Portofino Resort- Now with a new BEACH BAR!!
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >
Topic Options
#68736 - 05/21/03 01:56 PM Divemaster Certification and Dive operator recommendations
NEDiver Offline
Hi all!

New to this forum and am currently committed to spending the summer diving and likely getting my divemaster certification. I am torn between Costa Rica and Belize and could use some advice from a (unbiased wink ) crowd on the choice in terms of how one could spend 6-8 weeks.

I also have some specific questions to ask of the divers here.

1)I have heard that PADI requires all DMs to renew annually and stay current by paying liability insurance through them which runs $400-500 a year. Sounds a bit like ransom to me. Is this accurate?

2)If so, would it not make more sense to go the extra step and get certified to be an Assistant Instructor? Or is that significantly larger investment in time and money for a recreational diver who wants to be able to assist in marine projects and or work occasionally assisting dive instruction?

3)Has anyone had experience with an instructor named Elbert Greer at the dive shop at Ramonís Village or with the management of the operators? It sounds like itís a decently large sized shop that stays busy and has safe, modern equipment, but I know nothing about the quality of their instruction or their reputation. Feel free to email privately on this point.

4) The course runs 2 weeks for a fee of $650, minus materials & cert fee. This seems very reasonable (especially because First Responder in the fee), and I wonder whether the curriculum will be haphazard and off-the-cuff. Iíve heard that CDC centers such as ProDive (who I got certified with in Australia) has a strict course (7 hrs/day x 9 days) while some smaller shops spend between 2 weeks to 3 months training. Is longer necessarily better?

I would really love to hear your thoughts and will be happy to pay back in drinks when/if I make it to AC!


#68737 - 05/21/03 11:29 PM Re: Divemaster Certification and Dive operator recommendations
Marty Online   happy
elbert is an awesome teacher. he taught several in my family and they all worship him...

seriously, he does a hell of a job.

#68738 - 05/22/03 05:33 AM Re: Divemaster Certification and Dive operator recommendations
Marie Offline
You might contact Sylvin Forman at Bottomtime@btl.net. He and his brother, Alan, were two of the first divers on the caye, and he is an experienced instructor. He will steer you in the right direction. Tell him Marie said "Hi". He's a wonderful man and a great teacher.

Costa Rica is a beautiful place to dive, but more difficult to learn a new skill at. Might be smart to start in Belize so you can ease into it. Have fun!

#68739 - 05/22/03 05:07 PM Re: Divemaster Certification and Dive operator recommendations
BC Offline
Maybe I can shed some light for you, as I am a PADI AI, got my cert last year in Colorado and am curently assisting with sudents in Colorado.
The difference between a DM & AI is not much, except as a AI you are one step closer to becoming a instructor.
The insurance is the same for a DM or AI thru PADI $360 @ year and, yes, you must renew your PADI Pro membership and insurance each year or you can not assist in most areas.
I have dove with Ramons and they are excellant. It would be a good choice.
The more experience you have, the more you will be in demand.
Remember, when you are looking at working in other countires there are many, many labor laws which you may have to hurtle before you can go to work.
Hopefully I have answered a few of your questions and good luck
27 more days and I'll be back in AC and the great diving there.

#68740 - 05/22/03 05:18 PM Re: Divemaster Certification and Dive operator recommendations
Pedro1 Offline
Marie what on earth where you talking about?

#68741 - 05/22/03 07:20 PM Re: Divemaster Certification and Dive operator recommendations
klcman Offline
laugh eek
_ _ _ _ _ _ _________________ _ _ _ _ _ _
But then what do I know, I am but a mere caveman

#68742 - 05/22/03 08:08 PM Re: Divemaster Certification and Dive operator recommendations
NEDiver Offline
This is terrific feedback, guys! It's good to know that it sounds like the dive community is pretty tight down there and it also sounds that Ramon's is not representative of some fly-by-night dive shops I've seen (and worked for as a "safety diver") in lesser developed countries.

Help weigh in again as far as Belize vs. Costa Rica. The arguments that my Costa Rican friends put forth are:

* Cost of living for a budget traveller is lower (this seems to bear out when I took a look at accomodations costs)

* Costs are greater to get back and forth from mainland to Ambergris Caye than to the dive areas in CR.

* The June-Aug timeframe is hurricane season in Belize and the seasonal weather in CR is better during this period

* More national parks and biodiversity in CR

On the other hand, by and large, I hear that diving in Costa Rica is characterized by lower viz, stronger currents, and lot of pelagics. This may not be ideal for getting in the DM training I'd like...

Arguments for Belize from those who've sampled both worlds?


#68743 - 05/22/03 08:13 PM Re: Divemaster Certification and Dive operator recommendations
Kra-Z-K Offline

I highly recommend Eddie at Amigo Del Mar's.
They are a large company and he and Alberto were EXTREMLY patient, and great instructors, I felt at ease and very comfortable.

Amigo Del Mar's is on this site when you look on the Diving link.


#68744 - 05/22/03 08:16 PM Re: Divemaster Certification and Dive operator recommendations
Kra-Z-K Offline

Let me know what you what to know, I went to Costa Rica for several weeks and to Belize for one week...

everything in Belize far outwayed Costa Rica... GO TO BELIZE.

#68745 - 05/22/03 08:18 PM Re: Divemaster Certification and Dive operator recommendations
Pedro1 Offline
Out of interest for people who learned how to dive with Eddie.Did he ever do a compass drill on an open water certification.

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >

Click for excellent scuba lessons with Elbert Greer!

Things to do

Daily News
Daily Weather

Classified Ads
San Pedro Sun
Ambergris Today
SP Town Council
Channel 7
Channel 5
Love FM
The Reporter
Caye Caulker

TV Newscasts
Radio Stations

Click for our
Search thousands of Belizean-only websites

Event Guides
Event Calendar
Specials & Events
Things to Do
iTravel Belize
Paradise Theater

San Pedro Scoop!
Tia Chocolate
My Beautiful Belize
I-Travel Belize
Belize Adventure
Belize Hub
Romantic Travel
Bound for Belize
Conch Creative
As The Coconuts Drop
More Blogs...
Search thousands of Belizean-only websites
Chaa Creek is an award-winning luxury Belize Resort, rated as one of the worlds best Eco Lodges. We are a pioneer in adventure travel to Belize since 1981!
White Sands Dive Shop - 5 Star PADI Dive Facility - Daily diving, SCUBA instruction and Snorkeling
Caribbean Inspired All Natural Condiments & Spice Blends, Over 100 are Gluten Free!
We manage a variety of homes, apartments, condos and commercial properties here on Ambergris Caye. Our minimum lease on ALL properties is six months.
Conch Shell Inn: All rooms are right on the beach in the heart of San Pedro, so within walking distance to anything and everything!!
Lilí Alphonse has snorkel equipment to fit anyone as well as Marine Park Tickets and flotation devices to assist those not as experienced.
Coastal Xpress offers a daily scheduled ferry run to most resorts, restaurants and private piers on the island of Anbergris Caye. We also offer  private and charter water taxi service.
Mini Chat

Cayo Espanto
Click for Cayo Espanto, and have your own private island
More Links
Click for exciting and adventurous tours of Belize with Katie Valk!
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31
Who's Online
3 registered (Marty, 2 invisible), 36 Guests and 10 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
18,631 Registered Members
44 Forums
63,681 Topics
461,174 Posts

Most users ever online: 1,262 @ 06/10/07 02:16 PM

AmbergrisCaye.com CayeCaulker.org HELP! Visitor Center Goods & Services San Pedro Town
BelizeSearch.com Message Board Lodging Diving Fishing Things to Do History
BelizeNews.com Maps Phonebook Belize Business Directory
BelizeCards.com SanPedroDaily.com Picture of the Day

The opinions and views expressed on this board are the subjective opinions of Ambergris Caye Message Board members
and not of the Ambergris Caye Message Board its affiliates, or its employees.