Frequently asked questions (FAQ) and answers about our courses

What's the difference between PADI & SSI and how does it affect me?

Very little. Each individual training agency is 100% recognized throughout the world. The differences between these training organizations are quite small but at the end of the day, the main differences are:

  • With PADI you have to buy the manual whereas with SSI you can borrow the manual and at the end of the course you give it back.
  • With PADI the skills are done in a certain order. If you have trouble with a skill you must persist with the skill until you get it right before we can move on with other skills. With SSI we can leave the skill that is troubling you, move on with the other skills and then come back and do that skill again later on in the session.

Why are the prices so different?

The PADI system insists that every diver owns their own training materials, which means that the PADI courses can be more expensive. The SSI’s system of training allows to library the training manuals so that you do not need to buy the book, convenient and a real money saver and because the less use of paper above all very eco-friendly. Then once you have completed your SSI diving course, you can use the online academics course from the SSI system for FREE if you wish to re-read any section. Also, SSI on-line E-learning is a real money saver and FREE of charge; PADI on-line E-learning is NOT for free (appr. US$ 125 – US$ 140 depending per country)

Are the certification cards of PADI and SSI recognized all over the world?

Yes, it doesn’t matter with which organization you have learned to dive. So if a PADI Open Water diver for example wants to dive with an SSI Dive center, that’s perfectly fine. This also applies for certification cards from all scuba dive organizations.

I am a PADI Open Water Diver; Can I become a SSI Advanced Open Water or the other way around?

Yes, you can cross between PADI and SSI as much as you like for the recreational dive levels. Their levels are quite similar and certification of another dive organization is totally accepted. As noted all standards are set forth by the RSTC (Recreational Scuba Training Council) and both organisations comply with the latest ISO standards for their dive training.

Is there any difference at all?

  • At the first levels of learning to dive (Open water etc.), the minor differences do not affect your training, but once you become more advanced in your qualification levels, they will become more visible.
  • With SSI we are able to process your certification card here directly at Bali Bubbles Dive Center, so that you will receive your original certification card right at the end of your course (at the end of the next working day). And we don’t need to give you a ‘temporary’ card. No waiting months for your certification cards to be sent to your home; Once you completed your diving course with us – you are certified. You may now dive anywhere else your travel takes you.

Which organization gives a better training?

The training and safety standards in PADI and SSI are set by the Recreational Scuba Training Council (RSTC) and ISO, which means there is no basic difference in the diving skills you will learn from either your PADI or SSI Instructor, nor any difference in the safety standards that they have to adhere to during your training. The experience of your Instructor should be the most important factor in your course choice.

So, how do I make the choice?

Truly, the quality of the course depends on the experience and attitude of your dive instructor and the dive school you train with – no matter what organization you should choose to certify with.

If I forgot to bring my certification card with me, will I still be able to dive?

Both PADI and SSI have an online system and since we are affiliated with both PADI and SSI, we will be able to look you up. If a dive center is not affiliated with the organization you have done your diving course with, they can contact them to see if you are in the system. An up to date signed logbook also helps.

If I forgot to bring my certification card with me and I don't show up in the system, will I still be able to dive?

No and yes, we need to see proof of your certification before we take you on a dive, regardless of training agency or experience level. But you can join our introduction dive program.

Do I need to have a medical checkup before scuba diving?

It is not a pre-requisite to have a medical checkup before scuba diving, however if you have a pre-existing medical condition which affects your ears, sinus, respiratory and circulatory systems, or have had recent surgery it is advisable to consult a Diving Physician before you leave home. Before starting a diving course you must go through a medical questionnaire with your Instructor. We can always send you the medical questionnaire if you want to be sure.

Do I need to have a dive insurance?

If you do a lot of diving it is always good to get your own insurance. During the basic dive courses you are covered by the dive centers insurance. If you follow the more advanced courses we strongly advise to have you personal insurance as you are probably an avid diver.

What medical facilities/equipment do you have available on land and on the dive boat?

We have oxygen and a well-equipped medical kit on all of our boats and on land and every member of our dive staff is a certified Oxygen Provider. There are several medical centers in Candidasa, Emergency Services are available and a decompression chamber is at Sanglah Public Hospital, at Jl. Kesehatan Selatan 1, Sanglah, Denpasar. Tel: (+62 361) 227 911 15. This hospital is approximately 1 – 1.5 hours from the dive center.

FYI: Immigration requirements

Visitors from certain countries require a tourist visa in advance, most can obtain their free visa on arrival at any international airport in Indonesia and some visitors do not require a visa at all. Prices also vary. The free Visas On Arrival are valid up to 30 days including day of arrival and cannot be extended. Payed Visas On Arrival are valid for up to thirty days and are one time extendable. Passports must be valid for at least six months from the arrival date and have at least four full blank pages. Guests are advised to check with their nearest Indonesian embassy or consulate prior to travel.