Here is a sampling of some of the most Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Is it customary to tip? If so, what’ an appropriate amount of gratuity?
A: We do work in a service industry and therefore it is customary to leave a gratuity. As for how much…whatever you feel comfortable with and whatever the service warranted. Some people prefer to tip like they do in a restaurant: 10,15, 20%, etc. Others prefer a flat rate, like $10-20 a crew member or more if they took a course. As always, tips are appreciated but not required.
A: Many over the counter products are available to help with seasickness. We recommend Bonine which you can find at our store. The best thing to do when you feel seasick is to get in the water and dive. Once you get under the waves, you will feel much better!
A: Cancellation within 24 hours of the charter/class will result in no refund. Of course, if we must cancel for any reason, there is no charge to you. Once the charter is out, no refunds will be issued for seasickness, weather, etc.
A: To finalize a reservation, PVD requires the following information: Diver Name, Certification level, tank and gear requirements, contact phone number and credit card number. Any other dive related activities to be conducted on the boat, such as instruction, must be noted at the time of booking to insure that all necessary preparations are made.
Q: How many divers do you take out on the boat?
A: We take a maximum of 12 divers on our dive boat Sirena. However, we do frequently work with other boats in the area and can accommodate groups up to 36 divers.
Q: Do you provide a dive guide on your charters?
A: We do have a dive guide that leads the group on every dive. They are there to keep divers on the briefed dive site, carry the float ball, and point out all of the amazing creatures. They are not dive buddies and will stay down until the last diver begins their ascent. If you’d like a designated buddy, you can hire a dive guide to accompany you on the dive and stick with you or your group.
Q: What amenities can I expect on the boat?
A: Sirena is fully stocked with filtered water, sodas, fruit and snacks. Additionally, we provide warm, dry towels onboard. Sirena has a hot water shower, a marine “head”, and Christmas-tree style ladders for your comfort. You are more than welcome to bring your own “treats”, food, and/or drinks, but please no alcohol.
Q: Do you allow hunting onboard Sirena?
A: Spear fishing is not allowed, however, Hawaiian slings shorter than five (5) feet may be used to spear the invasive Lion Fish. Lobstering is also permitted during lobster season as long as participants carry the required Florida State Lobster licenses.
Q: What gear do your require to dive aboard Sirena?
A: Each certified diver must have the following: mask, fins, snorkel, current BCD (no horse-collars, etc), regulator with alternate second stage, pressure gauge or computer, timing device (watch or computer), safety sausage or lift bag. All gear must be maintained and functioning. Any diver showing up without the proper gear must rent or purchase missing pieces before being allowed aboard Sirena. We provide a set of spare gear on the boat for rent in the event of a missing or faulty piece of dive equipment. For Technical Diving Trips, please contact us for a list of required gear.
Q: What is the diving like in Palm Beach and what are the trips like?
A: We dive all of the famous wrecks and reefs in the area and even some secret spots only our captains know about! Our reef line stretches for several miles and is home to millions of creatures. The Gulf Stream, which most closely approaches Florida right here in West Palm, brings tons of critters to our local reefs… tropical fish, rays, eels, turtles, sharks, dolphins, etc. You never know what you might see out there! Because the Gulf Stream comes so close, all of our diving is drift diving which means divers let the current drift them down the reef ledge. At the end of the dive, the boat is right there to pick them up. It’s the best diving in Florida. The whole trip lasts about four hours from departure to arrival back at the marina.
Q: Can I request a specific dive site?
A: We welcome dive site requests in advance, however, the dive site choice cannot be assured. We will make every attempt to dive specific sites when a preference is noted. The final decision is subject to the captain’s discretion based on sea conditions and safety. We reserve the right to change the site if the conditions are not conducive to safe diving at the planned location.
Q: Do you require proof of certification?
A: Yes. Divers must bring proof of certification by a nationally recognized agency with them at the time of check-in or they will not be allowed to dive. Additionally, divers wishing to use Enriched Air or Trimix must bring appropriate certification cards.
Blue Heron Bridge:
Q: Its been years since my certification and I haven’t dove. What should I do?
A: Before your next dive, consider taking a refresher course, or hiring a private dive guide that will accompany you every step of the way on your dives. You can also sign up for a PADI Scuba Review to review your in-water skills and basic dive knowledge. We offer all of these options for your convenience.
Q: Where can I go snorkeling?
A: There are several local options for snorkeling here. The Blue Heron Bridge is the most popular followed by some excellent ocean sites. Come by for a complete site briefing. We also work with a snorkeling catamaran for boat snorkeling excursions. Follow this link and use PVD as your referral code.