The Best of Mexico

Cozumel Dive Trip Scam

by Jon Bowman

published: August 2001

Jon Bowman describes how he and his friends were almost “taken for a ride” in a clumsy bait-and-switch scam:

Reading the story of the Huatulco boat warning reminded me of our recent trip to Cozumel.

We had been approached by a nice man in the Plaza Las Glorious Hotel who had a picture on his desk in the lobby, of a neat looking catamaran with happy-party people on board.

The boat was named the Zorro. A six-hour cruise to snorkel and swim was about 800 pesos per day.

Well, we signed up -- the boat looked wonderful and the party looked fun as well. We were told to meet on the pier in the middle of San Miguel at 8 a.m.

We walked to the pick-up spot just in time to see our beatiful boat sail past. We thought, well, perhaps it is heading to pick up people at the resort hotel between the town and our hotel. As we waited and puzzled the situation out, another boat arrived, with peeling paint and three crew members on board.

As they docked, they asked us if we were to go on a cruise...we said yes, but noted that our boat, the Zorro was over there. We pointed to the beatiful blue and yellow boat. Then these three men laughed and said, oh that boat is the Zorro I... you are booked on the Zorro II.

We are from Chicago, we know the hustle, so as we looked at the crappy looking boat and the three less than cool looking fellows on board, we said, no, we are not going on this Zorro II boat at all! We returned to the hotel, found Victor and demanded our money back, which we were given.

We then booked on a glass bottom boat for a three hour trip that was totally cool. And three hours is perfect for all the beer that you must drink in between dives. So, the moral is, know what you sign up for, and demand satisfaction for your bucks!”

Carl adds: If the Hotel Las Glorias isn’t part of this scam, someone might do them a favor and drop off a copy of Jon’s cautionary tale.

Huatulco Boat Cruise Warning

©1972-2001 by Carl Franz & Lorena Havens