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Thread: Scuba at CSA

  1. #1

    Default Scuba at CSA

    Hello! My fiance and I will be visiting CSA in June for the first time while honeymooning. We are SO excited! We have never scuba dived before and are not certified. Does anyone know what the process is to go while at CSA? Thanks so much for your input!

  2. #2


    Hello spin. My wife and I will also be at CSA in June. I don't recommend taking the scuba class while on vacation. The last thing I would want to do on vacation is study/read. It takes up way too much time. It will end up being the focus of your vacation. It will also prevent you from staying up late, drinking, etc.... You don't want to be hungover or drunk while doing your skills. I always suggest doing all the bookwork and confined water dives with your local PADI diveshop. You can get a referral to CSA diveshop and complete your cert. there by doing your open water dives. This is much more efficient and practical way of doing things not to mention more time spent on other things. My wife did this last summer in cancun.
    If you still want to take your entire course with CSA then I suggest looking at the PADI website or visiting your local PADI shop to see what is involved. Good luck.

  3. #3


    I agree that taking the full course while at CSA will take up a lot of time, and that a referral would be better, but was that what you had in mind? You can also just do the resort course/Discover Scuba which is just a short course to cover some basics before you go on a short, shallow dive with an instructor close by your side. If you aren't positive you'll like diving it's a great way to give it a trial run.
    BTW, be sure you are a very good swimmer before you go. They are extrememly picky about your swimming capabilities at CSA and will fail you if you don't do a perfect front crawl (despite that not being a defined standard). It happened to our friend, sadly and he never got to dive there (and yes, he can swim, just not like a professional swimmer)

  4. #4


    I thought the resort courses were different/easier than regular cerification. Aren't they only a couple hours? How can that be the same as regular certification? I was considering it, too, but just so I could dive with my husband while at CSA (he's already certified) but I really don't have a desire to do it any other time or take the full course.

  5. #5


    Does anyone know if the scuba boats would let me join the trip but just snorkel or hang out while my husband is diving? I don't need to go all the time but I'm sure he would do more dives if he knew he wasn't leaving me alone. Or are there any other wives that also have scuba diving husbands but would prefer to do something else? It would be nice to have a buddy to hang out with when he's diving!

  6. #6

    Default Fun & easy!

    If I read your post correctly, you are not looking to get certified but rather to take advantage of the intro to scuba referred to as the "resort course". I highly recommend this as a low risk way to try out scuba diving and see if you like it. You should follow the links to the watersports FAQs and look at the health form that must be completed to dive. This avoids any disappointments after arrival. If you need to answer "yes" to any of the listed issues, you are best off to print out the forms and take them to your doctor before departure. "yes" answers DO NOT prevent you from diving, but being examined by a dr. in Jamaica will cost you time & money!

    So here's the deal...soon after you arrive at CSA stop by the dive hut (near the Palms) and talk to the guys. You will need to sign up in advance for the class/dive. It occurs every morning around 8-8:30am. You will take a swim test, then watch a 20 min video, then get in the pool to experience the equipment and learn some basic skills. If all is still well, and you want to proceed, you will go out on the dive boat (with your instructor) at around 10:30. The beginner dive goes to about 20-25 feet deep. You'll be back before noon. After the beginner dive you have some choices.

    If you love it and want to get open water certified, you've just gotten a head start! The divemasters can tell you after your intro dive what would be involved in doing the OW cert. If you liked the experience but don't want to pursue certification just problem!! You can pay $50 to go on another beginner dive later during your stay, if there is space. You can take the "resort course" free once during every stay at Couples. Should you choose to certify, the cost is $365us. This includes the books, dives, test, etc. The reading is not hard and your instructor will lead you through all the skills you need. Some people like to do the book & pool work at home and get the referral to Couples for the OW dives....worth looking into, but it may be cheaper & faster to do it all at Couples. (It was for us!) We did "resort dives" many times over the years and finally got certified last week at CSA. We started Sunday morning and were done by the end of Tues. We could have been done sooner but chose to take Monday afternoon off. Anthony is an awesome instructor, as are all the guys!

    Enjoy, have fun, do what seems right for YOU!

  7. #7


    I have to disagree with jvevil. My husband and I got certified at CN this past April and it took no time at all. The book work and exam took, maybe, an hour and a half, and we scored a 92. Wish I could have gotten away with that in college many moons ago. Plus, it's cheaper at the resort. Go for it! You'll be SO glad you did.

  8. #8


    An hour and half for book work and exam? That's a scary thought. Good luck and stay safe.

  9. #9


    lvmcgill ~ My hubby dives and I don't. We've tried a few times to see if I could go out with them and snorkel while he dives, but they have never allowed that. I've even tried to just ride in the boat, but there has never been room.

    The divers really aren't out that long. 1.5 - 2 hours. I just enjoy the time on the beach while he is gone. Most of the time that has been when I've made new friends. The time flies by quickly and before I know it he is back by my side.

    You could always go to the dive shack the first morning and talk to some of the other divers and see if they have wives hanging back on the beach. Then you could go over and meet them and then perhaps have someone to hang out with while hubby is diving.
    Juliann & Jeff
    Jamaica Soon Come

  10. #10


    You can do all the studying at home with CSA scuba team.

    See the link which is also at the CSA page

    inculdes all the study material and the exams, so when you arrive at CSA all you have to do is the pool work and ocean dives.

  11. #11


    I'm considering the resort course but just so I could join my husband on a dive. Do the registered divers and resort course divers go on the same shallow-water dives? I'm really not interested in full certification. I attempted it when my husband got certified and I really didn't enjoy it and never completed my open water dives. I could certainly handle diving down 10-15 feet and swimming around but dealing with emergency ascents and waiting times and all the risks associated with deeper diving really doesn't appeal to me.

    As a secondary option, I would be perfectly content viewing the reefs from the surface and just snorkeling but I would like to be able to do these trips with my husband if possible. That's why I'm wondering if the dive trips would consider taking a snorkeler along. Is there a way to check with the dive shop in advance? It doesn't have to be every time, but I'm sure he'd like to go on as many dives as possible and if I can come along for a few, that would be nice.

  12. #12


    lvmcgill. the dive boat will not take snorkelers. you would need to take the discover scuba class which is free. this class includes one dive but your husband will not be able to go with you. you will need to do your first dive with other discover scuba students and the CSA dive team. after you complete your course, you can pay for additional dives and will be allowed to go with your husband and other certified divers on the shallow boat dives. good luck.

  13. #13


    good find germangirl. the online course has been around for a little while. i've never talked to anyone that has taken it online. did you? how was it? FYI, they also offer other courses like AOW and enriched air for those that are interested.

  14. #14


    just be sure if you're doing the lap swimming that A)you can swim the crawl for 8 laps and B) your bathing suit top allows for swimming the crawl for 8 laps....I speak from experience - section B is what prevented me from finishing the 8 laps and prevented me from going diving....that and the fact that all I wanted to do was laze around - 'nuff said!!!

  15. #15


    jv - I was thinking of taking the enriched air specialty while at CSA this summer. Recommended? Can you give just a sentence or two about the advantage of diving with the enriched air? Thanks!

  16. #16


    Hey tallman2nd. Sorry but all I can say is do a google search or ask your question on one of the scuba forums. You'll find a ton of different opinions, pros, cons, etc.... Some people are pretty adamant about their opinion on nitrox and I don't want this to turn into one of those threads. Good luck!

  17. #17


    jv - No problem! Will check as you suggested. Thanks for the reply.

  18. #18


    BTW tallman2nd, I do recommend. The more classes/education the better. Not to mention that it's a short class. cya

  19. #19


    Thanks for the helpful info.

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