Frequently Asked Questions About Scuba Diving

logoQ: Do I need to take both Part 1 & Part 2 to be certified?
A: Yes.

Q: What is the difference between Part 1 & Part 2?
A: Part 1 is the home study, classroom review, and pool ONLY portion of the certification process.  Part 2 is the open water training dive portion (4 total dives over two days) of the certification process.  Both Part 1 & Part 2 need to be successfully completed to earn your PADI Open Water or Jr. Open Water certification.

Q: It’s winter and I’m (we’re) going on vacation to a warm weather destination – how can I get certified?
Come do Part 1 with us (home study, and pool)! Then take the training materials that we have signed to a PADI dive shop anywhere in the world to do your referral Open Water Training Dives. This is known as the Referral Process and it works GREAT. You don’t want to spend your vacation in a classroom – do you? Of course not. Come and receive your Part 1 portion of the course with us and then dive in a beautiful tropical environment for your Open Water Training Dives. How cool would that be? Then once certified, dive to your heart’s content (within your level of training and safe diving practices, of course). If you had to procure a physician’s signature to dive, please make a copy of the document to bring with you to the PADI shop where you will be doing your referred dives (see Medical Statement below).

Q: What is the classroom and pool fee (Part 1)?
The eLearning and pool portion is $289 plus tax. This includes your eLearning course, classroom review, pool skills practical application, use of scuba equipment.

Q: How long does it take to complete my home study?
Generally 10-12 hours is required for home study with eLearning modules.

Q: How many people are in each class?
Our PADI Open Water classes generally have 4-6 students with a maximum of 8.  Each Part 1 class with 4 or more students will have an additional PADI Divemaster assist with the pool portion of the class.

Q: What equipment is provided?
We provide top of the line Aqualung equipment for your pool (Confined Water) and Open Water training. This includes tanks, weights, BCD, regulator, alternate air source, and air integrated dive computer.

Q: What equipment do I need to bring?
While we will provide all of the equipment listed above, you need to bring your own mask, snorkel, and fins. A custom fit of your mask, snorkel, and fins is incredibly important for your comfort and safety,You should consider these items in the same way you consider your toothbrush when traveling – you want to bring your own – trust us on this! We have a full range of scuba rated equipment with a very knowledgeable staff. We urge you to come into our store before the class to get properly fitted with your equipment. Please make sure that you have scuba-rated fins. Fins that you may own for snorkeling may not be powerful enough to “drive” a full set of scuba gear.

The days of your class you will need to bring a swimsuit and a towel. If you are not eating at the adjacent Subway for lunch, bring your own plus a water bottle. There will not be enough time on class days to go any farther than the Subway restaurant next door for lunch.

Q: How old do you need to be to become a certified Open Water Diver?
To be a fully certified PADI Open Water Diver you must be at least 15 years old and there is no maximum age; however, children as young as 10 years old can become PADI Junior Open Water Divers. 10 and 11 year olds must  successfully complete the same requirements as an adult student so you may want to consider private lessons for your child(ren).  Once certified, 10 and 11 year olds must dive with a parent, a guardian, or a PADI Professional. Those  12, 13 and 14 years old must dive with a certified adult diver. Once a Junior Open Water Diver reaches the age of 15, they may administratively apply for standard PADI Open Water Diver certification (this can be done here at the shop or directly with PADI).

Q: Do I have to be a good swimmer?
Not necessarily…you need only to be comfortable in the water and capable of swimming continuously for two hundred yards, and treading water/floating for 10 min.

Q: What is required of me before the first class?

You should complete the online eLearning program: Complete all online coursework including all interim Assessments and the Final Assessment. Print out the verification of completion of your online coursework and bring it to class and turn it in to your instructor.

You will receive a second email from PADI. This email contains a link that you need to click on and complete all digital paperwork. Read all of the documentation and complete all of the paperwork (Note: if you have any “yesses” on your Medical Statement, you must complete a separate RSTC Medical Statement and bring it to your doctor – see next question below).

Please also bring two “head and shoulder”, passport-sized photos of yourself the day of your class.

Q: What if I have a “yes” on my Medical Form?

PADI Medical Form-PDF

Safety is our number one concern. If you can answer “yes” to ANY of the medical questions, a separate PADI RSTC Medical Statement may need to be taken/sent to your physician for signature for permission to dive prior to you getting into the pool. Please call the shop if you have any questions. Note: if you do have any “yesses” on your Medical Statement and your physician clears you to dive, please make copies of the document as you may need to bring this for your referral dives or future dives with other shops.

Q: Where are the classes held? 
There’s no need to run around town! Your entire Part 1 scuba class will be held at Aquaventure Dive & Photo Center. This includes both classroom and pool portions of the class. Our on-site pool is a balmy 86 degrees. We are located in Maple Grove just northwest of Osseo on the north side of County Rd 81 in the same strip mall as a Subway restaurant.  Our address is: 10024 County Rd 81, Maple Grove, MN 55369 (763) 424-8717.

Q: How warm is your pool?
A: Our pool is kept at a comfortably warm at 85-86 degrees.

Q: Are private lessons available?
Yes. Whether you prefer one on one instruction, Semi-private instruction, or a private class for your family, private lessons can be scheduled to meet your needs. Call us for more details (763) 424-8717. Private/Semi-Private lessons are strongly recommended for 10 and 11 year olds or those feeling they need a bit more time and attention. Semi-Private lessons are also terrific for couples and families! We work to your schedule and needs.

Q: How do I sign up for the class?
You can simply call us and sign up over the phone with a credit card (pre-payment required) or stop in at our store. If you sign up over the phone you will need to stop in and pick up your student kit prior to class. You can also sign up online – click here

Cancellation policy:
Course fees are due upon class enrollment to guarantee your space in the class. Classes are non-refundable within 14 days of the class start date and non-transferrable within 7 days of class start time. One transfer is allowed for a fee of $90. All course fees are forfeited if you do not attend.

Cozumel – High School Adventure Group – July 8-15, 2017

Sold Out! 

July 8 – 15, 2017

publication2Join Aquaventure Dive & Photo Center and Andover high school science teacher Bob Ameli for this amazing science adventure!

Aquaventure Dive & Photo Center has been in business for 22 years.  Safety and thorough training have always been our mission.  In Partnership with Anoka Hennepin School District and teacher Bob Ameli, we bring you a unique and truly unforgettable learning experience!

Cozumel waters are loaded with turtles, stingrays, eagle rays, moray eels, nurse sharks, and various species of reef fish. Night diving is incredible whether you dive from boat or shore. Lobster, crab, octopus, and reef squid are just a few types of marine life you can expect to see but this year we added something really special.  Whale sharks!  That’s right.  We will take a day and head over to the mainland where the largest congregation of whale sharks in the world will be migrating through.

A Day In Cozumel Video – click here

moray eelTrip Includes

  • Round trip airfare from Minneapolis to Cozumel
  • 7 days & 6 nights at the gated Scuba Club Cozumel Resort
  • Daily exploration and study of the coral reef and ecosystem
  • Daily marine biology lessons with Bob Ameli and research assignments
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinners (no soda)
  • A lifetime PADI Open Water Scuba certification (includes textbook, scuba equipment rental, classroom & pool instruction, & certification processing)
  • 3 two tank boat dives
  • 1 day of snorkeling with the whale sharks
  • Unlimited snorkeling and shore diving in front of the resort with Aquaventure certified instructors and divemasters
  • Scuba mask fins, & snorkel (yours to keep)
  • Rental scuba equipment for the trip scuba club cozumel
  • Air and hotel taxes and transfers
  • Marine park fees
  • Trip T-shirt
  • Trip “Memories” DVD

Not Included

  • Passport
  • Food during travel days
  • Airline baggage feesoctopie
  • Incidentals / personal items
  • Souvenirs
  • Snacks & drinks
  • Travel / Medical Insurance (

Cash Price = $2895

Roatan (Women Only) Trip! – November 11-18, 2017

Bonaire women's trip

Sold Out!

November 11-18, 2017

Join Jamie Sledd & Jolene Philbrook on Aquaventure’s 1ST ALL WOMEN’S TRIP!  That’s right, no studs or duds, just women!

The Diving

The Mesoamerican Reef is the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere. Spanning across the coast of 4 countries and nearly 700 miles, this reef boasts an astounding biodiversity of marine species with 65 species of stony coral, 350 species of mollusk and over 500 species of fish in addition to rare endangered and protected animals like Sea Turtles and Manatees. Divers from all over the world travel to the Mesoamerican Reef for the opportunity to explore the secret underwater treasures buried beneath the waves.

The reef itself begins just minutes from shore, with plateaus at 10ft, 20ft, 45ft and then the amazing wall that drops away in places to over 2000+ feet. The ocean offshore is generally very calm and this area doesn’t experience too many strong currents, meaning the conditions here are perfect for divers of all levels, from beginners to the most advanced diver.  You can take the plunge and discover world famous dive sites such as West End Wall, Texas, Mandy’s Eel Garden, Blue Channel, Hole in the Wall, the El Aguila Wreck and many more. Whether your passion is for swimthroughs, wrecks, caves, walls, or stunning shallow reefs-Roatan has it all!

Over the reef you will be amazed as you discover countless trumpetfish, trunkfish, drum fish, hogfish, crabs, lobsters, scorpionfish, cowfish, filefish, eels and maybe even a squid or two. For those who love macro we also have a good population of nudibranchs, seahorses, pipefish, pipehorses, blennies, worms, sea spiders and many species of shrimp. Keep your eyes peeled on the sand and rubble patches for jawfish, flounders, mantis shrimp, conch and stingrays.  The reef itself is made up of a smorgasbord of hard and soft corals, corallimorphs, sea fans, tunicates, anemones and sponges of all colours, shapes and sizes.

The ResortMayan Princess

We will be staying at the Mayan Princess.  Enjoy the 250ft blue lagoon pool & heated 8 person jacuzzi, free in-villa & public area wifi, beach volleyball, board games, book exchange, and canopied shade beds & lounge chairs. Dine at 4 all-inclusive restaurants with á la carte & buffet style natural, low calorie, vegetarian and deli-style menus as well as unlimited premium drinks including domestic & international liquors, beers & wines and take in daily entertainment like live music and cultural shows.

Relax at Kukut (meaning “body” in ancient Mayan) spa with massage, facials, waxing & nail services or explore the island with the resorts onsite tour coordinator.

This ALL-INCLUSIVE Trip Includes:caribbean reef shark

  • Round trip airfare from Minneapolis
  • Round trip airport transfers
  • Hotel taxes and fees
  • 7 nights at the Mayan Princess Resort in a 1-bedroom pool villa
  • 3 meals daily
  • 3 Onsite Specialty Restaurants for Dinner
  • Unlimited premium Honduran liquor
  • 15 boat dives
  • 1 night dive
  • Tanks & weights
  • Scuba tune-up at Aquaventure pool
  • Pre-trip meeting and post-trip party
  • Total cost is based on Double Occupancy

Rates and Options:

Diver or Non-Diver Double Occupancy Poolview Rate:  $1920

Diver Single Occupancy Poolview Rate:   $2525

Non-Diver Single Occupancy Poolview Rate:  $2150

Beachfront Upgrade:  ADD $250 to above prices

NOTE: $300 Non Refundable deposit holds your spot for this trip. Final payment is due by September 1, 2017. We strongly recommend travelers insurance, ask for details. Land/dive/air prices are payable by cash, check, or credit card and are quoted to reflect a 3% cash discount. If you wish to use a credit card, this 3% discount will not apply to the above quoted price. Airfare rates are based on early sign up, future rates are approximate, call for current price. Due to rising fuel costs, airlines have been imposing additional charges without notice, prices subject to change.

Beqa Lagoon, Fiji – October 12-21, 2017



October 12-21, 2017Beqa Lagoon, Fiji

Surrounded by over 190 miles of spectacular coral reef on one of the Worlds largest barrier reefs, Beqa Lagoon Resort offers divers a gateway to a wonderland of marine life and some of the best diving in Fiji, the soft coral capital of the World.

With dive sites that start from as shallow as 15ft (5m) and drop away to nearly 100ft (30m) and beyond in some places, divers are able to dive at a variety of depths, depending on what they are looking for. With year round temperatures ranging between a cool 75˚ and a bathwater 84˚f divers are comfortable in 3mm to 5mm suits.

Beqa Lagoon reef sceneAll of our boat dives are guided by PADI Divemasters who have been diving the waters of Beqa since they were children. Knowing every small hole and hiding place on these pristine reefs they are able to show divers all of the colorful and amazing treasures that these waters hold from Blue-ribbon eels, Clown Triggerfish, Leaf Scorpionfish to camouflaged day Octopus. All the while you dive in a rainbow of vivid pink and orange anthias and silver-blue fusiliers. Take some time to explore sunken wrecks or even feed your adrenaline with the Beqa ‘Big Fish Encounter’, a dive that teases you with huge groupers, bait balls of massive Trevally, and the chance of being up close and personal with 9 different species of sharks. Why not even travel out to the edge of the reef and dive along under the famous Frigates surf break, enjoying your lunch on the boat as you watch waves crash, and sneaking in that third dive before heading back to the resort and happy hour.

Shore Diving

Our beautiful house reef is perfect for diving any time of day or night, when the fancy takes you. Located straight out from the resort, the reef boast healthy hard corals, numerous juvenile reef fish, rays, and even the illusive seahorse likes to hide in the shallow eel grass. Reaching a maximum depth of 25ft (8m) this site is not only perfect for diving, but makes an ideal protected area for snorkelling your day away.

Fiji Diving Review

Trip includes:Beqa Lagoon, Fiji

  • Round trip airfare from Los Angeles
  • airport transfers & boat transfers
  • 7 nights in Fijian style villa
  • Welcome poolside foot massage
  • 3 gourmet meals daily
  • 5 two-tank reef boat dives
  • Free 3rd tank dive on two of the days
  • Unlimited shore diving
  • Tanks & weights
  • Scuba tune-up at Aquaventure pool
  • Pre-trip meeting and post-trip party
  • Total cost is based on Double Occupancy.

NOTE – Airfare to LAX NOT included!Beqa Lagoon shark dive

Diver rate (double occupancy) is $3295

Non-diver rate is $2795

Single diver rate is $3595


NOTE: $500 Non Refundable deposit holds your spot for this trip. Final payment is due by August 1, 2017. We strongly recommend travelers insurance, ask for details. Land/dive/air prices are payable by cash, check, or credit card and are quoted to reflect a 3% cash discount. If you wish to use a credit card, this 3% discount will not apply to the above quoted price. Airfare rates are based on early sign up, future rates are approximate, call for current price. Due to rising fuel costs, airlines have been imposing additional charges without notice, prices subject to change.80