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#287798 - 07/09/08 08:05 AM open water dive course
canuker Offline
hi people, just currious if all open water dive courses on the island are the same price/experience - - if they are the same price is there one that people had a particularly good experience with? if they are not the same price, which one was the least expensive. thanks for the info.

#287803 - 07/09/08 08:26 AM Re: open water dive course [Re: canuker]
They vary in price and quality, as with most things. There's no price cartel between dive shops. There is also no fixed price at any one operator. As anywhere, you can expect to pay more for individual tuition than for a group lesson, either formally or just because you have less bargaining power. Back home you can expect to pay at least double for a private course - it won't cost you that much here.

As to the "experience" - it is to a considerable extent what you make of it. Learning to dive is not a spectator sport, where you sit back and wait to be entertained. You can approach it that way, but you will neither enjoy it nor become a safe diver.

I have to say that if the most important factor you have in mind is price, and it's certainly the only question you've asked, then you should revise your priorities. Learning any personal skill such as diving is not the same as buying a ready-made consumer product.

In any case, how can anyone who did a course say which was the cheapest? You'll have to poll people and make that assessment for yourself.

#287810 - 07/09/08 09:04 AM Re: open water dive course [Re: ]
canuker Offline
Actually i have my open water certification - i was asking because i have a few friends coming here soon, and they want to take the course. I did mine in overseas where they had 100's of dive shops like here and EVERY SINGLE ONE offered the same course varried only by the instructors who were varrying degrees of friendly/teaching style. Yes price is the MAJOR factor in determining where my friends will go to get certified... the PADI dive course is the PDAI dive course no matter where you go so I am not worried about them not getting course content.

People who claim that their price is more becuase they offer better training are full of crap - they have to teach the approved course. if they say they go to better dive sites then other dive shops, then ok, or if they say the throw in an extra dive, and that is why their course is more expensive then great. but the course is standardized.

And pedro, i dont need you to tell me that that diving is not a spectator sport... what the heck is that supposed to mean anyway???? obviously i was asking about the quality of instruction or the particular dive sites visited. if someone tells me they had a bad experice with a dive shop i will know to avoid that one.

for others out there who can actually offer some real advice; The least expensive price I have found is $350.00USD
for the course (which is the same price as back home)- if this is close to what you paid and had a good experience with the instructors please let me know where you did it.

thanks for your help

#287816 - 07/09/08 09:34 AM Re: open water dive course [Re: canuker]
suecate Offline
We had great experiances with Patojo at the Tides. Our daughter did it and some friends just came back and there son got his certification with them. We will be going in november and bringing another friend who will also get his certification with them. Very nice and accomodating.

#287817 - 07/09/08 09:37 AM Re: open water dive course [Re: suecate]
nomad315 Offline
my sister just did her dive course on AC - she said she searched everywhere for the cheapest course so i will ask her where she went, she said it was a great. I think she said that she was most impressed with hol-chan

#287824 - 07/09/08 10:29 AM Re: open water dive course [Re: nomad315]
shuffles Offline
$350 is generally the going rate. However, in Belize, just like anywhere else in the world, you get what you pay for. I'm sure you can find someone with a boat and a couple of tanks to promise you a dive course much cheaper, but you may have to buy gas for the boat once you are out on the water, the tanks may not be full, and the "guy" may not be a divemaster. Go with a tried and true dive shop and you will pay around $350 for a genuine PADI course.
Change your Latitude

#287835 - 07/09/08 11:10 AM Re: open water dive course [Re: shuffles]
Algae Offline
Just to weigh in.....I am a PADI IDC staff instructor with over 20 years of teaching experience....I highly recommend White Sands, Elbert Greer and his staff are superb! I had them certify my daughter this past April, and was impressed with the instructor "Junior". He did a great job.

Old people know more about being young, than young people know about being old!

#287847 - 07/09/08 12:08 PM Re: open water dive course [Re: Algae]
obake Offline
hey cunucker and shuffles - where did you find a SCUBA open water cert. place for 350.00 - the cheapest place i found was 390.00 I will totally go for the 350.00 place.. please let me know asap...


#287960 - 07/09/08 09:26 PM Re: open water dive course [Re: canuker]
Originally Posted By: canuker
the PADI dive course is the PDAI dive course no matter where you go

Actually that's not so. It varies enormously, and many instructors teach well below PADI's standards. Read Scubaboard for a while and see how much the "standard" PADI OW course in fact varies. The "approved course" is a minimum that some instructors go beyond, because they feel it is otherwise inadequate. There have recently been several controversial and to some extent acrimonious threads on precisely this subject. I am also a PADI IDC Staff Instructor and have been doing this for a while, so I've an idea of what I'm talking about.

On the actual price, make sure what it includes. The elements that go to make up your bill are the course cost itself, any park fees incurred, the cost of a manual, sales tax, and the cost of certification. Plus perhaps a surcharge for using a credit card. Honest operators either bundle it all together and thus look relatively expensive, or itemise the costs and point out that you will have to pay them all. Less scrupulous operators (and I can think of some here in San Pedro) leave out items and don't tell you about them until they hand you the bill.

So let your friends go to whoever advertises the lowest price and I hope they have a safe, instructive and enjoyable time, whatever it ends up costing them.

#288018 - 07/10/08 12:27 PM Re: open water dive course [Re: canuker]
brendacamp Offline
From personal experience, I highly recommend Eddie Allamilla who works out of Amigos del Mar.
Brenda C from Tennessee
Brenda from East Tennessee

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