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  1. #1

    Default Scuba - Never been, want to try at Couples, Help!

    My girlfriend and I are getting married and taking our honeymoon to Tower Isle and Swept Away. We want to take advantage of all the activities, including SCUBA. My question though, can you show up having zero scuba experience and dive without having to spend valuable vacation time in a pool trying to get certified ? I've checked some local dive shops on classes and there are a huge range of certifications and it gets a little confusing.

    We will not be SCUBA diving much in the future, our thought though is that we've never tried it so why not do it at a resort where it's included ? The reason I explain that is to make clear we're not interested in being "super certified" or anything. Just enough to do a dive and say we did it is enough! Can anyone shed some light on this for us ?

    Also, which is better diving between CSA and CTI ??

    Thanks SO MUCH in advance for any replies!

  2. #2

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    I would say go and do it. Not sure about the diving between the 2as I have only visited CTI. The try dive which starts with a short video and talk is followed by some pool time to become familiar with the kit and breathing underwater. That is followed by a try dive out to 1 of the reefs, probably Nursery. The dive crew are a fantastic bunch of guys and will ensure that you enjoy and are safe through out the experience. If you do find you really enjoy it they will offer resort dives at $50 each or you can go on to certify whilst there. I am open water certified and love it. Go try.
    Regards Dave and Chell

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    1,398

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    You can do the Resort dive wich is included. It will take a morning. Make sure you sign up as soon as you can. You will have to do a swim test and watch a video then do some drills in the pool. You will be taken out on the boat to go dive on the reef (about 30 feet down). It's well worth it and I would do CTI and if you really love it you can do it again at CSA.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    My wife and I returned from CN a week and a half ago, and tried SCUBA for our first time. You don't need any previous diving experience. Neither one of us had ever tried it prior to our vacation.

    Definately try it. We had a blast. The training and the dive took a total of four hours. The instructrs are great, and very patient.

    To qualify you have pass their medical questionairre, swim the length of a small pool 4 times, and take their instructional class (which takes about an hour). They then give you a 7 or 8 question test you have to pass.

    After that, they put you in the pool to see if you can SCUBA in the pool. You have to pass 4 SCUBA skills in the pool. If you pass, they put you in a boat, and you're ready to go.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    319

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    If you have never scuba'd you will spend about a half day of training to take the resort dive (usually all in 1 day I think but I am certified and have never done it here - taken the resort course and dive at another course and it was half a day).

    Amy

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    2,360

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    The resorts have a 'resort course' available free of charge.

    This course will give you the instruction you need and a pool session so you can then go out one time and dive. All of this takes place in one day over a few hours.

    I think it is just what you are looking for.

    Both resorts have good dive sites. I'm not sure which resort has the best 'resort dive', but you would be able to dive at both resorts one time using the 'resort dive' option.
    Juliann & Jeff
    Jamaica Soon Come

  7. #7

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    We tried scuba diving at CTI. You have to sign up in advance and go through a small amount of training(this is not for certification, just if you want to try diving) First they have you swim laps in the pool to determine if in fact you can swim. Secondly you go through classroom training which involves watching a video and answering some questions on a test. Finally you suit up and head to the pool where they teach you everything you need to know. Once you complete all requirements you are approved to go for a dive that same day. They take you out on the boat and walk through everything with you. They take diving very seriously as the do not want anyone injuring themselves. The instructors are great and will help you out with everything. Following your first dive if you would like you can complete the certification course at the resort but it is optional. The day began at 9:00AM and the dive went out around 1:00PM. Hope this helps.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    8

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    you will have to do a lap test in the swimming pool .. they are not gonna let just anyone get out in the water because if something bad goes wrong for one person then it can endanger the whole group so they want to know every one is qualified to perform efficiently .. that being said it is not a hard test just a few laps in the swimming pool thats it man have fun and enjoy take some pictures

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    7

    Default Scuba at Couples

    When you get to Tower Isle, go to the dive shop and ask to speak to Colon. He will take good care of you, put you and your girl throught the resort course (takes most of one morning) and you will be diving that afternoon, weather permitting. The course is done in the new pool, so everything is clean and easy. When you dive in the afternoon, you will dive with other "newbies" so your experience level will be the same as everyone else. Tell Colon that Randy and Laura from North Carolina recommended him!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    50

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    I was reading the information about scuba and it says if you are prone to motion sickness not to do it. How bad is the motion sickness involved in scuba? I would love to try but do get motion sick can anyone help me on this? Thanks!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by mb9fan View Post
    I was reading the information about scuba and it says if you are prone to motion sickness not to do it. How bad is the motion sickness involved in scuba? I would love to try but do get motion sick can anyone help me on this? Thanks!

    Motion sickness would only involve the boat ride out to the site, once you are under the water you won't experience any issues. One year when we went the water was terribly choppy and I got quite sick on the ride out, I wasn't going to dive because although they tell you that you CAN vomit in your regulator I didn't care to have that experience. The guys on the boat kept telling me to get in the water, that as soon as I got under I wouldn't be sick any more...yeah, right. They actually got my gear on me and "helped" me into the water...mind you I wasn't kicking and screaming I was just not feeling up to getting ready and was quite skeptical. AMAZING! My head went under and the nausea disappeared! As soon as we were done and I came back up it returned but the whole time diving I felt great. Just as a reference, I got sick on one of the chair floats at CSA in October and the water wasn't all that rough so I am really sensitive.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by mb9fan View Post
    I was reading the information about scuba and it says if you are prone to motion sickness not to do it. How bad is the motion sickness involved in scuba? I would love to try but do get motion sick can anyone help me on this? Thanks!
    The motion sickness involved in scuba can be two-fold - (1) sickness of being on the dive boat and (2) pressure/orientation of being 30 feet or more under water. It really depends on what triggers your motion sickness.

    My husband dives every day with a group of friends when we are at Couples and one of them gets sick each time he gets on the boat, especially if it's really choppy. But once he's in the water to dive, he's fine. His is only due to the motion of being on the boat.

    I, on the other hand, typically only get motion sickness due to changes in pressure which result in acute vertigo symptoms that are similar to motion sickness. I'm fine on the boat, but could have a vertigo spell once under the water.

    And like everyone has said, the dive guys at both CSA and CTI are fantastic. We're just little biased to CTI because we've been there more than CSA so Colin and his crew are like family.

    Hope that helps!
    Amy Welch...Woooohoooo!!
    CTI - 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2013
    CN - 2003/2004 CSS - 2008
    CSA - 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015



  13. #13

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    mb9fan: I have been prone to motion sickness since I was a little kid. Even on a swing. But I got certifid over 22 yrs ago and my trick is to take ginger pills before you get on the boat.

    You don't get sick scuba diving; it's the boat and how it reacts to the weather. I hear Negril is calmer so I'd go to CSA or CN and try there versus the other side of the island.

    Betty

  14. #14

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    These replies are perfect! We are looking forward to showing up with zero experience and experience diving.


    Just a thought though: What does it take to dive w/o needing the beginners course ? What type of certification is that ? There seem to be so many of these classes at local dive shops and it gets a bit confusing. I just want to weigh our options and check what it would take so that we don't have to spend a 1/2 day in a pool. Does anyone know ?

  15. #15

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    Talk to your local dive school. I think you are looking at Discover SCUBA or SCUBA diver. This will qualify you to 30 foot but will envolve the full theoretical test side, pool work at home and then 2 open water dives. In all probability this will take you about 2-3 days at home and you are then only 2 dives off full open water qualification. You can then dive anywhere up to 60 foot as a fully qualified diver.
    Regards Dave and Chell

  16. #16

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    Hi. PADI instructor here.
    As everyone already mentioned you can take the "resort course" (which is actually a PADI "Discover Scuba Diving" course) at Couples, free of charge. However then if you like it you will need to pay for any subsequent dives.
    If you get certified at home before you arrive at Couples then you can dive as much as twice a day 7 days a week (a real perk! ...even if you dive half that much, since it's all included!)
    At home you can take a Discover Scuba Diving course in the ocean or a Discover Scuba in the pool to give it a try. A night in the pool is a nice safe and very popular way to give it a try. These are not certification courses.
    To get certified you can do the Scuba Diver, which is only 2 open water dives. Don't bother with that one. It is too restrictive and not a full certification.
    Do the Open Water Scuba Diver course. You'll have classroom work, knowledge reviews and quizzes (which can also be done online, btw), pool sessions to do all your skills, 4 open water dives to test your skills in the ocean, followed by your final written exam. Then you can go diving! ...and later on you can continue with more courses, but one step at a time....

    We have been diving at CSA and CSS. We found the diving to be very easy and relaxing at CSA since the water was super calm when we were there. So when we got to CTI on our next trip and had a red flag all week due to wind and rough seas,(NO diving) it was a bit disappointing. Nothing you can do about the weather, but I do believe that the North side of the island (where CTI and CSS are) does get more rough weather. We dove at CSS, which I believe does the same sites. Other than a smaller boat at CSS, we did find the diving similar, but IMHO a bit better in Negril... could be because there we encountered dolphins while diving!
    You'll never know unless you try it! Do it!!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    207

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    Raelene here. My story: I was a total newbie, age 55 when I decided to try SCUBA at CTI. Colin is WONDERFUL!!! He knew I was "trepidacious" and literally held my hand the whole time we were on the 30 Ft. dive! (I was having problems leveling off, with 40% BMI!!) It was an experience I'll never forget and perhaps someday I will try again.

    The medical form has to have "NO" for every question: I have HPB (on meds) and we faxed a permission letter to my doctor the day before the class!! That is how accommodating Couples is!!

    Also, eat a light breakfast the morning of the class, and remember that you cannot dive within 24 hrs. of flying so do this early in your stay.

    HAVE FUN!!

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    7

    Default Scuba

    Dive with Colin. I did my resort course and first dive ever w/ him. He is Awesome!! If you enjoy it, the guys at Swept Away are great, too!

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