We're planning to get scuba certified. Is it reasonable/recommended to do the first part of the certification (classroom and pool work) near home and then do the ocean dives when we're in the tropics?
My fiance and I are likely headed to Bali and Lombok for our honeymoon, and are considering doing some scuba diving, and if we're going to spend some time learning, it seems like it would make sense to get an open water certification so we could do it again on vacation if we like it. We do have a limited time on the trip, so we were thinking of doing the academic coursework and pool sessions near home and doing the ocean dives once in Lombok -- that way we don't have to spend our honeymoon inside training in a pool.
However, when I emailed a few dive shops on the Gili Islands to inquire, they said that doing the classroom and poolwork before-hand is possible but not recommended because it's better to have the same instructor for the whole time so they can get a sense of your strengths and weaknesses. I don't know enough about scuba instruction to know if that's a valid point, or if they're just trying to maximize their business.
For those who have taken a scuba certification class, my question is which of the following options would be most ideal (both in terms of effective learning and in maximizing vacation fun)?
Option A: Take full class in Bali (would take 3-4 days, and take some time away from other fun activities) - it sounds like we could do the classroom part online beforehand
Option B: Take classroom and pool parts here in California, and then do the ocean dives in Bali (more expensive, but would only take 2 days in Bali so seems like an idea balance; dive shops recommending against it)
Option C: Take full class in California, and then do fun dives in Bali (I'm shivering at the idea of ocean dives in Northern California)
Option D: Do a more limited certification (like the PADI Scuba Diver
) that takes less time, but only certifies you to swim under the supervision of an instructor.
Also, if anyone has recommendations on SSI vs. PADI, I'd love to hear them.
Thanks! I've done all the reading on the options, but some recommendations from folks with real experience would be wonderful.