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  1. #1

    Default Can someone explain the scuba diving to me?

    My husband and I would like to scuba dive when we visit CSA- me a few times, him every day. We are not certified divers. The FAQ states that-
    For non-certified divers complimentary Resort course and one complimentary introductory dive is offered. Additional non-certified dives are $50 per person, subject to availability. The Resort Course is offered Monday through Friday at 9:00 am. Guests are asked to sign-up one day in advance. This is not a PADI certification course. "
    If we're paying each time, we could easily spend at least $300 extra. The FAQs then say that PADI certification is available for an extra charge. Does anyone have more details on this- when you have to register, cost, time involved, etc?
    Doing the course here at home isn't an option.

  2. #2


    If you plan on diving more than a couple of times, definitely do the PADI course. You can do your book work at home, too through the online program and then in Jamaica, you only have to do the water part. Saves a lot of time. Don't even bother with the resort course. Just go straight for the PADI course and get certified. Then when you return to CSA (or anywhere else for that matter), you can just dive.

    The cost for the PADI course I believe is around $400. The time involved is the better part of the week, and if you do your book work at the resort also, you will be studying while relaxing on the beach. (But what better place to study, huh?) You would want to sign up for the PADI course as soon as you arrive at the resort so you have enough time to complete it.

    The only caveat I would have to the above advice is this: If you have never been scuba diving before, you might want to take the resort course before you commit to the time and $$ involved in getting certified. Not everyone likes scuba diving or gets bitten by the scuba "bug" as it were.

  3. #3


    Thanks vee, I completely agree with you! I don't want to sign up for something that will take most of the week if I'm not even sure I'll like doing it! We'll do the resort course and then think about PADI for the next time.

  4. #4


    Hi nuclearali,
    Vee's right. It's probably worth doing the PADI course if you and your husband want to dive more than a couple of times each.
    My husband and I did the course last year at CSA and it was incredible! It cost us about $350 each, from what I remember, but the instructors were amazing and I felt so safe doing the dives. They really take it seriously and make sure you're comfortable.
    There is a swim test involved, it's about 200m in the pool by the Palms and you can take as long as you want and do whatever stroke you want, you just can't stop or stand on the bottom of the pool.
    It didn't take that long to study or do the prep work, I think we did it in a couple of days, with time in the pool with an instructor and then a dive where we did the exercises over again in the water. We were then able to dive for the rest of the week and loved it!
    Can't wait to get back to CSA in 5 days to dive again!!

  5. #5


    PADI will allow for the Class Room portion of the PADI Course to be done by your hometown PADI SCUBA Shop and your may get the letter of Transfer for the OpenWater portion of the Dive Course. Confirm the availability with your local shop and then confirm and price this out with the CSA staff mgr.
    The bookwork and video portion may take a lot of time and the water portion is the best. Check it out.

  6. #6


    Is the swim test only to see if you can swim or do they let you slide if you are short of the 200 m mark. Also, do they provide video coverage of your dive for an additional cost. I really want to make use of the free dive but I hate to say this I doubt I can make it past 150 m..... Anyone any comments

  7. #7


    Just got back from CSA a few days ago and we did the resort diving course. The swim test is a full 8 laps in the pool by the Palms restaurant, and I don't think they will let you slide if you are short. I have been swimming all of my life and really wasn't worried about the swim test, but it is much more difficult than it sounds, so here are a few words of advice.
    1. Practice your "Front Crawl" stroke...they called it "Freestyle". This is the only style of swimming that is allowed for the back stroke or side stroke.
    2. Do not eat a large breakfast (I had an omelette about an hour before the test...bad idea!).

    Additional words of advice...if you have ANY medical condition or are over the age of 40, have your general practicioner write you a letter clearing you to dive. Otherwise, if you answer "yes" to any of the questions on the pre-dive questionaire, you will be required to see a Jamaican doctor (at a cost of $60) before you are allowed to dive.

    Finally, I have to say that my dive experience was COMPLETELY worth the pain of the swim test! It was absolutely amazing and I can't wait to dive again!

    Mark & April
    CSA - 06/03 (Honeymoon), 07/08, 10/09, 10/11, 5/14
    Secret Rendezvous - 11/05 (CN), 06/07 (CSS), 12/12 (CTI)

  8. #8


    Hi aurxdoc05,
    I believe the medical is required if you have medical conditions or are over 45.

    Dec30, my husband is a phenomenal swimmer so it wasn't a problem for him, but I'm more a paddler, despite having done swimming lessons throughout my childhood. I did find the swim test difficult, but took my time and paced myself. A lot of people started out strong and just couldn't finish the 8 laps. Aurxdoc's advise is bang-on, don't eat a big meal before the swim and practice if you can. I did both these things in addition to pacing myself.

    It is totally worth it, and once you've done it, you never have to do the swim again. Try it, you won't regret it!
    I can't wait to get to CSA Sunday and dive every day!

  9. #9


    We were able to use any stroke. Also, it only took 2 days to complete everything for our Open Water, and that was starting the course there. No video coverage available.
    Jamie & David
    CN 11/2005 & 10/2008 & 11/2011
    CSS 9/2007, 9/2009, 9/2010, 11/2011, 9/2012, 9/2013
    CTI 9/2013, 11/2015, 11/2017

  10. #10


    [QUOTE=Terri_Steve;25206]Hi aurxdoc05,
    I believe the medical is required if you have medical conditions or are over 45.

    This should read medical conditions AND over 45. See attached.

    Take the swim test seriously it is an important prerequesite to any water sport, particulary scuba. I suggest you get to your local pool and practice if you are concerned you can't do it.

  11. #11


    Thanks Seanpaul,
    I thought I read somewhere you needed the medical if you're over 45, even if healthy, thanks for the correction.
    I agree with your comments about the swim.

  12. #12


    I was certified for Open Water in 1988. It's been more than ten years since I last dove. Being that SCUBA is part of the all inclusive at CTI (one of the many attractions that drew us to Couples), I would like to dive a couple of times in December.

    Will the dive shop require me to take a course (book and/or pool) before I go out?

    I'm in good health and reached the golden age of 50. Will the dive shop require a medical exam, or will the completed Medical History Form (signed by my physician) suffice?

    I've got my C card. Anything else I might need? Will I still have to do pool laps? (If so, no Bob Marleys for me!!)


  13. #13


    Jim, you will be required to do the scuba tune up for a fee of $50 (price last time I was there). This is a review in the pool of the 20 skills you know from OW. No laps but no Bob Marleys either... You may also need to take the refresher quiz which PADI now requires.--> so get your old book out and refresh (I would guess you would do that anyway for your own safety). You need a medical exam if you answer YES to any of the questions. You can do this before you arrive in Jamaica, the medical is good for one year. See the previous posts attachment. Hope that helps -- people are diving into their 80's so no worries as long as you stay healthy and fit ;-) Enjoy Jamaica!

  14. #14



    Thanks for the quick response.

    I've got about 6 weeks to bone up on my skills before heading to CTI. We can't wait. The other half doesn't dive, so she'll be enjoying the spa while I'm out on the water. I call that a win-win!!

    CTI 11/30-12/5

  15. #15

    Default Scuba

    Two years ago Raeanna and I did the resort course at CTI. We then did one 40 ft dive near a shipwreak. We both decided that we did not really enjoy the experience and that we enjoy snorkling more. I think the cost of diving and the fact that I have bad allergies made it difficult to equalize during the dive, and besides we didn't need another expensive sport. My advice would be to take the resort course and see if you like it before pursuing the certification. The instructors at CTI were great. We will be at CSA over Thanksgiving and plan on snorkling as much as possible.

  16. #16


    Just to be clear... if I just want to dive once or twice.. I take the resort course and swim test and then I get one dive for free and a $50 fee for additional dives? I don't really want to spend the big bucks for certification right now.

    Hope I can breaststroke, the crawl is tiring to me... I've done a mile swim before, so I should be good and I'm under 40.

  17. #17


    Hey Thanks for the replies.... Nuclearali, My apologies if I am trying to sabotage your post. Would someone have any videos or pics to share with their scuba diving experience. It would be great to see some videos of the swim test... I am still working on the 200 m required to qualify for the free scuba dive....Cant wait to get to CSA in Jan......

  18. #18


    Just as a heads up... don't underestimate the swim test.

    I'm 25 years old, active, work out around 4-5 times a week and it was tough. I was exhausted after the swim test. We started the test with 5 people and only my wife and I finished. Definitely practice the swim before you go.

    It also didn't help that we were up until 4 am drinking at the Aura Lounge. I would assume that had something to do with it, lol.
    CSA Junkie! Next trip -- November 28th!

  19. #19


    We just returned from CN and did the discover scuba. We had 8 people in our session. Im 40 and overweight another gentleman travelling with us is 54 and not in shape. We all passed the swim test, nobody seemed to have a problem with it at all. We needed to demonstrate we could inflate and deflate the floatation vest, hover on the bottom of the pool, use hand signals properly, clear our masks and get rescue air from another diver. All but 1 of us completed these tasks and we headed out to dive. We were taken to a reef to dive and of the 7 who succeded in the pool session only 1 girl could not equalize her ears and went back to the boat. It was an awesome experience, 30-40 feet of water and much more to see compared to snorkelling! Cost to get full certification was $365 and the instructor told us we could complete the rest of the skills in the pool that afternoon, take the test in our room overnight and be ready to dive the following day. As much as I wanted to, we werent ready to spend over $700 to get certified during this trip, maybe next time.

  20. #20

    Default Pictures from CSA

    Here are a couple of links to albums from past trips.. dive pictures are at the bottom of the album. We always have a great time diving with the guys at CSA, as a general rule if the boat is going out, we're on it.

    2007 trip

    2009 trip

    Don't take the swim test lightly, if you can't make the 8 laps they won't let you dive. I took the swim test last year just for fun (Franz bet me I couldn't pass) I did make it but it wasn't easy.

    Hope you have a great time, tell the guys at the dive shop Don and Kim send "Much Respect" !!

    Don and Kim
    Savannah, GA

  21. #21


    Hey Don and Kim...Thanks for the pics..I swear I would be so mad at myself if I fail the swim test. I so wanna try the scuba. The pool for the swim test looks really small. I am not sure how 4 laps would add up to 200 m tho... Anyways got to work on my swimming... Thanks once again for the pics

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