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Jason

Scuba Diving 101 For Cruise Ship Passengers

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Planning activities for your cruise vacation provides the opportunity to enjoy a wide range of options. Among the adventurous activities that might seem to appeal is scuba diving. While it's a great activity to enjoy during a visit to various islands and paradise locations, it's important to obtain training and become certified beforehand.

Training Courses

While the exact training requirements to qualify for scuba diving will depend on the location, it's important to learn the basics and become certified.

According to the Professional Scuba Association International, the Open Water Sport Diver (OWSD) is the entry-level training and certification course. The course teaches the basic physics, equipment and safety measures that scuba divers must know to enjoy time underwater.

Although the entry-level training course is appropriate for basic exploration and certification, advanced skills and training programs are also available. The advanced training will provide additional knowledge about underwater navigation, altitude diving, night diving or more advanced diving skills that require certification for more rigorous adventure.

Obtaining Certification

Although a diving course will provide certification after completion, you'll need to show competency before the certification is granted and you're able to graduate from the course. During the training course, one will learn the basic use of equipment and will enter some form of water before the certification is granted.

When a location isn't near the beach or any large body of water, scuba diving lessons are taken in a swimming pool. Scuba lessons are available in areas that don't have a nearby beach. Finding scuba courses near your home is possible through the Professional Association of Diving Instructors.

Equipment to Bring on the Trip

After the training and certification, packing for the cruise is the next priority. While you may be tempted to take all of your scuba diving equipment, it's usually too heavy to carry the equipment onto a plane. Before going on the cruise, look into the local stops and find out if there is a scuba rental place nearby. The rental place will have many of the necessities so that most of the gear can stay home.

While it's possible to rent all of the gear, certain equipment is better from home like a mask, for instance because you'll be comfortable in knowing the mask is properly cleaned and that it will not have any unknown bacteria or germs.

If your equipment is used or has been in storage for quite sometime, check the rubber seals. O-rings prevent water, and air leakage, and when they age or aren't used frequently, they can dry, crack and allow leakage.

Cost Considerations

While you might plan to enjoy scuba diving on your cruise, it's important to consider the cost of training, certification and equipment.

According to Scuba-diving-smiles.com, the average cost for dive training and certification is usually between $200 and $250, the price will vary based on the location. The price of equipment will depend on the items that are purchased, but can range from $200 to over $1,000.

While it will take time and effort to prepare for a cruise that includes a little diving adventure, it's also an opportunity to enjoy underwater activities. Scuba diving provides the opportunity to see underwater creatures, coral reefs and unexpected beauty.


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We go snorkeling all the time and just love it – so someday we really need to learn how to scuba! Way back when we started cruising you could get PADI certified on many week-long Princess cruises in the Caribbean. They’d start training you in the pool and then finish the certification on dives at the ports. The only downside was you really didn’t have the opportunity to do much of anything else. I haven’t heard about this program in quite a while though…

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