Welcome to DiveDeals FAQ page. Here we list the most common questions people have when they book a liveaboard diving trip. If you don't find the answer to what you are looking for here or have questions about a specific boat then please feel free to contact us.
Flights & Hotels DiveDeals are specialists in booking Liveaboard Diving trips. We recommend using an agent specialized in Hotel or Flight bookings such as Agoda (hotels) or Lastminute.com (flights) to book your accomodation and flights.
Agents such as these are able to get you rates as good or lower than we can. On each of our destination pages you will find links to the relevant websites for you to browse and book your flights and accommodation.
Visas Visa regulations can vary greatly between destinations and nationalities. They are also prone to change so we recommend you consult with your relevant embassy to check your specific requirements.
In general however the destinations being visited by Liveaboard Operators are well known tourism destinations so Visa regulations are not usually strict and in many cases you may be granted a limited stay visa at the border when you enter. Please however check the latest information for your nationality and destination before booking.
InsuranceWe thoroughly recommend at the very minimum a Travel Insurance Policy that covers basic medical expenses, loss of possessions and trip/flight cancellation. It is best to have Diving Insurance also as most travel / medical insurance policies will not cover adventure sports such as diving as standard. In the very unlikely event Re-compression treatment is required it is expensive and the remote locations that Liveaboards visit can make evacuation costs extremely expensive.
Some operators (particually those operating in the more remote destinations) require you to have full diving medical and evacuation insurance in order for you to participate in diving on the trip. We can assist you in obtaining the required diving insurance at very competitive rates if you don't have it all ready.
Diving Certification RequirementsThe vast majority of liveaboard operators require you to have a minimum certification level of PADI Open Water Diver or an equivalent level from any other agency: SSI, BSAC, CMAS, NAUI etc. This is a basic certification with 4 open water dives. It certifies the holder to dive to 18m depth with a similarly qualified diver.
Some trips however require a minimum number of dives to show additional experience. Others require you to be PADI Advanced Open Water certified or equivalent. This course entails 5 further dives and certifies the holder to dive to 30m depth with a similarly qualified diver.
Please note: You cannot usually learn to dive on a Liveaboard Trip. Learning to dive is best done before you go and requires some confined water (pool or shallow beach) training first. You will be required to show your certification card and / or logbook documenting your training / diving experience before you board the boat. If you are uncertain of your experience level please inform us and we can contact the operator for confirmation.
Continuing Education Diving CoursesOn a Liveaboard Diving trip it is possible to do a whole variety of continuing education courses if you wish. Most operators offer PADI or SSI or both. The Advanced Course and Nitrox, Multilevel and Naturalist courses are particuarly popular on liveaboard holidays. There is usually a vast amount of marine life to identify and Multilevel Diving with Nitrox gives you more bottom time to do it.
One further option if you are learning to dive before you go and are pressed for time or don't wish to dive at home is to do your certification dives on the trip. This is called a Refferal Course. You complete all of the confined water training and theory before you depart and then complete the open water training dives on the trip.
Non DiversVirtually all operators allow non divers on the trips. Some trips are better for non divers than others depending on the destination (some destinations offer good snorkeling as well as diving, some don't). Also some boats and/or trips may have better facilities or activities for non-divers such as Kayaks, Island Visits etc.
Please note that non divers pay virtually the same cost as the diver rate (usually 80% to 90%). This is because the cost of the trip to the operator is running the boat (staff, fuel, maintenance etc) not the cost of the diving.
Medical RequirementsAs a diver you will recall that during your training you were required to either submit a medical from a physician certified in diving medicine to state you are fit to dive, or sign a medical statement listing medical conditions that you were required to state "No" to in order to dive.
Unless you normally require a medical to dive because you have a pre-existing condition that requires it then you are unlikely to require a medical. However in all cases you will be required by the operator to fill in and sign a medical statement declaring your fitness to dive.
Single Cabins / TravellersSingle travellers are common on Liveaboard trips so don't be afraid to venture out alone! It can be a great opportunity to meet new friends with a common interest. You will usually (if not always) be paired with a same sex cabin mate and if the trip is quieter you may have the cabin to yourself. Operators can never 100% guarantee either of these however.
If you wish to definately have a single cabin you have two options: 1. You can find one of the boats with single cabins. These are rare as it is usually an extremely un-economical way of fitting the boat out. 2. You pay the snorkelling or non-diver rate in addition to your cost (usually about 80%) for the other bed in your cabin.
Special Dietary RequirementsDon't worry! Dietary requirements such as Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten Free, Allergies (Nuts, Seafood etc) can virtually always be catered for.
Please inform us on the booking form if you have any special dietary requirements so that the operator is aware of your requirements before your trip.
Boat SafetyAll of the trips and boats that we offer are safely and professionally run. The operators we promote are all well established and extremely experienced. Many have been operating in excess of 15 years.
The differing prices for diving trips mainly reflects the distance the various boats travel in order to get to the chosen dive sites. The further the sites are the more costly it is. Some operators also combine a low level flight one way too or from the boat to reduce your cruising time. This is obviously a more expensive option also.
The cheaper vessels manage to keep prices lower by not offering all luxurious En-suite cabins, sharing more than 2 to a cabin and sharing bathroom facilities. Safety however is never compromised.
What To BringPacking the correct things for your liveaboard trip will make it all the more enjoyable. Most operators allow you to store your main holiday luggage on-shore so take a smaller bag that you can use on board. This is far more convenient and also often neccesary on the fly-dive trips with light aircraft weight restrictions.
We suggest the following as a good start: If possible take your own basic personal diving or snorkeling equipment - Mask, Snorkel and Wetsuit (3 to 5mm is fine for most tropical destinations. Full length or shortie as you prefer). Your own mask and exposure suit will generally fit with more comfort than rental equipment. The remainder you can rent to save weight if you wish. It is usually best to take all personal toiletries. Some boats operate exactly like hotels but not all. If towels are not supplied then take two. You will be spending a lot of time in the water and drying yourself on a wet towel is not fun! Take two bathing costumes also. Clothing should be kept light with a heavier top or jumper in case the a/c is a bit cool or it cools in the evenings. Shoes are not usually required on board - some flip flops or light footwear is fine. Finally dont forget sunglasses and sun block / tan cream.
Payment and Terms & Conditions DiveDeals accept deposit payment via PayPal or Bank Transfer. PayPal is our preferred payment gateway as it is instant and convenient for our clients. It is also more secure for you as your card details are processed by a very large secure trusted payment provider rather than a third party website. PayPal accept the majority of major Credit and Debit cards and handle any currency exchange (if required) for you.
You do not require a PayPal account or any money in a PayPal account to pay us. You simply create a login to PayPal and then click on the "Send Money" or "Pay Someone" links. PayPal will then ask for the e-mail address of the recipient, the currency, the amount and your card details. The transfer is instant. This is important when booking Liveaboard Diving as availability can get very tight and boats have far fewer rooms (cabins) than hotels so you can easily lose your place without a fast payment provider.
The remainder of your payment is usually paid direct to the Liveaboard Operator. This is likely to be by bank transfer or possibly Debit or Credit Card Authorization Form or via the operators website. You will be informed by us or the operator of how and when to pay the balance when you book your trip.
For DiveDeals Booking Terms & Conditions please see here: Terms & Conditions