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d3lphi
05-13-2010, 10:40
Hello,

I have passed by the ScubaToys shop a hundred times since I live in Lewisville but never been in. Anyway, I am brand new to this forum and very curious about scuba diving.

I will be going to Jamaica in a few weeks and staying at a Sandals resort, and diving is included. We will probably split our stay between Montego Bay 2-3 days and Negril 5-6 days.

Not being a noob to forums in general, I used the search feature and I found the 5 or 6 threads on Jamaica and Sandals diving and got some good information from them.

So I know what to expect, but I wanted to get some more opinions on a few things:


Should I get certified here before I go?
How would an in-country certification class be? cost? length? benefit?
What gear of my own should I bring?


Thanks in advance to anyone responding!

rayaa3
05-13-2010, 11:07
I don't know much about the diving in Jamaica, however, in my experience it's always more expensive to take the OW class at the resort/op in a dive destination. You can likely take it here for a couple hundred dollars and it will likely costs you 300-400 to take it there (only way to know for sure is check with your dive op)

I personally don't like the idea of taking OW on vacation - OW consists of some book/video time, a written test, some pool diving, and then 4-5 OW check out dives in a lake/ocean. I personally don't want to spend my vacation time doing all that pool diving and book work. However - some people enjoy doing that on vacation - or don't have time for it outside of vacation.

One compromise that is popular is to take the written/pool part of the class at home, then do the OW check out dives on location. I'll warn you - it's almost like paying for the class twice. You'll pay a couple hundred bucks here for the pool/academics, then a couple hundred dollars there for the OW part. However, it's a nice compromise with not spending all your vacation time working on the cert, and still getting the benefit of clear warm water for your OW dives.

In any case - the gear to start with owning is mask snorkel fins. Stop by ScubaToys they can hook you up with gear and training, and advice.

If you do your complete OW certification class on site - you'll likely spend 4 days on it between pool diving, OW checkout dives, etc. So you'll need all 4 days with one dive op (you mentioned hopping around a bit on your trip). If you do the academics here and the OW check out dives there, it will take 2 days(usually).

If you do it here, you'll likely spend about the same amount of time, but it will be split up between 2 weekends or something similar.

d3lphi
05-13-2010, 12:18
I personally don't like the idea of taking OW on vacation - OW consists of some book/video time, a written test, some pool diving, and then 4-5 OW check out dives in a lake/ocean. I personally don't want to spend my vacation time doing all that pool diving and book work.

Thanks Rayaa, I didn't realize it was that involved. I may not even have enough time to get my OW before I leave on 5/29. I would have to cram the bookwork into tonight and tomorrow before the pool days this weekend, then the lake days next weekend...

I can really only see myself going on two dives in Negril as my wife is ichthyophobic (no diving for her). This is one one year anniversary trip, so I doubt I could get away with ditching her for multiple days... With all that being said it just may not be worth the work and trouble...

wheelman
05-13-2010, 12:34
Maybe check if they have a discovery scuba class at your resort.

DevilDiver
05-13-2010, 13:11
my wife is ichthyophobic (no diving for her).

:smiley5: Really? All fish?


Maybe check if they have a discovery scuba class at your resort.

+1 Sign up for the Discover Scuba course, it's quick and easy and it will give you idea if diving is something that you want to pursue.

d3lphi
05-13-2010, 13:16
[quote=d3lphi;386262]:smiley5: Really? All fish?

Yep pretty much! We did a snorkel / sail in Cancun and she stayed on the boat after seeing the fish swimming right up to the divers masks.


Maybe check if they have a discovery scuba class at your resort.

What could I expect to see in a Discover Scuba class?

wheelman
05-13-2010, 13:40
It will give you a chance to breathe underwater with supervision. It may be in a pool or in easy open water depending on the shop. It is like 1/2 a day deal and would give you an idea if you like scuba. I would hope in Jamaica it would be in the ocean but you would have to check with the resort dive shop.

d3lphi
05-13-2010, 14:05
It will give you a chance to breathe underwater with supervision. It may be in a pool or in easy open water depending on the shop. It is like 1/2 a day deal and would give you an idea if you like scuba. I would hope in Jamaica it would be in the ocean but you would have to check with the resort dive shop.

I did a very short scuba demo in a pool in Mexico several years ago. I very much enjoyed the sensation of being able to breathe underwater! It was just 1:1 with an instructor and we did a few things like taking off and clearing our masks underwater and putting fins back on, etc.

So I am pretty sure I will enjoy scuba! But if this is all a DSD class is and you don't actually get to see anything cool then it may not be what i'm looking for...

Vlane
05-13-2010, 14:06
I did a discover scuba in the Bahamas and it consisted of an explanation of what to do and not to do, a shallow crash course consisting of the basics, and then a dive that probably maxed out around 20' or a little bit deeper. It was awesome and got me hooked on diving. If you don't have time to squeeze in the course I would definitely recommend discover scuba.

d3lphi
05-13-2010, 15:29
I found this information about the Dive Sites in Negril (http://www.sandals.com/general/scuba-locations.cfm?divearea=ne):

Middle Shoal Reef
One of the most frequently visited 30' dive sites. Used mainly for our PADI introductory (Resort) Scuba Course dive #1. Nice coral reef to 30' sand bed. Very large aggregation of French grunts at cleaning stations on coral heads. Squirrel fish aggregations at other cleaning sites. Turtles often seen on the edge of a sand bed. Many blue chromis, creole wrans, parrots, etc. Depth: 30ft

Bloody Bay
Another dive site used for our Resort's course divers on training dive #1. The healthy coral heads rise as far as 20' from the bottom of Bloody Bay. Some extremely large spiny puffers! occasional sea horse. Depth: 30ft

If the training/resort course/DSD dive is one of these two spots then I think I will just do that instead of trying to cram in my certification before the trip. This way I can get a few dives in on my trip and then get my full certification after I get home.

More info on Diving with Sandals (http://www.sandals.com/general/scuba-details.cfm)