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Trip Report - Blue Angel April/May 2015

Discussion in 'Cozumel' started by H2ODoc, May 6, 2015.

  1. H2ODoc

    H2ODoc Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Colorado
    434
    116
    43
    Going back to work the day after a 10 day trip is rough, so I'll take a break and do a quick summary of our trip!

    This is our 3rd trip to Coz, but our first visit since 2008.

    HOTEL

    Very nice changes at Blue Angel. Eva was there and is really making some nice changes. Including breakfast is a great addition. There seems to be more staff on-site, and every one of them seems to genuinely take pride in making you comfortable. Eva found out it was our anniversary and insisted that her chef prepare a special meal for us. Claudia and Eva and the restaurant staff went beyond expectations and really made it a special night!

    The hotel is clean, convenient, and we value the combination of friendly staff, great location, with on-site pool, shore diving, restaurant, and dive shop. Most guests that we talked to are return customers. That's telling.

    DIVING

    We found the marine life to be more abundant than we remember. Plenty of nurse sharks and MANY turtles. Currents were a bit strange (different direction, and swirling at the wall), but visibility was great and each dive was memorable.

    We did see an interesting situation: about 8 grouper were hanging out at this coral head and taking turns poking their heads at this moray eel. We later read that they do this to get the eel to go out and flush out some fish out of holes and the grouper will then eat the fish. We saw very few lion fish. Many lobsters.

    We also did one dive with Aldora and dove Barracuda Reef. My wife and I have 140 dives each, and found Barracuda challenging and a bit stressful. Aldora is very well organized and did a 30 minute pre-dive meeting. Still... diving with 120 steel tanks (heavy) at a new site with a lot of current and fairly deep added up to a challenge. Great reef, but a bit over our heads. Thankfully, we didn't end up in Cuba after that dive.

    DIVE MASTERS / BOAT CAPTAINS

    The Blue Angel DMs were all professional, helpful, and good dive leaders. We dove with Mateo, Tony, and JP. We appreciate how the boat captains also keep an eye on details: not only finding us in a busy dive site, but also setting up gear, and noticing if we forgot anything. The boats are clean and fast. Marcos in the shop was also very helpful with questions, using the kayaks, and scheduling. The motto seems to always be: "no problem, we can do that."

    RESTAURANTS

    I came to the conclusion that we could make a restaurant tour of Cozumel alone, and not even dive! We hit all the SB favorites.

    - Blue Angel - nice breakfasts, very good margaritas, and a superb dinner! It holds it's own as a stand alone restaurant that happens to be connected to our hotel. Our special dinner was ceviche (tons of it!) and Mahi mahi with a shrimp/octopus reduction. Fantastic!
    - El Moro - a new favorite - visited twice. Ray was our waiter both times and is a gem.
    - La Perlita - 2for1 lionfish - another favorite - food, service, and off the beaten path!
    - Ohana - Mateo the DM's restaurant. Bacon wrapped lobster and Chicago style pizza. As a transplanted Chicagoan, I had to try it, and it was excellent. Peanut butter tequila shots? Yes. They are great.
    - Casa Denis - good dinner - fish with garlic / onions.
    - Kinta - wow.... each bite was something to behold. High-end food at moderate prices. Special meal.

    MISCELLANEOUS

    - Javier the churro guy stops by Blue Angel twice per day. Very nice guy and we spend a few $ with him!
    - If I had one complaint with Coz, it's walking around downtown. I hate to be rude, but I'm about done with the guys trying to sell me cigars and vanilla and t-shirts. 10 days of that is my limit. I try to be nice, but my patience is waning.
    - One of these pushy sales guys, however, made me laugh. Trying to sell us a hammock, and he says "this hammock is so comfortable, you go to sleep and you are 3, wake up and you are 4."
    - No-see-ums. I need to find something that works for those nasty buggers. They don't touch my wife, but I look like I've got some nasty skin disease by the end of my trip! Arrrgggghhhh!
    - The Scotia bank charges about 44 pesos per transaction. If you take out 1500 pesos ($100USD), that's about 3%. Not too bad - $3 per $100.
    - Taxis seem to charge what they want. I learned to ask the fare before we got in. Take MANY small denomination bills. Pesos are better than dollars.
    - Rasta Bar service was horrible. I'm a reggae fanatic, but we won't go back
    - ISIS rental car (not the terrorist group) is great - we got a 2004 VW bug that looks exactly like they did back in 1960 or whatever.
    - We're glad to have met some nice people during our trip as always.

    That's about it for now.

    Adios Amigos!

    [​IMG]
     
  2. deeper thoughts

    deeper thoughts Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location:
    5,971
    1,718
    113
    thnx for sharing, I use to tell the timeshare hawks that I was leaving tomorrow all the time lol
     
  3. cicopo

    cicopo Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    1,847
    616
    113
    Nice report. Tony is a friend so nice to hear you had a good time with him PLUS we ALWAYS eat at least one dinner at Blue Angel. Great food at very fair prices.
     
  4. H2ODoc

    H2ODoc Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Colorado
    434
    116
    43
    Yes - Tony was great. We were with him two days. One was with a newbie couple, and he took great care with them, but also kept an eye on us and directed us to some interesting swim throughs. Newbies surfaced after 35 minutes, but Tony stayed with us (after verifying the newbies got on the boat) for a full 60 minute dive. He's got a great memory for names, too.
     
  5. Chuckitall

    Chuckitall Barracuda

    364
    54
    28
    Wife and I were there May 11 to 18, everything said about BAR was the same. Had a great time relaxing and diving with them. Currents sounds like they are still confused and ripping at times
     
  6. ggunn

    ggunn ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Austin, TX, USA
    9,702
    3,021
    113
    Last year? Way Back Machine? :D

    ---------- Post added May 7th, 2015 at 03:36 PM ----------

    Everyone is different, I guess. Those guys don't bother me at all. They are just trying to make a living, and it's mostly US tourism that feeds them.

    I've told this story in here before so if you've heard it then skip on ahead...

    I was once approached by one of the more persistent of those guys, and I decided to have a bit of fun with him. I pulled a fake angry face and demanded, "Do I look like a tourist to you???" A beat, and then we both busted out laughing. I was wearing flip flops, shorts, a Hawaiian shirt, sunglasses and a canvas slouch hat, and I was sunburned. I couldn't have looked more like a tourist if I had dressed up as one for a costume party.
     
    mediumone and Centexbear like this.
  7. H2ODoc

    H2ODoc Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Colorado
    434
    116
    43
    It just spoils a nice walk downtown, as I feel the need to respond to all of them "no thanks" about a million times. I do think that one's "look" is a big factor. If you look like you are walking with a purpose (and not sunburned with a flowered shirt!), you do tend to get less of it.

    That's why I like Sundays in Coz - a bit more laid back than on cruise ship days.
     
  8. ggunn

    ggunn ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Austin, TX, USA
    9,702
    3,021
    113
    As I said, it doesn't bother me at all. One thing I have learned from my experience on this earth is that I can to a large extent choose what to be upset by. I cannot control a lot of what goes on around me, but I can (to some degree, anyway) control how I react to it.

    I still get pissed off when someone cuts me off in traffic, though, but I am working on it. :D

    DSFDF.
     
    mmmbelows likes this.
  9. PARADISE HUNTER

    PARADISE HUNTER Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Michigan
    1,164
    85
    48
    As for all the hawking from vendors down town, we got just as much if not more in Vegas last month. Walk down the strip and you will be offered, drink cards, menu specials, tshirts, hookers, picture ops and show tickets non stop.

    I think it's becoming a more common practice in tourist areas.

    It does get tiring.

    PH
     
  10. bhalah

    bhalah Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Ontario
    959
    6
    18

    I had a similar experience once with a gentleman trying to sell me a cigar. When I politely told him that I did not smoke, he instantly countered by telling me that this would be a great time to start.:confused:
    Gotta love it..
     

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