BAY AREA DIVERS
The 'Get Wet' Club!
www.bayareadivers.org



For more information about the Cozumel trip - click here

About buying tickets for the Cozumel trip - click here
 
For more information the Whale Shark side trip to Holbox - click here

 

Bill Jones 2007 Cozumel Liability Release Form - click here
About Hotel Cozumel & Resort  - click here
About Tipping In Cozumel - click here

Bill Jones Travel Package Itinerary - click here

About Health Concerns in Cozumel - click here

 

 

6th Annual Bill Jones COZUMEL Vacations

Contact Bill Jones at mr.bill.jones@comcast.net

 

New Traveler Information and Cozumel Mexico Travel Package Information:

This information can be found in the article:
Stuff NOT INCLUDED in the Package
Failure to show up on-time
Carry-on and suitcases
Do not take items
Diver insurance
About the dive boats and divemasters
Legal Issues
Local Transportation

I get questions that experienced travelers probably already understand. As I get asked these questions, I will include them as additional information in this section.

Stuff NOT INCLUDED in the Package: The Bill Jones' Cozumel 2007 Travel Package is an "all inclusive" travel package. However, I cannot foresee everything that non-experienced travelers may think is or is not included in an "all inclusive" travel package. But in general, it can be said that gift shop items, spa services, telephone calls, laundry services, in-room dining, motorized sports, Scuba services and equipment, special requests of the hotel such as room upgrades/downgrades or changes, modifying this Bill Jones Cozumel 2007 travel package in any way, and doing anything off the resort, you may assume is not included. There are some things included in the price that I haven't mentioned, but I will let you find these on the trip as a bonus.

The package does not include additional charges that may be added by one of the package vendors. An example would be a "fuel surcharge" made by the airline. While I haven't seen charges like this for years, auto fuel in Houston pushed over $2.50 per gallon this year. At the time of this email, there is no hint that there might be an airline fuel surcharge, but airlines have made last-minute fuel surcharges during high priced fuel times in the past. An International Fuel Surcharge is included in The Bill Jones Vacation Package price, but that doesn't mean there couldn't be another fuel surcharge added. Years ago, I remember paying an additional $10 per segment on some flights I was taking. The Bill Jones Vacation Packages HAVE NEVER BEEN ASSESSED a fuel surcharge OR ANY OTHER ADDITIONAL CHARGES IN THE PAST, but carry a credit card with you and be prepared just in case. This is a co-op trip and no extra money has been added in your price for charges that "could happen".

You must use the service the group travel package provides. You will not be reimbursed for anything. An example would be if you take a cab from the airport to the hotel instead of using the provided ground transportation, you will pay for it. You must use the ground transportation the package provides. Seems reasonable, you can't use just any airplane you find that happens to be going to Cozumel either unless you want to pay for it.

All services provided in our group package are subject to availability. Examples would be if the hotel doesn't have your favorite drink or serve your favorite food. The group diving deal is full. The parking lot is full. In these cases, then you don't get these items as a part of the package. If you arrive on time, you are guaranteed a seat on the airplane, a seat on the ground transportation, food, drinks, and a hotel room. CAUTION! Your ticket is non-transferable and non-refundable. Air Fare, Ground Transportation, Hotel Accommodations are included. Diving is not included. "Group Diving Deal" and diving discount is subject to availability. Group parking discount is subject to availability. US International Departure & Arrival Taxes, 9/11 Security Fee, US Immigration Fees, US Animal/Plant Health Inspection Fees, Hotel Taxes, Package Sales Tax, and Mexico Departure Taxes are included. International Fuel Surcharge is included. All tipping at the resort is included. Divemaster tips are not included. Meals, lavish buffets, and free-flowing, unlimited, soft drinks, beer, wine, recognizable-brand mixed drinks, high balls, umbrella drinks, and cocktails are all included in the Bill Jones Cozumel Package.

A major credit card will be required by the hotel at check-in to extend your credit and insure that any charges you may make on your room are covered. You should be prepared to provide a major credit card at check-in. This is a very standard practice even with true "all inclusive" travel packages.

You will need extra money for things you may wish to do in addition to the travel package, be prepared. Some credit cards and some cash is reasonable for unforeseen expenses and for doing extra things beyond the package such as diving, buying souvenirs, eating in town, going to Playa Del Carmen, tipping, and if you require medical care. Most businesses accept major credit cards with a reasonable to small exchange-rate penalty. Do not carry loads of extra credit cards, piles of cash, expensive jewelry, watches, or electronics. This hotel has a small wall-mounted safe in each room (deposit required for key & may be placed on a credit card) but it just makes sense not to carry too much of this stuff. I will accept and prefer your personal check in Cozumel for any certifications you want to do.

$1 U.S. Dollar converts to almost $11 Mexican Pesos in March 2007, so a Peso is almost a U.S. dime. Everyone accepts U.S. Dollars in Cozumel and will give you change in Mexican Pesos (Cozumel's legal tender), but there is some extra exchange-rate penalty. If you don't plan to use a lot of cash (instead of credit cards) away from the resort or you don't plan to leave the resort, there is no huge need to exchange any of your U.S. Dollars. Exchanging money at banks yield the least exchange-rate penalty while exchanging money at airports and cash purchases at most Mexican merchants yields the largest exchange-rate penalty. Credit Card purchases yield a reasonable to small exchange-rate penalty. I will not bother to exchange any U.S. money for Pesos. I will carry lots of $1 and $5 bills for tipping, cab rides, and for Wendy's evening dinner excursions (these places do not accept credit cards).

Failure to show up on-time for transportation on any leg of the trip will result in your non-refundable loss of that portion of the travel package. Failure to check-in for the flight at least 1 hour prior to departure will result in your seat being made available for resale to another passenger and at that point you will need to find another airline (not included). I suggest you be there about 2 hours before check-in. This is an international flight and 2-hour early check-ins are normal. Plan on relaxing and meeting other travelers in the coffee bar after you check-in. All disputes concerning loss of any transportation will be between you, the airline or ground transportation carrier, and the wholesaler. I will have no involvement in this sort of dispute. If you like to be fashionably late for things, you will have problems with the Bill Jones Cozumel Travel package. I cannot control the exact time the aircraft will leave or arrive. There is no expressed or implied warranty concerning flight delays with this package.

1 carry-on and 2 suitcases of normal weight and size per person is acceptable luggage and is included in the package. There may be additional charges for excessive weight, size, and quantity of luggage (not included). Industry standard would suggest approximately $50 per suitcase (not included) and be subject to space availability. Be prepared to pay. No traveler has ever been required to pay an additional luggage fee in the past on The Bill Jones Vacation Packages.

(Still Pending) This year, the Bill Jones' Cozumel 2007 Travel Package travelers will be allowed (per passenger) 2 checked bags having a linear dimension no greater than 62 and 55 and a maximum total weight of 44 pounds. 1 additional piece to be carried onboard no greater than 8x13x22" with a maximum total weight of 18 pounds for carry-on items. In addition, the Bill Jones Travelers may have 1 of the checked bags listed above to be scuba diving equipment exceeding the weight limit of 44 pounds, but not to exceed 60 pounds per bag. This is a very liberal baggage allowance.

This is a beach and diving vacation. Extra swim suits, sun block / tan lotion, and T-shirts should be your focus. The hotel provides loads of towels. Ask me to eMail you a copy of my Cozumel Travelers Suggested Diver Check List. Experienced travelers know it makes a lot of sense to pack lightly. Tip: I like to carry a regulator case as a carry-on. Inside is my computer/regulators, my mask, my swimsuit and T-shirt. Computers & regulators are the expensive stuff and I like to keep a close eye on this case. In the event that my luggage is delayed, I am ready to dive with a little help from the dive center.

Do not take TANKS, WEIGHTS, KNIVES, or GLOVES. Expect to pay additional charges by airlines and customs if you bring tanks or weights. Tanks and weights are supplied by dive operators at no-charge as a part of your dive purchases. The reefs and wrecks that we will be diving are Mexican national parks and knives and gloves are not allowed. Dive knives and airports don't mix these days.

Take all of your other diving gear including an empty weight belt and a dive sausage. Ask me to eMail you a copy of my Cozumel Travelers Suggested Diver Check List. Dive gear is available in Cozumel for purchase and rent but don't expect every shop to be stocked like your favorite local dive center in Houston. Give serious consideration to having the battery in your dive computer replaced before you leave. I suggest you purchase things you need in Houston and carry these things with you. This will save time, transportation costs, and frustration that may occur looking for these items in Cozumel.

Seriously consider purchasing diver insurance before you leave for Cozumel (not included). PADI, DAN, and DiveAssure offer competitive dive accident medical care, decompression chamber, and evacuation insurance. Polices provide top coverage but I would suggest you compare the coverage and rates and see what might best suit your needs. DAN also offers Vacation Cancellation & Interruption Coverage. Contact PADI sponsored insurance at http://www.diveinsurance.com/dp/DP-index.htm or 800-223-9998. Contact DAN at http://www.diversalertnetwork.org or 800-446-2671. Contact DiveAssure http://www.diveassure.com/new/usa/ 866-898-0921. CAUTION: DAN has recently delayed payment or refused to pay some charges at one of the recompression facilities in Cozumel. When purchasing diver insurance, I would suggest you be sure that the coverage you intend to purchase includes medical facilities located in the area of your dive destination. I have no involvement in your decisions on diver protection insurance purchases.

Dive boats often look very chaotic just minutes before they leave the dock. You should not try to get onboard until instructed to do so by a DiveMaster. Things are being loaded and unloaded and it looks like it will take forever before they get organized. In spite of this, they generally leave on time or even minutes before. These guys want to get back and "go home from work". The DiveMasters do this every day and know exactly what they are doing. What seems to look like it will take them 15 minutes to straighten out often only takes a minute or so and the boat leaves. The point is that if you leave the dock to go get something, be sure to check with the head DiveMaster first. My travelers have had divers left on the dock on recent trips because they ran back to their room to get something. Getting on a dive boat is not something you want to be fashionably late for. Years ago in Cayman, the boat left without me while I was shopping in the dive center.

The DiveMaster briefing is for your safety and information and often allows you to better enjoy many dives. It also could help you to make vital decisions in an emergency. Please listen to the briefings. Tip: DiveMasters tend to like groups that pay attention and interact, resulting in them taking you to better dives. It's true! It makes sense, if the DiveMasters are having fun with you, they are going to take better care of you. Have fun with our group AND have fun and interact with the DiveMasters. Even though there will probably be a language barrier, be polite and respectful and treat DiveMasters as friends. Tips are expected on dive boats (not included). Read more about tipping in this eMail where I talk about TIPPING.

If you don't have a dive buddy or you would like to switch dive buddies including your spouse, its no problem, don't worry about it. Just tell me or Wendy and we will find you a new buddy either before or as we begin the dive. We are very experienced doing this politely and discretely. If your buddy is doing something that is making you uncomfortable, tell us. This is another of the many reasons its fun to travel in groups. No problem man.

Legal Issues: You will be a guest in a foreign country. Do not expect to have the same "legal rights" you enjoy in the United States. Do not carry illegal items in or out of the country. Do not participate in any illegal activity. Other than prescription drugs in their original prescription containers, do not carry drugs or weapons of any kind. Any conflict you are a part of in Mexico, you can assume you will be considered the guilty party and that you will be detained. Remember, failure to show up in time for transportation on any leg of the trip will result in your loss of that portion of the travel package. Carry extra copies of your proof of citizenship separately from your actual proof papers. It's always a good idea to maintain your "Tourist" status while outside of the U.S. In general, Cozumel is a low crime and "safe" Mexico / Caribbean destination, but common sense still applies.

Local Transportation: I do not recommend that you rent an automobile (approx. $45 U.S./day, not included) or a motor scooter (approx. $25 U.S./day and very popular, not included). If you are driving and are involved in an accident or traffic violation, you can assume that you will be considered the guilty party and that you will be detained. Remember, failure to show up in time for transportation on any leg of the trip will result in your loss of that portion of the travel package. I suggest that you take a cab (not included) if you decide to leave the resort. If you are involved in an accident while riding in a cab, you can continue on in another cab. Cabs are inexpensive for the most part, but be sure to negotiate the cab fare before you get into the cab. In some cases, you may be able to negotiate a fare lower than the posted rate. If you get into the cab before you agree to a rate, you may obligate yourself to fares higher than the posted rate. Expect Cozumel Police to side with the cab driver on fare disputes. I can put you onto a very competitive tour operator (not included) that will eliminate these concerns.