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Best budget trips: Coz vs Playa vs Cabo Plumo

Discussion in 'Mexico' started by wickedliquid, Sep 4, 2015.

  1. DjDiverDan

    DjDiverDan Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Sunnyvale, TX USA
    Just to let you know, I don't trust TripAdvisor ratings at all, either. You CLAIM that the ratings are based on reviews posted by "customers", but with any on-line rating system based upon anonymous reviews, the system can be quite easily gamed by both the businesses being rated and their competitors. I have personally seen the effects on TripAdvisor ratings on Cozumel, where an absolutely outstanding restaurant, Danube, was killed by competitors gaming the ratings, posting bad reviews and getting honest customer reviews deleted. TripAdvisor has no system to distinguish between true customer reviews and reviews posted by business owners, employees and competitors, and will delete reviews, both good and bad, based upon anonymous reports. And that completely ignores that fact that on commercial sites like TripAdvisor, which relies upon Ad revenue, advertisers can influence ratings. It's an inherently untrustworthy system. I'll trust reviews on non-commercial sites like Scuba Board and CozumelMyCozumel.com when those reviews are posted by people that I can identify and trust.
    Doc likes this.
  2. Zeagle Eagle

    Zeagle Eagle Contributor

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Texas
    I have never been there; but, judging by the video there is an lot of fish and not so much coral.
  3. Divebooker.com

    Divebooker.com Contributor

    Sorry for the off-top everyone

    DjDiverDan, I admit that there might be reviews on TripAdvisor that are not genuine, but I figure it's hard to monitor this much content. This is why our website also features reviews from ScubaTribe, I believe you know this resource, and they are 200% genuine due to the implementation, except for this, we also monitor our own reviews to make sure they were written by real customers. Specifically the review of Sand Dollar Sports was written by their customer, who like the service they provided.
  4. paulw

    paulw Solo Diver

    # of Dives:
    Location: Austin, Texas
    It is true the coral in Cabo Plumo is nothing like the formations in Cozumel and as far as coral formations go I'm not sure anywhere else can compare. Once again Cozumel is probably my favorite place to dive, I have been going to Cozumel for 20+ years.
    Diving in Cabo Plumo is really different than Cozumel but the whole area (La Paz, Cabo San Lucas, Gordo Banks and Cabo Plumo) is a great dive location.
  5. Doc

    Doc Was RoatanMan

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Chicago & O'Hare heading thru TSA 5x per year
    Keep digging. How's the SCUBA diving in Ukraine, Elena?
  6. DjDiverDan

    DjDiverDan Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Sunnyvale, TX USA
    It's not JUST that some TripAdvisor reviews are posted by employees, business owners, and competitors. It's ALSO that genuine reviews on TripAdvisor can disappear without cause. In the case I cited, I was made aware of Danube shortly after it opened by a couple of glowing reviews on CozumelMyCozumel, a blog that I like and trust. I checked out Danube on TripAdvisor, and it had made it to the top rated Restaurant on Cozumel on the basis of about 12-15 reviews, some from people I knew, all of which rated the restaurant as excellent. I made a trip to Cozumel very shortly thereafter, ate at Danube, had an outstanding experience, so I posted my own review of Danube. About 5-6 months later, I was checking CozumelMyCozumel, and read something about Danube having difficulties as a result of having a very low rating on TripAdvisor. I was stunned, so I checked, and, lo and behold, Danube had fallen to almost the very bottom of TripAdvisor's ratings, and it had nothing but bad reviews; all of the earlier very good reviews, including my own and others from people I knew, had simply been deleted. When I was finally able to contact TripAdvisor about that - no small feat, and it took me a lot of tries - I was informed that these good reviews had been deleted because of a report (from a source that TripAdvisor would not identify) that Danube had gotten these good reviews by having employees post good reviews and by paying customers for good reviews. I asked about my own review - I assured TripAdvisor that I was a bona fide customer, that I had not been paid for the review, and that it was an honest review - so why was it just deleted? No answer from TripAdvisor, and it refused to restore my review. THAT is why I consider TripAdvisor untrustworthy, and why I will consider reviews on your site as untrustworthy.
  7. gr8jab

    gr8jab Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Oregon, USA
    I'm not sure how much diving you plan on doing, but Scuba Club Cozumel has a fall special right now. $488 per person. 5 nights, 3 2-tank trips, 3 meals/day, and unlimited shore diving. If you dive a lot, this can be a good deal.

    Assuming you would pay $30/per tank wherever you stay, and diving 4 tanks per day (2 boat, and 2 shore), that's $720 in diving for you both. That means you would be getting 5 nights with food for $256. That's $25 per person, per day, including food!!

    If you shore dive 2-tanks on arrival and departure day, the 'equivalent lodging' costs would drop to $136 ($14 per person per night, including food).

    When I was at Scuba Club, many people dove the boat in the morning (2-tanks), one tank in the afternoon from the shore, and then a night shore dive.
  8. LiquidDivingAdventure

    LiquidDivingAdventure Dive Travel Professional

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: North America
    There is another option you might consider but December is probably a bit late in the year. There are some great dives to be had at Banco Chinchorro but usually best during the summer, July-September, due to the seas. I always book with XTC Dive Center in Xcalak. It's remote, pretty much untouched diving. Beautiful spot, near Mexico-Belize border.

    Of the three you listed probably Coz is best for you. I used to regularly dive Cabo San Lucas and Cabo Pulmo years ago when I could get cheap flights on Alaska Airlines from Seattle and SFO. One of my best dives ever was at Gorda Banks. I generally don't recommend that Baja Cal now as a pure dive destination, although the dives can be excellent.

    You can also get some decent deals in Belize and the Caymans, but maybe a bit more that "budget."
  9. kneptoon

    kneptoon Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Glendale, CA USA
    I have had pretty good luck with Trip Advisor. Like any large enterprise with the possibility for shenanigans, corruption and fraud, these are bound to exist. But really where/what else are you going to reference? I wouldn't take it as gospel. But given just covering your eyes and throwing a dart, Trip Advisor is a good reference. I am sure there are people and businesses that game Scuba board as well. I have done 3 trips to Fakarava and Rangiroa, Trip Advisor and Scuba Board have been great research sites. Please do trip reports on Scuba Board. I'm looking for information regarding Halmahera, not much information available. Also, I have done both reviews on Trip Advisor and Scuba Board, sometimes quite critical. Neither forum has deleted or hidden my reports. As far as the Danube goes,I have been to Coz nine times. Lets say dinner out 45-50 times, I've never heard of the Danube. I don't use Trip Advisor for restaurants. So their problem could be something other than Trip Advisor chicanery.
  10. DandyDon

    DandyDon Old men ought to be explorers ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: One kilometer high on the Texas Central Plains
    One problem with HAPPY CUSTOMER REVIEWS on Trip Advisor is that even if they are real, they could be all newbies with no other experiences for comparison. I'd never been out with Sand Dollar as I avoid cattle boat operators, but you can :search: the Coz forum here.

    I missed Danube in Cozumel, but it was probably out of my spending range when it was open. I see it got a lot of great reviews on Trip Advisor, plus one critical review from earlier this year. :silly: I reported that one since the place closed in 2011, for whatever it might be worth.

    For the best budget trips of the 3 Mexican destinations in the title, Coz & PDC seem much cheaper than Cabo Pulmo. I've not been to the latter yet, but I have looked at the area with a trip in mind and see obstacles, as well as higher costs here and there. Of the two on the Caribbean, Coz beats PDC hands down - unless you like cenotes a lot and want to do all dives in those caverns? You can get a nice room for as little as $30/night in Coz, cheap restaurants if you're careful, and the diving is the best in the Caribbean for the money.

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