Frequently Asked Diving Questions

  • Where can I find the PADI Medical Form for Classes?

    Click here to Download the PADI Medical Statement

    To the right is the PADI Medical Release form. Please download it and review the questions. If all of your answers are "NO", then you don't need to do anything else except show up for your class. In the unlikely event that you have a "YES" or even something you aren't sure how to answer, simply give the form to your family doctor so they can sign you off to dive. If you need to have them sign, you must bring this signed form with you when you come for your class.

  • What locations do your dive trips go to?

    Click here for our interactive Key Largo dive location map

    Our dive trips take you to some of the most beautiful coral reefs in the keys. We have beginner, intermediate and advanced locations ranging from 20 foot shallow reefs, to deep reefs and walls that can go as deep as 90 feet. Located in central Key Largo we can take you to all the best sites in the upper keys with just a short ride. We frequently visit the wrecks of the the SPIEGEL GROVE, DUANE, BIBB, and Eagle.

  • What is your schedule for visiting dive sites?

    We have a schedule for our boats that allows us to take our customers to a variety of different sites throughout the week. These locations are the sites we intend to visit. We will make every effort to make sure we visit the sites on the schedule, but no particular site is ever guaranteed. Weather and other factors may require us to deviate from a scheduled destination.

    Click here to see our diving charter schedule!

  • How many times can I dive on one of your dive trips?

    We have 3 daily dive trips that are each 2 tank, 2 location/site trips lasting about 3-3 1/2 hours each. On each trip we spend about an hour at each of the two locations, with the exception being night dives which are always 1 location, and full boat charters which can run up to 3 locations in the allotted time.

  • How long do we spend at each dive site?

    Our Captains set a return time of 1 hour from the end of each dive briefing at each site. We do this to maximize safety and not to try and limit you in any way. Because both customers and crew have watches in sync and have a plan and time on when to be back, in the unlikely event that something went wrong on your dive, we would start looking for you right away instead of just wasting valuable time thinking you were "just good on air".

    Most people don't need to worry about the time, as they take advantage of diving with our guides, and they will get you right in the water to maximize the planned time and get you back to the boat right on time.

  • How long does it take to get to your dive/snorkel locations?

    Depending on the location/dive site we are going to, it can take anywhere from 20-40 minutes to get there. When our 6 pack boat goes to a few special locations that are a little farther away, it can take as much as 45 minutes, but it's always worth the trip!

  • Do you offer discount packages for dives and hotels?

    We have some basic packages that you can read about here. Most of the time we find that each diver or group of divers have stays or schedules that don't fit into these basic package so we create custom dive packages to meet their needs. We can customize our basic packages to meet almost any itinerary and budget. Please click here for access to our custom dive package creation tool. You can also call 305-664-4600 and we will be more than happy to discuss and set up your personalized custom dive package for you!

  • What times do your dive and snorkel trips leave?

    Our morning trips check in at 8:00 and the afternoon trips check in at 1:00pm down at our Marina Location. The boats depart 1/2 hour AFTER check in, so we kindly ask that you be on time for check-in.

  • Do your dive trips go out to any wrecks?

    Yes! Our most popular wrecks are the Spiegel Grove, the Duane, the Bibb and the Benwood. The Spiegel Grove is a 510-foot long ship that was intentionally sunk to become an artificial reef. The ship originally sank on it's side but in July of 2005 Hurricane Dennis rolled her upright. It's now even better than ever. Click here for more Spiegel Grove details.

    Generally, she starts in about 60 feet of water, and you can go as deep as 130 feet to get down to the sand. We also go to the wreck of the Duane and the Bibb. The Duane and Bibb are old Coast Guard cutters that have been naturally turned into artificial reefs. These two ships were sunk in 1987. The Duane is more popular because it sits upright, while the Bibb is on her side. Other popular wrecks are the Benwood and the City of Washington. These wreck are in shallower water and can be dove by any level of diver. We run to all of these wrecks from our Key Largo Location

    Click here for our interactive dive location map.

  • Do you have night dives?

    Yes, of course! Every Thursday and Saturday night! They are 1 location dive trips and usually leave about 30-40 minutes before sunset. One important note about departure times: Our night dive departure times are always changing with the time of year, but in general, Winter is usually 5:00pm, Spring (after daylight savings time) is usually 6-6:30pm and later in the summer departures can be 7-7:30pm.

  • What types of dive training or classes do you offer?

    We offer the full range of of PADI recreational dive classes. Discover Scuba, Open Water, Advanced Open Water, Rescue Diver, and DiveMaster are all taught on a daily basis. We also teach nearly all Specialty Certifications such as Enriched Air (Nitrox), Wreck Specialty, Deep Specialty just to name a few.

    Most of the recreational classes including Open Water, Advanced Open Water, Rescue Diver and Nitrox are available through the PADI e-Learning system and will save you time on your vacation by allowing you to complete all of the academic, video and exam portions of the class before you arrive!

    All you need to do when you get here is dive to complete your certification. Keep in mind, you MUST choose Rainbow Reef as your affiliated dive shop on the e-Learning system, or we can't offer you the discounted prices for the class.

    We are also a PADI 5 Star CDC and you can "GO PRO" and train to be a PADI Instructor with us!

    Click to visit our Instructor Development Center website

  • I'm not sure if I get sea sick or not, what should I do?

    The truth is that almost everyone is susceptible to getting seasick. If you're not sure, then do not even risk it.

    We strongly recommend that you take some seasick medication the night before your dive trip, and then again in the morning before we leave to go diving.

    We also recommend that you stay away from things with citric acid like orange juice or grape fruit juice. We have had great success with this procedure. The key is to take the medication the night before to get your body a good dose of the medication. Sometimes when people take it right before the trip the medication does not have time to take effect. We have had good luck with TripTone, but any type of over the counter sea sick medication should work ok.

    If you know that you are very susceptible to motion sickness you may want to consider consulting your doctor and getting a prescription motion sickness medication.

  • Do you offer Enriched Air/Nitrox?

    Yes we do. We have a Nitrox membrane and run it most every day to store our Enriched Air at 31%. All of our Enriched Air/Nitrox tanks that we rent are Aluminum 80's mixed to 30-31%. Nitrox tanks can be rented for your trip, the cost is $14.00 for a single tank, and $12.00 each if you rent two.

  • What is your FREE Dive Guide Service all about?

    We have PADI DiveMasters and Instructors available on all of our dive trips to dive with you and show you around the reefs and wrecks.

    This is a FREE service and is included in the pricing on all of our dive trips and dive trip packages.

    If you would like to take advantage of this service we ask that you mention it while making your reservations because we try to maintain a 6 diver to 1 DiveMaster ratio by scheduling our crew accordingly.

    We only run into higher ratios and can't provide as much service when people don't tell us they want to dive with our Guides. If you want a DiveMaster to dive with you but don't want to dive in a group, we also offer a private guide service for an additional fee.

Rainbow Reef Dive Center Barracuda