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Getting PADI certification while at a Carribbean island..

Getting PADI certification while at a Carribbean island..

Old Jan 23rd, 2001, 06:37 AM
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Getting PADI certification while at a Carribbean island..

We're going to Curacao next month, and have decided to try to get our PADI certification while we're on vacation. We're taking the initial part (where you get certified to go out with a divemaster) here at home before we go. Has anyone on this board gotten their certification for Open Water diving while they were on vacation - and was it fun? Also, if anyone has been to Curacao and has recommendations for a specific dive shop to do this, that would be appreciated! Thanks for any information you can provide.
Old Jan 23rd, 2001, 09:27 AM
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My husband and I did the same thing that you are planning, two summers ago in the Bahamas. We did our PADI open water certification class in town here, including the pool work. When we arrived in the Abacos, Brendal's Dive Shop (in particular, Brendal himself) took us down for the rest of the certification. It got us our SSI card (Scuba Schools International), and we have used it once since...in the British Virgin Islands this past fall.

We had an awesome time doing our certification in the Caribbean, because you can't beat the scenery. Whichever dive shop you end up going with, just make sure that they will give the proper attention to your certification (i.e. if you will be on a boat with ten other divers at once, that at least one divemaster is assigned to you, to practice the skills and get comfortable).

I've never been diving in Curacao, so I can't comment on those dive shops, but I can say in general that I'm sure you'll have a great time!

In fact, when my husband first brought up the idea of learning to dive for our Bahamas trip, I shot down the idea, because I thought I would be nervous and claustrophobic, but at the last minute a friend convinced me that I was really missing out...so we did the certification and I am so glad we did.

Old Jan 23rd, 2001, 01:01 PM
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Abby, thanks for the feedback and advice. One thing, do you remember approximately how much it cost you to get your certification in the Bahamas - ballpark number????
Old Jan 24th, 2001, 10:13 AM
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Hi again,

I think that the end of our certification required five open water dives, plus a snorkelling test. We went out on the boat for two days. I'm sure that we spent at least $300 per person by the time we rented the equipment, and paid for the two-tank dives, and one tank-dive. There was probably an extra fee associated with finishing our certification, but I don't recall exactly.

Unfortunately, scuba diving is an expensive hobby. When we were in the BVI's this past November, we went on three dives during one day, but decided that it wasn't worth spending another $300 for us to dive the next day, which was what we had originally planned. We felt that we had seen just as cool wildlife and coral while snorkelling. In other words, we loved diving in the BVI's, but didn't think it was worth the cost to go on more than three dives. I know some people really get into the underwater photography and can't get enough of diving, but I just do it for fun and to get a cool view of the underwater world.

The other piece of advice that I didn't mention previously is that we bought our own masks (they should teach you in your certification course how to choose one that fits), snorkles, and fins. I would definitely recommend buying your own mask and snorkel (hint--if you go to a store and find the exact style you like, you can often find it much cheaper by ordering it off the web), that way you can always go snorkelling on your own as well. It is nice to have fins as well, but not as critical as having a mask that you are comfortable with.

Have fun and when you come back, please post a report on the diving in Curacao!
Old Jan 25th, 2001, 05:29 PM
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Thanks for the info. Actually, we bought our own snorkle/fins/mask before we went to French Polynesia a couple years ago for snorkeling down there. You're right - some of that stuff I just don't want to share - and the fins are good if you just want to go in the water anytime you want....I'll definitely post a trip report when I get back..

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