Diving Cozumel Mexico // Dive Cruise // Blue XtSea Diving

Scuba Diving in Cozumel, Diving Cozumel Mexico // Dive Cruise // Blue XtSea Diving

Cozumel, Mexico Dive December 2019

Our ship docked at the Langosta Pier in Cozumel; the more northern of the cruise ship piers. The day before, eight ships were in port. There were “only” seven in port on our day there. We needed to transit to Marina Fonatur to meet up with Blue XtSea for some scuba diving on the Cozumel Reef, part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef.

Scuba Diving in Cozumel, Diving Cozumel Mexico // Dive Cruise // Blue XtSea Diving

Finding Fonatur Marina

We took a $20 taxi bus from Puerto Langosto to Marina Fonatur. The dock was bustling with dozens of boats, hundreds of tanks. We later found out where they all were headed! 

Scuba Diving in Cozumel, Diving Cozumel Mexico // Dive Cruise // Blue XtSea Diving

It was difficult to determine exactly where to go, but Martin found us at the dock and led us to the boat. There were so many boats, so many docks, and so many tanks!

Scuba Diving in Cozumel, Diving Cozumel Mexico // Dive Cruise // Blue XtSea Diving

Loading Up

We unloaded our gear, then they piled our dive bags on the bow out of the way. We settled in for the ride south for scuba diving in Cozumel.

The boat, “Shamu,” has a Bimini top with netting underneath perfect for shade plus storing a few items overhead. Blue XTsea has two boats; we rafted with the other during our surface interval. 

Scuba Diving in Cozumel, Diving Cozumel Mexico // Dive Cruise // Blue XtSea Diving

Once on board, we were each handed an icy cold water bottle with our name on it; quite a pleasant treat. Plus, using multiple-use bottles really appealed to us. Less waste, more recycling. We were given entry wristbands for the ecologic park we were diving. Our group of six had the boat to ourselves. 

Scuba Diving in Cozumel, Diving Cozumel Mexico // Dive Cruise // Blue XtSea Diving

Heading Out

We had the option of setting up our own gear, or they would set it up for us. I set mine up, but let them change tanks after the first dive. Of course, trust then verify… I triple-checked everything. 

Martin and the captain were great; gave us a slow talk about conditions, methods, almost a full refresher course before the first dive. We had said we were two slightly experienced and four fairly new divers, and he took note of that and accommodated us as well as proceeding slowly and methodically in his dive brief.

The boat headed south; it looked like the boat could hold about 12 divers, but we were six total. We were able to spread out and take our time. 

Scuba Diving in Cozumel, Diving Cozumel Mexico // Dive Cruise // Blue XtSea Diving

First Dive at Palancar Gardens

We suited up and slipped in at Palancar Gardens, gathered, then headed down to about 20 feet, then gradually deeper on a slanted wall dive.

Scuba Diving in Cozumel, Diving Cozumel Mexico // Dive Cruise // Blue XtSea Diving

The marine life and coral and sponge formations were brilliant. 

Scuba Diving in Cozumel, Diving Cozumel Mexico // Dive Cruise // Blue XtSea Diving

Some of us wore 3mm wetsuits, others 1mm, others nothing but a rash guard long sleeved shirt. The idea of not having to dry the wetsuit for the next day’s dive was appealing. 

Scuba Diving in Cozumel, Diving Cozumel Mexico // Dive Cruise // Blue XtSea Diving

Surface Interval

Surface interval featured freshly cut pineapple, plenty of water and some locally-baked pastries. We pulled up to the beach. Everyone could get out of the boat, stretch their legs, and climb up on a floating dock to sunbathe. 

During the surface interval, a couple of our group mentioned having a bit of trouble with new foggy masks. Martin took the time to bring out some scrub solution and work on the masks while everyone relaxed. 

Scuba Diving in Cozumel, Diving Cozumel Mexico // Dive Cruise // Blue XtSea Diving

Martin also had noticed everything – who was overweighted, who was underweighted, and other details. He was a completely observant, knowledgeable dive master and guide. 

Scuba Diving in Cozumel, Diving Cozumel Mexico // Dive Cruise // Blue XtSea Diving

Second Dive at Cedar Wall

Second dive was more of the same incredible marine growth at Cedar Wall. 

All around us, there were dozens of other dive boats. However, we never crossed paths with any other groups. In the distance, I saw bubbles a couple times. It looks like Cozumel has so many great spots that there’s room for everyone. We must have seen 50 to 75 boats out over the dive sites!

Scuba Diving in Cozumel, Diving Cozumel Mexico // Dive Cruise // Blue XtSea Diving
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Both were easy, relaxing, drift dives with my air consumption going from 3,000 psi to 1,200 psi over the course of an hour. 

Scuba Diving in Cozumel, Diving Cozumel Mexico // Dive Cruise // Blue XtSea Diving

Boat entries were very easy “fall backwards” entries, and getting back on the boat also was convenient. We simply slipped out of our bcd, handed our gear up to the boat, then climbed a ladder to get out of the water. 

Whenever we would pause to look to the edge of our group, we often saw a nurse shark cruising around. They passed by us at least four times. Usually I’ve seen them resting on the bottom, but this dive, they were actively circling our group. One had a couple friendly fish accompanying it. 

Scuba Diving in Cozumel, Diving Cozumel Mexico // Dive Cruise // Blue XtSea Diving

Attention to Detail

A final touch – on the return to the dock from the second dive, we were all provided towels! What a nice touch. We liked them enough to want to research purchasing some for ourselves.

They were microfiber, and we want to make sure we choose some made from recycled materials like ghost fishing nets. They were tightly woven, super lightweight, compact, and fast-drying. 

Also, once we got back to the states and I checked my email, I found a message fro them asking about our experience and if there was anything more they could do. 

Scuba Diving in Cozumel, Diving Cozumel Mexico // Dive Cruise // Blue XtSea Diving

Cozumel Has Dozens of Operators

I’d have to say, Blue XtSea have all the amenities covered. There are so many dive outfits in Cozumel. It took me several months of research to comb through reviews on each operator’s website. Then I sifted through comments on Scuba boards. Also, I scoured TripAdvisor reviews for information. 

In all, it sounds like there are at least a dozen really great dive operators servicing the Cozumel area. When we taxied from the port to the marina, we saw many of the names I had seen online. Somehow, sheer luck (or a hundred hours of research!) yielded a perfect choice. 

Martin used to dm for Dive Paradise for over 20 years, then it sounds like he was lured away by Dive XTsea. He did say many of his loyal annual divers went with him. His knowledge and attention to detail were a huge departure from our previous experience in Cozumel. 

Scuba Diving in Cozumel, Diving Cozumel Mexico // Dive Cruise // Blue XtSea Diving
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What Made This Dive Special

Previously, we dove Cozumel from a similar-sized boat. The dive operators were barely interested in our experience. In fact, one of our dives was between the cruise ship piers in about 20 feet of water. There wasn’t much to see, but we did see a seahorse. 

Any successful dive is a great dive. However, Martin made this an above average dive experience. He had the ability to discuss technique without sounding like he was reprimanding or lecturing. 

Both of my dives took me from 2,900 to 900 psi. Easy drift diving, no kicking, just gliding along quite easily. I can see why people return year after year to dive Cozumel.

Blue XtSea did not have a physical dive shop. It seems in many places, there are dive operators that have boats and come pick you up, or that have a small hut and may even subcontract the boat and tanks, bringing only their dive master. 

Scuba Diving in Cozumel, Diving Cozumel Mexico // Dive Cruise // Blue XtSea Diving

Three Cruise Ship Piers in Cozumel

You can find the listing of what ships will be in port with you at Crew Center. There are other lists as well. It’s good to triple check your itinerary against the cruise port lists to make sure you book dives for a destination where you will be on that date – sometimes ships change ports. A good dive operator will look at this for you; however… trust, then verify!

At Puerto Langosto, to get off the ship, you head down the pier, then through the shopping center. There are stairs or an elevator that will be more convenient if you have a heavy dive bag with you. 

Once outside the center, taxis are heavily regulated. Prices are posted, and you simply wait on the next taxi. We paid $20 for a van for all of us to go to the marina, and again on the return. 

Cruising with Royal Caribbean, we had about three more hours in port for exploring, eating, and going to the Mega store – a huge store with everything from groceries to tents. It’s a great place to pick up huge bottles of excellent vanilla at ridiculously low prices. 

Scuba Diving in Cozumel, Diving Cozumel Mexico // Dive Cruise // Blue XtSea Diving

Take Legal Sunscreen and Body Products

Many vacation destinations are banning toxic sunscreens containing ingredients such as oxybenzone and octinozate. Check the list here for unhealthy ingredients.

Scuba Diving in Cozumel, Diving Cozumel Mexico // Dive Cruise // Blue XtSea Diving

What to Read Next

21 Items That Landed on My Cruise Ship Dive Trip “To Do Next Time” List

This was the first list, and I sure did look back at it and make some changes before we traveled this time. Now our system is even more refined! We followed all of those recommendations, and added the new ones in this list.

We do now carry our own First Aid Kits with us every time we go ashore. Also, with most dive boats not having any requirement to carry First Aid Kits, we believe it is worth it to go to the trouble of bringing our own. One of the benefits of bringing our own is familiarity with the contents.

The Boat Medic First Aid Kit shown above is housed in a waterproof, crush-proof container; very desirable on a dive boat. For 10% off at MyMedic, use the link here to save yourself just a bit as a reward for thinking safety first.

Scuba Diving in Cozumel, Diving Cozumel Mexico // Dive Cruise // Blue XtSea Diving

Scuba Diving in Cozumel, Diving Cozumel Mexico // Dive Cruise // Blue XtSea Diving
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