I am not the best to answer as I have not been yet BUT I have looked into this a lot and can tell you what I know… I don’t believe that the course offered by Couples is “PADI” certified course. They DO offer a course that will allow you to do a dive and that course is $50.
The big difference between the course you get at Couples and a “PADI” course is when and how often you can use it… With the PADI course you can take it anywhere (provided you bring your info etc) and dive when you want. The couples course only allows you to dive with them for a short period of time and I THINK it is about a 2-3 hour course. The price of being “PADI” certified will dramatically change depending on where you are but for us it is about $300 for a course and is MUCH longer than 3 hours…
Again, I am only sharing with you what I know perhaps someone who has gone down and done the dives will be able to jump in and help out….
It was $350 in June at CSA. I think someone else on here said it is $365 now.
The Open Water Certification takes 2 pool sessions and 4 boat dives. How long it takes depends on you. I had time and did one dive per day with a day off in the middle. The 2 women I started with did 2 dives per day and were done quickly. Besides the pool sessions and dives, you need time to read and study the book for your final test.
I did it in 5 days. Some do it as quickly as 2 days. It is up to you. You could take longer if you want. The dive shop guys are great and will work with you to create timing that works for you. Be sure and go see them as soon as possible when you arrive.
PS: How quickly you certify also depends on how quickly you pick up the skills. If you are relaxed and comfortable in the water then the skills are no problem. If you are not, it is still no problem, but you may need more time to master it. The staff is great at helping people overcome any beginners jitters. I felt so safe with them and I was very nervous about trying diving.
So I guess Couples DOES offer a PADI course … my bad info sorry but one question. Why wait until you get to the resort to do that? You can take the PADI course virtually anywhere, you don’t need an ocean… most of it is class room and swimming pool and only the last part of it is the “dive” to finalize it… The price seems like it is the same so the only thing you are doing it taking away from your vacation time…
Personally – We are making the decision to either a- do the “short course” $50 that still allows you to dive BUT is not “PADI” or alternatively do the “PADI” course before we go….
I have a question about the PADI referral program. My wife and I took the classroom material online and are going to complete the training when we get to CSA. What do I need to bring to prove I took the online portion? Just the edocument that was provided by PADI? Do I take a test when I get there to prove I learned the material? Thanks in advance for the help.
The full open water PADI course was $365 last week. My wife did it in 2 days. Had we known that she was going to do it, she could of done the book questions on padi.com ahead of time and then only would have had to complete the skills and dives when we got there. We spent about 4 hours working on the reading and review questions and she worked on her pool and open water dives while I was out on the 2 tank dive and then completed her open water dives during the morning of the second day. By the afternoon dive on the second day she was out with us. Jumpin Jen is right though, they won't let you move on until you have the skills mastered. Each skill was covered throughly but the swim test and treading water was definately done on "island time". There are several reasons I would recomend getting the full cert at the resort. One for me was cost, I paid $565 in CT last year to cert. Two is its warm, 86 degree water temp all last week. Third, you can see when you are doing your open water skills, where I live there is 5 feet of vis on a good day. The $50 resort course is just for a taste. It is only good for one dive and you have to invest about a day from start to finish. So if money is not the issue, it is wise to spend the money for the full cert, do the class in a couple of days and dive not just the rest of the week but anytime and anywhere you travel from now on. If you do get the full cert, don't miss the night dive ($50 extra) it will be the highlight of the trip. Have fun.
The one thing I can’t find the info on that will make our decision for us is, how long does the full certificate last? In other words I do understand that you can take that anywhere but do you have to do some type of “refresher course” every year? In my mind we will likely only dive once every year or possibly two years so if it takes a “refresher course” I am better off paying the $50 each time we want to dive… Thanks
We did the classroom material at the resort. It worked for me because I got to practice a skill shortly after reading about it. It made the learning experiential. I really enjoy learning too, so it was no problem doing it at the resort, especially since I studied on the beach with a cocktail in my hand.
The PADI cert is "good for life", however, every reputable divemaster will ask how long it's been since your last dive? before he takes you out. I've been told at the couples resorts if it has been 12 months or more since your last dive they wiil ask you to prove you're still competant with the skills. If you do just dive once a year it is in your own best interest to make sure you still have everything mastered. The discover scuba class only allows you to do one limited dive with an instructor, where as your open water cert allows you to dive freely in any open water up to 60 feet. You never know, you may find yourself wanting to dive at home too.
The resort dive is free the first dive. If you want to go again you will have to pay $50. The difference between that dive and being certified is that when certified you can dive to greater depths and the choice of sites is much larger. Resort dives only goes to 30-35 feet, certified go up to 90ft.
I got my Open Water Certification at CSA in July 2008. I did the coursework online about a month before we went and the cost was $120. There was a page that I printed off at the end and I took that with me, but I believe they could have looked it up on the PADI website. I think it was about $250 to complete the pool work after we got there and that took about two days. I was so happy to do it this way. Anthony was my instructor and he made so much fun and so easy to learn and practice the skills needed. I have my PADI Open Water Certification and it is good for life. I believe you need to make at least one dive each year or else you will have to prove your skills or take a refresher course. We watched many people fail the swim test that was a prerequisite to take the Resort Scuba Course. One plus to getting your certification in Jamaica is that you can actually see things while doing the required dives, and of course the water is warm. I saved myself vacation time by doing my coursework online before we went. I would recommend getting your certification this way to anyone.