My husband & I will be heading to Sans Souci in July. We are eager to do some diving. Anyone know how much diving we will be able to do through the resort, and perhaps the name of a good diving centre nearby? Are there any days the shop is closed? (We ran into some issues with a Sandals resort a year ago, which was closed for a the first several days we were there). Can anyone speak to the diversity and abundance of sea life? Also, we will be travelling with another couple (celebrating our anniversaries together). They are new to scuba, but interested. I understand they can do the resort course, but is there any chance we might get to dive with them?
You can dive every day through the resort, no rest days. They run an early deeper (marginal) dive at 9am and then a shallower dive at 11am.
Due to the lack of protection offered to the reefs if you have done lots of dives then Jamaica might struggle to meet your expectations, it is not a dive island in the manner of Grand Cayman or many of the other Gulf islands that have had reef protection for a long time. So fish life not that abundant.
That said going when you are you should see turtles. There are also Lion fish due to the US aquarium escape and they thrive as the local fish are taking time time to get used to an Indian Ocean predator.
I dive each day I'm at CSS I think the dives are relaxing and it's like going for a walk you never know what you will see. Jamaica/CSS is the only place I've ever seen a Seahorse.
The dive team are a good bunch and will look after you well.
Other stuff, the dives are about 30/35 mins, its all inclusive so you dive to the weak est member of the boat's abilities, all timings are Jamaican so whilst you need to be at the dive shop at 8:45 you leave at 9 ish back about 10:20/10:30. You really don't need to take much of your own kit it is not in my view worth paying extra baggage costs for, If I'm on a weight restricted flight I use their BCD and take my own mask/regs/ fins and shortie.
In all I have done over 70 dives and will be doing more this year when we are out, just after you leave, with the CSS team and I still enjoy each one.
I don't know the prices of the courses. You can dive with them once they have their certification.
CSS is a very relaxed dive shop. They are open everyday...at least they've been open every day we've been there. The diving is pretty...there's a wreck and some caverns at a pretty shallow depth that's very enjoyable. Depending on the resort class size when your friends do it, you should be able to do go on their dive. I've often gone out again for a second time with the resort divers and they just have the certified divers follow along behind/to the side. Talk to the guys in the dive shop and they should be able to work this out for you...they are very helpful and accommodating especially once they get to know you and your skill level.
thanks for the great info! We are going in mid June and I want to dive DAILY, though it may only be 5 of our 7 days My wife will take the beginner dive as she is not yet certified. So do they cull the lion fish there as they do at other reefs? and are gloves allowed and how many people on avg/ trip? Finally, do they mix up the sites pretty well or do they hit the same couple of places every day?
Thanks a ton, I know I threw a lot out there
They do try to cull the Lion fish. You can use gloves but no real need to. You can have a full boat about (12) but generally in the summer more likely to be around 6/7. If you are diving for 5 days you will probably do different dive sites each day. They tend to do the wreck, Catherine's and small caverns you can swim through as that's a popular site for inexperienced divers. If you say you've done the dive site already the guys will change it or do the dive from a different angle.
Enjoy the dives.