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Advice - Cozumel Safe & attentive SSI Dive Shops??

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by cpined, Mar 25, 2006.

  1. cpined

    cpined Guest

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    Greetings-

    My husband & I have completed the classroom & pool courses @ a SSI Dive Shop in Oregon. We will be performing our 4 open water dives in Cozumel mid-April to obtain our certification. My husband has not had any problems w/the sport but, I on the other hand, am at a slower pace than most and require individualized attention. I'd like to find a private Dive Master that will take the time to refresh my skills, make me feel @ ease and not be rushed. I don't want to be the one that ruins a dive trip for 20 veterans due to my inexperience. I also want to be able to enjoy the sport while learning. Cost is a minor concern compared to safety & service.

    Does anyone have recommendations on a dive operation that caters to "fresh fish"? Any operations to shy away from because they seem to attract the pros?
    Would a small-boat operation be better than a large-boat outfit for learning?
    We will make our decision based upon our personal interviews with each local shop, but I want to get a feel for public opinion on any of the SSI Dive Shops you've had experienced with.
    Thanks in advance for all your help!
     
  2. SteveDiver

    SteveDiver Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Texas
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    try www.scubawithalison.com she has a small operation and is very friendly and accomodating. I am sure Christi will chime in here also. Christi is the guru of Cozumel...IMO I would stay with a smaller operation to keep the stress level down so you can have the individual attention that you are looking for.
     
  3. Peter_C

    Peter_C Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Santa Rosa, CA
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    There is a whole section dedicated to Cozumel with topics of where to stay and who to dive with, along with places to eat, etc. This would also be a good place to post this question. There is tons of great info if you can wade through the typical discussion board antics. Have a great trip :)

    http://www.scubaboard.com/forumdisplay.php?f=208
     
  4. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    25,636
    17,115
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    It is hard to say whether you would be better off with a small or big operation. While I see the advantages in a small operation, and although that is what I would do myself if I were going, you might find that some of the bigger operations can be more flexible. They can divide their divers among their different boats by ability level. A smaller operation might not be able to do that.

    As far as the difference between small boats and big boats, although this is more of a tendancy than a universal truth, a lot of the bigger boats are less likely to have the "pros" you are worried about. Many of the more experienced divers prefer the smaller, faster boats that will get them out to more remote sites like Punta Sur and Columbia Deep more quickly. Typically, a big boat will have a couple of dive groups, each with its own Divemaster. The big boats are more comfortable, with more amenities, and you might prefer that.

    The bigger operations will have a fleet that includes both big and small boats, and all you have to do is talk openly about what you want, and they will help you chose the one that is right for you.
     
  5. kevreid

    kevreid Nassau Grouper

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    The Alison suggestion above is exactly what I was going to recommend.
     
  6. scubachick01

    scubachick01 Angel Fish

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    My first ocean dive was in Cozumel (I was certified in a MO lake) and the dive masters were great. I was on a trip of 12 people...6 were experienced and 6 of us were newbies. We stayed at Scuba Club Cozumel. Each boat dive was done with 2 dive masters....one who lead the group and one who stayed behind to keep an eye on all of us. My 'buddy' wasn't much of a buddy (that's a whole other topic) & the first day I ended up doing my safety stop by myself. I had a little trouble staying at 15' so the next day I asked the dive masters if one of them would do my safety stop with me. The one who stayed in the back of the group did it with me every day after that.

    The 2nd day of the trip I got very seasick so they dive master said he would let me off at a dock and I could catch a cab back to the resort. I told him I didn't bring any money on the boat with me so he & the other members of the crew took up a collection of pesos so I would have enough to get the cab. Needless to say I paid them back, along with a bit tip. I took dramamine the rest of the week before boarding the boat and was fine. Overall it was a wonderful experience and I would definately recommend Scuba Club Cozumel.
     

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