Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Aruba Watersports Center

Aruba Bound
A few years back during one of our stays at the Radisson Aruba, we took our dd on a Discover Scuba dive, Scuba and the 10 year old, through Aruba Watersports Center. She was immediately enthralled with the sport. When we began our research to obtain her certification, we were looking for a similar type of experience with personalized service and one on one tutoring.

After doing a large amount of online research and communicating online with Aruba Watersports, we decided to reserve the Open Water Certification class with them. They were very prompt and professional in their emails and I was confident that it would be a good experience.

What follows, is my dd’s take on diving and Aruba Watersports…
“I had dove with Aruba Watersports (AWS) in the past for a Discover Scuba course, and decided to use them again for my Open Water certification. This was due to various reasons. We were staying at the Radisson so it was close by, a few hundred steps depending where you were. The cost was less than other operators, and being a small outfit, we knew chances were good I would have a lot of close supervision. Actually, I ended up being a class of one. This made my classes private, and they were personalized and centered on me. Certification is typically done in 3 or 4 days, but since I was staying at the Radisson for 12 nights, I had the leisure of doing half days and not being rushed. It also enabled us to pick days that fit my parents and my schedule best.
AWS lacks a pool and I had to do all the skills- hovering in place, flooding the mask, taking the mask off and swimming without it and then putting it back on, removing the regulator, etc.- in shallow open water. I did not feel it was an issue since the instructor was of course always right there with me and in the long run I felt it provided me with more confidence. I was even able to go on an actual dive after review of my first set of skills.
Nick, the instructor, was patient and covered all areas in depth and even made me re-do areas he found I struggled with. I had to work for the certification; I did not have the card just handed to me. We all feel that this was an excellent base for future diving education.
Once my certification was complete, I used AWS for a dive. I have to say that the service, due to small inflatable boats they use, get you to the dive sites quickly. Dive groups are no more than 4 people (including the instructor.) The dives are personalized and typically there are not set sites and the group is able to decide. The cost for one tank with your own equipment is $45 and $70 for 2 tanks, adding $25 if you needed the equipment.”
Upon certification with Aruba Watersports, dh and dd dove together twice on the Antilla after she was certified. Dh was very pleased with their outfit and their personalized service. They may not be ultra glam and have a big fancy dive boat, only using inflatables, but you will have a small group experience for a very modest price.

As parents we felt our dd was in good hands and very safe. After having such a great experience with her Open Water Certification we have now enrolled her in a course for her Advanced Open Water Certification in December.

Safe diving everyone!