After reading about the dive excursion on the Maya Palms website it sounded like the perfect day for a cruise stop in Costa Maya. My husband and I are both experienced divers and we dive at every port. We almost always book separately from the ship to get a better experience. The Maya Palms resort was a 25 minute drive from the cruise ship down a sand/pavement road with a lot of pot holes. The drive was neat as you get to see the town of Mahahual and it cost $20 each way. The resort is beautiful with a nice entry, landscaped paths to get around, nice mosaic chairs, a pool, 2 hammocks and the view from the top of the pyramid is expansive. The host tried really hard to ensure you had a good time. This is where the good part of the review ends though.
We came to enjoy a nice resort, but mainly to dive. Our time at port in Costa Maya was short, but from our arrival at Maya Palms to our departure we had over 5 hours. That should be plenty of time for 2 dives and a lunch. However after our arrival we waited for almost 2 hours before going diving. As we were setting up gear the other couple that were diving asked the d.m. Ken at least 4 times if they should rent wet suits or would they be warm enough in swim suits. Ken ignored there question a couple times and once asked where they were from and then said they would be fine. This was a bit of a red flag to us as the water temp was 79, warm water but we had been diving in it the last 3 days with full 3mm wet suits and we wouldn't have wanted to be without them. If a diver asks multiple times about it, I would think to err on the side of caution and rent them a wet suit. For the dive we went out on 2 small boats because there big boat is not in service. The dive was pretty good, it seemed like there were swim throughs we could have been doing and weren't for some reason. One unbelievable event happened during this dive, the d.m. Ken broke off chunks of sponges two times. He crumbled it up and fed it to fish. We couldn't believe this! We have a don't touch policy and breaking off pieces of reef is unthinkable to us. See our photos for where he took the sponge and we saw many more of these along the dive probably from previous Ken dives.
In between dives we should of had our Mexican Platter as was advertised. The host came over and told us it would be ready in about 15 minutes when we got back. After those 15 minutes we were then informed that no we would not be taking a break, but we would be going back out diving. It seemed like we were already running out of time and we did want to do 2 dives, so we went back out. Once again we took out two little boats with Ken in the other boat. After our first dive we were told by Ken to leave our gear in the boat and they would switch it for us. Now we normally always check our gear and do this ourselves, but with the weird rushing around and the boats being anchored off shore we hadn't done this. Good reminder, always check your own gear. We got out to the dive site and put on our gear. My husband turned on my tank and I checked all my regulator, octo, etc.. Then the guy next to him turned on my husband tank. As husbands tank was turned on the sound of air gushing out came. It was turned off and we checked the o-ring, it was fine. Turns out the valve on the tank wasn't compatible with husbands regs. The d.m. had the only gear that would work with the valve and he was in the other boat so it took 15 minutes to have him swim over and then swap tanks. Finally we get into the water. The seas were rough so we descended right away after the okay signal at the surface. 2 breaths into my decent I had no air. I look for my husband who was a few feet below me looking down. So I banged on my tank while surfacing. When I got up I orally inflated my bc and then husband came up and turned on my tank. We decided to continue the dive and began our decent again. When I looked down Ken was swimming away on the reef with the other divers, totally oblivious to what happened. This dive was only 35 minutes because we had to get back to meet our taxi and go to the ship. After we surfaced I found out that the boat captain had turned off my air as I was sitting on the edge of the boat waiting to roll in. No idea why he did this other than that he had no dive training.
When we got back to the resort it was already the time we had scheduled with the taxi driver to pick us up. The host did have some food for us which was nice, but we didn't have any time to enjoy it.
In the end while the facilities and the host were good, I would not return or recommend the Maya Palms because of the dive shop and dive master. The schedule was do nothing for 2 hours and then rush, rush, rush and safety was not a priority.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Secluded seaside resort 15 minutes south of Mahahual. Modeled on architecture of Mayan ruins. Air-conditioned seaside cottages, reverse osmosis water, hot showers, comfortable double beds, quality linens, internet access, freshwater pool, palapas all set within botanical gardens. 4 story pyramid bar, restaurant, and observatory with spectacular views of Caribbean. PADI Dive Center. World-class Scuba and snorkeling a 5 minute boat ride to the reef. Swimming, kayaking, fishing. Very private resort, within a gated walled compound. We have a three-night minimum stay requirement. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Maya Palms Resort And Dive Center
- Maya Palms Resort & Dive Hotel Mahahual
- Maya Palms Resort & Dive Center Mahahual, Mexico - Costa Maya