My wife tried Scuba last year and loved it. She took a resort course with Red Sail. This year we are going back to Aruba and she would like to get certified. I am already Advanced Open Water certified. We are familiar with Red Sail but I'm wondering if there are any other outfits that are better or any we should stay away from.
Unique Sports of Aruba (USA) on Eagle Beach next to the Radison. I have been diving with these guys every year for the last ten years. They are highly professional and PADI approved facility. I did my advanced open water with them. They are the best in the Caribbean! Tell Emitt, Hello from Cape Cod and I'll see him August 21st. Best Regards, Jim Gallagher
You will get loads of suggestions on dive operators. You are already familiar with Red Sail. Unique just bought out Pelican, so that cuts down the decision making somewhat.
May I suggest however that if your dw's time allows, do her classroom instruction at home prior to vacation. When she arrives in Aruba she will have her "referral" and would then just need to perfom her water testing certifications. I got my OW and AOW certs on vacation one year and slept, ate and dreamt scuba diving which is nice, but it wasn't much of a vacation.
I wanted to revive this thread and hear some more input on dive shops. My fiance and I just became OW certified and want to do some diving while on your honeymoon. I've heard good things about Pelican & Red Sail Sports. We'll be staying at the Hyatt, so we were drawn to Red Sail at first since from what I've read, the boat will pick you up at a pier right at the Hyatt.
Also, what is it customary to tip the crew while diving in Aruba?
I returned last week and I used Unique which is at the Radisson, next door to the Hyatt. My daughter and her boyfriend used Red Sail for the resort course. I previously used Unique for my open water cert.
Unique is a great operator and I would recommend them highly. Red Sail, at least on this one occasion, was an unsafe operator as they did not go through all of the required pool skills for the resort course and actually had my daughter go through skills in a pool without any weights, the instructor held her under water.
As for tipping, I tip $10 per person per boat trip.
My husband, son and I are all SCUBA certified. Paul and I got certified back in the mid 70's and Kevin took all of his courses, OW and AOW with Unique and just finished a PADI rescue/recovery course at Mass Maritime Academy where he is a rising senior.
We have always had good/great experiences with Unique. Emmitt Kimball is a top notch person, with good ethics and runs a safe program. He has retained some of the Pelican staff too. All in all I highly recommend Unique.
Anyone care to comment about Mermaid ? I have never hear of anyonbe going out on dives with them.
I dove with Unique this past March after using Pelican for many years.
We had 5 divers, an insructor and 2 divemasters total on the trip. The crew and staff were excellent The trip was out to the Star Garren which I had never dove before. It's a fairly new site. In 50 years it may rival the Antilla wreck.
I also had a chance to meet Emmit. I think he's doing a great job. Unique took over Pelican last year. I heard that they were looking to focus more on the food service side of their operations. While their shop is between the Radisson and RIU, Unique still maintains the area used by Pelican on the Pelican Pier to pick up divers.