CARLISLE BEACH AND SCUBA DIVING
Since we always like to scuba dive in at least one port each cruise, I was struggling with actually where to pick. Kia and her daughter Michaela went diving, for the first time, on our last cruise together and they really enjoyed it and said that was a requirement this time around as well. Now, this time Kendra was going and if you think I get anxiety bad before and during diving, you should see her. She has a heck of a time getting used to the breathing with the regulator and freaks out. The last dive, she didn't even get to complete. (She ALWAYS uses some excuse...my mask is leaking, my fins don't fit right, the boat made me sick, blah blah blah). I get that anxiety too in the beginning...just not as bad as her and I know it's an excuse for her. HOWEVER, she actually said "We HAVE to go diving this time around so find us a good spot!" SAY WHAT?!? I couldn't believe she was requesting this. She said "as long as it's a shore dive". Well...I was the same way in the past, but we have done several boat dives now and I'm comfortable with it and it no longer worries me. I actually like it from the boat.
Scouting around here on cc, ABQrobin (who has given me tons of advice in the past about diving) suggested a place in Barbados...Blue Water Sports. She has them booked for an upcoming cruise and I figured why not. I corresponded with them about the amount of divers we had, ages and so on. They had excellent communication back and forth and I have TONS of emails to prove it.
We talked about transportation. We talked about how we wanted to stay at the beach before and after the dive and how long we were in port for. We talked about our group and experience and also about how the day would go, where we would dive, how long we would be out...and THAT IT WAS A BOAT DIVE. Oops...well, they assured me that it was a VERY short ride out to the site (not long enough to sit there and get sea sick which is one of Kendra's excuses) and assured me that it would be better getting dropped off there than having to swim that far. Kendra was just going to have to deal with it. They also assured me that they do the class and skills BEFORE going out on the boat and in a pool. Also great news. So we booked with them. We would be diving at several ship wrecks and I was excited.
The cost of the dive was $99 per person for discover scuba and the dive shop was supposed to be around 10 minutes away from the port. It sounded good to us!
So, off the ship we went...and of course "X" was in port with us...and like always, they arrived before us. That meant they had the "prime parking spot" and we were FAAAAARRRRR AWAY! Geesh, like REALLY REALLY FAR! It was quite some walk to even get to the port! I was about to be worn out before we ever made it to dive and I wasn't liking that.
Once we arrived to the port and out the door we didn't find anyone waiting for us nor did we actually know where to go. There always seems to be a lot of confusion at that port with taxi's and if you go inside or outside the port. Since we had been to a port (Antigua) that let the vendors on the dock, we really wasn't sure.
We ended up being put in a taxi inside the port and we were off. I asked the driver about the price and he ignored me. I wasn't getting a good feeling about that. After he dropped the other families off, I ask again. He still didn't answer. I finally had to say "Hey Mister!" He finally answered and I was told it was going to be $7.50/pp for the ride there. Kendra came in a taxi shortly after us.
When he had asked me where we were going I had told him (several times) "We are diving with Barbados Blue Watersports that is located right by the Hilton." He kept questioning it for some reason and asking if I was sure that was it. I asked if there was a dive place there by the Hilton and he said "yes". So...that's it then. The attitude and the tone of his voice just kinda struck a nerve with me as being rude. This has happened to us in the past as well with drivers in Barbados.
Now we were told it was 10 minutes away. It was around 20 minutes (with dropping off everyone in the taxi in one other location, which probably only added 1 minute total). When we arrived, he immediately jumped out, left the drivers door open and bus running, didn't open our door, and went inside. Um...ok. So we managed to get out and went up to the dive shop and he was coming out the door and said "Are you sure you have reservations here?". I said, "If you brought us to Barbados Blue Watersports by the Hilton, then yes we do". He insisted on seeing them, which I thought was really weird. I walked past him and into the dive shop and talked to the people inside and presented my paperwork with our payments. They told him we belonged there. I thought it was really strange that he was doing all of this in the manor in which he was doing it along with his tone of voice. He gave off the vibe that he didn't believe us. I don't know...maybe it's just the way they act there or something. It just didn't make me feel comfortable.
But we had made it!
After checking in, we were told to "go hang out at the tables outside the dive shop". But, we were extremely early so...I had already said we wanted to hang out at the beach. I told them that's where we would be going and no one else was even there yet. I mean why sit around on a picnic beach waiting for awhile when we could be sitting on the beach. They said ok and we went right outside the gate and found a spot in the shade.
Kendra arrived shortly after that and then came Kia fashionably late. 😉 Maybe her and Kendra were separated at birth somehow. I'm beginning to wonder since this happened the last time we dove together. LOL (I still love you Kia 😉 )
Now remember Kendra had one extra person with her...Shawna. She wanted to see if she could dive too and if not, she would just stay on the beach with Billy and Kam. They first said yes, then changed it to no. Then maybe. Then "we have too many kids". They were so confused. They said there couldn't be more than 4 people in a group (there were 2 other people diving that day in addition to our huge group). Then they said no more than one child per group. Then said it didn't matter because Shawna was 13 years old and the one child per group only applied to anyone under 12 years old.
Then they tried to figure out how to split everyone up. They said there were 3 instructors. Ok, well obviously the "split" is easy enough. Me, the hubby and Sakari (one child under 12) would be with one instructor. Kendra, Shawna and Brayden (one child under 12) would be with another. Kia and Michaela (who is also 13) and the other 2 people with the other instructor. Easy-peasy right? Or at least you would think so. I mean it made sense to me but they would get confused and say "wait, we can't do that because there's 2 children in this group (Kendras) so we need to put one child with another group". Um, ok, you just said it was fine because one is 13. ......... "Oh, ok then, it's fine". Then confusion would set in again and they'd bring it up. They talked about moving one kid from Kendra's group to either our group or Kia's. Wow, now does that make sense? No matter what, you are going to have more than 2 kids in one group. Ugh, this confusion lasted for a little bit before they finally all caught on. Whew!
We were then fitted for our equipment and told we were heading over to the Hilton. The Hilton is a bit of a walk. It's down and across the street and up a hill. Then threw the building, up the steps, down to the other pool and around. Whew.
They started putting our equipment together and those of us who "thought" we could do it could help as well. Kendra and I tackled one of them while they started on the others.
We hit the water, put our equipment on and the "class" instruction started. Now this instructor that was going over everything with us was...simply put...amazing! She said things in a way that everyone understood (even though we already knew what she was saying because we have done it before) but she presented it in a way that gave examples, in simple terms, of why this did that or how this happens, with examples that we could relate to. Wow, I really liked her! The other instructor kinda stayed there and didn't talk much but was there to help us out and with our skills for check off.