Posted 17 February 2010 - 05:29 PM
Yes, you can do a "Discover Scuba" thing -- very limited training, some pool time, then (assuming you actually learned the limited skills they teach you in the pool & don't freak out from claustraphobia, or forget to keep breathing underwater), they'll take you out in the Ocean for a shallow dive - no more than 30 feet, usually on to Paradise Reef. But if you really like it, and want to try more, like the 60-80 foot dives to deeper reefs where you'll see much more, you either have to give up large chunks of vacation time for the full-blown training (i.e., several hours of classroom work, written tests, more pool work, skills tests in shallow water, and a Certification Dive), or go home, take the full Certification Course at a local Dive Center, with a Certification Dive in a local Lake or flooded quarry (unless you happen to live near the Ocean), then wait for your next tropical vacation. I got certified about 20 years ago (1989), with Certification Dive in a lake in Texas, so I was certified before my Tahiti vacation -- my first Ocean Dives were off Moorea, with Black Tip Reef Sharks (about 3-4 feet long & usually pretty shy), Manta Rays, Spotted Moray Eels, Sea Turtles & dozens of beautiful & colorful reef fish. I suggest, if you have several weeks before your trip, see if a local dive shop will take you into a pool for a quick "check-out", and if you can easily get comfortable breathing on a regulator, no claustraphobia or panic staying underwater for several minutes, and you are willing to learn the skills necessary to make diving safe & enjoyable, then take the Certification Class at a local dive shop - you can either take your Certification Dive in a local lake or quarry, or have the Dive Shop refer you to a Dive Operator in Cozumel to complete the Certification Process & you'll be ready to go. On the other hand, if you discover that you are just not comfortable with the Scuba Equipment, or you are subject to panic attacks underwater (no shame in that - lots of folks just cannot get comfortable enough underwater breathing through a hose to enjoy the experience; my Sister tried it once & nearly freaked out in 6 feet of crystal clear pool water), then at least you'll know not to waste your time & money on a Discover Scuba deal in Cozumel. Two things though, - First: If you discover that you really enjoy Scuba, please respect the Reefs - there are other divers who want to see it as bad as you do, and it's very easy to damage the reef through carelessness. Second: ALWAYS remember that if you keep calm and always pay attention to where you are & what you are doing, Scuba is incredibly safe; if you panic when something little goes wrong (like the diver in front of you kicks off your mask, so you have to put it back on & clear it underwater - a fairly easy task, if you just relax), or do something stupid (like losing track of how deep you are, how much air you have in your tank, or where your dive group went while you were staring at a Spiny Lobster hidden under a ledge of coral, or forgetting the rule that you NEVER hold your breath on Scuba) it's very easy to kill yourself. Dive Safe.