I did the class dive at CSS in January. I had tried to do it at CSA last year, but they required 8 lengths of the pool (the one near The Palms). Normally, not an issue, but I'm a backstroker or a breaststroker, and CSA required freestyle - never going to happen for me, as I stink at freestyle. Anyway, here is what happened at CSS:
I signed up for the class a couple days ahead of time. They won't let you dive within a day or two of your return flight, so keep this in mind. You also have to fill out a medical questionnaire. If you have just about ANY medical issue (e.g., high blood pressure, bad knees), they will not permit you to take the course without a written note from your doctor at home, or being checked out by the resort doctor.
We watched a video in the dive shack, then took a 10 question written test (very easy if you paid attention to the video). After that, the five of us went to the pool for the swim test, which at CSS was 4 lengths of the pool with any stroke. No problem! We then did the dive basics, such as how to clear water from your mask, how to find the mouthpiece if it gets dislodged, how to clear your ears, etc. The dive itself took about an hour total (about 20 minutes below water). In all, the course took up the entire morning (9:00 - 12:30). It was so worth it, though. They will allow you to dive with the certified divers after you have taken the course for a $50 fee.
I have my own mask and fins, and they let me use my own equipment, which really helped me feel even more comfortable.
My wife and I did the resort course at CSA two years ago...yes it is true that you must do the swim freestyle only but they give you as much time as you need. ( So practice) haha
We had a blast with it and I ended up getting my PADI open water cert. the next day. If you have your PADI cert then you can dive for free each day. If you do the resort course make sure you sign up the day before...i believe it starts at 9am. You need to wait 24hrs after you land before diving due to 'the bends' and cannot dive within 24hours of your departure.
hope this helps