Scuba certification vs. scuba resort course
Hello. My girlfriend and I are going to Grand Cayman and plan on doing some scuba diving. I'm still kinda unsure whether we have to get certified to dive (with the company of our choice) or if we only have to do the scuba resort course (are we then limited as to where we dive and with what companies?). We are staying with family and not at a resort, if that helps in answering my question. Thanks, Jesse
First of all, I am jealous. It is freezing here in NY and some nice Caribbean weather would be great!
Sorry it wasn't clear on the scuba diving resort courses
page. You do not need to do the full certification to dive. You can do a resort course with any company that offers it (most companies probably do; just call before you go to the shop to make sure). In my research, the first 5 dive operators I found in Grand Cayman all offered resort courses so finding one to do the course with should be no problem.
A resort course is typically a few hours long consisting of a lecture, some pool work (or in water shallow enough where you can stand) to get acquainted with the equipment and then a dive or two.
The dive can be a shore dive or a boat dive. It depends on what the dive shop offers. Some (I think probably many) offer the choice of either, so
it would be up to you whether you want to do a shore or boat dive. A boat dive is a bit more expensive.
Where you dive would also depend on the dive shop. Typically in a resort course you are not allowed to go deeper than 40-60 feet so not all dive sites would be open to you. If you wanted to do more dives than what you did on the day you took the resort course, you can usually dive for up to 2 weeks after the day you took the course with the same company. This is usually referred to as repeat resort course dives.
I am not positive here, but I doubt a dive shop would recognize the training you did in the resort course with another company (unlike if you got a full certification, you could dive with any dive shop). Thus you would have to dive with the same company while you were there.
In Grand Cayman you can probably expect to pay in the neighborhood of $100-$125 for a resort course with 1 dive. Probably $125-$150 for a resort course with 2 dives. Repeat resort course dives are a bit cheaper, but not that much. If you do a few days you may be able to negotiate better prices.
Hope this information helps. Have a great trip and some great dives. You will love it! Let me know how it goes. I would love to hear about your trip.