I'll be at CSS 6/24-7/3 for a friends wedding and plan on taking full advantage of the diving avalible, but I have several questions and hope some fellow divers can help answer them.
1) Does CSS offer Nitrox?
2) How strict are they about only taking you out only once a day, or aditional dives avalible? I'd really like to get in atleast two dives a day!
3) Do they provide lockers for your personal equipment?
4) Do they offer specialty classes (i.e wreck, deep diving, ect) and if so are their rates reasonable?
5) Do they offer night dives?
6) Water temp's.... Should I bring a 5mil or just my 3mil shorty?
7) Any must do dives? Granted Jamacia is not a huge dive destination, but like I said I'm there for a wedding, so I plan to make the best of it!!
I know I have lots of questions so THANK YOU in advance for your assistance!!
2 There are 2 dives most days (9am and 11:30) - and a 2 tank dive on Sunday.
3 There are no lockers but they graciously stored our gear for the week for us
4 I think so they are PADI and we have SSI so I did not check
5 Yes if they have at least 4 people (extra charge its $50 I think) we could not get a group together last time so we did not do it
6 I am very cold nature and I dive in a dive skin - DH just dives in a t shirt - we leave the dive suits at home because they take too much room
7 Decent diving not great the dive leader picks the dive each day but they may take requests the day before if you ask
We've only been to CSA (so far) but
1) no Nitrox there.
2) Although the 2 dives are separate with the boat coming back in to take out the resort divers, the staff always seemed surprised (disappointed? we loved diving with them) if we weren't coming back for the afternoon dive. They certainly don't mind you doing 2 a day... (unless maybe there are a lot of divers (not likely) and you wanted to do 2 dives a day every day and kept others from diving perhaps) But of it's not busy, no problem mon. Just sign up ahead.
3) At CSA they did not really have space to store our equipment. We took it back to our room and put it on the balcony (2nd floor luckily). The next trip we are absolutely not bring our BCDs and maybe not even our regs.... too much extra work rinsing and carrying back and forth. I'm sure Couple's gear will be in good working condition.
4) Not sure about specialty classes. probably not scheduled. Check with the resort if there's something in particular you want to do.
5) We had enough for a night dive, but we were glad we had our lights as they didn't have many.
6) I get cold easy but I dove in a 3mm shortie and was fine for single dives. That was in Jan. too. The water was about 82. DH dove in board shorts.
7) I've heard that Negril is better than the Ocho Rios area, but who knows. I had also heard diving in Jamaica was horrible. It's not fabulous, as there's not a ton of life, but it was ok... and seeing dolphins was a highlight. We'll try diving while at CSS for sure and dive again at CSA. Enjoy!
It's my understanding that there is no nitrox in Jamaica period! But then again, there really is no reason for it. All of our dives were less than 50 feet and were very controlled. We had to stay with the divemaster the whole time and he controlled the time reasonably, but difinely within limits. Since they only had 1 tank dives, there was plenty of time between the morning and afternoon dives to off gas, therefore no need for nitrox.
The best dive we had was the HMS Catherine wreck dive, Lots of small brain corals and a decent swim thru located alongside.
As you said, Jamaica is not known as a dive destination, but it certainly beats a cold stone quarry in Indiana or Ohio! And as others have said, leave your wetsuit at home. We dove only in skins and were quite comfortable.
Is the am dive at CSS a shallow dive? I am thinking it must be since someone wrote that the resort divers go on this one. I am hoping that is not the case.
At CSA there are 2 deeper dives per day and the resort dive is a 3rd separate trip. Going with the resort divers is not much fun for certified divers as a lot of the time is spent waiting for the resort divers to get down the rope.
If you get your "Advanced Open Water" certification (you can get it locally, before you arrive in Jamaica, OR we got ours 2 years ago while we were at CN) the dive masters will often split the divers into 2 groups, "Open Water" divers and "AOW" divers then take the AOW divers on much deeper dives.....
We completed the "AOW" certification at CN in 4 dives if I remember correctly... We think the deeper dives are WELL WORTH the cost of the extra certification!!!!!
The deeper dives at both CN and CSS are in the morning(9:00am). The afternoon dives are shallow dives.... The resort course (pool work) is done in the morning then they go out with the "afternoon" (11:30am) dive group.