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Old March 12th, 2014, 02:06 AM
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Default PADI Scuba Course

My wife and I tried a Discover Scuba excursion last year on the Allure and loved it. We just booked a cruise on Freedom for this May and were browsing the excursions when we saw they offer a full PADI Scuba Certification Course for $299. It includes 12 hours of instruction in and out of the pools on board culminating in an open water dive in either Cozumel or Grand Cayman. We're very intrigued but have some concerns.

Has anyone ever taken the course through RCI before? If so, how did you like it? What is the schedule like for the on board courses?

I'm going to call them and ask for more information but if anyone has any information we'd really appreciate it! Thanks!
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Old March 12th, 2014, 02:52 AM
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Personally, as a diver who is open water certified, advanced open water certified, and rescue diver certified with over 150 dives, as well as having clients who have taken the onboard certification courses, I believe it is much better to take the courses before you go on a cruise.

Scuba diving is a recreational activity, but done wrong can cost you your life!

I firmly believe that in order to do this properly you need to do all the course work, do all the pool time, and do the open water dives. Rushing through this may be good for some, but may not be good for others. For example, PADI offers a weekend course, which one of my sons did. It was too quick and was not right for him, so he ended up failing the course. He then enrolled in a regular course that takes more time and is not so hurried, and he did much better and understood the concepts.

While some people may be fine with a quicker course, others are not.

I'm not saying the cruise line courses lack in safety, but they are a bit hurried and may not be for everyone.

I would much rather see someone working with a local dive instructor and taking their time to insure they understand everything about the sport and how to do it correctly and safely.

Not only this, but why waste your vacation time in classes? It would be so much better to get everything done before you go on your cruise and that way you can not only enjoy the cruise more, but you can also enjoy the diving more.

I've dove with people who did these quick courses and they always made me very nervous and feared for their safety because they simply did not understand the dangers as well as they should.

Just my opinion, but when it comes to something that is potentially very dangerous and could cost you your life, I don't believe in shortcuts.

Pete
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Old March 12th, 2014, 09:20 AM
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The course advertised does not certify you as an Open Water Diver. You can however, pay an additional fee and take the full open water class. Friends took it on the Freedom OTS a couple years ago while we were cruising. There is a lot of studying on your time and you do your skill station in the pool onboard. Pool was 7ft. They did there check off dives in either Cayman or Cozumel. I believe it was Cozumel though. This is a PADI course. They were the only two taking the course so theirs was very personalized. My travel agent called the shore ex. department and got info. and contact name and number.
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Old March 17th, 2014, 02:36 PM
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Sorry for taking so long to respond! Thank you both for your information and advice.

After some consideration we've decided not to take the course. We're cruising with friends and feel like the schedule would cut too much into our time with them. We'll probably see if we can get our friends to do a Snuba or Discover Scuba excursion with us. In the future we might look into the possibility of doing the book work and pool dives at home in Baltimore but finish the open water portion of the course while cruising!
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Old March 17th, 2014, 04:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taeo View Post
Sorry for taking so long to respond! Thank you both for your information and advice.

After some consideration we've decided not to take the course. We're cruising with friends and feel like the schedule would cut too much into our time with them. We'll probably see if we can get our friends to do a Snuba or Discover Scuba excursion with us. In the future we might look into the possibility of doing the book work and pool dives at home in Baltimore but finish the open water portion of the course while cruising!
There is a wonderful scuba lake in Pennsylvania not too far from Baltimore! Check it out; Dutch Springs

But I applaud your decision not to take the course on the ship. If you want to do the resort course, there are several good ones out there both in Cozumel and Grand Cayman. However, I would really suggest you do an Introduction to Scuba Diving before you go. Contact a couple of the scuba shops in your area to see who is offering it, when, where, and how much. Normally the price is about $25 and will be held in a local pool. They outfit you in the gear, give you some basic instructions, and let you swim around in the deep end of the pool. This will tell you if it's something you can handle. Some people find it very claustrophobic, while others can't clear their ears. And some cannot handle breathing through their mouth through the equipment. So if there are going to be any problems, it's best to find out before signing up for a resort course.

Pete
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