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“First Boat Dive!”
Review of Dive Balam

Dive Balam
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: The dive shop located inside of the resort Royal Haciendas, only 10 minutes away from Playa del Carmen. We offer our service from courses up to tours in crystal clear Cenotes. We offer PADI, TDI, NACD training from entry level, PADI Open Water Diver right through to dive master training and specialties! Our goal is to maintain the highest level of quality and service while making your safety our top priority. We leave from the beach of the Royal Haciendas resort which is the best location in the Riviera Maya. We have the world's second biggest reef right in front of us. Come join us as we dive in the turquoise ocean and have the experience of a lifetime.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“First Boat Dive!”
Reviewed January 4, 2014

Great experience diving with Megan! My daughters and I completed the open water portion of our PADI certification in Cozumel and took advantage of a our stay following that at the Royal Haciendas to do our first dive as Certified Open Water Divers and we could not have been more pleased. Dive Balam was friendly and professional shop providing super equipment, boat & captain, dive master etc.. We would not hesitate to recommend them to other new divers.

Visited December 2013
Thank djfulle1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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132 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Guelph, Canada
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“A Mistake, But Not Our Mistake”
Reviewed January 4, 2014

We were added to a Cozumel-bound Dive Baalm group by the dive centre we had originally booked with because of high group volume. The two dives we had with this centre are the worst dives I have ever experienced!

The first dive was preceded by a very short briefing that did not prepare me for the ridiculous labyrinth of difficult swim-through's that followed. I am not a fan of swim through's in the first place, and some of the ones the instructor took us through were very small and required a level of skill that myself (and SEVERAL others in the group) did not possess- which was something that the instructors did not seem to consider or care about. The speed at which he dragged the group through these tiny tunnels would have been a challenge in still water, but were made much more difficult by the strong current. We swam past countless things I actually wanted to see, like sea turtles (plural), sharks, and the biggest parrot fish I have ever (briefly) seen because we were too busy trying to keep up. The second instructor seemed to be unskilled and did not have control over her group, who kept mixing with ours and getting between dive partners.

The second dive was even worse. There was no briefing at all, the current was even stronger and people were not instructed at all on how to deal with it. My friend/dive buddy was a certified dive master, and at the end of the dive everyone was following her during the ascent instead of their designated instructor!

The dive sites were incredible, and I would recommend Cozumel to anyone who wants to see an incredible diversity of sea live wherever they look- just do it with another dive centre.

Visited August 2013
Thank Katlynd T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“DO NOT BOOK with Patrick!!!”
Reviewed December 24, 2013

We weren't even able to go diving because this guy Patrick booked us on the wrong day. When we came at the time we had asked for, our names were not on the list and we couldn't go. They also could not reschedule us for a different day because they were completely booked. The woman at the desk was very apologetic and she did try her best but ultimately there was nothing to be done about it.

Luckily she suggested that we walk down to the neighboring resort and we booked at their Dive Shop instead.

Visited December 2013
Thank 27Melissa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Collins, Colorado
1 review
“As always, Amazing Experience!”
Reviewed December 5, 2013

Dive Balam is easily the best dive shop I have ever used! I have been going to Playa del Carmen for Thanksgiving for a number of years now and one of the highlights is always going diving with Marcos, Carlos, and the rest of Dive Balam's crew (shout out to their other dive masters I hung out with - Patrick, Megan, Ryan, and Kitty). Most other dive shops I've been through have been good, but they just take it to an exceptional level. They are thoroughly professional, personable, and safe, but still provide a relaxing and fun experience! This trip's highlights for me include some fantastic local reef dives, a really fun night dive, a couple of absolutely amazing Cozumel dives, a night dive, and for the first time a shark dive. Wow! is all I can say on the shark dive. The dive was highly organized and surprisingly smooth, calm, and anxiety free (given the subject matter). Simply amazing! Another highlight was watching a couple of 12 yr olds (brother and sister) do their final open water dives for their certification and seeing how they interacted with their instructor (Patrick) - who did such a great job. I can't wait until my nieces are old enough! I'll take them to Dive Balam in a heartbeat!

Visited November 2013
Thank Brad W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
palos verdes
2 reviews
“Shark Dive”
Reviewed December 4, 2013

Last week in Playa Del Carmen, I went diving w Big Bull Sharks w Bive Belam for the thrill of a lifetime. It was great and the excellent Dive Balam dive team took great care of the divers, making it a confident and comfortable experience as they fed the sharks. I absolutely recomment it for any qualified diver.

John Williams, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

Visited November 2013
Thank jwskrs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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