one where I've read the boat trips are very short.
We dove with a dm who had a particularly charming and magnetic personality. Before climbing on to the ladder after a dive, she'd rapidly pull her wetsuit away from her body several times saying, "Ok, time to flush the toilet".
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/peregrine/

Top Bottom