As I remember, the Princess certification starts in advance by you learning the book work at home before the cruise. As soon as you get on the ship, they'll start the pool work, so by the time you get to your first port, you'll be ready for you certification dives. You have to complete 4 certification dives to get your PADI card. Generally you'll get two dives per port/day. Generally, you can do two boat dives in a 4-5 hour period, so if you're in port longer, you can do whatever else you want.
Thanks Dana. We were given the schedule, and have the books already. At the first port we have classes onboard in the pool from 7am-11am and then have more lessons onboard from 2pm-5pm. I am wondering, do you think we have time from 11am-2pm to eat lunch and get off the ship to see the destination? I dono how the timign works...will we need to wait in line to get back onto the ship for 2pm? There is apparently a small boat we have to take to get ashore.
Which port is it? I would have thought you'd do the pool work on the first at-sea day. 3 hours might be enough time to go ashore and have a little fun - depends on which port. For instance, Grand Cayman has a nice downtown with shopping and food that's right at the tender dock, whereas other islands may not have shopping so close.
I have noticed that Princess is better than most lines at running a sufficient number of tenders, so waiting to get back on the ship isn't much of a problem.
I just took a look at the schedules and our first day is in Pricess cays. They told me it's a tender.
We have water sessions onboard in the pool from 7am-11am and then classroom sessions onboard from 2-6pm. Do you think we'll be able to see the Princess Cays in between??? I've never been there, and would hate to miss out on it!
you might be able to get in an hour on Princess Cays and that might be pushing it. It takes about 10 minutes to get from the ship to the island. Princess is pretty good about getting you on those tenders and get them going. Wait time is minimal, maybe 5 minutes.
Princess Cays is great, its one big beach party, you can choose to just veg out on a lounge chair on the beach and have a cocktail or you can take part in a lively beach volleyball game, dance to the music, swim, snorkel, stroll the boardwalk-buy a souveniour. The lunch buffet is quite good.
I guess an hour is better than nothing! I suppose from 11am-2pm we'd have to get something to eat and then get on the tender and then back, right?
Once we take the tender to the shore is the beach and boardwalk right there or do we have to walk from there or take a bus?? It sounds like it might take us an hour just to travel back and forth right? What time do you think we should leave shore to get back on the ship for a 2pm class? I really appreciate your help and information!
the tenders are constantly going back and forth from the ship to the Cay,i would plan 45 minutes max for a round-trip.
Everything on the Cay is within walking distance, no vehicles on the island.
I would plan to be back on board 15-20 minutes before your next class
I feel a lot better now knowing the tenders go back and forth the whole day! It sounds like we just might have time to get off and see a few things or shop a bit! I really don't want to stay on the ship during that 3 hour window of opportunity. Thanks again!
Thanks, that gives me a better picture of what we might want to do then. Any idea how far it might be from the tender to where we can go swimming or lay on the beach with a towl for an hour? Sounds like shopping isn't really going to take up any time. Also do they have umbrealla areas at the beaches?? I am one of those people that burns even with 50+ sunscreen. Thanks for everyone's help!
Dialogue on PADI "interfering" with shore excursions is of interest to me as well, although we won't be in Princess Caye. Rather, first shore day will be St Thomas, and my sons will be, like Lisa, captive in the morning and afternoon, to the ship and the intro pool and class instruction. The question is, is there anything in St. Thomas that they'd actually need to see during their brief respite from class? Otherwise, I'll be telling them to just stay on the ship while Dad goes diving. (I'm already certified).
Any ideas? BTW: from experience, anyone, how was Princess's PADI program?
There is a time frame that you will be informed about, the tenders run all day, but when it is time to return to the ship you must go. The ship will leave you if you are not aboard at the designated time.
Some of the dive shops in my area have classes where you can take your training in 1 weekend or 3 Sundays. All book work is done at home and after a short classroom review you take a test. The majority of your weekend is spent in the pool. You could always get a referral for the open water certification. This would free up your ship board time. Just a suggestion, either way enjoy.
Shawn - there are a couple of things that you and your boys can do in between classes. You can get off the ship and do a little shopping at the pier - Havensight Mall or you can take a short walk over to the Paradise Point Tramway - its fun going up the mountain and the view of the harbor from the top is breathtaking. Depending upon your time frame and traffic you might be able to squeak in a hour at the beach.