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Cancellations, Course Complications, Refunds & Rainchecks

Sea Dwellers Dive Center has always had your safety and enjoyment our number one priority.  We feel it is best to be as transparent as possible, and have put together what we feel is a comprehensive policy regarding variables that can result in cancellations, course complications or potential refunds/rain check requests.  These policies are in place based on industry standards.  Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with these policies.

Dive and Snorkel Trips - General Safety Policies

Check-in time is one hour before your departure time.  We attempt to accommodate all customers, and are generally unable to delay departures for late arrivals.  Please plan your trip accordingly as late arrivals that result in a missed trip are subject to full payment, and no rain checks will be issued.
Please arrive ON TIME with waivers completed in advance...  We can not hold the boats due to late check-ins.  Any diver or snorkeler who arrives under 30 minutes prior to departure (for example, 8:00 am or later for 8:30 am departure, or 12:30 pm or later for 1:00 pm departure) will not be accepted and we will not provide refunds.

Our standard dive trips DO NOT include a guide. We do offer guides available for a small additional charge, at small ratios (6:1). Please contact us in advance if you would like a guide so we can schedule accordingly.  Solo Divers:  In order to dive, it is required to have a dive buddy. If you do not have another dive buddy coming with you, we will try our best to pair you up with another solo diver(s) on board.  If, at check-in time, there are no other solo divers on board, you will need to pay for a guide ($65).  All of our guides are instructors or divemasters, and are paid employees, not interns... which is the reason we currently charge for guides.

If it has been more than one year since your last dive, you will be required to hire a guide for your first dive trip.  If it has been MORE THAN TWO YEARS since your last logged dive, you will be required to do a Scuba Skills Update in the pool with one of our instructors prior to diving in the ocean.  Pool sessions are completed in the morning, and are based on availability.  

At least one diver in your group is required to have a timing device on all dives.  If you do not have a watch or computer you can dive with, we are happy to rent you a computer.  Computers are required for all divers on deep dives.

All divers must present a valid certification card for the appropriate level of diving they are scheduled for at check-in.  Any dive over 60 feet requires a minimum Advanced Open Water Certification.  Nitrox, Full Face Mask, and other speciality diving require certification cards as well.  

All snorkelers and divers must know how to swim, be in good general health and be comfortable swimming in open ocean, in water which is too deep to stand. 

Sea Dwellers does not allow full-face snorkel masks.  We do allow full-face dive masks for divers who are certified.  Divers must show proof of certification, must have dived within the last year on full-face mask, and must be accompanied with a dive buddy who is also full-face mask certified.  

“No-Shows”, inability to provide dive certification card upon check-in, extended times out of water requiring a refresher upon check-in, and late arrivals resulting in missed trips are all subject to 100% payment and no rain check will be issued.  No refunds will be given for divers or snorkelers who do not review policies in advance, and refuse or are declined to attend a trip due to any safety requirements set forth by Sea Dwellers Dive Center.

Dive and Snorkel Trips - Customer Cancellation

Sea Dwellers has a 48 hour cancellation policy on non-private dive and snorkel trips. This includes any party that is not a scuba course or a private boat charter.  You may reschedule or cancel your reservation anytime prior to 48 hours of the trip start time.  All refunds are subject to a 10% processing fee.  This means that if someone were to cancel or reschedule within 48 hours of the trip start time, they are subject to 100% payment.  In the case of rescheduling under 48 hours, there will be a 25% rescheduling fee.  

Holiday weeks/weekends have a 7 day cancellation policy for all activities, and rain checks will not be issued or valid during these dates.  Holiday weeks are: 1/1 - 1/3, 3/5 - 3/25, 5/25 - 5/31, 6/29 - 7/10, 8/29 - 9/5, 11/17 - 11/28, 12/20 - 12/31.

Private Charters - Customer Cancellation

You may cancel or reschedule their trip anytime more than 7 days before the departure date. Reschedules more than 7 days are not subject to any fee.  Any cancellation of a private charter outside of the 7 day period would forfeit the non-refundable deposit.

Cancellations within 7 days of the private charter date are non refundable and are subject to 100% of the total charter cost.  There will be no refunds or rain checks for private charter cancellations under 7 days.  Rescheduling private charters under 7 days are subject to full payment at the time of rescheduling, and are subject to an additional 25% rescheduling fee.

Scuba Course - Customer Requested Cancellation or Reschedule

You may reschedule or cancel your course anytime more than 7 days before your course.  All course deposits taken for are non-refundable, regardless of time of cancellation.  This is due to the fees Sea Dwellers incurs when we open academic courses with PADI and SSI.  If canceled more than 7 days before your course, all other payments (other than deposits) will be refunded minus a 10% processing fee.  

Cancellations within 7 days of the Scuba Course date are non refundable and are subject to 100% of the total course cost.  Sea Dwellers take pride in keeping our student to instructor ratios smaller, and we have to hold your spots in our classes.  For these reasons, there are no refunds or rain checks for course cancellations under 7 days.

Weather General

Weather is unpredictable, especially in the open ocean. In regards to diving in the Florida Keys we are focused primarily on wind speed and direction. Our Captains and Crew have years of experience in assessing conditions, however weather forecasts have degrees of variance.  We can not "guarantee" a particular location or boat. If weather/conditions or other factors arise, the Captain or Crew may select alternate locations or boats for the best experience. We do our best to go to locations scheduled, however if a Captain or crew select a different location/activity we will not provide refunds for the trip.

Dive and Snorkel Trips - Inclement Weather

In the event conditions are sportier than normal (3ft+ seas) but the boat is still running, you will be given the option to reschedule to a different day or a raincheck for the full amount paid.

If Sea Dwellers cancels a trip prior to departure, you have the options to reschedule, a raincheck, or a refund, whichever you prefer.
***Refunds due to weather cancellations are in full, and NOT subject to fees.  This includes deposits paid for single day courses such as Refresher or Discover Scuba courses.  (Open water certification, AOW, or any course that has online academics are non-refundable as this pays for your course online)

There are absolutely NO REFUNDS for seasickness, unused tanks or equipment, or “one and done” trips canceled due to unforeseen inclement weather or medical emergencies.

Scuba Course - Inclement Weather

In the case of inclement weather, Sea Dwellers can offer two alternative Scuba locations at no additional charge: in our “canal” where you have a chance of seeing the “doctopus” (an octopus that lives on the dock) and some nurse sharks, or Rowell's Waterfront Park (a shore dive in a semi-enclosed waterfront park).  For an additional cost and time permitting, we can also dive at Jules Undersea Lodge (a waterfront lagoon with an underwater hotel), in which you will pay an entry fee directly to Jules.   If you have attended the pool training and choose to not go to one of our alternative options we can offer a rain check valid for the amount of the incomplete portion of your course that is good for 2 years.  (Remainder Course Rain Check Values: Open Water Diver dives 3 & 4 $150; Refresh or Discover Scuba dives $125)

Scuba Course - Failed Medical Form (Day-of): No Refund/No Rain Check

Please review student medical forms entirely before your arrival.  Sea Dwellers is not responsible for failed medical forms at the time of check-in and there will be no refunds or rain checks for failed medical forms.  The medical form can be found on our website, in confirmation emails, and on PADI and SSI websites.  In the Event that you check into the shop and have a medical questionnaire that requires a Dr Sign off and you have not received medical clearance, there will be no refunds given if you cannot obtain medical clearance.  We can try to move your class to another day pending our availability or you may elect to snorkel (no refund will be given for the difference in any price).

Scuba Course - Failed Swim Test: No Refund/No Rain Check

All of our Scuba courses are subject to a basic swim test.  You must be comfortable in water which is too deep to stand, and be able to freely swim on your own.  If the performance requirements are not met and results in a failure of the swim test, we will have you attempt a second swim test at that time.  If for any reason you are unable to pass the second test, our instructor reserves the right to not have you continue for your own safety, as well as other guests and our instructors own safety.  In this case, you will be subject to full payment of the course.  If the instructor sees fit, you may be able to still snorkel (no refund will be given for the difference in any price).

Scuba Course - Performance Based: No Refund/No Rain Check

Throughout the SCUBA training process, there are minimum performance requirements that students must achieve in order to pass.  If for any reason if you are unable to complete the minimum performance requirements for your course, depending on the progress of your course, you can schedule another time to come back with us within 1 year.  Generally, we would advise that you return to the pool or additional open water dives within that same week.  If you are unable to return, we can issue a referral (case by case) for another dive center to finish your course within 1 year.  

Open Water Courses include two pool sessions (if required) and two Checkout Dive Sessions.  If a 3rd Pool Session Required, there is an additional fee of $115 per student.  If an additional Checkout Dive Session is required, there is an additional fee of $225 per student.

Our instructors are held to a high standard, and make every attempt to get you through your course.  It is not often, however in the rare situation where it is deemed unsafe for a student to continue to the ocean, no refund will be issued due to inability to achieve the minimum performance requirements set forth by PADI and SSI.

Scuba Course - Medical Related Cancellations (equalization issues, etc.)

If for any reason you start a course and are unable to finish due to any unforeseen medical issues, Sea Dwellers will issue you a rain check for the monetary value of any additional training dives needed.  Per your request, Sea Dwellers can issue a letter of referral to finish your course with another dive center.  No refunds will be given for any incomplete instruction.  We recommend that you see your physician prior to coming down and getting a good check up to make sure you are in good health and not getting sick.

Rain Checks General Policy

Unless stated otherwise, all rain checks expire two years from the date of issuance.  Rain checks are issued for a monetary amount, and are applicable to any boat trip (dive or snorkel), or towards Scuba Instruction.  Rain check usage is dependent on the availability of the boat, and can not be used during holiday weeks.  Rain checks ARE transferable with your consent by email.  All rain checks are put in our system with your name and number so if you lose your rain check ticket we should be able to find it for you. To use your rain check, simply call us to make your reservation.  Rain checks can not be applied towards merchandise.

Why A 10% Processing Fee

Banks and Lawyers like to win… Unfortunately they do this through small family businesses like Sea Dwellers Dive Center.  We are charged a processing fee when we take a payment, AND when we refund a payment.  While different cards have different fees, an example is if you pay $100 to Sea Dwellers and our fee is 5% for that card, we pay $5.00 when we take your payment and an additional 5.00 when we refund.  That $10 fee is a direct loss, on a trip that we have earned zero on.  In order to avoid this, we highly recommend planning trips in advance and having backup plans in place, or (when applicable) a rain check for the amount paid.