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Hire a private DM?

Discussion in 'Cozumel' started by jomcclain, Jan 21, 2015.

  1. jomcclain

    jomcclain Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Virginia
    My husband and I are planning a trip to Coz in May. We will probably go with Blue Angel dive shop. I have seen other threads where people were advised to hire a private dive master, but have never seen an explanation as to why someone would want to do that. Seems like it would just be an extra expense, there would be a dive master going out on every boat trip anyway. Why do people hire private DM?
  2. Ron Lee

    Ron Lee Loggerhead Turtle

    New divers who could use the one on one guidance to learn the subtleties of drift diving.
  3. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many. Rest in Peace

    If someone doesn't feel confident enough to dive as part of a loosely supervised group, or if someone is so novice that they don't want to dive the usual profiles (wanting to stay above 60 feet, for example), they might need to dive with their own guide.
    dwellerbottom and gopbroek like this.
  4. Craig66

    Craig66 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: New Jersey
    The purpose of the Dive Master in Cozumel is that the national park stipulates that every set of 8 divers have to be accompanied by a DM to lead the dive and ensure that the rules are followed. Having said that, the DM will help the divers in the group if need be. Their purpose however is not to be the personal dive buddy of each diver.

    For this reason divers that are very new to diving, haven't dived for a long time, are uncomfortable with their first drift dives and generally want some added supervision and help should hire a DM for at least the first couple of dives in Cozumel. The depths and occasionally very strong currents can make first dives intimidating and potentially dangerous.

    Although a relatively experienced diver, I hired a DM when my daughter first started diving as it was unfair to me and to her to expect her to be my dive buddy. Furthermore at the age of 11 she was not able to go to the depths that most Cozumel dives go to and so we would be separated from the main group. For these reasons we hired a DM to run a separate dive for us.
    jeffromonty and DandyDon like this.
  5. mstevens

    mstevens Toadfish. Splendid is implied but not guaranteed. ScubaBoard Supporter

    Well, we usually have a more-or-less private DM since we dive in very small groups and nearly always with our good friend who's a Cozumel DM. I have to say it's pretty great. The least-experienced member of my family has over 200 Cozumel dives since he turned 12, but it's still nothing like someone who averages a dozen dives a week nearly every week for the last 20 years. Going with a ratio of 1:3 (or 1:2 or 1:1) allows a DM to relax more and worry less about tracking a large group. That, in turn, lets him or her spend more time looking for stuff or whatever. We tend to have a lot more fun in a smaller group. Thus, it's not something that benefits only novice divers or those new to Cozumel.
  6. Jayfarmlaw

    Jayfarmlaw Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Tuttle, Ok
    I chartered our own boat for our first Cozumel dives. My daughters had very little experience, none in blue water, we were on a cruise ship and had some strict time requirements that would not allow us to meet the normal departure times of the regular 6 pack boats and had to be back to catch the ship, and....since there were 4 of us, it was only $40 more with Dive With Martin to take our own boat. Our youngest was 13 and only certified to 60 feet. Best $40 we spent on the vacation and the extra attention given to my daughters allowed me to enjoy the dive more. Diving with teenagers is a lot like herding chickens, but underwater. The group up signal will only make you tired and they ignore you even more underwater where you can't yell at them.

  7. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Some dive ops are known for babysitting new divers, and don't really need a private DM.

    But others are more laissez-faire and let certified divers be certified divers and take care of themselves. All of the DMs are going to help new divers, but there is only so much attention they can give a freaked out newbie. Knowing you have one person who you are paying to stay with you is worth the money for many.

    If I didn't have a great buddy, I might have wanted a private DM this year. I don't do swim throughs and the op I went with the DM is known for LOVING swim throughs. It isn't always easy to follow bubbles on top of the coral heads and I would want the security of knowing someone was staying with me. But my buddy serves that purpose- he won't leave me and watches me somewhat carefully.
  8. Steve_C

    Steve_C Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Raleigh, NC USA
    I am not a fan of groups. I like to stop and look around, take some photos etc., I am not a fan or instabuddies on 100 ft dives unless I am in solo configuration. (pony etc). So when I travel, if it is just a Key's reef, I will instabuddy. But on other dives which are special to me because i do not get to do them often or for other reasons, I will hire a private DM. Then we do what I want to do with the plus that they can help me find neat stuff.
    mstevens likes this.
  9. jake11

    jake11 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    If you are diving with Blue Angel then ask to get on their smaller , faster boat and the group size will be perfect. Ask to dive with Jose! He is fantastic! He quickly sees your ability level and then keeps a close eye on who needs some closer attention! I would try this first and then if you feel you still need a private DM then I am sure they can arrange it for you there right on site! Have a fun trip!
  10. BettyfromToronto

    BettyfromToronto Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Cozumel, Mexico
    We went to Scuba Club many times and only once we hired a private DM on the last day and it was great. We were first in the water and saw a large eagle ray right off the bat before the other groups got in the water and came chasing it with their cameras.

    Yes we paid extra for him and tipped like usual but we felt bad because he said he didn't get any of that extra money we paid and lost out on the tips of the other possible 6 divers.

    Never did it again but don't need to now that we live here.


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