You just bought a plane ticket to Roatan? AWESOME.
You want to go diving? SWEET.
I’m a dive instructor. I work at a dive shop at a resort. I love diving. I don’t love the administrative and logistical headaches that come with people who seem to leave their common sense at home when they come here on a dive holiday.
So, just in case they are Googling shit before their trip, may I present to you:
1. You should probably make a reservation.
Unelss you’re diving in West End, where there are tons of standalone dive shops so if one can’t accommodate you, you can just try another shop.
Can someone please explain to me why in the name of all that is holy do people not make diving reservations when they’re staying at an isolated dive shop or the hotel dive shops? If you’re staying there, don’t you kinda want to make sure they can take you? What are you going to do if they’re full?
I work at a shop which is kind of in the middle of nowhere at a really lovely secluded resort, and we get hotel guests ALL THE TIME who just show up and want to go diving, or do a course. Or they did all their e-Learning online and their confined water dives at home and want to to their open water checkout dives and get certified. Or it’s a group of 8+ people (we don’t even have boats that hold that many people). Uh, guys? Really? You don’t want to check first that the dive shop can even take you out and do these before you do all that work? It’s happened where we’ve had walk-ins for fun divers and courses that we’ve unfortunately had to turn away. We’re a small operation, we don’t run huge cattle boats of divers and there’s only two instructors. Make a damn reservation. Just do it.
2. You should probably listen to the divemaster and boat captain.
Not if they’re telling you crazy shit like dive your tank down to 100psi or go to 300ft. But if they’re telling you to check for your mask, fins and wetsuit because the boat is about to leave for the dock, THEN CHECK. Cause guess what? If they tell you to check, and you don’t, and you find out at the dive site that you don’t have it, they’re not going back so you can get it and you’re still paying for that dive. Sorry bro. Your fault.
3. You should probably show up when you’re told to show up.
If they tell you the boat leaves the dock at 8:30am and to be there no later than 8:20am then exactly why are you not on the dock at 8:20am? I really don’t get this. Scuba diving is expensive so I’m pretty sure you can buy a watch. If you don’t have one then just ask me which street vendor sells legit $5 watches here. I got your back.
4. You should probably show up when you say you’re going to show up.
Dive boats have a limited number of spaces, and a lot of times I tell someone they can’t go because the seat is full. If you just don’t show up, you still have to pay for that dive AND you didn’t go diving. So that’s two things that suck. Plus someone else could have came on the boat in your spot and they might have tipped us, so we’re losing out too. 24 hours notice is standard for cancelling a reservation. Don’t be that guy.
5. You should probably tip your divemaster and captain.
If you get good service. If they haul around your BCD with 30lbs of weight in it (but if you’re diving in the Caribbean with 30lbs then you really need to take a PPB course because that is just ridiculous). If you see them pushing the tanks to the dock through 200ft of sand in a wheelbarrow. If you take your gear off in the water and ask them to pull it up in the boat for you. If your kid is diving. If you had a problem underwater and they helped you with it. If they showed you some cool shit. If they only got a 12 minute lunch break because you wanted to tell them all about that time you went to Bonaire and saw the coolest crap of all time and then showed them every fish you like in the Reef Fish ID book for like an hour. We’re in the customer service business. If you had a good time with us and everything went well, please tip. (See my tipping guidelines for diving on Roatan if you’re not familiar with tipping, or how much to tip here.)
6. You should probably try to enjoy yourself.
You’re on holidays and you’re diving! Don’t be miserable! Some people are so weird.
See guys, it isn’t rocket science! Find a more comprehensive (and hilarious) list over at DiverWire. Diving is amazing, don’t wreck the experience for yourself, your fellow divers or the dive shop staff by being inconsiderate. If you don’t know something – ASK, follow instructions and you’ll have an awesome dive trip!