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omeinv

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About omeinv

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    Denver, CO
  1. omeinv

    2 Tank Dive question- Bermuda

    Well, the log book will work; but with no dives logged in it, you'll be in the same position as the original poster. If you have no dives in the last two years, you can bring yourself current by taking an update course, and entering that in your new log book. Even if your most recent dives were within the past two years, since you have no data, an update would be the way to bring yourself current for the purposes of future diving. Harris Denver, CO
  2. omeinv

    2 Tank Dive question- Bermuda

    Simply purchase a new one. You can then start from now, or - if you have the data on line or somewhere, recreate the lost one. Harris Denver, CO
  3. omeinv

    2 Tank Dive question- Bermuda

    Most dive operators want to see a logged dive no more than 2 years prior to the dive date. Since it's been five years for you, you'll need to do an update course. PADI calls it a Scuba Review. SSI a Scuba Skills Update. This takes about 3 hours, and it consists of a small amount of class review, and then reviewing all your scuba skills in the pool. It's typically something most dive shops have as a regularly scheduled activity, especially this time of year. Completing a refresher will bring you into current status, and operators will then allow you to dive, just as if you had a dive within the two year period. If you do an update you'll get it documented in your log book, so please make sure to take that with you to your class. You'll also get a digital card indicating the completion, and the date, so you'll be all set. Harris Denver, CO
  4. omeinv

    Booking future cruises on-ship?

    You did make sense. You'd likely be better leaving things alone. When you booked, you got the two perks. If you cancel and re-book now, you'd only get one (presumably you'd select the drink package, giving up the $300.00 OBC). You would gain $150.00 in OBC for booking on board. Your net loss would thus be $150.00 in OBC. Now, all that being said, you may be better off, if the overall goal is to move up. The prices while they have the two-perk offer are generally higher than when it's not running. It may be that your overall package (price, perks, and book-aboard OBC) may be more appealing to you. I would definitely recommend you bring your confirmation statement with you on the cruise, so they can evaluate what you have against what you want. Harris Denver, CO
  5. Mac, One other thing that comes to mind. Please plan your final certification dives on whichever island you hit next after Curacao. That way, if there's weather or some other problem you have the third island as a back-up. If you count on the third island, and something comes up, you can be in something of a pickle, as standards on referral dives (which are what you'll be doing) require they be completed within 6 months of the completion date of your Class/Pool course. Harris Denver, CO
  6. omeinv

    Booking future cruises on-ship?

    For Shareholder credit to apply, you have to be booked with no other perks whatsoever. These "perks" include any package (e.g. Go Big, Better, Best etc.) and anything like a senior or resident discount, and Xciting deals (last minute bookings). That being said, the last I knew, if the shareholder credit otherwise applies to your cruise, the book-aboard OBC will combine with it. However, It's been years since I owned stock, so you'd definitely want to check with the Shareholder Benefit Team for a definitive and current answer. Harris Denver, CO
  7. omeinv

    Booking future cruises on-ship?

    What you get is additional on board credit you can't get any other way, and a reduced deposit ($100.00 per person, rather than $450.00 per person is usual). The base price will be exactly the same as anywhere else. The additional on board credit varies depending on the length of the cruise booked, and a the category of the booked room. You will have the choice of getting the OBC applied to the cruise you book, or the cruise you're on. If you apply it to the cruise you're on, the deposit you place becomes non-refundable, since the cruise line has already given a benefit to you. The default is any cruise you book on board will be assigned to the same travel agency that handled the cruise you are on. If you DO NOT want that, make certain they book it direct to Celebrity. You then have either 60 days, or until the final payment date, to transfer the booking to the agency of your choice. A lot of folks do this, to then get home and shop for the agency that offers the best additional perks. Of course if you are happy with any travel agent that booked your current trip, the default works fine. A booking you make on board will have a booking number assigned to it. If your plans change, before final payment, you change that booking number to a new cruise, and then your book-aboard OBC will remain, so you never "cancel" a cruise booked aboard, unless you decide you're never going to cruise Celebrity again. You can also book Royal Caribbean and Azamara cruises on board, but those bookings will be solely for those lines, you can't switch them later to Celebrity. If you have friends wanting to travel on a future cruise with you that are not on the cruise where you are booking, you can book aboard for them, getting them the OBC and reduced deposit. However, you can only book someone not present for a cruise you yourself are booking, or have booked. They also offer a "Cruise Later" certificate, which is in essence an open booking. you have a reservation number that never expires, that you can eventually apply to a cruise. These don't offer quite as good a benefit, so it's to your advantage to book a "real" cruise, quite far out on the schedule, then change the booking to a cruise you want when you decide. Harris Denver, CO
  8. The first suggestion I have would be to contact the operator you'll be using in Curacao, for their recommendation. Someone they recommend will have the advantage of knowing the instructor that conducts your first two dives. Another thing you can check with the Curacao operator is this: The standards for Open Water certification dives allow for no more than three of the required four dives to be conducted in one day. The general way this is accomplished in the world is to do two dives each day. However, since on Curacao you'll likely be shore diving, ask the operator there if they can conduct the first three instead of the first two. That instructor could that way sign you off on the bulk of the required skills. That gives you several advantages, if there's an issue with weather you'll need only one dive to finish. Second you'll leave Curacao knowing that if you get back underwater once more, you'll come up certified. This will allow you to leave Curacao with a very comfortable frame of mind. If the shop in Curacao doesn't have a particular reference for the other islands, I would recommend: Bonaire: VIP Diving (www.vipdiving.com; email: info@vipdiving.com). They have a pool at their facility, and I've never met or seen anyone on their staff that I wouldn't feel comfortable referring a student to. They offer port pick-up and return. Aruba: Happy Divers Aruba (www.happydiversaruba.com; Email: info@happydiversaruba; Phone/WhatsApp: +297 733 65 70). Jeffrey there will likely be able to help you. Again they offer port pick-up and return. They never have large groups, as the max number of divers on the boat there is 6. The only potential issue I can imagine is if he is already booked that day, and doesn't have one of his other instructors available for you. As a smaller operator, be aware he'll often take a few days to respond to an email. Congratulations on getting your Open Water class and pool completed. I know you've done several Discover Scuba Dives that you've talked about here, so this will open the door all the way for you. Harris Denver, CO
  9. Since the boards came up I'm getting more error messages than success. Most are 504 and 505 errors, with a common message being either "Community not Found" or " An error occurred (500 Error) We're sorry, but a temporary technical error has occurred which means we cannot display this site right now. Too many connections You can try again by clicking the button below, or try again later." I've tried on both Firefox and Safari. Is this something on my end, or a actual problem with Cruise Critic? Harris Denver, CO
  10. Since the boards came up I'm getting more error messages than success. Most are 504 and 505 errors, with a common message being either "Community not Found" or " An error occurred (500 Error) We're sorry, but a temporary technical error has occurred which means we cannot display this site right now. Too many connections You can try again by clicking the button below, or try again later." I've tried on both Firefox and Safari. Is this something on my end, or a actual problem with Cruise Critic? Harris Denver, CO
  11. omeinv

    Royal Caribbean Scuba Certification

    Wow! First, every SCUBA instructor with any time teaching has had a student fail to certify. The reasons are those you mention. However, The time constraints imposed by trying to do this course on a ship raise the chances past what I'd be willing to pay for. That being said if I had a group class with a 50% failure rate, I'd be doing some real explaining to our shop's Training Director at a minimum. Ear problems are common, If an open water student actually suffered a ruptured eardrum on a training dive that's a HUGE issue, and an instructor should be answering a LOT of questions about exactly what took place. A student having trouble with skills in the pool is so common that it is expected in every group class. However, the rigid schedule on the ship likely precludes the usual remedy - the instructor taking extra time with the student's having troubles. There's no excuse for you not knowing you weren't going to pass until you were back on the boat. An instructor certainly has an obligation not to certify a student who has failed to complete the skills - although it's a difficult part of the instructor's job - but implicit in that obligation is the understanding that the student will be advised of the deficiency at a point where correction can be accomplished. Your account crystalizes many of the concerns I have for students attempting to certify using this route. The on-board course relies very heavily on everything and everyone adhering to a very inflexible schedule. Here on planet earth, things just don't seem to work that way. Harris Denver, CO
  12. I remember a post about a year ago. A person was quite upset because they figured they'd save money by doing the trip on their own, only to find out that there were no tickets available because every seat had been purchased in advance, by the cruise line. (Found the old thread here: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2450665&highlight=flam+railway) If this is an important element of your trip, I'd say don't necessarily expect to purchase tickets on the day; but do so in advance. Harris Denver, CO
  13. omeinv

    Full face mask for kids?

    I'm partially cutting and pasting a response I made on another thread. I'm both a Scuba Instructor, and on the verge of retirement from decades as a Coroner's Investigator. I mention this because I have knowledge of what snorkeling is, and knowledge of the danger of death presented by oxygen displacement. Let me start by saying I'm not a fan of full-face masks for ANYONE, let alone a child. First their design precludes being able to dive down to depth, and thus really enjoy snorkeling. However the bigger issue is their danger. The danger is quite real. Carbon Dioxide is not poisonous, the way carbon monoxide is, but it displaces oxygen, causing hypoxia. Carbon dioxide, helium, nitrogen, and other non-poisonous gases are frequently used in suicides by suffocation; again to displace oxygen, without creating the "air hunger" that would otherwise result. The point being the lungs fill, but since the oxygen is displaced, the person dies from lack of oxygen, without the discomfort of being unable to breathe. With the full-face snorkels, a lot of users say "If I felt a problem, I'd simply take the mask off". They don't realize they may never perceive the sensation of difficult breathing, Since they are breathing fine, but they're not breathing oxygen The lack of air hunger means a snorkeler likely will not realize their situation is becoming perilous. The problem created by breathing improperly is hypercapnia (excessive CO2). This can result from hyperventilating with no other factor present (no mask, snorkel or other obstruction). This is exactly what happens when kids play the "choking game" where they deliberately hyperventilate, then another restricts their breathing. It's not the lack of oxygen directly, but the presence of carbon dioxide displacing oxygen. Further, the brain signals the breathing to occur in the presence of carbon dioxide, rather than the lack of oxygen, thus hypercapnia results in a autonomic response to breathe. This ends up in a even more rapid, and less efficient breathing. If not recognized and consciously overcome, hypoxia is the result. If on land, the person faints, and returns to baseline. If in water, loss of consciousness results in drowning. The volume of a full face snorkeling mask is much more than a snorkel. A snorkel gets very close to 100% exchange with every breath. If a full face mask is not designed to provide for proper exchange of exhaled gas, it is a nearly perfect system to cause hypercapnia. This is exacerbated if the user hyperventilates. This can result from exertion, or simply stress from the new experience; or, obviously, hypercapnia. Since the full face mask provides no means to equalize the ears, those using them tend not to dive below the surface, but even the effect of surface swimming can be enough to cause improper, rapid breathing. Now, to be clear, the quality brands (Head, Tribord, etc), have design features to significantly lessen this danger, but the features rely on proper maintenance and cleaning that is easy to neglect. Most of the "knock-off" full face masks lack these design features, or they're poorly constructed. Some of these knock-offs are marketed in a way that a buyer thinks they're getting a good brand, when they aren't. Harris Denver, CO www.divessi.com/pro/64612
  14. omeinv

    B2B Pros and Cons

    I can't think of anything I would call a "con", as long as you book two where the itinerary changes, so you don't have repetitive ports. Also, you may end up switching staterooms, but if so Celebrity makes it painless. Also, even if you don't switch, you'll have to disembark at least briefly for customs reasons, assuming you're beginning at a US port. Also, be aware that each leg is accounted for as a separate cruise, so things don't carry from one to the next (e.g. OBC, internet packages, etc.). Biggest thing if you have non-refundable on-board credit, spend it before the end of the particular leg on which you have it, or it will be lost. Pros: Usually a B2B discount, with the amount varying based on room type and length of cruises, applies to each leg. Often some special event for B2B cruisers between legs. You have the advantage of knowing who and where your favorite crew members are. When everyone else is stressing about packing and traveling home, you know you're looking forward to more time on a cruise. Harris Denver, CO
  15. When we were there we took the train. The time was shorter than the bus, and WAY more comfortable. The price was comparable to the bus. Our day at La Havre was something like 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM, we left on the first train we could, and left Paris between 5:00 and 6:00 PM. The train station is in the heart of the city, and from there you can easily take the Metro to all the big sites. That being said, we'd been to Paris before, and that made planning, and getting the most out of our day easier. If you're looking for an "on your own" day, I'd recommend the train. For a guided tour I suppose you'd want to find a vendor with a bus from the port and back. Harris Denver, CO
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