If you want to take your love for the sea a step further by learning how to dive, then the next step to fulfill that goal is to choose a dive center. If you’re planning to take up diving on your next holiday, it’s not advisable to randomly pick one. Take time to check out the available scuba centers in your targeted location and compare them before making a final choice.
Tap into personal and online resources
A good way to start is by asking recommendations from family and friends. Perhaps you have a relative or friend who has taken up diving before or better yet, a certified diver who can share his diving journey. There’s nothing better than getting recommendations from people with first-hand experiences especially those who you can trust.
If you don’t know anyone with diving experience, you can also get invaluable insights by checking different operators online. Visit their websites and read about their course offerings and make your own comparison.
Price is often a big consideration in making a selection but be careful of making it the only deciding factor. Never put your desire to save the most money above your personal safety. Perhaps you are interested in the cheapest scuba center but keep in mind that scuba facilities cost a lot of money to maintain quality standards. If one stands out because it offers significantly cheaper rates compared to the others, there might be a possibility that it makes up for its low price by offering low-quality equipment. A very low price may also mean that you are required to pay extra fees for things like training books, rental gear, certification fee, fuel for the boat, etc. If you are interested in a highly-recommended operator but you can’t afford their usual packages, you can get in touch with them and inquire if they have special discounted offers or seasonal specials that you can avail.
You can distinguish a good operator by their facilities and diving equipment. Check their gallery on their website to see facets of their facilities and images that might show if their equipment appears well maintained. It’s even better if you have an opportunity to visit the actual dive center and see for yourself. If you have questions about these things, don’t hesitate to get in touch with them about the matter. You can ask if they regularly service their equipment and if they adhere to PADI or SSI standards. If you find any reason to think that a scuba center is deemed unsafe, the best thing to do is move on and look for one that meets proper safety protocols.
Another important thing that you can check is the credentials and/or qualifications of the diving instructors. Find out if the instructors are fully trained, licensed to teach diving courses, and if they have specific areas of specialization. Another sign of a good dive center is having world-class diving instructors such as PADI or SSI professionals who highly reinforce safety diving practices.
If your operator has their own boats, find out if they are well maintained. You can probably check photos of the boats and get some information about the vessels on the company website. Don’t hesitate to ask the operator about the overall condition of their boats to have a better gauge of their seaworthiness.
You can also tap into online reviews such as TripAdvisor to find out the different opinions and experiences of people. Try to focus on the things that matter most to you when you’re reading online assessments and ratings. You don’t have to rule out a scuba center immediately because of one or two negative reviews, especially if they are associated with factors beyond the operator’s control. If there are overflowing positive reviews and the dive center responded to complaints and issues competently and tactfully, it’s an indication of a high level of professionalism.
Online communities for scuba divers and social media can also offer a mountain of underwater experiences and insights about different scuba operators. Word of mouth is an incredible tool and if the scuba center is giving their clients excellent services, you’re bound to hear about it across different platforms.
All these mentioned guidelines can help you make an informed decision. By tapping into your personal and online resources, it is easier to select a dive center that best fits your needs.
If your heart is set on diving at Cabo San Lucas, Amigos del Mar Dive Center offers Beginner to Specialty Courses. We also have e-Learning courses for your convenience. Begin your dive journey with us now and enjoy the privilege of exploring the underwater world with confidence.