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CharmCity2000

Checkout dives

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My daughter is 12 and will need to finish her checkout dives during our Dec cruise.  We are in Aruba from 8-8.  Can she do 3 dives in Aruba that day?  It's our first diving port, followed by Bonaire, and then Curacao.  

 

Our first port is Labadee.  In an ideal world, the PADI instructor on the ship would be able to take her out in Labadee and complete 2 of the dives but I don't see diving as an excursion on Labadee so I'm guessing that's not an option.  

 

I've seen HappyDivers recommended here so I would probably reach out to them for help if she can do the 3 dives.

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If you're on a Royal Caribbean ship they DO have PADI instructors (and dive shops) onboard and you can probably organise checkout dives with them.

 

I may be wrong, but I seem to remember that you can only do 2 check out dives per day... you may want to call dive shops in the ABC islands to see if they can do 2 dives in one island and 2 in the other.

 

EDIT: Silly me!  I just realised you mentioned Labadie so you're obviously on an RCCL ship!  Ask the Shore Excursions dept for the dive staff's email on the ship you'll be on.  You can probably organise something with them directly.  

 

Pat

 

Edited by Pat.D

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https://happydiversaruba.com/wp/

2 hours ago, CharmCity2000 said:

My daughter is 12 and will need to finish her checkout dives during our Dec cruise.  We are in Aruba from 8-8.  Can she do 3 dives in Aruba that day?  It's our first diving port, followed by Bonaire, and then Curacao.  

 

Our first port is Labadee.  In an ideal world, the PADI instructor on the ship would be able to take her out in Labadee and complete 2 of the dives but I don't see diving as an excursion on Labadee so I'm guessing that's not an option.  

 

I've seen HappyDivers recommended here so I would probably reach out to them for help if she can do the 3 dives.

I've talked to staff at Labadee in the past, and there is no guest diving there, although many of the staff that live on site dive quite often dive for maintenance reasons. 

 

While the RCCL ships often have a dive instructor aboard, they are fully committed with the scheduled course with the quests aboard.  There's no mechanism for them to add a student for the check dives.  Additionally, if it were somehow possible, you'd be paying a very high price for what you're seeking. 

 

Training standards for all agencies require a total of four check dives, of which no more than 3 can be conducted in one day.  You say your daughter "will need to finish" her dives.  Has she already got one done?  If so she could finish with three dives in one day.  If not, it will be a little more complicated as she'll be completing here referral dives with two different facilities and two different instrctors.  This is certainly doable, but you'll need to definitely make all your arrangements in advance; so you'll have the right paperwork, and each instructor will be able to provide you with exactly what you'll need. 

 

For Aruba, I definitely recommend Happy Divers.  They will provide port pick-up/return.  Jeffrey Kost there would definitely be able to assist you, and with the port times you have, three dives there should definitely be doable.  Jeffrey can be slow to respond to emails, but will get back to you.  If you have trouble, email me, and I can help. (https://happydiversaruba.com/wp/)

 

With Bonaire as your next stop VIP should definitely be able to help if you need to complete the final dive there.  They have a very nice facility, and provide port pick-up/return.  They aren't the cheapest, but there is a strong component of "you get what you pay for" in this case.  (https://vipdiving.com/)

 

Curacao also has a great dive shop, CURious2Dive.  Hans Pleij is the owner, and can arrange what ever diving you'd need.  Again he offers port pick-up/return, and small group diving.  (http://www.curious2dive.com/)

 

Harris

Denver, CO

https://my.divessi.com/pro/64612

 

 

Edited by omeinv

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Harris

 

Thank you for the reply.  I'll reach out to Jeffrey and see what he can do.  When I say "finish her checkout dives", I just meant that she has finished her elearning and confined water training.  She still needs to do all 4 c/o dives.

 

For VIPdiving, I'm okay paying a bit more.  Somehow when it's your kid and there is safety involved, money becomes less of an issue :).

 

Felicia

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1 hour ago, CharmCity2000 said:

Harris

 

Thank you for the reply.  I'll reach out to Jeffrey and see what he can do.  When I say "finish her checkout dives", I just meant that she has finished her elearning and confined water training.  She still needs to do all 4 c/o dives.

 

For VIPdiving, I'm okay paying a bit more.  Somehow when it's your kid and there is safety involved, money becomes less of an issue :).

 

Felicia

Felicia,

 

A couple other thoughts:

 

It's early enough in the year that - if your daughter gets her class/pool done soon, she could do her dives there in Maryland.  I'm the first to say that inland dives are not near as pleasant as ocean dives.  However, there would be some advantages.  First she would then be able to dive on the cruise without having to worry about scheduling check dives.  Second, she could then probably complete her check dives with the instructor she had for class/pool.  Third, there is real value in having the exposure to poor visibility , and colder water one gets in that environment.  Having seen those conditions, while accompanied by an instructor, a diver will then not be likely to panic if (when) she someday encounters poor visibility when diving.  Many things you learn and practice in the open water course, you then likely never use while diving (e.g. air sharing).  However the skills are necessary and valuable, in case the need does arise.  It is similarly valuable to get exposure to the less than ideal while in training, as those conditions can arise and by their nature they're unexpected. 

 

Harris

Denver, CO

https://my.divessi.com/pro/64612

Edited by omeinv

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12 minutes ago, omeinv said:

Felicia,

 

A couple other thoughts:

 

It's early enough in the year that - if your daughter gets her class/pool done soon, she could do her dives there in Maryland.  I'm the first to say that inland dives are not near as pleasant as ocean dives.  However, there would be some advantages.  First she would then be able to dive on the cruise without having to worry about scheduling check dives.  Second, she could then probably complete her check dives with the instructor she had for class/pool.  Third, there is real value in having the exposure to poor visibility , and colder water one gets in that environment.  Having seen those conditions, while accompanied by an instructor, a diver will then not be likely to panic if (when) she someday encounters poor visibility when diving.  Many things you learn and practice in the open water course, you then likely never use while diving (e.g. air sharing).  However the skills are necessary and valuable, in case the need does arise.  It is similarly valuable to get exposure to the less than ideal while in training, as those conditions can arise and by their nature they're unexpected. 

 

Harris

Denver, CO

https://my.divessi.com/pro/64612

  You make some really good points about learning in less than ideal conditions.  I did my AOW checkouts in a quarry in PA the weekend before Thanksgiving.  I'm not sure why I thought this was a good idea.  As we descended for the deep dive, there was snow falling.  Visibility could be described as poor at best.  But based on that experience, poor diving conditions don't really phase me any more. 

She did the Bubblemaker program in Curacao with Ocean Encounters.  They were wonderful btw.  Both of my kids did the program and they were 8 and 10 at the time.  When we got there, we ended up with 2 instructors so one for each kid.  The kids got spoiled that day with the private dive experience.  She then did the Aqua Seal program in Turks.  I think the quarry dive would be a shock to her 🙂.   But you do have a really good point about knowing how to dive in poor conditions and not panic.

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Felicia,

 

Your experience is exactly why I don't recommend local dives unless the student has a trip booked. 

 

When I first started teaching, the shop I was at did most certifications through local dives.  When I moved to a new shop, I learned they had stopped doing local dives for certification at all.  They explained that far too high a percentage of divers who did local dives for their certifications never went on to become divers, largely because the experience didn't encourage them to do so.  I looked back on my experience at the first shop, and had to agree with this finding. 

 

Now, I'm the only instructor at the shop that will certify students locally.  However, I won't do it unless they can show they've got a dive trip planned, so I - and the shop - knows they'll follow up the certification dives with the more pleasant "real diving" experience. 

 

Harris

Denver, CO

https://my.divessi.com/pro/64612

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, omeinv said:

I learned they had stopped doing local dives for certification at all.  They explained that far too high a percentage of divers who did local dives for their certifications never went on to become divers

 

Yeah, that was more or less my experience.  I'm up in Canada and stared diving in my early 20's and promptly stopped. Part of the reason was cost (I was broke), but main reason was the conditions stink here and it just wasn't fun. A few decades later I discovered the Caribbean and fell in love with the amazing diving conditions. I still have no interest in diving the cold murky waters up here, but dive as much as I can when visiting the islands.

 

Pat

 

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Just an FYI,

 

I did my referrral/checkout dives while on a cruise in Curcao and Aruba.  I went with www.scubacao.com in Curacao and Happy Divers in Aruba.  In Curacao we also did a discovery dive with my three kids at the same time I did my checkout dives. We went to the Pier which was a shore dive. The instructor basically taught my kids the scuba class and went over all the skills with me on my two dives. He was very thorough.

 

Jeffery at Happy Divers also does referral dives and will pick up at the ship's dock. There were two other students on board as well as a couple other divers.

 

Be aware that instructors on referral dives may go back and check out skills that have already been checked off just to make sure the student is up to speed. They do this because they didn't initially teach those skills and are just trying to cover what might have been missed or forgotten.

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