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“You Won't Be Disappointed”

Aquanauts Dive Adventures
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Owner description: Aquanauts Dive Adventures is your premier dive shop offering world class service. We provide experienced instructors, quality equipment rental free of charge and an ever increasing number of fun and exciting dive sites. Located in Hotel Hacienda Morelos, just one block south of town square. Services include: * Scuba diving in beautiful coral reefs and amazing cenotes * PADI certification classes and discover scuba* Coral reef and cenote snorkeling* Sport fishing expeditions* Custom and private toursVisit our newest location, Aquanauts Tour Boutique, directly on the town square.
Reviewed February 21, 2013

I have been diving with this dive shop for a number of years and have never been disappointed. What sets this shop apart from the competition are the owners William and his wife Crescent. Besides being good business people they are also care very much about making your diving or snorkeling experience the best. Besides being very knowledgable on diving they also can provide you with restaurant information and other attractions in the area.

1  Thank blaites
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 18, 2013

I was very pleased with aquanauts regarding their attention to safety regulations, as well as making sure every member in the dive group felt safe and knew what they were doing. This was important since there were multiple skill levels in our group, and they made everyone feel comfortable before diving. I really appreciated this, as there are many dive groups out there that are lacking safety standards. However, I was underwhelmed with the locations of the ocean dives. I got the impression that it was just another day with tourists (which it was for them), and so we went to a dive spot less than a mile from shore. It was a decent spot, but I was hoping for a bit more in hospitality and underwater scenery. We ended up going back to the same spot for a night dive later in the week, and again it lacked anything special. Since this was my first time diving in Puerto Morelos, I can't say if it was normal for the dive sites or not, but with a nature preserve right there, my expectations were higher than reality.

Thank Joe K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
willymartin, Owner at Aquanauts Dive Adventures, responded to this reviewResponded March 1, 2013

Thank you for your review. I am glad that you and your family felt safe and well taken care of on your dives with us.

The wind, rain, waves, current, surge and visibility are all dive elements that we cannot control. Very often the sea life is also affected by those factors. The day you came to dive, the currents switched. It seems strange that such a thing can happen but it does. The result is the fish that normally form big schools at "Aquarium" get scattered. This is why you did not see much life at the dive site. Aquarium is normally a spectacular dive site.

We are very fortunate in Puerto Morelos. The reefs are close to shore and so we do not have to travel long distances by boat to reach them. Most guests are thankful for the short boat ride. In fact, the further away we go, reefs become less spectacular because we are moving away from the Puerto Morelos National Park.

I hope you are blessed with better weather next time you come to visit us.

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Reviewed February 17, 2013

Well Crescent and William have done it again, I have dove out of this shop the last 5 years, every year they just make your time spent there fantastic. William and Crescent and their staff always make sure you have a great time. They take care of the smallest things, need a cab done, book a tour done, have an awesome dive done. You looking for that special fish you have yet to see tell William or his staff, they will probably find it for you. Go for a lion fish hunt and come back to a great lunch of Lion Fish Cevichie, you will love it. Thanks again guys, awesome as usual.

Thank Campion250
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 16, 2013

This is my second time/week diving with Aquanauts. They are by far the best in the area that I've dove with . Thanks a lot Chris W

1  Thank cmwinter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 16, 2013

I dove with this shop in September and had a wonderful time so I was anxious to return to dive again. Unfortunately, this trip was perhaps the worst dive I have ever had in Mexico.

Ride to the First Dive Site
The boat was so crowded that there wasn't room for everyone to sit, so some folks were made to stand for the 45 minute ride. When the boat needed to turn one direction or another, people had to move from one side to another. Thankfully the sea was calm so the ride wasn't too bad.

First Dive Site
We were told we were going to the wreck and that it was at 130 feet. We know the currents can be strong in this area and because of the depth we asked for Nitrox. Upon arrival to the dive site the group was divided into three groups. My dive buddy and I have over 200 dives so were placed in a group with two other experienced divers and a dive master. Because of the current we were told we would be making a decent on the mooring line to the bottom. We back rolled in and made our way to the mooring ball but the DM was not ready so we spent 3-4 minutes hanging out on the surface. Finally we bagan our decent to the bottom. When we reached the bottom we again spent 3-4 minutes waiting for the DM. When everyone was ready the DM turned away and began looking for lion fish to spear totally ignoring all of us.

Had we been on a real wreck this may have been fine because we could have explored a bit on our own. But in reality were were on a hunk of rusted metal the size of a large conference table surrounded by sand. We stopped to watch some eagle rays go by and when we looked back at the metal wreck the DM had returned and was motioning us back to the mooring line. Swimming against the current we arrived there within a few minutes. He then told us to ascend. We told him we still had over 1/2 of a tank but he shrugged and again told us to ascend. We began ascending. We encountered some divers on the mooring line and had to wait for them. We did our safety stop and surfaced. Total dive time <25 minutes, Nitrox still in the tank >1500 psi.

Now I have read, seen significant pictures of the wreck in Port Morales and I can tell you that was NOT IT. The DM never came back to talk with us on the boat just hung out at the back with his friends and talked. I must assume two things happened on that dive. One, someone wanted to notch their dive book for a 120 ft depth and that is what we did. Two, the DM wanted to check for Lionfish and when he didn't find any he called the dive. Finally, I have to believe we dove the wrong location either intentionally or accidentally.

Second Dive Site
It took over an hour to get to the second dive site. This time there was seven divers assigned to the DM. Again no briefing, plan or idea what to expect. The dive was at max depth of 60 feet, average depth 40feet and when we got to the bottom again it was chaos. Two divers headed off into the blue and never looked back no matter how much the DM banged on his tank franticly. After a while he gave up turned and again stared hunting ignoring the other divers. The divers went in all directions not sure what to do.

The funny thing is, this is the dive plan in many places where the dive where once on the reef everyone splits up with their buddy and dives their own plan. Unfortunately, this was not the plan here but it sure seemed like it at the bottom. A couple times I saw the DM poking the marine life with his spear trying to them to move or come out of a small cave. Personally, I think it is inappropriate to stress the marine life unless they are destined for your dinner plate but that is my opinion.

After 40 minutes one new diver was out of air and the DM told her and her buddy to surface with a safety stop. I found it odd that you would send a new diver up without a DM but this was not an normal dive. In addition the new diver's dive buddy was confused and didn't understand what the DM wanted them to do (which makes me question how much experience he had) and kept shaking his head in confusion. So the DM called us all together and made us all ascend and end the dive. Again we ascended with almost 1/2 a tank of air unused.

Back at the port there was a some confusion on how to exit the boat and if the staff would help with the gear. In the end everyone moved their own gear and the staff loaded another large group for the next dive.

William and Crescent (owners)
We talked to Crescent after washing our gear and she did agree to not charge our nitrox fee for the first dive. The sad thing is that in all likely hood I will never return to this shop and I won't recommend it for other divers but I actually like William and Crescent as people.

Most dive shops in the Rivera Maya charge between 68-75 dollars for a two tank dive. This shop charged $85 plus $11 for Nitrox (Normal is 5-10) plus $10 tax (which I have never been charged for previously)

Bottom line the owners are nice people but I plan on never going back and I would not recommend their shop to other experienced divers. Also if you plan on diving the wreck, make sure it is the real wreck not a debris field.

3  Thank ksiddel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
willymartin, Owner at Aquanauts Dive Adventures, responded to this reviewResponded March 1, 2013

Thank you for returning to us for a second day of diving. I am sorry that we did not meet your expectations on your second trip. At Aquanauts Dive Adventures diver safety is always our primary concern. Your review mentions many disappointments and I would like to address them.

Let me start with the recognition of one well-made and very important comment. Communication on the surface interval should have been more forthcoming. You should have been informed as to why the dive was shorter than expected. I have spoken to Marco about how the importance of communication is increased when a dive does not go according to plan. Also, he should have communicated to me during the boat change over as to how the dive went so I could better answer your questions regarding the dive. For that failing, we apologize.

Allow me to start at the beginning. When your dive buddy called to make the reservation she requested a deeper more advanced dive from the sites you went to in September and told me you were both interested in hunting some lion fish. There were already some divers scheduled for lion fish hunting on the day you requested, so it sounded like a good fit. Our divers are not the only divers that are working to keep the lion fish population in check; I will come back to this later.

At Aquanauts Dive Adventures we have three shipwrecks in our list of dive sites. You are correct; your dive was not on the very popular, C-56 shipwreck. We dive that site very often and would have been happy to take you there, had you requested it. It is WWII era gun ship that was scuttled specifically for diving. This ship is still intact and has lots of sea life. The maximum depth is 90 feet. There are almost no lion fish there because it is cleaned so frequently.

We took you to a site called the “Tulum” and it is a true shipwreck. Nobody knows the origins of this wreck. The ship is in pieces, only three of which we have found so far. Normally there are so many lion fish there, that divers almost do not have to move to spear a couple. The last time we went to the Tulum, William alone speared over twenty fish. Aquanauts Dive Adventures is not the only shop that has the coordinates of this wreck and it had must have been cleaned recently for us to have found so few lion fish to hunt. When the instructor “went off on his own” he was looking for lion fish to point out so you could spear them.

The Tulum shipwreck is only accessible in calm seas as it takes almost an hour of travel time to get to. Since it is to the north and the best shallow reefs are to the south it can take an hour or more to get to the second dive site. Yes, the boat was full that day. There were 9 divers, three guides and two boat staff. All of the divers had seats. Only the staff was without seats.
Since this dive is very deep and often has strong current it is an “invitation only” site and had been requested by six of the nine divers that went out. The experience level of the other divers was checked and the one novice diver sat that dive out. We will only take divers there that have proven that they have the skills to dive safely at those depths. Having said that; there happened to be two experienced divers in your group that were having some trouble. One diver was having some ear pain at the start of the dive and the other diver ran out of air rather quickly. When diving such extreme sites, we define a successful dive as one where all divers surface in good health.

We made the choice to increase the safety of this dive by anchoring a descending line. That meant that the groups had to be split unevenly since the instructor that tied the line could not guide a full dive because of his work to tie the line at the beginning of the dive. You mentioned having to share the line with other divers on assent. Those divers were from the same boat as you. If they were up the line before you then they also had finished their dive.

On the first dive you were unhappy that you were not allowed to stay down at 130 feet when the rest of the group needed to surface. On the second dive you were unhappy to see other divers surface from 60 feet and allow you a longer bottom time. The novice diver was accompanied to the surface by her father. We employ only PADI instructors and not just dive masters. When they, as dive professionals, make a call as to when to end a dive when to send divers to the surface and when to continue with a smaller group those decisions are made for the safety of all the divers.

Yes, Nitrox in Puerto Morelos is more expensive than in Playa del Carmen because the tanks have to come from Playa del Carmen. Lion fish hunting dives are more expensive because we have to travel farther and so spend more in gas. Also the tour includes use of specially made spears and a lunch of lion fish ceviche. I invited you and your dive buddy to stay for the lunch and you declined.

Our policy is to always carry the dive equipment of all divers, both to and from the boat. Divers only need to keep track of their mask, fins and weight belt.

I invite you and your dive buddy to come back and experience our dive shop again. I know that when you take the time to get to know us and see how we operate, you will have a wonderful time again, as you did on your first visit.

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