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diver certification on AC #40845
06/16/01 11:36 AM
06/16/01 11:36 AM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 92
silly Offline OP
silly  Offline OP
After all of the talk about getting certified using PADI etc., who would you seasoned divers recommend using to either take a retreat course or open water while in AC? I know this may be a controversial question as I know many of you have had varied experiences.
Any input would be appreciated. We will be there for 1 week, staying At the Victoria House.

Re: diver certification on AC #40846
06/16/01 03:00 PM
06/16/01 03:00 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 222
Culpeper VA
patrick-e Offline
patrick-e  Offline
We dove with Hustler Tours on our last visit to AC, and were very please with their service. Now, after nearly 100 dives in 5 years, we have decided to go for our Advance Open Water Certification, and again ,we plan to use Hustler. But, from the posts on the board, it sounds like most of the shops are reputable and provide a safe instruction. The cost of certification is about the same with all of the services. The important thing is that you are confortable with the dive shop/instructor. There has been much discussion recently about which accrediting service (PADI, NAUI, or SSI) to use, and again the most important thing is that you have confidence in your divemaster and instructor.

Another option is to take the Open Water Certification course in your home town; most dive shops and YMCA's offer this as well.

Whatever you do, make sure that you take that course, because the experience of diving is like no other on this earth! The feeling of weighlessness in the water and all of the sights to be seen underwater. From the many varied types of coral and sponge to the infinite variety of fish to spot underwater, it is truely remarkable. Those that never experience it are missing an entirely different world underwater that is absolutely awesome.

Re: diver certification on AC #40847
06/17/01 06:49 AM
06/17/01 06:49 AM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 318
San Pedro Belize
Dallas Dave Offline
Dallas Dave  Offline
I would reccomend Roland O'Conner. He works out of the dock at Royal Palms, south of town. He's a Brit but don't hold that against him...LOL

Re: diver certification on AC #40848
06/17/01 01:36 PM
06/17/01 01:36 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 179
Florian Offline
Florian  Offline
While I have not been diving with him, yet, I have been favorably impressed with the concern for safety and his ability to articulate the same that Gaz Cooper has expressed on this board. So I think

Gaz Cooper
PADI Instructor #48642
Gaz Cooper's DIVE BELIZE

should be given serious consideration.

I intend to dive with him the next time I visit AC.

Re: diver certification on AC #40849
06/18/01 07:34 PM
06/18/01 07:34 PM
Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 11
kong Offline
kong  Offline
I just got back and met some people who were staying at Victoria House. There weren't many people diving from there, so they kept cancelling the daily dive trips. This sucked for these people since they paid for the dive package.
Another couple staying at Ramon's with us used Blue Hole Divers to get certified and they were very happy with them. I didn't dive with Blue Hole myself, so I can't personally say anything, but this guy and his girlfriend both were very happy with them.

They are just up the beach from Ramon's.
I think it's a good place to get certified since you can do a couple dives inside the reef at about 30', and then some deeper ones right outside the reef.
A girl was on my trip to the blue hole, and she had just gotten certified the day before by Ramon's. Her first real dive down to 130' and sharks.. That's pretty good!

Re: diver certification on AC #40850
06/18/01 11:10 PM
06/18/01 11:10 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 92
silly Offline OP
silly  Offline OP
Thanks very much for your input!
I knew that Victoria House had a dive shop but I hadn't heard of anyone's experiences with them. We will probably get there and assess the situation. 10 more days!

Re: diver certification on AC #40851
06/29/01 05:30 PM
06/29/01 05:30 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 14
Hi....We just returned this week and dove with Patojo's....Excellent!! Excellent staff and Patojo is wonderful...Highly recommend!!!

Re: diver certification on AC #40852
07/05/01 08:29 PM
07/05/01 08:29 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 92
silly Offline OP
silly  Offline OP
thanks for all of your input. As it turned out, we ended up getting certified by Gil Nunez at Ramones. He was great and I felt very safe with him. We later did some dives with Rene and Jacinto Bradley at Victoria House and they were fabulous as well!

Re: diver certification on AC #40853
07/06/01 04:49 PM
07/06/01 04:49 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 8
GA Peaches Offline
GA Peaches  Offline
I would also have to recommend Gaz Cooper! Three of us in our group had never been diving and we were impressed with Gaz! I had never even been snorkeling! I know I'm hooked, its awesome! I didn't have time to get certified from GAZ, but I plan to get certified in my home town so I'll be ready for the next trip! He was great and so was Andy that works with Gaz. Drop him a line or give him a call! Everyone at his shop and condo were excellent and the service was supurb!

Re: diver certification on AC #40854
07/09/01 11:34 AM
07/09/01 11:34 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 181
Austin, TX USA
Turnbun Offline
Turnbun  Offline
What operation took the 1st-time diver to Blue Hole at 130 feet? I will make sure NOT to use that operation when I'm down there as they are obviously not concerned with safety to take a baby diver to Blue hole and go down that far.

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