Find out how you can learn scuba diving and what are the things to look out for when you are selecting a dive school for the first time. Many new scuba divers have used cost as a benchmark for selecting their first experience, and this is the most common mistake that have been made by divers.

How Do You Become a Scuba Diver

Basic Scuba Diving Course

So you found this page because you are keen to become a scuba diver. There are millions of internet pages if not thousands of websites talking about scuba diving courses. But how do you know what scuba diving courses are the best for you?

Searching for a scuba dive course can be a daunting experience. You rely on either friend’s recommendations (which may not necessarily be right for you), “forced and fake” reviews on social media platforms or last but not least, Google’s recommendation.

And there are different scuba diving agencies which are all following the recommendations of WRSTC (World Recreational Scuba Training Council) such as PADI, SSI, SDI, NAUI, CEMAS, BSAC, GUE and the list goes on and on.

We decided to tweak our website and educate the mass public on what a basic or entry level scuba diving course should be and how you should go along selecting a dive centre for your most important fundamental class – The Open Water Diver Course.


  • To enroll in a PADI Open Water Diver course (15 years old) or Junior Open Water Diver course (minimum 10 years old).
  • You need adequate swimming skills (200m swim / 300m snorkel / float for 10 mins) and need to be in good physical health.
  • No prior experience with scuba diving is required.




All scuba diving agencies that are registered and adhere to WRSTC (World Recreational Scuba Training Council), follow a 3 simple step or modules for their entry-level scuba diver course. Whether you enroll in a PADI Scuba Dive Course or a basic scuba diver course from SSI or SDI, they should follow a similar format.

PADI Open Water Diver Course Theory Development Class

Theory Development - classroom or elearning

All basic scuba diving course requires the student to have either a manual or e-Learning access. PADI is the only agency that has an updated iPad application. A simple video talking about safety and equipment is required as well. New divers are also expected to sit for a written test (PADI scuba divers are required to sit for 4 quizzes and a final exam).
PADI Open Water Diver Course Theory Development Class

skills development in confined water

Confined Water as defined by all scuba diving agencies is a pool-like condition water, with shallow depth and water too deep to stand in. It can be conducted either in the sea or swimming pool, depending on location. For our courses, we will prefer to conduct them in a swimming pool. Depending on the agencies, the number of skills defers, but they are mostly identical or similar.
PADI Open Water Diver Course Theory Development Class

required ocean dives in open sea environment

The minimum number of dives required to complete your basic training is FOUR (4) training dives. Depending on agency and packages, it can be 4 training dives plus one fun dive or makeup dive. New scuba divers are expected to perform some of the skills taught in confined water independently. Each dive should consist of some skills and fun diving.

Finding a Dive Centre for your Basic scuba diving Course

Now that we understand what the basic entry course is all about, how do you select a dive centre, especially where the price differences of a basic entry course defer from a low-end of SGD$ 399.00 to almost SGD$ 1500.00 in fees.

There are few important factors that we personally think that divers should consider and we have prepared a check-list. A prudent and responsible dive centre should be able to answer your questions without hessitations.


Do check with the dive centre if they have the right appropriate travel license to operate. This is a rather important step to protect yourself. It is required by the law for any dive centres operating tours to have an appropriate license and not using a borrowed license. Many dive centres tend not to be honest about this.


All Scuba Dive Shop providing training and scuba diving courses should have their own retanl equipment and carry out regular maintenance of their rental equipment. Diveshops using rental gear from other companies are not able to ensure you good quality rental equipment, neither can they ensure you that you have the right size or fitting, that can hinder your experience.


The amont of time you spend waiting for others affects your time in water. The smaller the instructor to student ratio, the more time you spend diving and not waiting for others. Be sure you ask them for the instructor to student ratio and not the ratio of divemaster/instructor to student ratio. The role of a divemaster is not of an instructional role.

proper business

Do not be surprise that many dive centres or dive shop are either operated in a home or in a store room of some borrowed premises. Conducting business in a proper space goes to show the commitment of the dive centre. And another good decision factor is whether the dive centre maintains regular opening and operating hours and not a business that opens as and when they desire.



This is the factor that dictates the fees that you are paying for. Depending on many factors, the prices differ from each dive shop you have found on the internet. We have compiled an extensive list of differences so that you can make a sound judgment for yourself and not rely solely on comments and reviews from others who have not seen better diving experiences or packages. Below is a chart of comparison in one of the most popular destination amongst Singapore divers known as Pulau Tioman, which is one of the biggest island in the East Coast of West Malaysia, and also the closest island to Singapore. Do select your resort carefully.
tioman type of resorts

type of accomodation used

Most resorts in Pulau Tioman are mostly wooden rustic chalets with creaking floors. Rooms in Pulau Tioman are often very basic, with little or no amenities. For those with a faint heart, it is recommended you bring along your own sleeping bag and a pillow case, or better still, your own personal sleeping pillow.

tioman type of accommodation

type of accomodation used

Rooms – Most packages offered are based on Quad Sharing. Be sure to ask if the beds are bunk beds or two queen size beds. Sharing a queen size bed with a stranger is an awkward feeling. Should you upgrade to twin sharing, be sure to ask for photos how the rooms look like

tioman type of accommodation

type of accomodation used

Toilets – Most Pulau Tioman resorts have upgraded their rooms to ensuite bathroom. However, do not expect clean toilets in most resorts. Do check with them if your room has hot-shower. If you have opted for quad sharing, be reminded the long waiting time to use the bathroom.

tioman mersing bus coach charter

type of transportation used

By Bus – This is usually a forty (40) seater bus, especially for dive centres who are sharing spaces with other bigger dive shops. Do not expect a comfortable bus ride. Time taken from Singapore to Mersing is approximately 5 to 6 hours. There will be a dinner break in between.

tioman mersing van charter

type of transportation used

By Van – This is the least desired mode of transfer. Most vans provided by local dive shops are cramped and uncomfortable. Do factor if you are tall, you will be sitting in cramped position for 5 to 6 hours. Plus the vans are often driving at 160kmph in winding roads.

tioman mersing van charter

type of transportation used

By MPV or Car – We love dive shops offering this service or you can always request to pay more for this service. Clearing both Singapore and Malaysia immigration departments with this mode of transfer do not require you disembark and carry on your wet diving gear in the long snake queues.

tioman bluewater ferry bad timing

type of sea transfers used

Overnight in Mersing Option – Some dive shops will opt for an overnight stay in Mersing prior to heading to Pulau Tioman. For dive shops offering this service, to check with them the hotel you will be residing. Many dive operators using this option will loosely classify their package as a 2D/2N Tioman package.

tioman bluewater ferry bad timing

type of sea transfers used

Overnight Boat Transfer (Slow Boat) – Most cheap scuba diving courses (between SGD$ 400 – SGD$ 600) uses a slow dive boat for transfer. Do expect 4 to 5 hours wasted traveling to Tioman. This is one of the most dreadful options in our own opinion.

tioman bluewater ferry bad timing

type of sea transfers used

Overnight Boat Transfer (Bluewater Ferry) –  For those who are using Blue Water Ferry, the traveling time is between 3 to 4 hours. The downside is the waiting time. Bluewater is known to have a very erratic schedule for their transfers. So do expect to waste a few hours waiting for your ferry service.



But we do understand some scuba divers are able to overlook at this less desirable conditions and still insist that they want to experience Pulau Tioman. Hence we have teamed up with a local (Singapore) PADI 5 Star IDC who conducts regular Tioman trips. We will provide the theory and pool development and we will arrange your 4 required ocean dives with them.



padi junior open water diver course

PADI Junior Open Water Diver Course Bali Package

This package is designed for children between the age of 10 – 15. Orpheus Dive uses only child size diving equipment for your children. One dedicated instructor will take your children from theory classes right through the 4 required ocean dives.

Bali packages depart Singapore on a Thursday to Sunday.

padi open water diver course bali diving

PADI Open Water Diver Course Bali Packages

For divers who prefer a more relaxing way of getting your basic entry scuba diving certification, the Bali PADI Open Water Diver Course is your solution. Held in small classes of 1 PADI Instructor to a maximum of 4 student divers, this is the most ideal package.

Bali packages depart Singapore on a Thursday to Sunday.

padi open water diver advanced diving 2 in 1 combo enhance

PADI Enhanced Open Water Diver Course Bali Package

If you prefer a more economical way of getting both your PADI Open Water Diver Course and PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Course, then the NEW PADI ENHANCED OPEN WATER DIVER COURSE would be highly recommended for you and your friends.

Bali packages depart Singapore on a Thursday to Monday.

PADI Open Water Diver Course Budget Tioman Package

So if you are on a really tight budget and you do not mind the rough itinerary and lower quality accommodation, and longer traveling time, we can help you in organizing a Tioman package. Your initial training (theory and pool development) will be conducted by us and your four required ocean dives will be conducted by our partner who conducts frequent Tioman trip.

PADI Open Water Diver Course Local Packages

For non-fussy new divers who simply cannot travel and do not mind diving in limited visibility (no more than 2 metres), local diving can be considered as an option. However, please note that we do not operate the local diving boat to Pulau Hantu and your schedule of diving will be dependent on the boat operator. Diving is generally done on Saturday mornings. This is usually done over two Saturdays.

PADI Open Water Diver Course Referral Package

If you are planning to have a family vacation in a destination with diving and wishes to complete only your theory and pool right here in Singapore, this program is designed for this purpose. You can either opt for the standard hardcopy manual and attend a class with us or if you are too busy to attend class, you can also opt for the PADI Open Water Touch and complete the pool training with us.

PADI Scuba Diver Diving Dive Course Courses Singapore Bali Lessons Classes


Find out why millions of scuba divers all over the world have chosen PADI. And why Orpheus Dive has preferences for PADI as a scuba diving training agency.


PADI Enriched Air Diving. Increase your dive time.

PADI Enriched Air is our highest requested course. Learn how to prolong your total dive time while ensuring your air is the cleanest and least possibility of contamination.


PADI Enriched Air is our highest requested course. Learn how to prolong your total dive time while ensuring your air is the cleanest and least possibility of contamination.


Perhaps you are thinking to pick up scuba diving and experience diving to see if you can make a career out of scuba diving. Find out how you can become a dive professional today

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