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Everything posted by omeinv

  1. @BF3 There are several sites around Kona that you can expect them, Maui and Oahu less so.. In the Caribbean, they're far from guaranteed, but good chances on Bonaire and Aruba. They're fairly common throughout the Caribbean, but I can't think of other spots where I'd think snorkelers would have very good chances of seeing them. Harris Denver, CO '
  2. @Nike4000 Good question, but not to worry. There is no time limit on this portion of your training. There can be issues if there is a delay between the when a student finishes class/pool portion and completion of the certification dives. Clearly that won’t be an issue for you doing the course on the ship. Harris Denver, CO
  3. @LorraineP No, you should not be concerned. you had the Classic package with yout booking (CALL), and then you upgraded to the Premium (PALL) so both show on your Xpress Passes. Harris Denver, CO
  4. @gerelmx I don't know, but that's never stopped anyone on Cruise Critic before. I suspect the abbreviation is for Future Cruise Credit Redemption. I remember many issues with Future Cruise Credits coming out of COVID cancellations where Celebrity's accounting people caught errors long after the credits had been applied. They would then claw back anything they could. Was the cruise your on at least partially paid for with credit from a cancelled sailing? I would certainly call and get some explanation before I paid the additional $100.00. Harris Denver, CO
  5. @Cruisechick59 That's why you're Elite on Celebrity, your reciprocal status from being Diamond on Royal Caribbean. Then, you've apparently cruised enough cruises on Celebrity ships to have 249 points. Harris Denver, CO
  6. If you don't have a package you sign a slip, as you do with any other purchase on board. Harris Denver, CO
  7. On Australia and UK sailings, instead of a 20% service charge per drink, that amount is built in to the price. Consequently, the limit is increased for those sailing. However, the end result is the same. Harris Denver. CO
  8. You needn't really "sign up", either put your key card in the slot machine, or the dealer at table games will ask for it. You earn points for playing, but the conversion of points to benefits is far from transparent. It cost nothing, and I've received several free cruises, although those days are likely behind us, since ships are back to sailing full. Harris Denver, CO
  9. There are several issues with full face snorkel masks: First, they don't allow for equalizing the ears using the valsalva technique (pinching your nose, and blowing out to "pop" the ears). As that is the easiest method for most people, and particularly those who'd be likely to use such a mask, that precludes diving down. Of course I know most user of these masks say they never wanted to dive down in the first place. The bigger issue is safety. There have been an inordinate number of deaths by persons using this type of mask. The circumstances preclude a definitive answer, but the most plausible theory is the large volume of the mask, combined with the snorkel placement results in the mask acting as a chamber for exhaled air. This prevents good exchange between exhaled air and new air. The result is a build up of carbon dioxide. Strangely enough, the brain's signal to breathe is not the lack of oxygen, but the presence of carbon dioxide. Therefore as carbon dioxide builds up, the person reflexively begins hyperventilating. In short order, this leads to unconsciousness. Needless to say, being unconscious in water is no good. This problem is alleviated in the good brands (Head and Tribord are two) by dividing the mask chamber with a system of compartments and valves. Even in this system, proper maintenance is required to keep the valves functioning properly. The bigger problem are the cheaper "knock-off" masks, where the entire mask is simply one large chamber, with the snorkel opening near the forehead. I've heard people say that "if that happened, I'd just take the mask off". Alas, this shows a woeful misunderstanding of the physiologic process at play. In summary, I wouldn't base the decision on what the policy of the cruise line or the destination is. Perhaps you could look at your husband's life insurance policy to guide your thinking. 🙂 Harris Denver, CO
  10. Nothing to do at the end. Harris Denver, CO
  11. Because the question seems to come up with each webinar, I timed this one. it's 40 minutes long. Harris Denver, CO
  12. It's not uncommon for a course to require students to have their own mask, snorkel and fins. I can certainly imagine this being a requirement for a ship-based course. The shop where I teach takes the opposite approach. We discourage students from purchasing gear until they've tried different options in the pool during their course. That way they know, and we know, things fit them properly and they're happy. That's easy enough to do when you have dozens of pieces of equipment on hand. A ship-based program likely doesn't have that luxury. I stand by my advice above though, if you're going to spend money buy the right gear, so you only spend the money once. I wouldn't want to tell you how many times I've re-learned that lesson. Suffice it to say I could probably outfit you completely with gear I bought, then replaced when I upgraded. 😵‍💫 Harris Denver, CO
  13. I'm not aware of any travel loyalty program that awards points for trips not taken. You've posted your concern, and now when pretty much everyone has pointed out that you're expecting something that the program rules specifically do not allow for, and no other cruise line, airline, car rental company or hotel program would do, you seem to be becoming more and more strident I am cognizant that you've suffered an injury, and that likely is influencing your attitude; add to that it can be difficult to judge nuances in the written form. However, not referring to your injury, but in general: Are you okay? Harris Denver, CO
  14. Well then no need to be concerned with "loyalty points" since you won't be loyal. Harris Denver, CO
  15. @Bobroo had great advice. The best mask for you is simply the one that fits best. Ideally the shop you buy from will have a pool, where you can try the mask in the water. Expect to pay somewhere between $85.00 and $150.00 for a mask. Snorkels are required for your Open Water course in the pool and for the four certification dive. However, once you're certified you'll likely not wear a snorkel while diving, so I wouldn't spend much money on one. Good snorkels range from $30.00 to $80.00. I'd borrow one, or use what's provided. For fins, a lot of people don't buy fins early because they're a hassle to pack. They're bulky and relatively heavy. Also new divers almost always buy fins based on price, and then end up spending the same money again when they replace those fins with good one. If you decide to buy fins now, look for an open heel fin, with a bungee strap. These work with a dive boot. The bungee strap provides in essence a perfect fit every time, versus an adjustable rubber strap that is (a bit) more effort to put on/take off, and is easy to over tighten. The boots are nice because they provide a buffer between your foot and the fin, so they're much more comfortable, for walking on the beach, and even on the boat. If you buy boots, get the boot height with a zipper, rather than the ankle height. The ankle height - while they don't seem like they would - will get sand and rock in them. I use the Scubapro Delta 5mm boots, and have for years. They're as good as any I've found. They're about $80.00 For fins my favorites are the Scubapro Seawing Novas. They are $260.00. Add your fins and boots, and you can see you're well over $300.00, which is why I'd rather see you wait, use what's provided, and then buy when the value of the good fins is clear. When a new diver asks me what to buy, I say mask first for sure, make a decision on fins second, and then look at a dive computer. There are a lot of good computers in the $400.00 to $500.00 range, and a computer is now just about a base piece of equipment. In fact none of the training agencies mandate teaching the dive tables as part of the Open Water Diver course, as computers have become ubiquitous. They definitely make diving safer, and allow you to get more out of each diving day. Harris Denver, CO
  16. Costa Maya is great. You won't be certified yet, which is a shame, there's great diving there. Even so, don't just stay at the port, take a cab into the town of Mahahual. Nice beach. Yes, it's all done electronically now. You should have the PADI app. Once everything is done, the instructor should be able to go online, upload your completion record, and your certification processes immediately. Once it does, your C-Card will be visible in your app. You should receive access to your E-learning materials prior to the cruise. It's very important that you and your daughter (you'll each have your own accounts, each with materials) complete the E-Learning prior to the beginning of your training. If you don't you'll be at a disadvantage during the class and pool sessions on the ship. You will also need a medical sign-off. The form asks several questions, and if certain questions are answered "yes" you'll need a doctor's sign-off. Needless to say you'll want this done in advance. It's disheartening when someone cannot be in a class they've signed up for because they failed to get this form completed. Your correct to establish a relationship with a local dive shop. Once you're certified, you'll want that source for further training and equipment. Please e-mail me (the link is below), as I have a diving friend in the Dallas area, that can probably suggest which shop is best. Harris Denver, CO
  17. @Nike4000 Several things: First, it sounds like you've done this, but please make sure the course is the Open Water Diver course. At one time RC also offered a Scuba Diver course on board. Scuba Diver and Open Water Diver are not the same, and you definitely want Open Water Diver. Second, Hopefully it would be the first two ports, but I've never heard of either Royal or any other line doing a diving excursion in Mahahual (Costa Maya). For this reason I suspect your third port will be where the second two dives take place. You didn't say, but I'm pretty sure that will be Cozumel. I believe the instructor you have aboard the ship will also be the instructor conducting your open water dives; the alternative is the dives will be conducted by the staff at the contracted dive operator (Anthony's key Resort in Roatan, and Sand Dollar in Cozumel). If the dives are not done by the instructor from the ship, be absolutely certain you get the paperwork called a referral form, completed by the instructor after the first two dives. if weather or something else causes a cancellation of the second two that paper becomes critical to getting your certification completed after your trip. Finally, presuming all goes to plan, and you gel all your dives, the instructor ont he ship should be able to process your certification before the end of the cruise. If not, please get absolutely everything so that if there's a problem you can try to get it resolved. You'll need the ship board instructor's PADI number, as well as the instructor numbers of any other instructor that conducted the open water dive. This is critical because if anything happens, where the instructor doesn't process the certifications, you'll need every detail to try to get it resolved. A friend did his course on a Royal Caribbean ship, and weather knocked out one day of his dives, and since he didn't have any documentation of what he'd done, he had to start all over. Harris Denver, CO
  18. @danilija If you put in the postal code 80222, everything else will probably automatically populate. If not enter the following: (ship's name) Bali cruise terminal, Jalan Dermaga Ii, Pelabuhan Benoa 80222 Denpasar Bali. Harris Denver, CO
  19. @danilija You must do it in advance. Make sure you're on the proper site, and applying for the proper visa. There are many sites that are not the true government site, and charge fees atop the visa fee. If you're being asked for bank statements, you're not doing the correct visa. You want a B1, Tourist Visa. Here is the right site: https://molina.imigrasi.go.id/ The process of uploading the passport photos can be a bit daunting, but otherwise it's pretty straight forward. Once you have the visa, you'll also need the landing card, whcih can only be done withing three days of arrival. Harris Denver, CO
  20. To get any of the Captain's Club discounts, you have to call Captain's Club on the phone. (800) 760-0654. Harris Denver, CO
  21. You will need internet access - I've always had Premium Wi-Fi - to complete the visa application. As far as assistance from Celebrity, the staff would likely try to help, but you should expect they would not be able to do anything you cannot. The Indonesia visa process was simple on its face, but presented some technical issues as far as uploading an acceptable passport photo. I'm not sure why you would unable to do this before embarkation, but you should. Then, when on board, you'll need to also do the Indonesian landing card, which can only be done within 3 days of arrival. Harris Denver, CO
  22. @mac66 For one person, you’re correct that you’re likely better off just going with a dive operator resolving all issues. Bonaire certainly has sites, like Salt Pier, where navigation is eased by landmarks. Bonaire is generally easy to shore dive, hence the popularity of shore diving there. However, if your underwater navigation is not on, you end up making unnecessary ascents, and swimming on the surface. If you can find friends that are in Bonaire and will let you join for a day that would be ideal. Good luck with that! 😁 Harris Denver, CO
  23. @mac66 Absolutely you can do it. However, Diving independently while is port for a day requires a lot of planning, and unguided diving from shore means you are taking responsibility for everything that you're usually getting from your dive operator. For example, last time I was in Bonaire on a cruise, four of us rented a truck and then rented tanks, and dove ourselves. It's important to note, all of us had dove in Bonaire before; I have guided many dives, and specifically many in Bonaire, and know most of the dive sites there. Issues: You must rent a vehicle. It took some doing to find a single day truck rental. Most of the rental companies want at least a three day rental. In my instance, I dealt with a company I'd used when on previous week-long stays on Bonaire, and they still wouldn't commit to the one-day rental until a few weeks before the date of the trip, as they woudl have rented to a longer term customer if they had one. Picking up and returning the rental truck takes some of your time. Presuming you have your own equipment, you'll still need tanks and weights. This is pretty easy on Bonaire, harder most other places. In Bonaire Dive Friends has 6 or 7 locations, one right by the port, where you can pick up and drop off tanks and weights, at a reasonable price. Navigation on shore dives is a bigger issue than most people realize. The typical shore dive, you submerge as soon as you're able, follow a compass course straight out to depth, then either make a loop from initial depth out to maximum depth, then continue your loop back to the point where you reached initial depth, then follow the compass course back to the entry point. If there's much current, then it's compass navigate to maximum depth, dive against the current until you reach half air, then let the current bring you back to the starting point, where you compass navigate back to the entry point. Since there's current, you have to account for that in your compass navigation legs. In either case your ability to return to your exact entry point is not as easy as it may seem using underwater landmarks. That being said, Bonaire in particular seldom has much current, and there are excellent guides to shore diving there (the best is the Reef Smart Guide to Bonaire, which is worth buying anyway. It's available on Amazon. https://a.co/d/hH5wSpd) The advantages to diving on your own are that you choose your sites, and you can get a bit more diving in the day, and you may (or may not) save money. With four of us, our cost for the truck (about $100) was split, and the tanks/weights were about $25.00 per person total. And we were able to get 3 dives in, and still get back to the ship for a relatively early departure. Compare this to VIP, where you 2 guided dives with air, weights, a guide and lunch, at a cost of (last time I checked) $150.00 per day. Even if you had just two people, your financial benefit would be there, as long as you're willing and able to take on the tasks you're typically paying a dive operator for. Curacao is another Island with a fair amount of shore diving, but the traffic, and locating the dive sites make it a losing proposition in my eyes. Especially since Hans at CURious2Dive will come get me at the port, and take care of all the hassles. Harris Denver, CO
  24. For Cozumel, Humarine is best if you're a serious Diver. Salty Endeavors is quite good as well. Dive Paradise has the advantage that they're known to run a later boat, but since you're arriving at 7:00, you don't need that. They run larger boats,a nd don't go to the better sites far south. I don't have anything better for either Roatan or Belize. Harris Denver, CO
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