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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    53

    Default Tell me about the first-timers diving class- CSA!

    Hi all,

    I have been an avid snorkeler my whole life but never tried diving. I just read that CSA has an "intro" class that you can take that will let you go diving while at the resort? Could someone elaborate on this? What does it cost, what equipment must you have, how many dives do you do, and is it really for ABSOLUTE newbies to diving? I know what an oxygen tank is and that's about it! Ha!

    Oh also, is there a swim test you must pass? And how long is the class? My wife is not a huge swimmer whereas I love swimming so it would probably just be me doing the class, but since we are coming to couples to be a COUPLE I don't want to take too long away from her!

    Any info would be great!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    23

    Default

    They offer the so-called "resort class", where they teach you the basics in a pool and they you go out for a relatively shallow dive. I have done a "resort" class and then went on to get my PADI dive certification by taking the dive class at a dive center. The certification has 3 components: classroom work, pool exercises, and 4 open water dives. I would recommend that you start the certification process at a local dive center where you do the classroom work and pool exercises and then you can finish up the certification by doing the 4 open water dives at Couples. This is a fairly common thing to do.



    Quote Originally Posted by JustBeachy View Post
    Hi all,

    I have been an avid snorkeler my whole life but never tried diving. I just read that CSA has an "intro" class that you can take that will let you go diving while at the resort? Could someone elaborate on this? What does it cost, what equipment must you have, how many dives do you do, and is it really for ABSOLUTE newbies to diving? I know what an oxygen tank is and that's about it! Ha!

    Oh also, is there a swim test you must pass? And how long is the class? My wife is not a huge swimmer whereas I love swimming so it would probably just be me doing the class, but since we are coming to couples to be a COUPLE I don't want to take too long away from her!

    Any info would be great!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,295

    Default

    The intro class really is for newbies. The class and dive will take up the entire morning, but you will be back in time to enjoy lunch with your wife. They give you classroom and pool instruction. The instructor will not let you dive if you can't get the hang of using the equipment (such as clearing water from your mask underwater, retrieving the regulator underwater if it gets knocked out of your mouth). Yes, you are required to pass a swim test. The last I checked, it was 8 laps of the pool swum freestyle at the Palms pool. Once you complete the class, you can go out on additional dives. The intro class and dive is completely free. It is a fantastic perk, since most resort dives can cost big bucks. And they provide all of the equipment. You also have to be able to pass the medical questionnaire. For example, if you have high blood pressure, you will need a note from your doctor at home stating that it is OK for you to dive.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    915

    Default

    The Intro to Scuba course is a one-time deal, and there is no additional cost. It consists of a couple hours of instruction on the basics of diving in the morning, followed by a 30-35 ft reef dive off the dive boat. Including the pool time and the actual dive, it lasts from approximately 8:30a to 11:30a It doesn't allow you to take advantage of the diving offered to certified divers, but you can do it more than once. After the first time, there is an additional charge. There is a swim test, but it's just laps in a pool. It's pretty easy if you're a swimmer. Also, as a tip, it's not pure oxygen in the tank, it's compressed air. That's your first lesson, free of charge!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    808

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JustBeachy View Post
    Hi all,

    I have been an avid snorkeler my whole life but never tried diving. I just read that CSA has an "intro" class that you can take that will let you go diving while at the resort? Could someone elaborate on this? What does it cost, what equipment must you have, how many dives do you do, and is it really for ABSOLUTE newbies to diving? I know what an oxygen tank is and that's about it! Ha!

    Oh also, is there a swim test you must pass? And how long is the class? My wife is not a huge swimmer whereas I love swimming so it would probably just be me doing the class, but since we are coming to couples to be a COUPLE I don't want to take too long away from her!

    Any info would be great!

    It is a short video followed by a 90 min pool lesson. Then you go dive. There is no charge for that. You get 1 dive.

    That being said, prepare to shell out $300 to get certified after you do this training. You are halfway to certification, and you will be totally addicted to scuba.

    There is a swim test, I think you have to swim 6 laps of the pool by palms doing a crawl stroke without stopping or pausing. It was not all that hard. The swim test is the hardest part of the whole certification process.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    21

    Default

    I took the intro class at CN a couple years ago - as far as I know, the format is the same at all the resorts. The course is free, and the equipment is provided for you. It is designed for people with little or no diving experience. You will start with some classroom materials and a brief swim test - basically just a couple laps in the pool. After that, you will spend some time in the pool with the actual scuba gear on, learning some basic skills. Then, you're off on your first dive! This is included with the course. IIRC, you can go on additional dives for a fee, although these are no charge if you have your PADI cert. Not 100% sure about this, but that's what I seem to recall.
    CN 2011, CSA 2012, CSA 2013 (although not soon enough!)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    608

    Default

    It's good you're a swimmer, as you need to swim 8 laps. Also, if you have any physical problems (including asthma, bad back, etc.), you need to get a doctor's note. No note, no class....in fact, I believe there may be a medical form online that you need to complete and have signed by your home MD. This may have changed, though. The class itself is pretty basic, and takes place in the pool. You should anticipate about 1/2 day, all told. Diving is well worth it, though....much different than snorkeling!! PS - this is free! If you want to get certified, that is a whole 'nother beast - takes more time, and costs....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    14

    Default

    It's been 5 years since we did the first timers class but I imagine it's still some what the same. They start you off with a lengthy swim (200m I think it was) to weed you out and see who's really serious about it. After that we watched a 45 min video and then hit the people to do all the stuff that was discussed in the video: rescue breathing, clearing your respirator, taking off your goggles and putting them back on under water, basic stuff like that. Once you get all the way through that, then its out to sea for about a 25 min dive at about 30 feet deep. That way if something bad happened you could return to the surface without causing much harm to yourself. It's a fun dive, but a great intro to scuba. Our group started out with 10 swimmers. 4 didn't make it through that, so we were 6 during the training in the pool and 2 didn't make it through that. so we only ended up as a group of 4 plus instructors for the actual dive. You'll need to sign up as soon as you can because it fills up fast. It all started around 8am and I was back lounging on the beach with my wife around 1pm.

    The intro dive is free but you can pay to go back out and do all the skills you did in the pool at the deeper depth in the ocean and get your basic scuba certification. I think it's like $250, but about the same you'd pay in the states. Totally worth it if you ask me. I hope that helps.

  9. #9

    Default

    Hi there:
    I did the intro class at CSA a couple of years ago and I was just like you...I knew what an oxygen tank was and that's it.

    You don't need anything besides the willingness to try something new. It takes most of the morning...I think you are completely done by about noon. There is a swim test and they are pretty strict about you passing it before you can continue. It's the first thing you do so have your wife try and you never know, she might also pass. There's no time limit but you do have to do an overhand stroke without stopping for about 8 ups and down in the pool.

    After that you watch a movie about diving and then they start you with some skills in the pool. You learn to clear your mask, how to breathe, and some safety stuff. I'd wear a tshirt as the equipment can chafe a bit. After the skills, you will go out for a really shallow dive of about 30 mins which is amazing. Up to this point, there is no charge. After this you can sign up to continue open water certification training which is where you will get charged. This would also be where a big time commitment comes in which might be of concern if your spouse isn't doing it with you.

    The intro class at CSA got me hooked and I have continued on and now I dive twice per day whenever we go to couples.

  10. #10

    Default

    Yes the class is for absolute beginners. I did it before going on to get my Open Water certification on the same vacation. Now I'm addicted to diving. Just can't get enough.
    You do have to do a swim test in the pool but you can swim anyway you like and take as much time as you need. You just have to swim the distance. Once you do that there is a video you watch and then they help you get into the equipment and take you back to the pool to learn a few skills. That all takes about 3 hours in the morning. After lunch you are off on your 1st dive. This is all included at Couples and Anthony the Dive Instructor at CSA is the BEST. He takes really good care of his newbie divers.
    You get a training type of certificate that is good while you are at the resort. You can do more dives while you are there but I think it's about $50 per dive after that, or you can do what I did any and go on to get your full OW certification. The OW certification is at an additional cost ($250?) but you have it for life.
    I was like you, loved to snorkel but unsure if I wanted to put the time in (while on vacation) to try diving. Boy was I wrong! It's one of the best things I've done in my life. It's opened up a whole new world for me. BTW, I was 55 when I got my certification. If I can do it, so can you and your wife.
    Happy under water trail to you!
    Karon

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    17

    Default

    we just returned from CSA and it was great! there is a intro class for scuba that was a 20-30 min video and then alot of practice in the pool before the actual dive. Antony(sp) the dive instructor is AWESOME! He is very patient but is very honest regarding being able to dot the dive. there is no cost and you use their equipment. You get to dive one time. There is a swim test before the video and you have to swim 8 laps in the pool over hand without stoping or standing. you can take your time. From start to finish I'd say the whole thing was about 4 hrs. you have to sign up a day in advanc (have to do that with anything you want to do) and it fills up VERY quickly so if you want to go get up and be at the dive hut at 7:45 for when they open at 8 to sign up for the next dive. Also you cant dive withing 24 hrs of flying. I went without my husband and it was fine. Also the wife of one of the couples couldnt handle it in the pool and another wife's ears didnt pop when she was diving so the wifes ended up not going. Just enjoy the experience and know that its ok if it doesnt work out.

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