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View Full Version : Florida Keys scuba dive packages for beginners


Syntax1325
06/22/2016, 04:27 PM
My wife and I are looking to visit the keys for two days in a couple of weeks and I have a couple of questions about scuba diving:

1) My wife and I are total beginners with no scuba experience... Is it possible to get lessons and dive on a reef in a day?

2) Can we stay close to Key Largo or Marathon... I'd like to keep the travel close since we'll be traveling from Titusville.

3) Can you recommend a place that offers beginners packages with a good reputation?

Any help would be appreciated.... thanks.

Ron Reefman
06/23/2016, 01:34 AM
1) My wife and I are total beginners with no scuba experience... Is it possible to get lessons and dive on a reef in a day?

Resorts in some other countries may do this, I did it in Jamaica, but I don't think you'll find anything like it here in the states.

2) Can we stay close to Key Largo or Marathon... I'd like to keep the travel close since we'll be traveling from Titusville.

There are lots of motels and hotels in both places.

3) Can you recommend a place that offers beginners packages with a good reputation?

If you want to dive you need to get certified at home which takes several days of classes and 2 open water dives. If you want to snorkel, it's easy and can be just as much fun. Personally, I enjoy snorkeling more. It's a long thread, but if you read through it you'll find good info about being able to snorkel right off the beach and/or charters to the big reefs: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2511350

Any help would be appreciated.... thanks.

G_Sanab922
06/23/2016, 09:49 AM
I agree with Ron, in the Caribbean you'll find plenty of other countries that offer " no experience required diving" ..

I have never seen this here in the states, probably has to do with the liabilities involved in this.
Although it is normally a safe experience, it can also be fatal without proper training and carelessness.
I also recommend you get certified in your area. Check out the FAQs on PADI
http://www.padi.com/about-padi/become-certified-scuba-diver-faq
Check and see if that's something you are interested in.

If I remember correctly some dive shops/boats have package deals where they get you certified with training in their pool, then give you open water dives (when ready) and multiple boat trips and equipment rentals.

Rainbow reef in key largo has a great reputation here.

steallife904
06/23/2016, 11:06 AM
might have some snuba excursions down there? the one where they put a dive helmet on you that has an air line that runs up to the boat. Would be then next best thing. Not sure if you where totally aware or not but key west is still a good drive from Titusville. Still looking at 4 or 5 hour drive.

snorvich
06/24/2016, 04:22 PM
Best would be to a referral certification. Do class work and testing where you are, then certification with required open water dives at one of many dive shops at your destination.

Syntax1325
06/24/2016, 08:25 PM
Thanks for all the responses. After having researched and called several resort diving places in the Keys, I found several companies that offer packages that include dive lessons and "resort" certification. Basically you spend four hours in the morning in a pool with an instructor and then he takes you out to a reef for a 4 hour chaperoned dive.

Not sure whether we will scuba or snorkel yet.


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Capt_Dan
06/29/2016, 08:04 PM
Im sure you will snorkel. As others have said you have to get certified to scuba, and if they tell you you can scuba, DONT!!! There is a good chance they will get you hurt.

JMO, but its not worth getting hurt over.

G_Sanab922
06/30/2016, 09:57 AM
Im sure you will snorkel. As others have said you have to get certified to scuba, and if they tell you you can scuba, DONT!!! There is a good chance they will get you hurt.

JMO, but its not worth getting hurt over.

+1 You'd expect people to lookout for your wellbeing and safety, but unfortunately when greed comes in some don't care. Down here we have some great captains and dive masters that have your safety as priority and if you aren't 100% comfortable , they won't even let you dive.

Here's a quick story that is pretty recent..
There was a company here that went out of business (left the country) because they had a fatality and looks like they were letting whoever dive. They got sued and then fled the country so quick they left the boat and all their equipment in their shop. To make matters worse, all the people who paid months in advance came to the shop and saw that it was out of business. People traveling from all over the world lost thousands of dollars from these people. They even had their website up for a while long after they left.

Although this doesn't happen often, just goes to show what people's priorities are. Proper training and good captains/dive masters are a must, your life can depend on it..

bfrench
06/30/2016, 11:31 AM
subscribed for info

Greybeard
06/30/2016, 12:07 PM
If it were me, I'd try and get certified _before_ I went. Most cities have a dive shop, even far from an ocean. I took my PADI training in Kansas City... circa 1987. You can take classes in a pool, get your open water dives (they require 2 now? That's new to me, used to be 1) in a lake somewhere.

You'll still be a beginner when you get there, but at least you'll have had decent training.

LuizW13
07/05/2016, 03:48 PM
I went snorkeling in the keys last year, and i never did that before..I had a BLAST! I forgot the name of the company who took us out, but there's a bunch of them there.
I lived near the ocean all my life, and i'm a great swimmer, but swimming in open ocean like that definitely wore me out more than i expected. I don't think i would have had more fun scuba diving in deeper water just days after learning; remembering how to breath, managing the funny equipment..too much to keep in mind while trying to swim and enjoy that strange underwater world. Go with Snorkeling!

mcgyvr
07/09/2016, 06:07 AM
I'm in Florida on vacation right now (New Smyrna Beach) and took a "Discover Scuba" course..
You can't do any "open water dives" but they took me to Blue Springs and we dove in that which was pretty darn fun.. Started with learning to clear your mask/practice running out of air,etc... Then worked on buoyancy/how to work with the BCD.. Then headed down.. Got to 45 feet down in the spring "cave" and we were diving for 1 hour total. Started with 3000 PSI in the tank and used it to just over 2000 PSI.. My instructor said that was really good for someone thats never done it before.

Great way to start without being certified.. And the first few times you really want to be focused on nothing but how to stay alive/breathe/depressurizing ears, etc... Not looking at pretty fish/corals,etc..

As others have said you do NOT want to go anywhere that will take you into "open waters" without your certification.. Its dangerous until you really know what you are doing..

They also said you don't want to dive right before/after taking a plane trip so 2 days isn't enough..

Triggerfish
11/22/2016, 01:20 PM
reminds me of a resort dive i did in Aruba years back. some rep was handing out brochures on the beach so i ended up signing up.

about 8-10 people, quick lesson, in the pool and then to the ocean. went off from shore, walked out a bit then it got deep quick.
right away my mask filled with water somehow got real nervous, i think i surfaced and cleared can't remember. one of the instructors was below me and gave a thumbs up and i was destined to dive so i responded with same.
well,, proceeded with the dive and i ended up down 50' and only saw one other person near me. think we got scattered. there were 2 instructors and one had to surface with someone so that left one down there.. somewhere.
overall , it wouldnt be something i would recommend to a first time diver. at least not that particular resort dive. hahaha ...

sam.basye
11/22/2016, 08:43 PM
They also said you don't want to dive right before/after taking a plane trip so 2 days isn't enough..

Fun fact, the FAA recommends waiting 12 hours for dives not requiring a controlled accent (nondecompression dives) and 24 hours for those with controlled accents (decompression dives).
This is in case there is a rapid loss of cabin pressure.

Ron Reefman
11/23/2016, 03:05 AM
Fun fact, the FAA recommends waiting 12 hours for dives not requiring a controlled accent (nondecompression dives) and 24 hours for those with controlled accents (decompression dives).
This is in case there is a rapid loss of cabin pressure.

Sam, are you saying the FAA is has this recommendation about diving after being on an airplane... or is it a recommendation about flying after being down diving? I'm confused.

sam.basye
11/23/2016, 07:37 AM
Sam, are you saying the FAA is has this recommendation about diving after being on an airplane... or is it a recommendation about flying after being down diving? I'm confused.
Ron, it is specifically for flying after diving.
There's no mention of diving after flying.

Here is the exact wording as written by the FAA in the AIM - Aeronautical Information Manual section 8-1-1 Fitness for Flight subsection d.

"d. Decompression Sickness After Scuba Diving.

1.*A pilot or passenger who intends to fly after scuba diving should allow the body sufficient time to rid itself of excess nitrogen absorbed during diving. If not, decompression sickness due to evolved gas can occur during exposure to low altitude and create a serious inflight emergency.

2.*The recommended waiting time before going to flight altitudes of up to 8,000 feet is at least 12 hours after diving which has not required controlled ascent (nondecompression stop diving), and at least 24 hours after diving which has required controlled ascent (decompression stop diving). The waiting time before going to flight altitudes above 8,000 feet should be at least 24 hours after any SCUBA dive. These recommended altitudes are actual flight altitudes above mean sea level (AMSL) and not pressurized cabin altitudes. This takes into consideration the risk of decompression of the aircraft during flight."



The AIM is not legally binding for pilots, but if you have, or cause, an accident because you deviated from the recommended procedures, you'd better have a real good reason..

primo21
12/14/2016, 11:23 AM
you should not dive on your fly day in either direction.