Diving Certification/Snorkeling

Jul 30th, 2002, 04:40 PM
  #1  
Deb
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Diving Certification/Snorkeling

We will be staying at the Westin August 4th-8th. My husband and I are wanting to do our "open water dive certification" while we are there. Who would you refer with a decent price? We only have snorkeling gear. The other couple will only be snorkeling. Also, any advice for our trip would be appreciated.
 
Jul 30th, 2002, 04:52 PM
  #2  
Anon
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Which Westin?
 
Jul 30th, 2002, 06:25 PM
  #3  
Deb
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The Westin Causarina
 
Jul 31st, 2002, 04:58 AM
  #4  
Nancy
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Deb,
I don't mean to rain on your dive parade, but be SURE you want to do your dive certification instead of a resort course.
If you only have 4 days, that will take up at least two of them, as opposed to a resort course which can have you diving in a matter of a few hours.
Unless you are determined you want to get certified there, I would enjoy my vacation, do the 35 foot dives included in the resort course, and get certified when you get back home at a reputable place you can check out and not be rushed. I don't know if you've ever been diving before, but a significant % of people find they can't do it. I would not want to find this out after I'd shelled out $500 or so to get certified.
Not trying to discourage you, but diving is a lot more difficult and stressful to learn than people imagine. Trying to cram all the knowledge and skills into a couple of days does not - in my opinion - give you a strong foundation for future diving.
Just some thoughts...
 
Jul 31st, 2002, 05:23 AM
  #5  
Deb
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Nancy, thanks for the advice. We can not decide if it is worth it to certify in Grand Cayman or not, with the cost and us only having 4 days there. We have already taken the confined water part of the course and just need to certify now. Everyone says you MUST dive if your going to Cayman but it is so expensive. Thanks!
 
Jul 31st, 2002, 07:47 AM
  #6  
Nancy
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Deb, You should be able to do a "resort course" for less than $100. apiece. It takes only 2-3 hours in the swimming pool at the hotel or on a shallow beach, and you can go right on into dives of 35' or less. (In my experience, on reef dives, you can see a whole lot at that depth.) You can't do walls, but I don't know that a newly-certified person should be doing much wall diving anyway.
Maybe you can get on some websites and see if there are lots of reefs there - I haven't been diving there, but I know it's world class.
You can always go back and hit those walls next time!
 
Jul 31st, 2002, 08:20 AM
  #7  
skibum
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I know this isn't quite on point, but who has a decent resort course? I did one years ago at Eden Rock and thought it was great because we dove the Devil's Grotto. Does it get any better than that? Thanks!
 
Jul 31st, 2002, 08:21 AM
  #8  
Deb
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Nancy, Thanks so much! That sounds like a better option with the little time we will have and being new to diving. I like the cost, too as I've heard everything is very expensive there. I relly appreciate it!
 
Jul 31st, 2002, 08:24 AM
  #9  
Nancy
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Hi Ski,
I think most of the resorts have connections to dive shops on the island they deal with (probably get a cut of the profit).
I personally would try to find a PADI 5 Star shop (just because that's my affiliation and that means the shop is of a certain quality) that will conduct the course with a small group of divers.
You're welcome Deb. Have a great time and be sure to report when you get back!
 
Jul 31st, 2002, 10:41 AM
  #10  
Statia
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Deb,

Just a note to second Nancy's opinion on certification vs. resort course. She's right on the money.

I just had a family member leave my island and her three day certification turned into a six day ordeal since some skills were a bit harder for her than she had imagined. So, she spent her entire week long vacation doing nothing but getting certified and she almost didn't finish before she left.

Not that she regrets it now, by any means, but she had no idea how exhausting the whole venture would be.
 
Jul 31st, 2002, 11:07 AM
  #11  
Deb
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Hi Statia! thanks for your input! I think that reconfirms our decision. this trip is, first of all, a vacation. I'm sure we will go back there sometime after having lots of diving experience. I sure wouldn't want to spend our whole trip on getting certified! Sounds like our other "snorkeling couple" could get in on the "resort course" as well. Thanks!
 
Jul 31st, 2002, 01:59 PM
  #12  
Statia
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You're welcome, Deb. Yes, I'm sure your snorkeling friends can get in on the resort dive, too, if they feel like they'd like it.

Be sure to tell us all how it went when you return. I also agree with Nancy that it's best to do a resort course before spending the money on a full PADI certification. You get a feel for what it's like beforehand.

Have fun!


 
Jul 31st, 2002, 02:48 PM
  #13  
Patty
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Deb,
Since you have already completed the course work and confined water portion of your certification, you would not be looking for an open water 'certification' but rather an open water 'referral' which usually costs about 1/2 the price of the complete certification. You may want to check the price of an open water referral with a few Cayman dive shops before you decide - it's usually 4 dives so 2 days @ 2 tanks per day. Since you've completed half the course, you should already have more knowledge than what a resort course would provide (other than the actual dive). IMHO it would be a shame not to finish your certification in a place like the Cayman islands.

I have to disagree with Nancy about the Padi 5 Star comment - it doesn't automatically guarantee a certain quality. I had the same opinion also until I dived with a particular (name withheld) Padi 5 Star facility - it was the worst dive operation I'd ever encountered. Best to get first hand references from other divers than to rely on affiliation alone.

Hope this helps.
 
Jul 31st, 2002, 03:09 PM
  #14  
Statia
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I guess I missed the part about your having half your work done. Sorry. I guess, then, it would really depend on how comfortable you are in the water.

The family member I referred to in my previous post didn't have much prior water experience. She also did all her work from scratch here.

At any rate, let us know what you decide!
 
Jul 31st, 2002, 04:18 PM
  #15  
Deb
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Yes, we've completed everything but the open water dives. The class "certification" takes place the weekend we will be leaving for GC. The instructor told us "no problem" and how wonderful it would be to do our open water dives at GC. After the fact, is when we found out the costs with 2 of us to do dives, plus, only having 4 days there. Now we don't know if it will be worth it or not. Wish we had taken the class sooner so we could have that part out of the way. We wouldn't mind paying the cost if it truly is worth it. we may get our "letters of referral" and "wing it" after we get there .They said we could use it as credit if we don't use them. thanks for all the help.
 

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