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Diving While on Cruise

Discussion in 'Cozumel' started by Jaeger62, Apr 21, 2019.

  1. Jaeger62

    Jaeger62 Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Denton,TX
    132
    36
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    So, I have never cruised.... and it really isn't my thing, but got roped into a cruise with family (we aren't paying, so why not).

    We arrive in port at 7am, which would allow me to get to docks for a morning dive. The problem is, I'm the only one who can really get everybody around the island in the morning for breakfast, some walking around, and off to a beach club.

    That said, are there there any beach clubs I could get picked up for an afternoon dive, and with ship leaving at 5pm is that even feasible? I hate the idea of coming to Cozumel and not diving, but trying to also help guide family around to things they want to see.
     
  2. Altamira

    Altamira ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Canyon Lake, TX
    1,942
    1,995
    113
    We have done a lot of cruising with stops in Coz, so here are a couple of thoughts to consider.
    1. Eat breakfast on the ship. You are paying for it, so why pay again on shore for a much lower quality breakfast.
    2. Check your cruise ship shore excursion program to see if you can find something that will meet your families desire for some sightseeing and a beach club escape. When on a ship excursion, getting around to see the sights is a no-brainer. They take you, guide you/lead you around, and bring you back to the ship's pier.
    3. Walking around the port near the ship piers for shopping, etc., is really easy and should not be taxing or strenuous. After finishing whatever shore excursions would work for your family, there should be ample time to spend money on the Cozumel economy without stress or worry.
    4. If you do a two tank dive in the morning, going out with any of the highly rated Coz dive ops, you should be ready to rejoin your family in the early afternoon.
    5. With a 5PM ship departure time, you will likely need to be back on the ship by 4:30PM, and then you would need to plan @ 15-30 minutes to get back through security and on the ship, so an afternoon dive might be tight. Not saying it can't be done, but might be a bit stressful for you and your family members.
    Good luck.
     
  3. DjDiverDan

    DjDiverDan Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Sunnyvale, TX USA
    1,075
    770
    113
    I’ve only been diving with Dive Ops that leave by 7:30 or 8:00 a.m. for their morning dives, but I vaguely recall seeing something on this forum about a dive op that offers later options, like a 10:00 a.m. departure. Maybe Blue Angel? You might have to do some research, but you should be able to find a later morning departure. With cruise ship leaving at 5:00, you’ll need to plan on being back to the pier no later than 4:00-4:15, and I think that puts most afternoon dives off the table. Be aware that some of the popular dive ops - including Aldora, I think, have decided not to accept reservations from cruisers unless you’ve been diving with them awhile.

    I just checked the Blue Angel website - it does offer a 10:00 a.m. departure for a 2-tank trip, and an 11:00 a.m. departure for a dive-snorkel combo trip. I’ve never been diving with them, but there are some on this forum that highly recommend them.
     
    Jaeger62 likes this.
  4. nodakdive

    nodakdive Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: North Dakota
    467
    207
    43
    Deep Blue leaves at 9am.
     
  5. Jayfarmlaw

    Jayfarmlaw Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Tuttle, Ok
    1,419
    1,247
    113
    Our first dive trip to Coz was on a cruise. We did not use the ships dive op, I read reviews about crappy equipment, cattle boats, and short dives and it was an easy decision to just charter our own boat with Dive With Martin for just a few dollars more than it would have been for the cruise op. If you can find 3 other people to split the charter with, that is definately the way to go. There are cruise forums that allow you to find others on the same cruise that may be interested in diving.

    That being said, the biggest issue I found was getting off the boat. There is just no way to get 4000 people off the boat quickly. I assume there is a special handshake that can get you in the first group to get off, but we could not manage it. It took over an hour to get off the boat dragging dive gear down the steps. It wasn't an issue since our boat was waiting for us on our time.

    That being said, there are several dive ops that do their surface interval at Palancar Beach Club. With a little coordination, you and your group could take a cab to the club, and you meet your dive op there and do the second dive with the op, then ride back with the op to either town, the beach club, or any other drop off point. Your group does the beach club thing, you get one dive in, and everyone cabs back to the port or town for shopping

    Better yet, you jump off the boat first and catch a dive op for a morning dive, your group catches a cab after breakfast on the boat to Palancar Beach Club and meets you at your surface interval for some beach time together, you go do your second dive, get dropped of back at Palancar and rejoin your group for the rest of the day. This leaves your group to get off the boat and to a cab on their own.

    Aldora leaves their downtown pier at 7:30...doable if you are first off the boat and a cab is waiting. (We have waited 10-15 minutes for late arrivals before) They pick up at multiple resorts as they head South so a cab to one of those resorts and a small dock fee might buy you some extra time. I know Blue XTSea and I think Tres Pelicanos use Palancar for their surface interval. Blue Magic used to leave from the Caletta Marina which may be easier to get to depending on what port you arrive at, they used to surface interval at the dock just South of Palancar BC. We dive Aldora, but any of the ops mentioned above are known for their service.

    With some coordination and a few emails, I think it's doable.

    Good luck, safe travels, please drink a Bohemia Obscura for me!!
    Jay
     
  6. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location:
    1,756
    678
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    I've both done diving vacations and cruise vacations to Cozumel.

    First, Cozumel is one of the easiest ports for cruisers. I think your family could easily eat breakfast on the ship (so can you), get a taxi to a beach club, and get a taxi to walk around town and/or return directly to the pier without help. Unless you want to show them somewhere really off the beaten path, most cruisers are not going to need guiding in Cozumel. And there is zero worry about finding a taxi there. There are tons at the pier, there are tons at all the clubs. The only reason to miss the ship in Cozumel is because you got so drunk you forgot you were on a ship. There is zero need to take a ship sponsored excursion in Cozumel, even without someone who knows the island or speaks Spanish- you can help them plan where to go for the day though.

    So I'd recommend you just dive a morning dive. You can always meet them at the beach club after the dive and then go wander town together.

    My husband used Scuba with Alison when he dove off the ship. (I was pregnant that trip.) She regularly waits for cruisers, though you need to be up early and ready to get off the ship as soon as they let you, or else you hold up her other divers. You family can take their time and get off at their leisure.
     
  7. Addicted2H2O

    Addicted2H2O ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Last time I went to Cozumel (Sept. 2017) was on a cruise and I dove using the ship's excursion operator, which at the moment I can't exactly recall who it was. I do know this particular one wasn't a small boat and it was pretty hassle-free. The good thing about using the cruise excursion dive op is that they expect it's going to take you a bit to get off the boat and they wait for everyone who's signed up to disembark the ship. Cruise excursion usually require a minimum number or people to sign up & pay for the excursion to take place or else it will be cancelled. So the dive op doesn't have any other clients they're taking out that aren't part of your cruise. So you know for certain they're going to wait for you and they're going to get you back on time. That being said, you'll do your dives in the morning and be done, back on the dock by about 1:00 at the latest. That will leave you plenty of time to catch back up with the fam for some shopping around the market area or even rent a Jeep and drive to the end of the island, do some additional sight seeing, etc.

    If you want to work with another dive op, you can always call them and work out the details with them. I've only dove with the cruise excursion when cruising, but on that particular cruise, we were originally supposed to cruise to the other side of the Caribbean (Keys, Freeport, Nassau, etc) and I had worked out my own dive excursion with a separate dive operator in Freeport where they would pick me up when I disembarked, return me on time after diving, etc. So I'm pretty certain it can be done in COZ, too. Just call whichever op you want to use and let them know your arrival time, etc. I'm sure they handle cruise divers all the time.
     
  8. DjDiverDan

    DjDiverDan Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Sunnyvale, TX USA
    1,075
    770
    113
    I would strongly recommend against using the Cruise Line excursion dive op. First, you are going to greatly overpay for what you get. The last time I took a cruise to Cozumel (I really do not like cruising, I only took this one because I won the cruise), the Dive excursion offered by Carnival was $140 for a 2-tank dive trip, which is about 40% more than the highest end dive ops on Cozumel. I already had made reservations to dive with my own favorite dive op - unfortunately, the port was closed due to a Norte, so no diving. The excursion operator was Sand Dollar Divers - NOT a really highly recommended dive op - and it’s excursion was cancelled that week because its boat had sunk during the previous week. Even assuming that you get to go, it will be standard, by the tables diving. The excursion dive op, being dependent on the cruise line for business, and paying BIG kickbacks (er, “booking fees”) to the cruise line, is much more interested in keeping costs down and sticking to a schedule than in providing great dives. You can do a whole lot better, both financially and with quality of dives by making your own reservation with a dive op that relies on repeat business from regulars and works to provide great dives.
     
  9. Jaeger62

    Jaeger62 Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Denton,TX
    132
    36
    28
    Yeah, 0% chance I go through the ship
     
    noj3333 likes this.
  10. DjDiverDan

    DjDiverDan Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Sunnyvale, TX USA
    1,075
    770
    113

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