We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Scuba diving question

Rockaway, New Jersey
Level Contributor
243 posts
20 reviews
Save Topic
Scuba diving question

We have a vacation planned for June and was hoping to get the Basic Open water scuba certification before arriving. It looks like we might have difficulty completing the open water dive portion of the program because of schedule conflicts. Our local scuba dive school told us that they can give us a letter so that we can complete our open water dives on the island. Has anyone done completed their certification this way? Should we try harder to compete it prior to our arrival or do you think this is ok? Is it more costly to do the open water dive on the island? Any advise would be appreciated.

Detroit, Michigan
Level Contributor
30 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Scuba diving question

We recently did the course/pool work in Michigan before going to St. John on our honeymoon, where we completed our open water dives. I think this was a great way to do it - the 'test' portion of each of the four dives was no longer than 15 minutes (and in the first dive, it was nothing) and the rest was extremely enjoyable. I'd only advise against it if you were extremely anxious about it, but only so you could relax and enjoy your vacation more.

When we did it, it was very slightly more than a normal set of 4 dives. All the dive shops I've looked at have their pricing for the open water certification dives explicitly spelled out.

Toronto
Level Contributor
555 posts
58 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Scuba diving question

We did our Open Water referral dives in Barbados. It's not cheap, but diving and cheap don't go together! I think we paid $350 each x the three of us..ouch. Worth every penny though.

It's actually the easiest way to learn to dive if you plan on diving the Caribbean. If you want to dive local it's recommended to get certified at home to get used to cold water diving and all the gear it entails. We've tried local here but cold murky water with some bass and catfish just it's worth the time+effort!

We dived with Dive Provo for 5 days and saw many new divers get certified. Just make sure you get everything you need from your local dive shop, Dive Provo (or any good operator) will spell out what forms/paperwork they need. Good luck and have fun!

PS West Caicos/French Cay are the bomb! + Sharks are guaranteed.

Rockaway, New Jersey
Level Contributor
243 posts
20 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Scuba diving question

Thanks Mikeycanuk and MSUred! Sounds like doing the open water on the island is the way to go. We will be staying at Club Med and diving from their location. I am awaiting an email reply from them on the prices for the actual dives. They have packages that you can buy which is a big savings, but it states on their price list that they can not be shared. When I booked with Club Med, the person I spoke with said a family can share a package. I would like to hear that directly from the Scuba Dive company. Below are their package prices.

Dives and Packages (equipment included) - Packages may not be shared

1 dive: $80

2 dives: $150

6 dives: $400

10 dives: $590

12 dives: $660

NH
Level Contributor
3,073 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Scuba diving question

It's a crazy story but my DH had taken resort dives many times. FINALLY did his certification at CM this past Sept. We are regulars at CM Turkoise. He did his entire classroom work in one day (5 hours). Then did all of his pool work on day two (3 hours); his underwater instruction on day 3 with 4 open water dives; later that same day did final written exam for his open water certification. All in all I think the total cost was around $460. If you go for your SD (only) it would be less. Originally my DH was going to complete all of his classroom work online but decided not to. Yes, it sort of blew one day of the vacation in a classroom but he is happy that he decided to cram and do all of his dive related work during our vacation. The team was excellent! Come next June there will likely be a whole new dive crew. If you would like more info than what I have written and you would like to message me I would be happy to share further.

Laguna Beach...
Level Contributor
167 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Scuba diving question

I agree with most posters. Do all of your book and pool work at home. I have had 3 children certified this way.

One in each Turks and Caicos, Cayman Islands, and Roatan. All were great with Roatan being the most affordable and T and C and Caymans being comparable. My wife and I were certified in Southern California and it was a pain. In T and C we have dove with most of the operators over the last 20 years. By far our favorite is Caicos Adventures. I think their prices are slightly less than you quoted above. Their boat is a stable 42 foot catamaran and they usually dive West Caicos and French Cay, which are more fun than Grace Bay. If this is what you decide to do ask your local instructor for a referral course. You can then take the information with you to any PADI dive center and finish your open water dives. Also do not pay for the PADI registration card at your local shop, because they will charge you again at the place that does your open water dives and actual certification. . Also take a passport photo with you for the card. Have a blast.

Edited: 02 December 2013, 01:54
Toronto
Level Contributor
555 posts
58 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Scuba diving question

Not to sound like a downer but ask CM where they take you. You might be saving money but not going out as far as West Caicos or French cay, a real shame. Personally would go with an offsite dive op. On site dive ops aren't know for going out of their way. I know nothing about CM but please ask questions first.

Laguna Beach...
Level Contributor
167 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Scuba diving question

I forgot to mention that most of the offsite dive operators will pick you up and take you back to Club Med included in their fees.

NH
Level Contributor
3,073 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Scuba diving question

Purely out of curiosity Mikey and panman, during your scuba certification (in the open water) were you required to remove your mask, weight belt, snorkel and regulator and then put it back on? ...Just wondering how much of your initial scuba training was dedicated to actual safety instruction? I know that at CM this part of the training is often done on a shallow reef and geared more toward the experience level of the divers in training. My personal observation has been that less experienced divers in training don't have a lot of awareness of the beauty around them. Dive site excursions are chosen and are dependent upon weather conditions at CM...2 tank dives are about a 4 hour excursion. CM dives include trips out to: northwest point, the dome, the football field, the amphitheater...a dozen or more locations on that side of the island. I do know that divers staying at CM and who have gone out with other dive operations have reported back that they enjoyed diving the other areas to far for the CM dive boat to go to. You will see different things in different locations. HOWEVER, they also said they enjoyed the dive operation at CM just as much when it comes to a good dive experience. After all, it is the ocean and fish and dolphins swim from one place to another!. As an FYI the dive operation at CM is a separate franchise; no longer an integrated part of CM operation.(As best I have understood.)

Laguna Beach...
Level Contributor
167 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Scuba diving question

Yes every referral open water certification course I have been involved with does require you to do all of the skills required for the padi open water certification, such as removing mask, weight belt etc. My daughters last experience in Roatan, August 2013, the first dive no skills were practiced, she just got used to scuba diving in the ocean. The second and third dives half the dive was safety skills and the second half was enjoying the dive, while the 4th dive was very few skills and mostly enjoying her dive. These were all done in shallow water starting at about 30 feet and finishing at 60 feet by dive 4. After that, she dove 5-6 more dives and became a pretty confident diver. With regards to location, you are absolutely right creatures swim all over the ocean and they can turn up anywhere. That being said there are certain locations preferred by certain animals and you are more likely to find them consistently or at least more frequently in certain areas. Certain area might have healthier coral, or better wall formations. It is not that I do not enjoy the closer dive sites in Provo, I just enjoy the further away locations more. I will certainly still enjoy diving Northwest point and even Grace Bay. With regards to the CM dive operators and sites I can give no opinion as I have never stayed there or dove with them. From observation on the beach, it seems that they dive Grace Bay sites a lot, and sometimes I have seen them off of Northwest Point. I hope that answers your questions, if not ask some more. Always willing to give an opinion, which my wife would tell you is usually wrong.

NH
Level Contributor
3,073 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Scuba diving question

LOL regarding your wife's opinion, panman. My initial post for laxinsun was to share what I know about certification at CM Turkoise. In a nutshell getting certified at CM could not be made safer...and easier! CM instructors don't cut corners. As I have listened to others and observed, CM instructors go above and beyond the norm when working with new divers. I personally have watched an instructor, Hugo, work with a new diver who was terrified in the open ocean. Yet, he got this diver-in-training to overcome her fears and get certified. I was there. I was watching the entire drama under the sea unfold. Not ever "wannabe" diver makes the cut. Recently at CM I watched "Stephen" dive with a young woman who was paralyzed and wanted the experience of weightlessness and to know scuba. Stephen's gentleness with her in and under the water was one of the most beautiful things I have EVER witnessed in my entire life!

I've listened to numbers of certified divers talk about there appraisal of the dive operation and certification process at CM and the reports have been nothing less then very high marks. Maybe that is because the instructors are there BEYOND the experience; they are there on site and continually inter-act with their guests. You are with them the entire time you are staying at CM.

I could not agree with you more, panman. Once certified you should dive all of the waters you can afford! ...Both sides of Provo, Hawaiian lava tubes, Tahiti, Australia.... It's all good.

Oh! and as a PS: At CM you will not need to bring an additional passport photo for your PADI license. At CM they will take your picture and help you to file your paperwork.~~ Allfinsnmask

Get answers to your questions about Providenciales