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Trip review Aldora and Palmar Condominium October 29 - November 8

Discussion in 'Cozumel' started by ratjn, Nov 9, 2018.

  1. ratjn

    ratjn Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Landlocked Calgary
    57
    54
    18
    Another ten days in Paradise has come to an end. We spent ten great days on the island diving with Aldora and staying in Jorge's Airbnb at Palmar. https://abnb.me/2MOvMl52HR

    The diving:
    The upside:
    When Aldora gets it right it is an awesome experience. They are now my normal dive shop. LONG dives with amazing Divemasters (Jorge, Jorge and Rich), great office staff (Denise) and nice boats.We averaged a little over 86 minutes per dive.
    The downside:
    All four times I have dove with Aldora there has always been a bump. This time out of 15 dives we had 7 people on the boat for 4. Aldora's website states:

    Then there is the consideration of dive quality. Cattle boats almost always have groups go down with 1 dive guide for every 8 people, frequently in a scene like being in a glass of water with an Alka Seltzer tablet.

    Most of the small boat operators will take 8 divers per boat. It is our opinion that any more than 6 divers makes it unsafe, or at least uncomfortable, to do the wonderful swimthroughs that make Cozumel so special - with the 7th and 8th divers seeing little more than kicked up silt. At Aldora we limit dive group size to a maximum of 6, and there can be a big difference in the dive quality between an operator who has groups of 8 and those with 6. Our average load is 4 divers and we always, always make sure that all divers in the group have similar skills and interests.

    Did I feel unsafe? No but I was not happy. I agree with the swim throughs comment. I will be back with Aldora, I just wish they would adhere to their 'policy' as stated on their website. Out of my 60 dives with Aldora we almost always have 6 divers, I would love to be on an average boat with only four civers! We had a few photographers who monopolized the small stuff, I stopped trying to see it and just dove with my wife nearby on our own.

    The food:
    The usual assortment of fabulous dinners in the town

    The Condo:
    A great stay at Palmar Condos hosted by Jorge. Very clean and the most comfortable king size bed in Cozumel. Aldora picked us up at Casa del Mar, a five minute walk from closing the condo door. Nice pool area. 95 peso taxi ride to downtown.
    https://abnb.me/2MOvMl52HR

    Report card:
    Aldora - B (11 dives an A, 2 dives a B and 2 dives a C
    Condo - A
    Restaurants - A


    Overall an amazing trip. Looking forward to doing the same thing again soon.
     
  2. NDL_Diver

    NDL_Diver Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Wichita
    128
    52
    28
    I am sure Dave will find out and correct this problem. I know he takes the no more than 6 people as a rule that is not to be broken. Aldora is my main dive OP. 9 more days until we are back.
     
  3. ChuckP

    ChuckP Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Holland MI
    189
    99
    28
    Was the seventh person taking a class by chance? I think I might have been a seventh diver a few times while taking the dive master class there....
     
  4. ratjn

    ratjn Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Landlocked Calgary
    57
    54
    18
    No one taking classes. The five 'new' to us divers with us our last day was their first day of diving this trip.
     
  5. ggunn

    ggunn ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Austin, TX, USA
    9,201
    2,639
    113
    So, six divers is wonderful and seven divers is catastrophic? :D

    Personally, I doubt I would notice the difference.
     
    scrane, ccannon707 and Carlos Danger like this.
  6. ChuckP

    ChuckP Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Holland MI
    189
    99
    28
    The wrong third could be a disaster!! And I'm sure we've all had those......
     
  7. keepdivin

    keepdivin Angel Fish

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: California
    43
    14
    8
    I agree with ratjn.

    When the website states one thing but they deliver another then why should you be satisfied.

    Time to move on and find another boat.
     
  8. ggunn

    ggunn ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Austin, TX, USA
    9,201
    2,639
    113
    Suit yourself, and for the record I have never gone diving with Aldora, but if having 7 divers aboard instead of 6 (no matter what the website says) is enough to send you packing, then you are a lot pickier than I am.
     
  9. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Philadelphia and Boynton Beach
    8,699
    4,147
    113
    I dived with 4 for my whole week :)
     
  10. morecowbells

    morecowbells Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: St. Louis burbs
    809
    406
    63
    Not sure I understand the snarky comments about the seventh diver issue. The poster did not crucify the dive op, as a matter of fact, he was quite complimentary towards the dive masters etc. Personally, I would find 7 divers on a small, fast boat to be more crowded, hence less personal space. It is like renting a sedan for four passengers, then deciding to add another, not catastrophic but not ideal either.
     
    sefuchs, uncfnp and CajunDiva like this.

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