I am so excited to be celebrating my 40th bday along with some HS friends for a week 5/14-5/21 at CN!!! We are taking scuba classes at home but want to get certified at CN. Anyone know the cost and if we need to register prior to arriving in May? Thanks!!!
When we were at CSS in August, I took another discovery dive and really enjoyed it. So much so that I signed up for an open water class that finished the first week of October.
During that discovery dive, I met a woman from Germany who was there with her already certified husband. She wanted to dive with him, so she was getting certified at the resort. From what she told me, there's a lot of reading to be done. Since they were there for two weeks, she was spending one of the weeks getting certified. All I could think was how I would not enjoy spending my vacation taking a class and having to read. Everyone is different, I just don't like a lot of must-dos on vacation.
Also, I am NAUI certified, which stresses, above anything else, safety and not rushing certifications. I have had a good experience with the dive staff at CSS, but I know other shops will blow through the training just to get you certified and collect money. I think you'll be fine if you've already been taking a course. You'll be ahead of the game.
Last edited by Moebius; March 4th, 2011 at 09:11 AM.
Having just returned from CSS, I wanted to actually answer this question. I took a picture of the page in the guest guide book, so this information is accurate at least during the time we were there (3/6/2011 - 3/12/2011). I have attached the photos to this message.
At the end, you'll note the mention of the standard medical questionnaire. I filled out this form and took it to my doctor for sign off the week before we left so there were no questions about my health while down there. The people running the dive shop at CSS are pretty wary of divers until they actually dive with them, so I am glad I did this before hand so there were no questions. Once I did a dive, they appeared more comfortable that I would not have to be rescued. ;-)
Betty - Hey that's strange about the 1:30 dive, they sure do go out at 1:30.
The only time they don't go out is if the red flag is out or even if only the yellow flag is out, if they feel that some guests would not be comfortable diving in rougher conditions. If it's red flag - no diving. Yellow flag - diving only if they've been diving with the guest before and trust their capabilities. That's why we love couples - they really take care of us vacation divers!
Medical questionnaire - I print this off at home and fill it out. If you answer 'yes' to any of the questions then you need a doctor to sign off on the second page to certify that you're ok to dive. If you wait til you're at the resort and you fill it out there and answer 'yes' to anything then they will make you see the resort doctor (approx. $50.00 when I said yes to allergies). My allergies, hayfever, really only bother me in the summer here, not a problem in Jamaica but ...I said 'yes' so they made me see a doctor.
I'm new to all this "diving" stuff. I will be there for OCT 22 - 29 for our one year anniversary with my wife, and was wondering, the PADI course is the beginners course yes? Is it difficult to start diving? and lastly, the equipment needs to be brought with you? Or will it be rented/supplied. Thank you all
There would be two options for you if you if you've never been diving before. The resort course is an abbreviated course and only allows you to dive during your stay at the resort, it does not make you a certified diver. It is a free course and you would get one free dive upon completion, you could dive more for a charge. If you want to get PADI certified you can do that at Couples for a charge. A PADI course is fairly time consuming, personally I wouldn't do it on a vacation of this type but certainly some people may find it a very memorable activity. There is a lot of classroom type activity, some pool time, and several "skills" dives where you will be taken out in your diving gear into the sea and perform the skills you've learned in the class such as bouancy, removing your mask and breathing and then replacing it, and a variety of other activities. If you opt to do the PADI course I would at least do the classwork portion online, here is one link for some info https://www.padi.com/elearning-scuba...n/default.aspx Many people do this through a specific dive shop at home or other avenues but given your current location the PADI site seems a good place to start. If you have some time and want to look for other options just google padi online course. Just be aware it's still a bit time consuming so if your wife isn't doing this with you it might not be something you want to pursue on this trip.
All equipment would be supplied for you whichever course you opted to take (resort course or PADI certification).
As far as whether it is difficult...that somewhat depends on the person. How fit you are, can you swim, do you have any fear of the water, claustrophobia, etc.
You have to decide the level of certification you are looking for, but if you want to be able to dive independently with other people who are certified (not instructors), do NOT take the SCUBA Diver's Course, take Open Water. I am NAUI certified, but have heard horror stories about people who got the PADI SCUBA Diver certification thinking they were Open Water certified. From what I have been told, the PADI SCUBA Diver certification will not allow you to get air fills (at shops that check) or dive without an instructor.
Originally Posted by javielee
Is it difficult to start diving?
It depends on what you think is difficult. There is a lot to learn technique-wise about what to do and what not to do. The instructors at CSS are very patient and very thorough with teaching you the right way to do things. That said, I have issues with people learning to dive while on vacation. For one, you have to take time away from your vacation to study (there is book reading) and most resort classes are compressed time-wise, so you are learning a lot in a short period of time. Some people thrive learning this way, others don't. If you are a person that has anxiety about diving (I did), you may want to find a class at your local dive shop that offers longer, more relaxed classes that offer pool time to practice before being thrown into the ocean. Trust me, learning in a swimming pool is much more relaxing and safe than learning in salt water. Knowing that the surface is only 10 or so feet away in a pool is comforting, especially if you freak out and have to head to the surface.
Again, this is a personal decision based on comfort level. My advice is to sign up for the Resort Course Dive. It is included and all equipment is provided. A lot of people call it a discovery dive because you get a couple of hours of training and then you go on a shallow dive for around 20-25 minutes. If you make it through this and are still pretty excited about diving, then you should take a course. I did this at CSS in August and it's what caused me to get certified.
Originally Posted by javielee
...and lastly, the equipment needs to be brought with you? Or will it be rented/supplied.
If you end up taking a course or doing the discovery dive, all gear will be provided. See the price schedule I posted for more details.
Hope this helps!
Last edited by Moebius; March 31st, 2011 at 09:19 AM.
javielee, They have all the equipment you will need unless you want to bring anything of your own. They have the resort course for $50.00, which is a one time dive and short class in the morning. You can also get your your PADI Open Water certification there as well, that appears to be $365 according to the post above. You can go to the PADI website link I have below and see what is involved. I think I am going to start my online PADI class today for my trip in June. I should then be paying $250 at the resortm for my Open Water certification. Of course there is a charge for the online PADI class.
If I took the full PADI Open Water certification where I live I would be paying the $365.00 plus rental fees for equipment, plus at least $200.00 in fees to go dive in a cold quarry where you can't see more than 5 feet in front of you.
Welcome to the wonderful world of diving.
At Couples, a PADI facility, you will get proper training to fullfill the requirements to get the international recognized "C" card. The Course is classroom and Pool and open ocean. I have dove with my Couples Divemaster friends more than 80 times over twenty years. The operations have gotten even better every year. Note: to start any Padi course, you must be in very good health, a swimmer: as they will make you swim several lengths of the pool. They will provide all equipement, classroom materials, videos and hands-on training. You may wish to consider a purchase of a Mask and snorkle at your city's local Dive Shop and carry it to the vacation. Do not buy a mask from anywhere than a local Dive shop. They will fit you and you'll be assured it will not be a toy or one less than acceptable in safety. The dives in the sea are the best and you will find this a start on a lifelong passion. All the best.
To get certified with PADI requires three steps: book work, pool work and open water. The book work can be done online or in a classroom with an instructor. The pool work requires you to practice and demonstrate skills in a pool. Lastly, open water work demonstrating to an instructor the skills you have learned. It is not difficult but you have to be able to swim, float and put your face in water. Some people freak out underwater.
My wife and I completed the certification prior to traveling to Couples so we could go diving immediately. An option is to complete book and pool work and get a referral from your dive shop. This will allow you to complete your open water portion under the guidance of the dive shop at Couples. You can do the whole thing while at Couples but Iíd hate to have to study while Iím on vacation.
Most dive shops will require you to have mask, fins, snorkel and possibly booties. Couples can supply you with all the gear but I would suggest bringing at least your own mask/snorkel because it is so important that they fit properly. The only thing that Couples charges for is wetsuit rental. A wetsuit is not required but some people tolerate the cold better than others. Most people went with just t-shirts. And donít forget your cert card/log book in case they ask.
They have the resort course for $50.00, which is a one time dive and short class in the morning.
Just an FYI, the resort course is included. At least it was when we were at CSS in August. When at CSS earlier this month, I was already certified, so I couldn't tell you if they charge now. With the amount of people I saw in the Resort Course, I would bet it's still included.
If you want to dive after the Resort Course WITHOUT getting certified, you will pay $50 per dive.
Do they do a shallow dive at CSS, I am a new diver and don't want to go deep the first few times, until I am more comfortable
The Resort Course dive at 11:00am at CSS is a shallow dive. This is the dive for all the people who are not certified and just trying SCUBA. This is the same place each time as far as I know. There was supposed to be a 1:30 shallow dive, but they were not doing it when we were there. It had nothing to do with sea conditions either.
When we were there earlier this month, since I had not dove with them before, they told me to do the resort course dive. When they were comfortable with seeing me dive, I did the 9:00am dives for the rest of the week. The max depth I hit was 86.6ft. We also did the Kathryn Wreck, which was around 50ft. If you get a chance to do the Kathryn, I would recommend it, especially if you are new.