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Home All4Diving - Scuba Diving Frequently Asked Questions

All4Diving - Scuba Diving Frequently Asked Questions

Scuba diving Phuket | PADI Courses | Liveaboard Similan | GoPro | Dive Trips | Retail shop

The following are common questions about PADI Courses as well as scuba diving and Liveaboard holidays in Thailand. If you don’t find the answer, don’t hesitate to contact us.

I have never dived before, where do I start?

If you want to learn to scuba dive, the first step is to take a PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) Open Water Diver course, the most widely recognized and respected diving certification in the world. Within a few days, you can be enjoying the underwater world.

Not sure if a full-blown course is for you?
Why not try an Introductory Try Dive - 2 dives program, and experience what you're missing.

How do I learn and become a certified scuba diver?

Scuba diving certification
includes three phases:

1. Knowledge Development

During the first phase of your scuba lessons, you'll learn the basic principles of scuba diving such as

What to consider when planning dives.
How to choose the right scuba gear for you.
Underwater signals and other diving procedures.
You'll learn this valuable information by reading it in the PADI Open Water Diver Manual or by using the tablet version - PADI Open Water Diver Touch™, or online with PADI eLearning®. At the end of each chapter, you'll answer questions about the material to ensure you understand it. Along the way, let our PADI Instructor know if there is anything you don't understand. At the end of the course, you’ll take a final exam that ensures you have thorough knowledge of scuba diving basics.

You'll also watch videos that preview the scuba skills you'll practice in a swimming pool or pool-like environment. In addition to the video, your instructor will demonstrate each skill for you.

2. Confined Water Dives

This is what it’s all about – diving. You'll develop basic scuba skills in a pool or in confined water – a body of water with pool-like conditions, such as off a calm beach. The basic scuba skills you learn during your certification course will help you become familiar with your scuba gear and become an underwater explorer. Some of the essential skills you learn include:

Setting up your scuba gear.
How to get water out of your mask.
Entering and exiting the water.
Buoyancy control.
Basic underwater navigation.
Safety procedures.
You'll practice these skills with an instructor until you're comfortable. When you're ready, it's time for your underwater adventure to begin at an open water dive site.

3. Open Water Dives

After your confined water dives, you'll head to "open water," where you and your instructor will make four dives, usually over two days. On these dives you'll get to explore the underwater world. You'll apply the skills you learned in confined water while enjoying what the local environment has to offer. Most student divers complete these dives close to home, but there is an option for finishing your training while on holiday. Your PADI Instructor can explain how you can be referred to another PADI Instructor in a different location.

The PADI Open Water Diver course is flexible and performance based, which means that we can offer a wide variety of schedules, organized according to how fast you progress. It’s possible to complete your confined and open water dives in 3 or 4 days by completing the knowledge development portion online via PADI eLearning, or classroom study options with our multilingual PADI Instructors.

Our PADI Instructor will focus on helping you become a confident and comfortable diver, not on how long it takes. You earn your certification based on demonstrating you know what you need to know and can do what you need to do. This means that you progress at your own pace – faster or slower depending upon the time you need – to become a competent scuba diver.

Do I need my own diving equipment for PADI courses?

All basic equipment is included in all PADI Courses, however for your own comfort, it is advisable to get your own basic equipment such as mask, snorkel and fins. This is more for your own comfort and hygiene. You can also use them for snorkeling during your beach days. For more information, you can contact your friendly instructor to help you choose fitting equipment.

How long are the PADI certifications valid for?

The PADI recreational certifications are valid for life.

Recommendations for long time of diving inactivity:
For beginners, we recommend that after a period of 8 months or more of not diving, they subscribe for a refreshing program during 1 or 2 dives that can be done on our boat during a day trip to Racha or Phi-Phi Islands. For more than 18 months, a Scuba review program of 2 days is preferred: 1 days pool and small theory and 1 day diving trip of 3 dives.

For beginner or intermediate divers with more than 24 months or more of diving inactivity, we strongly recommend the Scuba review program - 2 days: 1 day pool and small theory and 1 day diving trip of 3 dives at Racha or Phi-Phi Islands.

What happens if I don't finish the course? Referral?

It depends on the reason, but you may be able to finish your course at a later date and everywhere in the world - (if you got sick for example) - this is known as a referral.

Referral Courses can be done if you have completed only part of your dive training. Once you arrive in Thailand, you can then finish your dive training with our Academy.

The PADI referral system enables you to complete your PADI Open Water Dive Course with us in Phuket, Thailand.

When you have completed any of the the Academic training and/or Confined Water training portions of the PADI OPEN WATER DIVER COURSE, ask your instructor for the following documents:

PADI Referral form (less than 12 months old)
Completed self assessed medical declaration form

There are a few different options for completing this course.

Example: you have completed the theory part and the 5 pool sessions:
2 Day Trips - With this option you will go the Racha and/or Phi-Phi Islands and return to Phuket end of afternoon. Includes four training dives and one fun dive.

NON-PADI Referral Courses
If you have completed the academic and confined water training with a certifying agency other than PADI, we are generally able to convert your training and issue you with a PADI Open Water Diver Certification. Further training will be required however, at least one day PADI Scuba Review Program with a private instructor. (Additional charges apply, please contact us for details).

What are the requirements for learning to scuba dive?

If you have a passion for excitement and adventure, chances are you can become an avid PADI scuba diver. You'll also want to keep in mind these requirements:

The minimum age is 10 years old. Student divers who are younger than 15 earn the PADI Junior Open Water Diver certification, which they may upgrade to PADI Open Water Diver certification upon reaching 15. Children under the age of 13 require parent or guardian permission to register for PADI eLearning, or to use PADI Open Water Diver Touch™.

All student divers complete a brief scuba medical questionnaire that asks about medical conditions that could be a problem while diving. If none of these apply, sign the form and you’re ready to start. If any of these apply to you, your doctor must, as a safety precaution, assess the condition as it relates to diving and sign a medical form that confirms you’re fit to dive. Download the scuba medical questionnaire.

Before completing the PADI Open Water Diver course, your instructor will have you demonstrate basic water skills to be sure you’re comfortable in the water, including:

Swim 200 metres/yards (or 300 metres/yards with mask, fins and snorkel) without stopping. There is no time limit for this, and you may use any swimming strokes you want.
Float and tread water for 10 minutes, again using any methods you want.
Any individual who can meet the performance requirements of the course qualifies for certification. There are many adaptive techniques that allow individuals with physical challenges to meet these requirements. People with paraplegia, amputations and other challenges commonly earn the PADI Open Water Diver certification with us. Even individuals with more significant physical challenges participate in diving. Talk to our PADI Instructors.

Each diver must have a personal set of the learning materials to use during the course and for reference after the course. There are several options available, depending on your learning style and technology preference, including:

PADI Open Water Diver Online (web-based)

PADI Open Water Diver Touch™ (combines manual and video in tablet-based learning)

PADI Open Water Diver Manual, and watching the Open Water Diver Video on DVD in our Academy with our multilingual Instructors.

We can provide one of the options above as part of the course enrollment process. You’ll also need a logbook and a dive-planning device - RDP table that we provide. Your instructor will have you use the PADI Skill Practice and Dive Planning Slate during training, and you’ll find this tool useful once you’re certified.

My ears hurt when i go to the bottom of a swimming pool or when i dive down snorkeling

The discomfort is the normal effect of water pressure pressing in on your ear drums. Fortunately, our bodies are designed to adjust for pressure changes in our ears – you just need to learn how. If you have no difficulties adjusting to air pressure during flying, you'll probably experience no problem learning to adjust to water pressure while diving.

What is PADI elearning ?

Electronic learning (eLearning) is the delivery of education online, using web-based technology. PADI eLearning allows you to begin your dive education at your convenience, on the internet, and finish your training in the water with a PADI Professional. With PADI eLearning, you complete the knowledge development (classroom) portion of the most popular courses at your own pace – studying anytime and anywhere you have a high-speed internet connection. If you have a busy schedule or just prefer the convenience of online study, eLearning is a good choice.
Which online courses are currently available?

PADI Open Water Diver Online – available in English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Japanese, Dutch, Russian, Chinese and Korean
PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Online – English
PADI Enriched Air Diver Online – English and Japanese
PADI Digital Underwater Photographer Online – English
PADI Scuba Tune-up Online – English
Dive Theory Online – English and Japanese
PADI Rescue Diver Online – English
PADI Divemaster Online – English and Japanese
PADI Instructor Development Online – English, Japanese, and Spanish
Additional languages and courses will become available in the future.

I’m already a certified diver, how do I become a PADI diver?

Scuba diving certifications from other diver training organizations can often be used to meet a prerequisite for the next level PADI course. For example, if you have an open water diver or entry-level certification from another diver training organization, you may qualify to enroll in the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course, which is the next level. You could not receive a PADI Open Water Diver certification unless you completed that course. There is no simple “equivalency” or “crossover.” The best option is to take the next step and continue your education

I have a professional-level certification with another agency, how do i become PADI Pro ?

If you hold a professional rating from another diver training organization and wish to become a PADI Divemaster or Instructor, please contact us - Only PADI Five Star Career Development Center (CDC) can provide you the crossover to become a PADI Professional and we are PADI 5 Star CDC. A dive professional in good standing with another diver training organization may meet the prerequisites for the next level PADI certification. For example, a divemaster with another diver training organization may qualify to enroll in a PADI Assistant Instructor course or Instructor Development Course (IDC). You could not receive a PADI Divemaster certification unless you completed the PADI Divemaster course. There is no simple “equivalency” or “crossover.” An instructor in good standing from another diver training organization may be eligible to enroll in an Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI) program. This program is shorter than a complete IDC and focuses building upon your teaching skills by introducing you to the PADI System. You must also successfully complete a PADI Instructor Exam (IE) to become a PADI Instructor.

Certified divers section - Day Trip and Snorkeling

Are the dives guided by a Divemaster?
Yes, dives are GUIDED by a Divemaster. All4Diving provide always a Divemaster free of charge with a ratio of maximum 5 divers for one Divemaster.

Snorkellers are supervised by the Tour leader, but if there is more than 4-5 snorkelers, we provide a specific divemaster for them - free of charge. The Equipment for snorkellers is also provided without extra cost.

How diver groups are composed?
We NEVER mix experienced divers with beginners. We always provide the best service possible, but sometimes can happens that a diver can be on the wrong group even with experience - peoples are different - use of air, anxiety, or just uncomfortable under the water. Please be indulgent as we - the divers are a big family. As soon as after the 1st dive, our Tour Leader will make the corrections and reorganize the group.

My partner/friend is beginner and i am experienced diver. Can we dive together?
Yes, but be aware that you have to join the group of beginners. It's not a big deal as mainly the dives sites are easy and you no need go deeper that 18m to enjoy your dives.

My partner/friend is not certified diver. Can he/she join me?
Yes - we offer 2 options:
1. Snorkeling - on all trips we offer a discounted rate for those not diving.
2. Your partner can subscribe for a Discover try dive program under direct supervision of PADI Instructor and limited to a maximum of 12m depth. Then you can join your partner and dive together - there is no extra cost for you. Be aware that you must stay during the dives close the the Instructor and you can not do a solo dive. You can change the group when you wish but only during the surface intervals and after having informed the Tour leader.

Do I need a Dive Medical Certification?
No, as a certified diver it's not mandatory. But we recommend divers over 64 years to be certified by their doctor for healthy and security reasons, and also with regard their insurances.

Do I need a Diving Insurance?
We strongly recommend you have a diving insurance as well as travel insurance which covers you for cancellation of trip due to illness, poor weather, travel delays, lost luggage and legal costs. Most of the travel insurances not cover diving accidents and treatment/evacuation if you dive bellow the 18m. We recommend getting separate insurance like that offered by Indepths - we can subscribe you for a cost of 200 Baht per day ( approx. 6 US$) or you can subscribe for DAN (Divers Alert Network) Insurance:

DAN Insurance

Do I need to bring my Certification Card and Log Book.
Yes, please. At a minimum you will need your Certification Card and also Dive Supervisors do like to see log books so then can more efficiently assess your experience. If you lost or forget your Certification Card you can still dive, as long as evidence of certification can be provided eg log book and verification letter from your certifying dive company. You can do this by contacting your original certifying organizations. We can provide assistance in this area if you are PADI affiliated. If you are unable to prove your certification level, the alternate is that you sign for a PADI DSD program - you will be limited to 12m but you will go dive.

Can i drink Alcohol the night before the diving day trip?
A short answer is - better NO. If you wish to drink 2-3 cans of beer before midnight - why not... but strong alcohols such as vodka, whiskey etc... better not.

I have a non-PADI certification - will this be OK?
YES, but just in case of, let us know your certifying agency, certification level and approximate number of dives.

Is "Solo" diving allowed?
No. Except for divers with the PADI Self Reliant Certification with the required equipment - please take attention during the briefing and follow the diving plan. We understand that underwater photographers like to take time during the dive, we can suggest you a private guide.

Is "Deco" dives are allowed.
Absolutely NO.
There is 2 possibles exceptions and have to be approved by also by the Tour Leader.
1. During a tech diving planned course - mean that the diver is under a direct supervision of a professional.
2. During a Governmental projects/researches made by a Certified Tech Divers with official paper works.

What are the latest recommendations for flying after diving?
Please note there are regulations about flying or going to altitude after diving:
- Currently the rules state that for a single no decompression dive, you should not fly/go to altitude for at least 12 hours.
- For multiple dives (2 or more) you should not fly/go to altitude for at least 18 hours.
All4Diving recommends waiting a minimum 18 hours before you fly and 24 hours for multiples non-decompression dives at 25m depth or deeper (ex. 2 dives at 25m and 1 at 18m), whenever possible. These are guidelines only, there is no guarantee that these recommendations will prevent decompression sickness.

Under normal circumstances, you should be out of the water on your last dive at 5pm, this should help with organizing any travel plans you have after your dive trip with us.

What continuing education courses are available?
After your Open Water course (or equivalent) there are a number of continuing education courses that have to be followed in a certain order.

* PADI Adventure Diver
* PADI Specialty diver (several to choose from)
* PADI Advanced
* PADI Master Scuba Diver
* PADI Rescue Course
* PADI Divemaster (first professional course)
* PADI Instructor

What is the difference between YOKE and DIN fittings?
In Thailand the standard fitting is the YOKE fitting - the same used in the USA.
A DIN fitting is generally used in Europe, in particular Germany and would require an adapter to be able to use here in Thailand. All4Dive have DIN to YOKE adapters available on-board free of charge. Please let us know when you book.

What size tanks do you supply?
We supply 4 sizes of tank 8L, 12L and 15L. And 6L reserved for Juniors only.

Menstruation and Scuba Diving
Many female scuba divers may be worried about shark attacks, bleeding underwater, and other considerations when diving while menstruating, but may be hesitant to ask a male scuba instructor for advice. Rest assured, diving on your period is perfectly fine, but you might want to take a few precautions. Stay conservative and avoid massages after diving for at least 12 hours.

Massages after Scuba Diving.
There is no evidences concerning a direct cause-and-effect relationship between massage and decompression sickness. But because the Thai massages are "strong" and considered as a deep tissue massage, the clearest piece of advice is that this kind of massage should be avoided for at least 6-8 hours after the dive, so that the potential of post-dive pain and diagnostic confusion are minimized.

Liveaboard Similan - Thailand section

When is the best time to come?
The Similan liveaboards season runs from October to May.
The weather and Andaman Sea are at their calmest during the months of February to early May, and this is when visibility is at its best. This time of year is also manta ray and whale shark season. But be aware that liveaboards are full during this period several months in advance.

How far in advance do I need to book?
Although it is possible to book some Thailand diving safaris only a few weeks before departure, if you want to ensure your place on one of our most popular Similan liveaboard charter cruises between December and April you must try to book minimum 6 months in advance. Most of the Similan Liveaboards are full 6-8 months in advance for the period of December to April specially Medium and First class boats.

I don't have my diving license with me, can I still dive?
If you have a PADI certification, we can check your details direct with PADI. Please provide your name as it appears on your card and your date of birth. If you contact the scuba center where you were certified, they can help you obtain a new card before you travel.

What clothes etc. should I bring?
With a minimum temperature of 26C you will need mainly light clothes. Most boat supplies bath products. Please don’t forget your sunscreen lotion, sunglasses and a hat or cap, the sun is surprisingly strong in this region!
Keep in mind that liveaboards, no matter how large, do not have a lot of space for luggage storage. Most dive operators recommend soft-sided luggage on the boat but will allow you to store extra bags at the dive center. Please ensure all luggage are clearly labeled with name tag.
Since Liveaboard diving is casual, only a few T-shirts, shorts, swim suits and possibly a sweatshirt for the evening are necessary. Generally, less is best.

Are dive computers recommended?
It is strongly recommended that you use a dive computer. Although computers are available for rent, we recommend that you bring a computer with which you are already familiar. Diving without a computer (using Dive Tables) will restrict your depth and bottom time, and with that, limit opportunities to see certain special features and creatures. “Sharing” of dive computers are NOT allowed by most of the dive operation.

We have children who are over 10 and certified divers. Are they OK to dive on a liveaboard boat?

Yes, no problem. If they are between 10 and 12 years of age, they can go to a maximum of 12m. If they are between 12-15 they can go to maximum of 21m with Junior Advanced certification. That is a standard set by PADI and the Recreational Scuba Training Council (RSTC). Normally the supervising adult is required to dive with their children unless special arrangements are made in advance. Divemasters can usually be hired to look after them.

What is the electricity like?
All the Liveaboards have twin-prong socket 220 volts mains outlet – 24 hours per day, which are available either in your cabin or on the main deck for recharging or using your electronic equipment. We recommend you to take universal adapter with you.

What do I do about accommodation upon arrival?
It is highly recommended that you arrive at least one day prior to diving. This way you have time to rest and acclimatize. We can make arrangements to book accommodation in any hotel you wish or we can suggest a hotel and reserve a room based on your needs.

Where can you pick me up from?
We can arrange transfers to your liveaboard from your Phuket hotel, from our diving center or from the airport if you arrive few hours before your boat departure. Please advise us of your preferred transfer point before you arrive.

What are the meals and drinks like?
Meals are a mix of Thai and International Cuisine. Should you have any special dietary needs or restrictions, please let us know upon booking. Drinking Water, tea and coffee are available all day long. Soft drinks are available free of charge on most of the boat, beer and alcohol are available for sale and payable on the boat after the last dive of the day.

What if I am vegetarian?
If you are vegetarian, let us know at booking stage prior to your trip and we will make sure the boat is aware of your request and there are plenty of vegetarian dishes to suit your tastes on your chosen liveaboard. Fresh fruit and vegetables are really the order of the day so vegetarians rarely experience problems.

Can I bring alcohol on-board?
You can bring what you like on-board. If you have a favorite tipple or taste, feel free to bring it along. Just be very aware that you cannot drink and dive. You can only after the last dive of the day.

What about Non-Divers on-board Liveaboard Trips?
While diving is the priority, there are many other possibilities. When the location is suitable, there is swimming, snorkeling and beach combing. Most boats also have a good selection of music, movies, books, and games. Please feel free to bring your own CDs or DVDs if you wish.

Can I be contacted in case of an emergency?
Nearly most boats are equipped with communication equipment. Emergency calls, and emails can be forwarded to the boats via our office. Please leave our phone numbers and e-mail addresses with your relatives, in case they urgently need to contact you.

Can I recharge my Cameras, strobes and batteries?
Yes, liveaboards are very capable of receiving photographers and voltage is commonly. 220/110/24 this may change depending on destination so be sure to check at time of booking. Adapters are usually available but bringing your own adapter can be useful.

You must bring proof of your current certification for presentation on your arrival on all liveaboards and of course don't forget your log book for that extra special stamp.
Although the beginners can dive in Similan Islands, it is strongly recommended to be an Advanced diver. Some dives site are deep with strong currents. You can take a PADI Advanced Open Water Course during your Liveaboard holiday, just let us know at your booking.

It is always highly recommended and compulsory on all liveaboards that you purchase a comprehensive holiday insurance prior to your diving trip, please check that you are insured to dive to your certification limits please provide your cruise director with a copy of your emergency insurance contact details on arrival. Trip cancellation insurance is also recommended.

Where is good for diving with Manta Rays and Whale Sharks?
Manta Rays are stunning and exquisite creatures. They are not endangered, but they are also not common. We do see them at several different sites. These sites tend to be the deeper sites, but you never know!
The most common sightings are at Koh Bon and Koh Tachai. But in the last 3 years we have seen Manta Rays at almost every site in the Similan Islands.

I am alone and i am a woman– will I have to share a cabin with a male?
We understand . We make every attempt we can to assure you of the most memorable holiday. We will always do our best, however have to accommodate all guests. If you pay for a shared cabin and if there are two woman traveling solo, we will place them in the same cabin. If we do have to place solo male and female in the same cabin, we will let you know, but it's very rare.

Liveaboard Indonesia section - Mermaid I & II

Number of Dives/Site selection
Each itinerary outlined the approximate number of dives planned for each cruise destination. This is always subject to weather conditions and security/safety issues. Dive site selection detailed in the published itinerary is subject to change by the Captain or Cruise Director without prior notice. There are numerous fantastic sites in all the areas we visit and our objective is to take you to the best of the best ! Repeat guests – we’ll take you to some new sites or more of those you really love!

What diver certification level is needed for diving in Indonesia?
Everyone is welcome on board, no matter what level your certification. Dive groups and site selection will be chosen to meet your safety, comfort and diving ability – and is subject to the discretion of the Cruise Director. Our professional dive crew will take you on the easy route or to another site if you don’t like currents. If you are up for it, we’ll take you right into it for all the action the site offers ! You may wish to bring a reef hook for some dive sites or buy one on board.

Dive Guides and Diver Safety
Our experienced dive crew would be delighted to assist you. Divers are welcome to dive with their buddy on sites deemed suitable by the Cruise Director. For diver safety the use of individual dive computers is mandatory for all divers. Nitrox fills and courses are available on board to enhance your diving safety. Please allow 24 hours between last dive and flying. Guests are requested to show diving certification cards on checking in and are strongly recommended to have valid dive insurance (PADI, Dan or equivalent).

How far in advance do I need to book?
Although it is possible to book some Indonesian diving safaris only a few weeks before departure, if you want to ensure your place on one of our most popular Indonesian cruises between November and May you must try to book minimum 3 months in advance. Most of the time Mermaid I $ II are full 3-4 months in advance.

Departure and Arrival Times
Bali Departures: Boarding time at Benoa Passenger Pier at Benoa Harbour Bali is between 13:00-15:00 hours for our 16:00 hour departure. Final cruise departure time is subject to guest arrival times. Please liaise with Mermaid Liveaboards if your flight times cannot fit this schedule. Transfers from/to the airport or hotels in the south are free of charge. From destinations in central and northern Bali, there is a small charge. Please refer to the price list.
Guests arriving before 12 noon on departure day will be transferred to Mermaid Liveaboards guest lounge at All 4 Diving Bali at Sanur Beach where you can leave your luggage in safety till boarding transfer at 14:00 hours. After meeting the friendly crew at All 4 Diving you can relax on the beach, enjoy a massage, and go sight-seeing or shopping till 14:00 hours when you will be transferred to the vessel.

Bali Transfer Times:
12:30 – Nusa Dua, Ullawatu, Canggu, Kerobokan
13:00 Jimbaran, Seminyak
13:30 Kuta Beach, Legian
14:00 Sanur Beach
11:00 Tulamben
12:00 Candi Desa, Padangbai, Ubud
- The time is to be advised for other locations in Bali
- If you are making your own way to the port – please let us know at least 2 weeks prior to the cruise. Boarding time for “own transport” guests is 13:00-14:00 hours please.

Maumere Flores Transfer Times:
We will meet all flights and bring you straight to the vessel on cruise departure day or from your hotel by approx. 12 noon. Guests are recommended to arrive one day prior, to enjoy the beauty of the surrounding area and to be sure you can make your cruise connection. Why not visit the Three Colour Lakes in the craters of Keli Mutu volcano! Please contact us to assist you with hotel, flight and transfers.

Lembeh – Manado Transfer Times:
This cruise does not focus on Lembeh so it is a great idea to combine a Lembeh land based dive trip with your cruise for the best of the best ! We will meet you at the airport or your hotel in Manado City area by 12pm to transfer to the vessel on cruise departure date. Or if you are staying in Lembeh, we will coordinate the best method to collect you and advise. If you arrive early why not dive Bunaken or Bangka islands or Lembeh or take a highland tour to visit local flower market and lunch in a restaurant located above Tondano Lake. Feel free to contact us for any assistance. Transfers from/to the airport and within Manado city are free of charge. Price on application for other locations.

Ambon Transfer Times:
We will co-ordinate with you for your arrival or departure transferring you from/to the airport or from/to your hotel within the Ambon city limits.

Sorong Raja Ampat Transfer Times:
Please note guests will be collected from their hotels at 12 noon for transfer to the boat. Guests flying in same day as boat departure days will be collected from airport and taken directly to boat. However we encourage guests to arrive the day prior. This it is a good safety buffer for delays/luggage issues and more fun as guests will be transferred from their hotel to the boat at 8am on boat departure day and 2-3 extra dives will be available !
There are several reasonable hotels in Sorong plus there are some wonderful island retreats around and about that you may wish to stay at before or after your cruise. We are happy to assist with ground transport, accommodations, resort stays/local diving, air fares etc.

Domestic Flights
The majority of local flights need to be booked in Indonesia. Some airlines accept Internet bookings such as Silk Air and Lion Air and surely more will come on line too. Guests are strongly advised to arrive at least 1 day prior to their cruise to avoid any delays.

Water Temperature, Equipment and Wetsuit recommendations
Bali-Komodo-Bali: The Flores Sea with its usually clear blue waters, great visibility has water temperatures of approx. 26-28 degrees (northern dive locations) – a 3-5 mm shorty is okay with most guests comfortable with a 3-5mm long. The Sumba Sea (southern dive locations) has an average temperature of approx. 24 degrees – the awesome diving lets you forget about the cooler waters! Think about a 5mm long possibly adding a vest or renting a shorty to go over the top if you feel the cold. Hood, gloves and booties are strongly recommended for these cooler waters. The Alor region can also share some surprisingly cool waters like Komodo so a thicker suit is recommended and we have rentals available on board.

Raja Ampat/Misool area: The water temperature around the 4 Kings of Raja Ampat and Misool area is 28-30 degrees Celsius year round. We recommend a 3 mm long wetsuit. If you get chilly, maybe a vest for under you suit.

Biodiversity Special: Water temperatures will range between 26-30 degrees Celsius. We have a selection of long and short wetsuits on board which you can rent if you are cold or change into if you are too warm in your suit.

Equipment on board: Rental is charged on a per diving day basis. Full rental equipment is available. Dive computers are mandatory – 1 per diver. Please advise your rental equipment needs including sizes when you book. Both vessels carry mostly 12 litre tanks plus some15 litre tanks available. There is no additional cost for a 15 litre tank or 15 litre nitrox fill – however it is subject to availability and the Cruise Director’s discretion as to who needs the larger tanks on each cruise. Tank valves are international and some DIN adapters are available on board. Any dive equipment failure or loss will require you to rent a replacement from Mermaid Liveaboards at our published rates. If Mermaid Liveaboard equipment is lost/damaged, full replacement cost will be charged at the discretion of the Cruise Director. Published equipment prices are available on board.

Camera Stations: There are several large tables on the dive deck with many rinse containers for small to super large camera/video setups. There are charging stations in every cabin plus throughout the the saloon area. Usually our dive crew will have a laptop available in case you experience any problems with yours. As possible, we also offer a DVD burning service in case you cannot bring your laptop with you.
Electrical current and plugs: 220 volts is standard throughout the boat. 110v adapters are available. Please ask the Tour Leader on boarding if you are not sure what to use. We have a few adapters on board. The cabins can handle both the following plug types:

Our Thai cook is excellent, preparing a variety of Thai, Indonesian and Western dishes. Please advise any special meal requirements on the guest information form.

Please pay all on board costs in € Euros, $ US or Indonesian Rupiah. We can also accept credit card payment for all on board costs. We suggest you also have some rupiah for souvenir shopping, massages, small items etc. Exchange rates vary throughout Indonesia – the further away from Bali the lower the exchange rate. The airport’s rate is lower than the rate you find at most small currency exchanges in Bali. Bank rates are low and take a long time. $ US and € Euros are accepted by the souvenir sellers in the Komodo National Park but rupiah is preferred. There are several currency exchange services and ATM machines near Mermaid Liveaboards in Sanur and in all areas we cruise. Have a plentiful supply of rupiah for the more exotic cruises as the local villagers will come to the vessels with affordable and magical souvenirs you will not be able to resist.

Crew Tips/Gratitude
Our Boat and Dive Crews will try very hard to deliver a high level of service, safety and professionalism tempered with lots of fun to optimize your holiday. Many of our guests use 5-10% of the cruise price as a tipping guideline. Tipping is voluntary and most appreciated!

Luggage and what should I bring
All luggage will be taken on board.
For Komodo cruise only: if you have large bags you do not need on the trip, please arrange to leave at your hotel if possible or at Mermaid Liveaboards office in Sanur.
Other items you may need on board are bathing suits, shorts, t-shirts, sunscreen, mosquito repellant and a light weight jacket or sweater. Good walking shoes for your time in Komodo National Park and for hiking to view points and also walking through the jungles in search of the wondrous Bird of Paradise in Raja Ampat (Trainers are fine – slip on sandals not recommended).

Can I be contacted while on board
Both our vessels are equipped with state of the art satellite phone systems. The numbers are Mermaid I – IDD code +870 773 185 631 and for Mermaid II IDD code + 882 167 606 0453 Guests can keep in touch with the families and loved ones at many points throughout their cruises via mobile phone and the Tour Leader will advise when signal is available. For added security, please note the satellite number and share with families and friends as the phones are on 24/7. Incoming calls and outgoing calls are available for a nominal fee of euros €3 per minute. If there is any difficulty getting through, please don’t hesitate to call our Hotline Number English +62 81 337 778 077 and Indonesian + 62 811 386 940 and we will assist you.

You need 2 types of insurance when planning your dive holiday
1) Diving insurance is strongly recommended due to the high cost for you should you have a diving accident and require hospitalization and/or hyperbaric chamber care. Please contact to check which Dan area can cover you. Click on About Dan for links to all the Dan organizations around the world.
2) General travel/cancellation insurance. There are several companies around the world that can assist and one we can suggest is for reliable and professional service recommended by The Lonely Planet. Please note: If you are unable to make your dive trip and the date has past our cancellation terms and conditions we are very sorry but regardless of the circumstances we cannot refund or transfer to another date.

Medical Assistance
We cruise to remote areas however we are prepared to handle most accident or medical emergencies. Mermaid’s management team is available 24 hours a day via our satellite communications to expedite tried and tested emergency evacuation plans to the nearest re-compression chamber and/or hospital in Bali or Makasaar or the nearest available chamber. Our dive crews are first aid trained and we have an extensive first aid kit on board plus loads of emergency oxygen. Please bring any of your own medications that you may need. You can help as well by making sure you are in good condition for diving – prevention is always better than the cure. Please remember to dive safely and to make sure your Dan Diver’s Alert Network or other dive insurance is up to date.
Guests over the age of 75 are required to provide medical clearance to dive assessed within 1 month prior to the set cancellation terms if any refund will be required.

Raja Ampat area
There is malaria in the region for the Raja Ampat cruise – this area is around the equator and we recommend you discuss this with your doctor. Certainly when we walk in the jungle early mornings you will need to cover up well and also use mosquito repellent. We have a supply on board but suggest you bring your preferred brands. And from the Raja Ampat Tourism Association: Papua is a malaria area and you are advised to take precautions and follow the advice from your local health center. Note that the medication Lariam has limited effectiveness in this area due to a resistant strain of Malaria and is not recommended. Alternatives could be Malarone or doxicycline.

Komodo area
Generally speaking basic precautions such as covering at dawn/dusk and using mosquito repellent for land tours is satisfactory. If you are in doubt whatsoever, please liaise with your doctor.

Children’s Policy
Diving child 10 years or older – pays full diver price. Non diving child 12 years or older – pays full non diver rate. Child 12 years or under – non diving – pays 50% of diver rate if shares with 2 parents/guardians Child 12 years and under – non diving – pays full non diver rate if sharing with only 1 parent/guardian. Parents/guardians have to be with the child at all times. If both parents want to dive and the child remains on board, we will hire an additional dive crew – at euros 40 per day x total number of cruise diving days – at the parent’s cost to supervise the child’s activities only while the parents/guardians are in the water. Please give a minimum of 4 weeks’ notice to arrange this service.

PayPal section

I need a PayPal account ?
No, you no need a PayPal account. We can send you through PayPal an invoice by email that you can securely pay with any credit card. Easy and secured.

Is PayPal secure?
Yes. PayPal uses SSL technology to keep your information safe. In addition, when you send a payment using PayPal, the recipient won't receive sensitive financial information like your credit card or bank account number. This way, you don't have to worry about paying people you don't know.

Ways to pay.
Usually All4Diving send you by email a PayPal invoice.
But there is also other ways to pay...
You can open a PayPal account and You can pay with your PayPal balance, your bank account, or a debit or credit card linked to your account. You can link your bank or card when you sign up for your account or when you're ready to make your first purchase.

When you make a payment or send money, PayPal first uses your PayPal balance to cover the payment. If your PayPal balance doesn't cover the amount, we'll use the bank account, credit card, or debit card you have linked to your account.
PayPal offers others ways to pay - Bill Me Later and the PayPal MasterCard are convenient ways to buy now and pay later.

Does it cost money to open a PayPal account?
There's no charge to open a PayPal account and to transfer money from your bank account to your PayPal account. There is also no charge to purchase items using your PayPal account.

There are fees in other cases, such as:
Receiving payments for goods and services.
Receiving payments from friends and family made using a debit or credit card.
Receiving payments from people in other countries.

Why All4Diving use PayPal?
PayPal is the world's safer, easier way to pay and is accepted worldwide. You can use your credit card or bank account without exposing your account numbers. You can link your credit card or bank account to your PayPal account so you don't have to enter your card number or address everywhere you shop. Just log in to PayPal and quickly check out in a few clicks. And there is no fees you.

Fake PayPal emails – phishing
You may receive a fake email that claims to be from PayPal. Sending fake emails is called "phishing" because the sender is "fishing" for your personal information.
The email may ask you to:
Visit a fake or "spoof" website and enter personal information.
Call a fake Customer Service number.
Click an attachment that installs malicious software on your computer.
If you suspect an email is fake, don't open it. Don't reply to the email, don't click any links, or download any attachments. If you have clicked a link or opened an attachment from a suspicious email, report the phishing email or spoof site as soon as possible so we can help protect you and other PayPal members. Please forward any suspicious emails to [email protected]. Then, delete the suspect email.
To learn more about how to avoid phishing, read the PayPal Identity Protection Guide.

When you aren't sure if you can trust an email claiming to be from PayPal or All4Diving, here are 2 guidelines that can help you to spot the real from the fake:
PayPal emails will always use your first and last name, or your business's name.
PayPal and All4Diving emails will never ask for your personal or account information such as credit or debit card numbers, bank account details, driver's license number, email addresses, or passwords.

Premium diving insurance - Divemaster

About the Indepths - Divemaster insurance
On 1st June 1987 Dive Master Insurance Consultants commenced its business as an independent insurance provider to recreational divers in the UK . Early on we innovated many new insurance products for the developing recreational sports diver market and the associated dive trade.
The company has grown over the years and its account now comprises a predominantly EU bias but also extends to the Red Sea, Australia, Southeast Asia and Mexico . We maintain our independence by not only providing dive associations with products, but also a similar range of non association backed insurance products to meet the diverse professional application of scuba diving.
We also provide insurance to recreational dive professionals, underwater film and media, and underwater scientific projects. Many of the underwater scenes you see on TV, web based media or films are insured through us as well as various underwater scientific projects that include archaeology, biodiversity and other ocean sciences. We routinely provide insurance packages tailored to these unique projects at a cost effective price which makes the projects viable. In some regions of the world the company has diversified into providing insurance in areas of commercial diving activities and we are focused on expanding these as the international demand increases. However, recreational diving remains at the core of our business activities and we are probably the largest independent provider of recreational dive related insurance in the world.
Our status as an Approved Cover Holder at Lloyd’s enables us to bind specialist risks responding quickly to the professional demands and needs of our diverse client base. Our business is built on our reputation for reliability and integrity; we are the partner the dive trade relies on and our brand is respected by sports divers worldwide. All of us at Dive Master wish you safe and happy diving!

Indepths insurance coverage

Schedule of Benefits indicated in Great Britain Pounds GBP "£" / 1£=1.6 US$ (2014 average rate)
The Insurance company will pay up to the limits set against each section. However, the maximum total recoverable amount under this policy in the aggregate shall not exceed £50,000 in all.


Medical Expenses



Hyperbaric Treatment Costs



Emergency Repatriation (at the option of the Company )



Air Evacuation



Search and Rescue Costs



Reasonable Transportation Costs & Accommodation Expenses



Personal Accident Coverage: If during the coverage period the Insured sustains Injury /death due to a Sports Diving Accident, the following benefits will apply:



Loss of one limb or loss of one eye


Loss of two limbs, two eyes or one of each


Permanent Total Disability



Civil Liability awards against the Insured (including legal costs)


What to do in case of medical emergency.

Emergency Medical Assistance for INDEPTHS Insured Members

In the event of a Medical Emergency as a result of a Sports Diving Accident go to or call immediately the nearest physician or hospital without delay, then contact ONE ASSIST. ONE ASSIST will take the appropriate action necessary to assist you and continue to monitor your case until the situation is resolved. When calling please give your Name, ID number (347311) and brief description of the problem.
ONE ASSIST can be contacted on the following numbers: +44 (0) 1992 444 337 +34 97 174 6167 Collect Call if necessary. Assistance Co-coordinators are multilingual and are available 24 hours daily, and assistance extends Worldwide.

Non Emergency Claims
If you are an individual who has purchased a insured membership from INDEPTHS and would like to make a claim, then please click here

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