Announcing NEW Loyalty Programs

Two programs enable regular divers to save up to 20% on boat dives!

We are pleased to announce two new loyalty programs, which can both be delivered digitally and managed via divers’ personal smartphones via either Google Pay or Apple Wallet if desired. These programs, which include a “Buy Ten, Get One Free” digital Reward Card as well as pre-paid Frequent Diver Passes of 25 or 50 trips, are designed to provide loyal customers with opportunities for significant savings.

“During it’s 36 years of operation, Dive Paradise has developed an incredibly loyal following, and has always proudly taken care of its frequent divers” says Michael Penwarden. “We are thrilled to formalize and modernize our rewards program via our new digital app. This will not only provide immediate benefits for our family of regular customers, but will create a foundation for further opportunities for engagement via flash sales, special ‘insider’ offers and more.”

photo by Barry Guimbellot

The first program — the Dive Paradise Rewards Card — is available at the following link: https://diveparadise.com/diving_rewards/. The program allows you to pay for dive trips as you go, with no need for advance purchase.  Once you have logged ten 2-tank dives on your digital card, you qualify for a free two-tank trip.

The second program — the Dive Paradise Frequent Diver Pass — is available at the following link: https://diveparadise.com/frequent_divers/. This program allows divers to enjoy significant savings by pre-purchasing packages of either 25 or 50 two-tank trips. Divers can sign up for either Caribbean or Express-style trips, and trips run both mornings and afternoons.  The 25-trip Pass represents 15% off standard pricing, while the 50-trip Pass represents 20% off. In addition, Frequent Diver Passes purchased before December 20th, 2020, lock in 2020 rates and can be used all the way through 2022.  Current pricing is as follows:

  • 25  2-tank AM Caribbean trips:  $1828 per person  (Retail $2150)
  • 25  2-tank AM Express trips:  $1913 per person (Retail $2250)
  • 50  2-tank AM Caribbean trips:  $3440 per person (Retail $4300)
  • 50  2-tank AM Express trips:  $3600 per person (Retail $4500)

Frequent Diver Passes can be purchased through our reservations office (phone: 954.743.5310 or [email protected]) or on-island at any Dive Paradise location.

Thank you for choosing Dive Paradise – We look forward to seeing you in Cozumel!  🙂🐠

Dive Paradise COVID-19 Protocols and Prevention Recommendations

As always, the safety of both our customers and our staff remains our top priority.  During this unprecedented time, we want to share our newly implemented practices to maximize our ability to keep everyone safe & healthy:

  1. Our boat trips are running at reduced capacity to maximize social distancing.
  2. Our public store locations and desks are cleaned and disinfected twice a day. 
  3. Our boats are cleaned and disinfected in the morning at the harbor before all dive trips, and again after the trips. During trips, our crew has disinfectant products to keep cleaning as needed, especially high-touch surfaces such as w.c. handles, bars, ladder, etc. 
  4. Hand sanitizer is readily available for guest use and convenience at all our locations.
  5. All Dive Paradise staff are wearing masks.
  6. We request that all guests observe social distancing, avoid physical contact, and use face masks as much as possible.  We have reusable 3-layer cotton masks for sale in our shops at $5 each.
  7. We ask all Divers to submit their Waiver and Diver Registration Form online, rather than in person.  These forms are best filled out prior to arrival, or if on-island, they can still be accessed via personal smartphones or tablets. 
  8. We ask all Divers to please follow DAN International recommendations to protect oneself and others:
    • Wash hands frequently
    • Maintain social distancing
    • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
    • Practice respiratory hygiene for cough/sneeze etiquette
    • Seek medical care early for a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing
    • Stay informed and follow advice given by one’s healthcare provider
  9. Any Diver who experiences a fever, cough, or headache is requested not to join dive trips, to avoid risks to others.  If such circumstances arise, a customer can call our office to cancel and receive a rain check for future visits.
  10. Equipment: 
    • Divers with their own gear are free to use our fresh water tank, which contains quaternary ammonia with sufficient concentration to safely sanitize dive equipment. 
    • For rental equipment, please note:  regulators are rented without mouth pieces.  These are also available for purchase from our shop and other scuba boutiques in town.  If Divers bring their own, we can help install them. 
    • Divers are required to clean and rinse rental equipment each day during their diving schedule.  
  11. On-board food is now organized into sealed sack lunches for each individual Diver.
  12. We request that all guests bring their own drinking water bottle.  Reusable bottles are also available for purchase at our store and at local grocery stores.  

 💙   Thank you for your collaboration!  💙

Welcome Back to Paradise!

Effective June 12th, 2020, Dive Paradise is running dive trips again for the first time since the COVID-19 lockdown began in March. 

We are thrilled to be able to welcome our customers back to Cozumel!  Our staff has been eagerly awaiting this day, and we know our customers are excited to experience the new bloom of undersea life that’s been unfolding during the shutdown. Getting salty in the ocean air and sunshine is the perfect place to be these days!

We have implemented enhanced sanitation protocols and social distancing rules to maximize customer and employee protection from the coronavirus.  Boats will be running with reduced capacity to maximize social distancing, hand sanitizer will be readily available, and all staff will be wearing masks.  In addition, on-board food will now be organized into sealed sack lunches for each individual diver. 

In order to celebrate the re-opening of Dive Paradise and Cozumel, we are offering a “Welcome Back to Paradise” sale, with 15% off all scuba diving trip and course bookings made between now and June 30, 2020, for travel through Dec. 20, 2021!  The sale also includes great deals on stay & dive packages with Hotel Cozumel & Resort and Villablanca Hotel.  More information can be found here: https://diveparadise.com/paradise-sale/.

 

Warm island wishes to everyone!  Hope to see you soon!

We Miss You!

Our staff in July ‘19

We Miss You!

Dear Dive Paradise Family,

Many of you have reached out, asking how Cozumel and our company are faring in this time of extraordinary crisis. The crew misses you all very much and are looking forward to welcoming you back to our beautiful island just as soon as possible!

In the meantime, like most of the world, Dive Paradise remains hunkered down:  The port has been closed since the end of March, and non-essential businesses are temporarily shuttered.  When we venture out to look after our locations, boats and equipment, we are wearing masks and gloves, and are practicing social distancing.  We are doing our best to stay stocked with Lysol, bleach, marine-friendly cleaning products (and toilet paper!) to protect ourselves from the virus.  We are also training ourselves on new industry safety and sterilization best practices we will be following when dive operations resume on the island.  Importantly, our entire crew is staying healthy so far and are looking out for one another.

Aries — looking sharp with a fresh coat of paint and a newly rebuilt engine!

We are all painfully aware that this pandemic has been a challenge for most small businesses worldwide, and Dive Paradise is no exception.  Ever since the day I unexpectedly stepped into this role, my goal has always been clear: to honor my aunt Apple’s legacy by retaining and enhancing Dive Paradise’s legendary attention to customer service while protecting the livelihoods of our dedicated crew.  I’m proud of what we have accomplished together, and feel a strong sense of optimism for the future of our Dive Paradise family, including our crew and our guests!

Of course, right now the world is reeling and figuring out how to adapt to new realities.  During this time, Dive Paradise continues to support our staff to the fullest extent possible.  However, as they rely on trips and the generosity of customer tips for a significant portion of their income, many on our crew are finding themselves struggling to remain financially stable as we weather this storm.

As has happened many times as I’ve been learning my way through this adventure, I’ve been humbled by the help, guidance and encouragement (and, yes, sometimes by a shoulder to cry on!) of the Dive Paradise family.  This crisis is no exception:  This week, longtime Dive Paradise friends Debbie and Isaias Alamilla launched a GoFundMe campaign, to provide financial help directly to our on-island staff during this extraordinary time.  One hundred percent of every tax deductible donation from this effort will be distributed directly to our employees so they can remain healthy and safe and ready to serve you when dive operations resume.  Any funds that remain when this crisis has passed will be donated to nonprofits on Cozumel that have long been supported by Apple and Dive Paradise.  A link to the GoFundMe site is included below.  If you have ever been touched by the warmth, hard work and dedication of our team, now is the perfect time to reward them with an extra tip to help them feel as secure as possible during these stressful times.

None of us know exactly when this coronavirus crisis will be over, nor do we know exactly what life will look like on the other side.  One thing is certain, however: Dive Paradise will be here, waiting to explore and share the wonders of our underwater world together, and to welcome you back to Cozumel.  I’ll leave you with a bit of good news: Anecdotal reports from all over the island indicate that marine life is thriving during this break from cruise ships and boat traffic. 

All of us at Dive Paradise hope you and yours are remaining healthy and safe during these trying times.  We can’t wait to see you again!


With love,

Michael Penwarden

Dive Paradise, Inc.

Click HERE to help support Dive Paradise staff and crew on island during the COVID 19 crisis

A message from Dive Paradise about COVID-19

At Dive Paradise, customer safety and care are our top priorities and both are on our mind as we all face the rapidly evolving situation surrounding the novel coronavirus COVID-19. I want to assure all our guests that we are redoubling our efforts to maintain the cleanliness of all of our boats, store locations and rental equipment:  We disinfect all surfaces and equipment with Lysol cleaning products regularly, have antiseptic gel at all locations, and we use a reef-safe cleaning product called BioBac to clean all of our boats each day. It is important to note that, as of this writing, there are zero detected cases of coronavirus on the island of Cozumel and a total of 12 reported cases throughout Mexico.

All of that said, we understand and respect that, based on recommendations from health care professionals and government officials, some travelers may wish to reschedule trips for a time when there is greater clarity on the situation.  Therefore, effective immediately, Dive Paradise will be waiving all fees normally associated with last-minute scheduling changes, and issuing rain-checks for premature departures.  We ask that you respect our need for advance planning to provide exceptional customer service and therefore strive to give us as much notice as possible of any changes or rescheduling that may occur during this time.

We at Dive Paradise hope that you will continue to consider our beautiful island and its underwater wonders as a sanctuary during difficult times such as the one we are all living through now.  On behalf of our entire team, we look forward to welcoming you to Make a Splash with us again soon!

Sincerely,

Michael Penwarden

CEO 

www.diveparadise.com

Temporary Reef Rest Ends December 15

We are excited to announce that this fall’s temporary reef closure will end on December 15!  Below are highlights from yesterday’s official government press release on this issue:

Photo by Barry Guimbellot

Press Release Mexico City, October 8, 2019

COZUMEL PROTECTS AND CONSERVES ITS CORAL REEFS FOR THE FUTURE

  • On October 7, a rest was announced for a little more than two months, to tourist and recreational activities in the southern portion of the Cozumel Reef National Park.
  • On December 15, underwater activities in the area will be resumed, with a rotating rest strategy that incorporates other reefs in the National Park.

In order to give rest to the sites of greater biological interest of the Mesoamerican reef system, and contribute to its recovery from the so-called “white syndrome” which affects the reefs of the Mexican Caribbean, tourism and recreational activities were partially and temporarily suspended in a portion South of the Cozumel Reef National Park (PNAC).  The sites where aquatic-recreational activities were temporarily suspended on October 7 occupy only 21% of the 14 most visited reef complexes in Cozumel.   This strategy gives visitors certainty that they can continue enjoying Cozumel and, at the same time, participate in its conservation.   

The reef sites that remain available for tourist and recreational use from October 7 to December 15 are: Paraíso, Las Palmas, Dzul Ha, ChanKana’ab mountain range, ChanKana’ab bolones, Tormentos, Playa Corona, Yucab, San Clemente, Punta Tunich, Cardona, San Francisco, Santa Rosa, Paso del Cedral, La Francesa and Delilah. Similarly, the Wreck C-53 “Felipe Xicotencatl”.

The suspension will end on December 15.  From then on, a rotating strategy will be implemented that allows the rest of other reefs of the National Park without affecting the ecotourism service providers in these sites. 

The above was agreed  upon during an extraordinary meeting of the Advisory Council of the Arrecifes de Cozumel National Park, including representatives of the three orders of government along with civil society, various business professionals, tourism service providers, academics and fishermen.  Attendees included: 

  • Roberto Aviña Carlín, National Commissioner of Natural Protected Areas
  • Adriana Teissier Zavala, Federal Deputy
  • Pedro Joaquin Delbouis, Municipal President of Cozumel
  • Cristopher González Baca, Regional Director of the Conanp in the Yucatan Peninsula and the Mexican Caribbean

Commissioner Roberto Aviña stressed the importance of “producing conservation and conserving production” and pointed to tourism and the reef as the backbone that sustains the community of Cozumel.  He also celebrated that the community today is moving into series of opportunities to better tourism practices based on environmental conservation, social welfare and sustainable economic development.

Work tables will be organized during the upcoming months to establish, in a participatory way, the rotating rest system for the reefs of the PNAC and other strategies that can help improve the conditions of the reefs.  The attendees acknowledged that we are living an unprecedented challenge, and committed to collaborating for the benefit of the reef system, which is a fundamental piece for the livelihood and quality of life on Cozumel Island.

 

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions as we continue to work with the Marine Park and local community to protect and manage Cozumel’s unique ecosystem.  We look forward to hosting your next visit to our beloved waters!

Laura Alcala Ortega, General Manager

Dive Paradise

Isla Cozumel Mexico

Cozumel Reef Rest 2019

Photo by Aquarella Images

On September 17th, the Cozumel Marine Park Advisory Council elected to temporarily close the southern dive sites on the island of Cozumel from Playa Palancar to Punta Chiqueros, including el Cielo, from October 7th 2019 through at least this coming December. This action was taken in response to the fact that, since 2018, the Caribbean and Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System has been suffering from a disease called Stony Coral Tissue Loss (SCTS) that needs to be studied and further understood. This suspected bacterial infection was originally discovered off of Miami in 2014 and threatens many species of hard coral including brain coral and flower coral.

The good news is that Cozumel has much to offer underwater: fully 11 out of the 14 dive sites, as well as snorkeling sites, we frequent in the marine park remain open to us. So while we’re adapting to the need to give these specific reefs a rest by introducing tours to less-known sites and staggering our departure times, it’s otherwise business as usual for us. Furthermore, we are optimistic that the increased scrutiny and focus on conservation will ultimately reduce the number of illegal dive operators and fishermen who invade the Marine Park, and will also result in new, better rules and regulations to protect the reef system in the future.

Dive Paradise prides itself on being a leader in responsible, sustainable practices, and is active in local efforts to protect Cozumel’s beloved reef system. We support the effort to protect and study this and other issues that threaten the local environment, and we want you to know that the diving in Cozumel remains abundant and amazing! Rest assured that Dive Paradise will continue to provide its legendary, personalized service while we work closely with the Marine Park and other government authorities, as well as academic institutions and non-profit organizations, to support underwater conservation, awareness and study.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us directly.

Sincerely,

Michael Penwarden, CEO
and
Laura Alcalá Ortega, General Manager

Introducing our new General Manager: Laura Alcala Ortega

Dive Paradise is excited to announce that, effective November 1, 2018, Laura Alcala Ortega has been appointed as our new General Manager of Dive Operations.  In this position, Laura is responsible for overseeing all Cozumel-based aspects of our legendary scuba diving business, encompassing our four locations and serviced by the largest fleet of dedicated dive boats on the island.  “Laura is a true professional who knows this business and this island better than anyone,” says Dive Paradise CEO Michael Penwarden.  “We are thrilled to have her join our team as we continue to build on Dive Paradise’s 35-year legacy.”

Most recently, Laura served as a board member and volunteer for the Humane Society Cozumel and the Red Cross Delegation Cozumel. Prior to that, she launched and operated Scuba Du and Ocean Tours with her husband for more than 25 years, and also operated a fishing business, a parasailing business, and her own inn. She has also worked as a Divemaster and Instructor for seven years at various dive operations in Cozumel, including Dive Paradise along with former Dive Paradise owner Rene “Apple” Applegate and under founder Tom Hartdegen’s management.  In addition, Laura is a founding member of the Scuba Fest Committee, a former member of the board and volunteer at Cruz Roja Delegación Cozumel, and a founding member of Anoaat.

Born and raised in Mexico City, Laura has lived in Cozumel for over 30 years. She attended the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education in Mexico and has a Master’s Diploma in Senior Business Administration. Passionate about scuba diving, she became a PADI Master Scuba Instructor in 1986.  She spends her time off diving all over the world as much as possible.

Laura has two adult daughters, 26 and 28 yrs. old, volunteers in animal rescue among at the Cozumel Humane Society, and strongly believes in social work.

Welcome aboard Laura!

Dive Paradise Sponsors Panthera Mexico’s “Jaguar Month”

Program Sponsorship Contributes to Jaguar Conservation Initiatives

This month Dive Paradise is sponsoring Panthera Mexico’s “Mes Del Jaguar” by donating a percentage of all dive bookings made during November to the program.  Through this sponsorship, we hope to augment Panthera Mexico’s established conservation initiatives to ensure long-term survival of the jaguar, which is a central figure in Mexican culture. 

“We take conservation seriously at Dive Paradise. Whether it’s protecting threatened jaguar populations in Mexico or safeguarding our marine environment, we believe it is critical for us to support organizations that are making a difference,” states Michael Penwarden, CEO of Dive Paradise, Inc. “Environmental stewardship is a shared responsibility and we are proud to commit a portion of our resources to Panthera Mexico. Further, it allows us to provide our customers with meaningful vacation experiences beyond diving by introducing them to another aspect of Mexico’s rich culture and natural habitat.”

Dive bookings can be made in advance or at all four Dive Paradise locations on island throughout November in support of Panthera Mexico’s “Mes del Jaguar.” For those who wish to make a donation directly online, the DONATE button on Dive Paradise’s website will be linked to Panthera Mexico’s donor’s page for easy transactions.

“We are grateful to Dive Paradise for their support, as a leader in both the dive industry and in regional environmental stewardship. We believe that together we can raise awareness and make Jaguar Month a powerful tradition nationwide.” said Diana Friedeberg, Mexico County Director for Panthera Mexico.

Panthera Mexico created the “Mes del Jaguar” as part of their work to protect the country’s threatened jaguar population. For the first time ever, the month of November will be dedicated to celebrating, educating and promoting Jaguar Culture in all its forms through a series of events taking place November 3-30, 2018; people can register for events also taking place in Mexico City and Cancun. All contributions to Panthera Mexico will directly support in-country jaguar conservation initiatives.

About Panthera Mexico

Panthera, founded in 2006, is devoted exclusively to preserving wild cats and their critical role in the world’s ecosystems. Panthera’s team of leading biologists, law enforcement experts and wild cat advocates develop innovative strategies based on the best available science to protect cheetahs, jaguars, leopards, lions, pumas, snow leopards and tigers and their vast landscapes. In 50 countries around the world, Panthera works with a wide variety of stakeholders to reduce or eliminate the most pressing threats to wild cats—securing their future, and ours. Panthera Mexico is an established Panthera jaguar conservation program in Mexico and serves as the fundraising arm to support in-country jaguar conservation initiatives. For more information visit:

www.mesdeljaguar.com.

Dive Paradise Takes Giant Stride with Cozumel Ocean Research

Sponsorship Initiative to Support Scientific Data Driven Projects    

Dive Paradise is excited to announce our new collaboration with the local nonprofit Cozumel Ocean Research (COR), focused on enhancing the organization’s efforts to gather valuable scientific data on Cozumel’s legendary marine environment.  Dive Paradise is dedicating the month of October to Cozumel Ocean Research, and knowledge gained via their programs will be used to design effective conservation and educational campaigns for Cozumel.

“Dive Paradise has long been a staunch supporter of efforts to better understand and safeguard the marine environment,” says Michael Penwarden, CEO of Dive Paradise, Inc.  “We are proud to dedicate resources to support COR’s admirable work.  Furthermore, we are excited that this opportunity provides our customers with a unique way to participate as volunteer citizen scientists, giving them a memorable chance to connect even more deeply with Cozumel’s underwater ecosystem.”

Throughout all four of Dive Paradise’s locations, a percentage of all diving bookings made during the month will be donated to COR; for those who wish to make a donation directly online, a donate button on our website (right column) is linked to COR’s donor’s page for seamless transactions.  In addition, COR branded merchandise such as t-shirts will be available for purchase in Dive Paradise’s retail shop for the remainder of the year.

“On behalf of Ernesto Hevia del Puerto and myself, thank you to Dive Paradise for your generosity, it means a lot to us to have this support and what we can accomplish with it is immense.” said Liang Chen, COR Co-Founder.

To further advance the synergy between Dive Paradise and Cozumel Ocean Research beyond October, boat dives will be complimentary on a space available basis for local COR volunteers, also known as “citizen scientists”, and for COR personnel who are diving to monitor turtles and eagle rays.  With a focus on enhancing their dive experience, Dive Paradise will also encourage customers to become COR volunteers and to embrace “citizen science” whereby they will learn how to monitor and submit reports about their own dives. In addition, Dive Paradise staff will have the opportunity to participate in training workshops conducted by COR regarding “best practices” for environmentally responsible diving and snorkeling.

“We are so grateful and excited! This is a big move on behalf of Dive Paradise to take action for change. This generous support will help us move towards our goal of strengthening various strategic goals: protection for spotted eagle rays, spotted eagle ray monitoring, promotion of good practices on the reef and the impact of tourism on the coral reef projects which we run in collaboration with National Government Institutions and International Marine Laboratories.” said Liang Chen, COR Co-Founder.

About Cozumel Ocean Research (COR)

Cozumel Ocean Research is a not for profit, non-governmental organization formed by local and international -volunteer- nature lovers whose place of residence is the island of Cozumel. We believe the most effective way to protect and conserve our environment is to promote knowledge and recognition of the value that it has in our lives. From this point of view, we run various scientific research projects, some of which are centered around emblematic species that inhabit or migrate to the island, others focus on pollution concerns and industry pressure to this same environment. With data collected and solid evidence, we use research results in our efforts to design effective conservation and educational campaigns for the protection of these species and their habitats, teaching awareness and by consequence, see short and long term social benefits to the present and future generations of Cozumeleños.

For more information about Cozumel Ocean Research visit www.cozumeloceanresearch.org.