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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    15

    Default Scuba questions, first timer

    Visiting CN Feb 15-22 (Riu 2/12-15), my husband & I want to cross off Scuba diving off the bucket list! I would appreciate any advice.

    -Should we take the scuba class at CN? (I am not finding any classes nearby at home)

    -About how much time does it take? We will be in Jamaica for 10 nights so if I need to sacrifice a day, itís okÖ but I donít want to work too hard, we are on vacation! LOL

    -Is it hard?

    -How much does it cost per person? Should we bring cash for this or will they take it off our card?

    -Anything else I should know?

    I am sooooo excited for the trip and learning something new, any advice is appreciated!

  2. #2

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    We did it "at home", we actually traveled about 6 hours to do it in a warmer climate and we were able to do it in 3 full days of class and diving. Not sure how long the open water class is at CN but I wouldn't really want to do all of the book work while on vacation. We did our advanced open water at CN and there is significantly less bookwork than the open water class and it was about all I could stand to do while on vacation.

    CN is a PADI dive shop so you could always take care of your book work before your trip and simply do your check out dives while in Jamaica. We looked into this and you basically pay for an online course do the book work then they give you a referral to do your training dives at a dive shop. Then you pay a fee to the dive shop and they take you thru the rest of the training.

    Personally I am very glad we got our Open Water before we went. It allowed us to know what we were getting into and after that first dive we knew we wanted to do the Advanced Open Water and the crew at CN is awesome.

    Here is the email address for the dive shop at CN. They were great about answering my questions.
    cn.ws@couples.com

    And here is a video I made of our scuba adventure.

    Couples Negril Jamaica Scuba Diving July 14th-17th - YouTube

    Btw I dont think you could do this in 2 days let alone 3 in Jamaica without dedicating a lot if not all of those days to training and or book work.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    129

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    Not an expert but from what I have read you can take scuba cert at the resort. It is only good at the resort you take it at. It is free and includes optraininga no one dive. If they have room you can go on more for a fee. I also ready that you have to take the swim test to qualify first and a lot of people fail this part. They teach you how to use the equipment in the pool and you go on one dive. My husband is going to try it at swept away in November.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    916

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    If you can't do it at home, do it there (at Couples), for sure. As Iowahawkeyes stated, CN is a PADI dive shop. It's much quicker to do it there versus anywhere in the U.S., and it's a lot cheaper. I believe it's around $275-$325, and they will charge it to your room, so it comes off your credit card. The time commitment is not as burdensome as Iowahawkeyes stated, when done at the resort as opposed to someplace back home. SCUBA is a "love it or hate it" proposition. If you end up on the right end of that spectrum, it's a life-changing experience. You may want to try the free intro course first to see if you like it. If you end up getting certified, they will count that dive as one of your 4 open water dive requirements. The best part about getting certified is that the four dives are part of the training! Enjoy!

    I was first certified at a resort in Florida in the early 90's, and have been diving ever since. That was $400, 20 years ago to give you a frame of reference. CN is so much cheaper, because the rental equipment is all-included at the resort, and you couldn't ask for a better place or crew to learn from.
    Last edited by dank120; September 24th, 2013 at 03:19 PM.
    "Brutalize me with music..."

    CN: 11/2007, 11/2010, 11/2011, 11/2013

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    12

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    We did it at CN in 2010. The beginners class is a 3 to 4 hour class you have to have before you dive. The class and one dive is included. The class involves lots of laps in a 24 foot pool. Our first dive was no deeper than 30 feet. The class started at 9am and we were done with the dive and all by 2:30pm. This will tell you if you want to go for a certification class at an additional charge. Well worth the day to say you did it......lol.....The scuba instructors are awesome.
    Have a BLAST......We did.

  6. #6

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    An intro dive course does not make you a diver. Be advised that they will spend their entire time trying to get you to do your padi cert. You can do your book work and pool sessons before you go and then only do your open water stuff at the resort. Max diving with minimal time in the classroom.

  7. #7

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    We just returned from Couples Negril where we did 6 dives including one night dive. Just to clarify...Richard is an instructor not just a DM and he usually does the AOW courses versus Sugar who does the resort course Mon-Fri.

    If you take the free resort course it is one morning and includes one dive. You can go on to do a full PADI OW and use that one dive towards the 4 you need for your certification. Richard told us that these 3 dives can be done as 3 20 min dives back to back so you could be certified in just 2 days.

    Yes you can do the book work online experience but you would still have to do the pool work and then the dives. The good thing with doing the free course first is it free and you may not like it....or have problems with your ears. No money spent to see if scuba is not for you.

    We were suiting up by the pool one morning when Sugar was having the students do the 4 laps in the pool. When in Grand Cayman in May we watched a new OW student who had to do 20 laps and their pool was twice the size.

    Definitely give it a try. Sugar and Richard are great and safety comes first. That is why people fail the pool session and they won't even take you out for the 30ft dive.

    Betty
    Betty
    Couples Negril - September 2011, 2012, 2013 and have just booked 2014
    Scuba Club Cozumel - Jan, Apr & Nov 2012 and Jan & Nov 2013
    Cobalt Coast, Grand Cayman - May 2013
    Retiring & moving to Cozumel, Mexico in early 2014

  8. #8

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    It probably looks like you are getting a bunch of conflicting information...

    There are 2 different classes for people who have never scuba'd before and depending on what your future plans are, one would be better for you.

    If you just want to dive once so that you can cross it off the list -
    There is a intro to diving course. It takes the most of one morning. You start at 8 with a swim test, watch a video, learn some skills in the pool, and go on a shallow dive. It is included in your stay, you just need to sign up the day before. You will not be certified and can't go diving anywhere else but you can pay for additional dives during your stay if you want. They will try to get you to go for the full certification, but it is definitely not a hard sell.

    If you want to get certified so that you can dive elsewhere in the future -
    There is a PADI Open Water certification. It will take you a couple of days to get in about 6 dives and you will need to study the manual as there are written tests. This will cost you somewhere in the $250 range (it's been several years so I'm not sure the exact cost). After you pass that, you can go on any future Couples dives for free or dive around the world (only shallower depths) until you upgrade to Advanced Open Water.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    17

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    Related question . . . I got PADI OW certification when I was in high school - 30+ years ago. I still have the card, issued in 1980, with my picture at age 17. I dove maybe a dozen times in the 80's, but nothing in the last 20 years or so. I would certainly not consider myself an experienced diver, but maybe not quite a newbie either.

    I'm heading to CSS in January. I'd like to do a bit of diving, but probably not enough to be worth going through (and paying for) the full certification course. I'll do the free course just as a refresher, but does my old certification let me do any additional dives?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    916

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    Quote Originally Posted by lvgal View Post
    It will take you a couple of days to get in about 6 dives and you will need to study the manual as there are written tests...
    LOL...

    Nikki, trust me on this... As Betty and I stated above, you can try the free intro course at the resort first to see if you like it, which is one dive. If you like it and decide to get certified, they will count that dive toward one of your 4 required open water dives to get PADI certified. The certification course, should you choose to get certified, does not take near as much time to do at the resort as it does if you do it at home, and it is significantly cheaper. PADI Open Water certification is good for life, so if you like the intro dive, it's totally worth getting the full certification, even if you think it will be a while before you use it again.
    "Brutalize me with music..."

    CN: 11/2007, 11/2010, 11/2011, 11/2013

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    72

    Default

    As a diver (NAUI cert) I can say if you THINK you will want to do this back in the real world then do it at home. Most dive shops have a discover scuba type deal. The training will be more in depth and then you can enjoy your vacation and not turn it into a work trip. I know its "quicker" to do it at the resort, but is this really the sort of training you want to rush?
    We dove CSS in June and LOVED it, and I have heard CTI is an even better operation. (though I was impressed w/ CSS)

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    15

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    Thank you all so much for taking the time and giving me your thoughts and ideas I really appreciate it!

    Now, if anyone knows how to speed up the next 136 days, and to magically drop 15 lbs that would be really greatÖ. hee-hee

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    808

    Default

    Answers inline in red.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nikki View Post
    Visiting CN Feb 15-22 (Riu 2/12-15), my husband & I want to cross off Scuba diving off the bucket list! I would appreciate any advice.

    -Should we take the scuba class at CN? (I am not finding any classes nearby at home)


    If it is not convenient take them at CN, much easier in nice clear water


    -About how much time does it take? We will be in Jamaica for 10 nights so if I need to sacrifice a day, itís okÖ but I donít want to work too hard, we are on vacation! LOL


    I did all my pool work in 1 day and then did the test that night and turned it in the next day. The second day we did 3 of the 4 dives needed and about 1 hr of pool work. It would have been about 15 min but I had a partner that was not getting a few of the things.


    -Is it hard?


    Swim test was by FAR the hardest part.


    -How much does it cost per person? Should we bring cash for this or will they take it off our card?
    I think it was about US$300 per person. Totally worth it

    -Anything else I should know?

    If you are there for 10 days, go for it. You can get certified the first few days and enjoy a nice dive every morning for the rest of your vacation. My only complaint is that I waited till our 5th trip to CSA to get certified, I should have done it the first time.
    I am sooooo excited for the trip and learning something new, any advice is appreciated!
    54321

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff-Mary View Post
    Related question . . . I got PADI OW certification when I was in high school - 30+ years ago. I still have the card, issued in 1980, with my picture at age 17. I dove maybe a dozen times in the 80's, but nothing in the last 20 years or so. I would certainly not consider myself an experienced diver, but maybe not quite a newbie either.

    I'm heading to CSS in January. I'd like to do a bit of diving, but probably not enough to be worth going through (and paying for) the full certification course. I'll do the free course just as a refresher, but does my old certification let me do any additional dives?
    My understanding of the PADI OW certification is that it's good for life. If it's been a while the scuba staff will ask you do a refresher class. Last I knew it ran around $50 and should be worth it if you're rusty.

    For folks wondering if the resort training is decent I can comment. I did both my PADI OW and AOW at CSA and was VERY happy with the experience. I loved doing my certification dives on plane wrecks and reefs in crystal clear water as opposed to the somewhat murky lakes found my state. The resort instructors definitely made sure I did all the exercises and learned important material. I recently completed my PADI Rescue Diver cert here at home and found I was well prepared for that step from my previous training.

    I have always enjoyed snorkeling and had been curious about scuba for years. My introduction to it was doing the discovery dive at CSA. A few years later I find myself with certs such as AOW, Rescue, Nitrox and going on local dive excursions.

    Oh, one other comment. Last year when I was at CSA I saw a few people on different days start to try the discovery dive and decide that they weren't going to like it while still in the pool. The resort scuba staff was always kind and understanding when that happened. I could see that their main concern is that you're safe and comfortable. They do a good job.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    210

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    Did a resort dive and its a few hours in the moring then a brief 30 minute dive at no more than 30 feet. Great experience and makes me want to get full certification! Then I go home and forget about it until the next time I am away.

    I'd love to get a real watch and the cool bumpersticker but how many hobbies can one have?

    For the bucket list folks, DO IT!!!! Its a great experience!!! You'll know in the first hour in the pool if its your thing or not. Those with clostrophobic tendancies will not want to do it. Better to find out quick and in the pool.

    BTW, my wife has very low body fat and at 30 feet she experienced hydrothermic symptoms and starting to talk to the instructor UNDERWATER!!! He put her regulater right back in her mouth and took her right back up. She was ok, and wants to do it again but at the very least with a wet suit top!!! This was in May. Its a sneaky thing but one to respect.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    808

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    I got certified in 2 days. Totally worth it. Super easy and it was a lot of fun. Just took the resort class in the afternoon one day, did the dive that day. The next day I did the rest of the pool work and the 3 dives. It was really just 1 afternoon and 1 half day, plus the book test and studying during the evening.

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