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A Scuba Diving Adventure

By DavidFriday 10th March 2017

Have you always dreamed of being an underwater expert? Perhaps you simply want to immerse yourself in a new world, and broaden your horizons to new wildlife and wonderments that you wouldn’t have a chance to find on land?
We’ve spoken to Mario Almeida, a diving instructor onboard Harmony of the Seas, to get some insight into what PADI Scuba Diving Courses with Royal Caribbean are really like.

What is the PADI Scuba Diving Course?

Mario: This program is an excellent opportunity for guests to become Certified Scuba Divers, or have an initial dive experience for 30 minutes with the ‘Try Dive’ program. For those certified divers who have not dived in two years or more, there is a ‘Re-Active’ program that you can complete to refresh your memory and sharpen up your skills. Getting a scuba certification can be a great asset to people who love to dive and explore the beauty of the ocean. It’s hard work at the beginning, but certainly worth it! After all, 70% of the planet is covered in water. The best way to explore it is through scuba! There are a range of available PADI courses and scuba diving options for our guests, so whether you’re a beginner or a more experienced scuba diver, we’ve got the course for you. Courses are open to anybody over the age of 12, however, the minimum age for private dives is 10 years old. PADI is the world’s most respected and recognised organisation in recreational scuba diver training and certification, so you know that you’ll be in good hands! We’re the only cruise line in the world to work with the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), so now is the time to grasp your dreams. Take the plunge and return from your holiday as a certified scuba diver. You could explore exciting underwater locations in St. Thomas and the British Virgin Islands during your training, discovering vibrant coral reefs in a beautiful range of exotic destinations including the Bahamas, Mexico and St. Thomas. You’d also get a chance to swim through the Belize Barrier Reef, the second largest barrier reef in the world! Mario’s Quick Tip: If you are already a certified diver, you must remember to show your diving certificate! In some places, you must also remember your diver’s log and training record. Make sure to put these in your luggage when packing.

Why attend a PADI Scuba Diving Course?

Mario: I recommend the courses to all people who are interested in marine life. Sometimes they can be put off because they think that that doing a diving course is difficult, or exhausting. But that’s not true! It's easy, safe and exciting! Whether you’re a diving rookie or a scuba expert, we have a wide variety of available programmes. These range from a 30-minute ‘Try Dive programme’ to a ‘refresher PADI’s Reactivate Programme’, ideal for those who are already certified but want to brush up on their skills. Mario’s Quick Tip: It’s really important to stay active as a diver. My advice is to practice at least every 3 months.

Prepare to Dive!

On the PADI scuba diving course, you’ll complete four compulsory open-water training dives - in some of the world’s most spectacular underwater spaces. These will be split between two different locations, so you can get the most out of sightseeing in the crystal clear Caribbean or South Pacific waters. Once you’ve completed the Open Water course, you’ll return home from your holiday as a certified scuba diver. This would mean that you could plan and execute dives on your own! You could have many exciting diving stories to share about your spectacular aquatic experience, skills to show off, and memories that you could treasure forever. Mario’s Quick Tip: Before getting into the water, the most important thing is the ‘pre-dive safety check’.

Is Scuba Diving for Everyone?

Mario: I think the most important thing about diving is the progress you make over time. I would say it is hard work at the beginning, but extremely rewarding. Each dive is different and you get to see a wide range of marine life! One of the most amazing things about diving is that there are simply no language barriers. If people cannot understand each other, then underwater they can dive together and communicate fluently through signals. This means that that you can dive with anybody, wherever you are in the world! Mario’s Quick Tip: Once diving, it is very important to always stay close to your partner.

Mario’s Favourite Scuba Diving Memories

Mario:There are so many amazing things to see underwater. You can catch a glimpse of fish, lobsters, turtles, moray eels and octopuses! In the coral formations the colours are wonderful, too. I have fond memories of crossing paths with over 100 dolphins whilst diving in Brazil. They are very curious mammals, swimming closely to see you and then continuing on their way. They’re wonderfully elegant when they swim! Once, when leading a group of certified divers, we were surrounded by over 150 graceful cownose rays! I am extremely thankful for nature’s astounding beauty at times like this. Mario’s Quick Tip: Stay close to the group and respect the times and depth defined in the dive plan.

How Do I Book?

If you’re looking to immerse yourself in the beauty of the world at sea, then you can book your PADI course before boarding through the Cruise Planner. Alternatively, book onboard at one of the Royal Caribbean-exclusive PADI Five Star Dive Centres, which can be found on ten ships across the fleet. These ships include:
If you want to experience the ultimate in scuba diving holidays, then take the plunge and enrol with us! You can start your course at home online if you download the PADI Touch app for mobile devices. Alternatively, you can learn from your desktop or laptop on PADI eLearning online – simple!
Would you like to experience the beauty of the ocean? Then it’s time to sign up to train with one of our PADI instructors. If diving isn’t for you, then take a look at our other activities onboard.

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