In St. Maarteen, we are interested in doing a beginning SCUBA class, but the min. age is 10. Would I be able to bring my 8 year old (for a fee) with us if I brought her snorkel, etc. I think this is a shallow water dive -not from a boat. We will be on Carnival Triumph
Are you doing this through Carnival or an outside operator?
This is not a "here's your tank, jump in" kind of thing. even the beginners scuba is about 30 minutes or so of classroom (or sitting on the boat listening) before you even put the gear on. No offense, but a dive boat or shore dive is no place for a child. Who is going to watch them when you do your diving?
You will most likely go to 20 to 40 feet down. If this is done from a boat, that is pretty deep for even an adult to snorkel in. No, it would be unfair to the other people and to the operators for you to bring a child along. Not to mention dangerous.
good question, who is going to watch her while you dive? You all go down in a group,someone would have to sacrifice or shorten their dive to watch your daughther. The age requirement could be a liability issue with the tour group. You would be better off picking a different excursion or doing separate excursions. St. Maarten has some very nice beaches.
Not to be a wet blanket, but diving does involve a certain amount of danger and risk. Do it the right way, get certified at home before you go, that way, you can go on longer and deeper dives. Certification is good for life, a Discover Scuba or Resort Course is only good for the day, a dive operator at the next island will not recognize that as being certified or experienced.
That will depend on the operator. Some operators will have a boat for divers and another one for snorklers, some will put them on 1 boat. Just make sure that there is an adult from your party as well as a snorkle guide available. As far as the resort course, I believe that Padi recently made a change and from what I understand, if you take a resort course it is good for somewhere between 3 and 30 days( can't remember which) but it is now not a 1 day thing anymore. A middle ground option may be going on a snuba tour which is a mix between diving and snorkleing. I am not positive but I think most places will let an 8yr old do that.