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#107646 - 08/28/05 01:55 PM open water certification  
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 2
corem Offline
corem  Offline
My huusband and I will be in AC Oct.9-Oct.16 and are interested in getting our open water certification. We were wondering if there are any dive centers that stand out among the rest for this type of class. Also should we make arrangments for this ahead of time. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

#107647 - 08/28/05 02:13 PM Re: open water certification  
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 4,268
Denny Shane Offline
Denny Shane  Offline
hi corem, contact Gaz Cooper at Playa Blanca:

#107648 - 08/28/05 03:26 PM Re: open water certification  
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 625
spl Offline
spl  Offline
Where are you staying? I HIGHLY recommend Amigo's Del Mar, that is where I first dived, and still dive. I have gone diving with a few others, all great too, but feel they are the most professional and give you the best service.

#107649 - 08/28/05 08:28 PM Re: open water certification  
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 484
sandb Offline
sandb  Offline
Try doing a SEARCH and you will find plenty of info.. You will find both Amigos del Mar and Protech at the top. There are many many other good choices. The searches will flesh out many of the details that should be of interest to you and definately assist in your final determination.
You should also be inquiring at your local dive center of how much you would like to do there before you come down. It is often alot easier and timely to get everything done but your actual open water dives before coming.
Good luck.

#107650 - 08/28/05 08:35 PM Re: open water certification  
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 61
armandogonzalez Offline
armandogonzalez  Offline
amigos del mar #1.

#107651 - 08/29/05 09:51 AM Re: open water certification  
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 177
IRM Offline
IRM  Offline
I just came back from diving 2 weeks with Protech. This was my second year diving with them. Divemaster Gilbert does a great job teaching and is extremely helpful and patient. I've found that being a smaller operation, you get more personalized attention at Protech. Good luck.

#107652 - 08/29/05 02:08 PM Re: open water certification  
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 8,880
seashell Offline
seashell  Offline
Is Divemaster Gilbert an instructor as well as a dive master?

My personal position on getting certified is to do it at home before you come. That way, you don't have to dedicate any valuable vacation time to study, and already being certified, you will be able to dive and enjoy.

In the absence of complete certification at home, I agree with sandb. Do your classroom and pool work at home and get a referral from your home shop for the open water portion.

Whether you decide to go through with your complete course or just do the referral in San Pedro, what is most important is the instructor. You need to make sure that not only is the instructor well qualified, but also that you can relate to the instructor's communication style.

Upon your arrival, meet and have a long talk with the instructors you've decded to consider. Have some questions prepared and see how they are answered. Further, trust in your gut reaction to the instructor. If you like the answers to the questions and you like the way those answers were expressed and you like the person, then it is probably a good match.

There's another reason that I don't recommend complete certification while away on vacation. Believe it or not, not everyone that wants to get certified actually enjoys the experience, some can't clear their ears, some find themselves claustrophobic and a myriad of other reasons. Should this turn out to be the case, you are better off to find that out in the pool at home, than after committing to certification at your vacation destination.

A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?

#107653 - 08/29/05 05:25 PM Re: open water certification  
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 2
corem Offline
corem  Offline
Thanks for all the info. We actually did a resort course with 3 dives earlier this year. The problem with taking the course at home is our work schedule just doesn't allow for it. So we really do need to be on vacation to do this.
From what I read protech and Amigos Del Mar are the for runners. But, does anyone know about Fantasea's they claim that all lessons are private.

#107654 - 08/29/05 08:16 PM Re: open water certification  

Protech's Gilbert is indeed an instructor, and has been for a couple of years.

My recommendation, whoever you do the course with, is to get a manual beforehand, read it at your leisure, and if possible get the "knowledge reviews" marked ahead of time by the instructor (by email). That will minimise the time you spend in a classroom once you arrive without imposing an excessive time burden on you beforehand.

Private classes can always be arranged, either one-to-one or one-to-two.

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