Diving Etiquette

Florida Keys Dive Center has been catering to Divers and Snorkelers here in the Key Largo and Islamorada area since 1983.  Many of our customers, over the years,  have asked us what is customary in regards to tipping the crew. While there is really no set amount, the industry average, is around 10-15% of your total bill.   We believe that the quality of your Keys diving and snorkeling experience starts first with the person you talk to on the phone and follows through with the boat crew and your Dive instructors and guides.  We believe that a great experience is accomplished through a staff that works together and maintains a TEAM attitude.  Our recommendation is that you leave a tip for the whole crew when you pay your bill.  Some people may simply tip the boat crew and instructors/guides directly, if you do that, please don’t forget to thank the store and reservation personnel also, for their service.

We hope to see you all down here in the Keys real soon.  If you have any questions please call.  We look forward to helping you experience the best diving and snorkeling in the Florida Keys.

Winter in the Keys

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January 10, 2017

Well winter has finally hit the Keys! Last week we were enjoying flat calm seas with temperatures in the mid 80’s. This week, locals are putting their winter coats, beanies, and scarves on for the CHILLING temperatures in the low 60’s! As you can tell by looking at the wind and wave height above, we will be staying on dry land for a few more days. We are planning to be back into the water soon!

Check out our upcoming dives on our calendar and our Totally Wrecked Tour this summer, July 11th- July 14th.

Use your VA Benefits towards PADI Professional Courses

If you are a United States Veteran, we want to, first of all, thank you for your service to our country. We do not take our freedom lightly and we are thankful for the hard work and service of our men and women in our armed forces.

Are you interested in using your VA Benefits towards an exciting new career as a PADI Scuba Diving Professional? At our affiliate school, Florida Keys Diving Institute, you can use your VA Benefits towards all available course levels. With Key Largo being voted as the “Dive Capital of the World” – what better place to learn than here in the fabulous Florida Keys?

We are very enthusiastic to be able to help our Vets develop a career in diving! A candidate can enter our program at any level of experience. If you are not a certified diver yet, not a problem, you can start our program from beginner and continue on through the PADI Instructor Course. As a PADI Instructor, you can also continue on and gain additional experience in our Post IDC courses and work towards the prestigious level of  PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer. If you have a passion for scuba diving and want to experience the other 3/4ths of the world you have been missing; warm water, colorful reefs teaming with fish, and thrilling wrecks, contact us on how to transfer your Veteran benefits into a scuba diving career.



Applying/Transferring VA/GI Bill®Benefits:

  • First, in order to apply for your VA/GI Bill®Benefits you need to download and fill out a VA Form 22-1990.  Click Here for your form.
  • Next, if you have already used some of your benefits, but would like to transfer the remaining towards a course through us, you will need to fill out a VA Form 22-1995.  Click Here for your form.
  • While Applying, our Career Development Department will be listed under Florida Keys Dive Institute, and list the different courses you are interested in!
  • Also, we need all post-high school transcripts, your DD-2586, and your “Certificate of Eligibility”  submitted to our Florida Keys Dive Institute School Certifying Official.

Once Applied…

Other Important Factors to Consider:

~If you are pre 9-11, you will need to prove that you are attending monthly (submit forms online) and you will be responsible for paying your monthly dues with your monthly stipend.

~ If you are post 9-11, everything is completed. Tuition and fees will be paid directly Florida Keys Dive Center, and the rest of the supplies will go to you.

Unfortunately, Florida Keys Dive Center can not guarantee that your VA benefits will pay for everything, but while going through the process if you have any questions or concerns please contact us and we will try to help as much as possible.  As a result, YOU are ultimately responsible for any additional costs of the courses you participate in.  This may be covered by your stipend, but it is your responsibility to find out.


Courses to use your VA Benefits for:


PADI Preparatory and Professional Level 1 (PADI Divemaster)



This course is simply where you get the chance to become Zero to Hero.  Not certified yet?  No problem, with this program you can take the steps needed in order to gain the certifications needed to eventually become a professional PADI Divemaster.  The PADI Divemaster course is your first level of professional training. Working closely with a PADI Instructor, you’ll fine-tune your dive skills, like perfecting the effortless hover, and refine your rescue skills so you anticipate and easily solve common problems. You’ll gain dive knowledge, management, and supervision abilities so you become a role model to divers everywhere.   As a PADI Divemaster, you’ll lead others as you supervise scuba diving activities and assist with diver training. Whether you want to work at a faraway dive destination or close to home at a local dive shop, the adventure of a lifetime awaits you.

PADI Preparatory and Professional Level 2 (PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor/IDC)


If you like people, have a passion for scuba diving and want an extraordinary life – become a PADI Instructor. Teaching scuba diving allows you to share your love of the aquatic world with others while doing what you enjoy – being in, around and under water. PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors and PADI Assistant Instructors are the most sought-after dive professionals around the world because they’ve completed the program that sets the standard for training dive professionals. You earn a PADI Instructor rating through hard work and commitment, but you’re rewarded with a job that lets you share incredible underwater adventures with others – transforming their lives for the better and enriching yours. With these courses, it is also required to take our Emergency First Responder Instructor course.


PADI Preparatory and Professional Level 3 (PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer/MSDT)


The PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer rating sets you apart as a dive instructor who takes continuing education seriously and is committed to teaching a variety of courses. (Potential employers like this.) Being an MSDT signifies that you’ve got the experience and certifications to offer all the training a diver needs to become a Master Scuba Diver – the ultimate recreational diver rating.  All PADI Instructors who have certified at least 25 PADI Divers and have earned at least five PADI Specialty Instructor certifications can be Master Scuba Diver Trainers.


If interested or have any questions, please contact us at 305-852-4599.

Aquarius Undersea Station

We went out a few days ago with New York’s THE DAILY production team to catch a glimpse of the action at Aquarius undersea station, where NASA astronauts were doing their training. Flakey’s own “King Neptune” (Joe) was guiding the film team and could not help to bring back some shots he did himself. Truly amazing, an encounter one of a kind – THANKS JOE! Sadly though the future of Aquarius undersea station is in question due to cuts in federal funding.




















For more info about the Aquarius undersea station go to:http://keysnews.com/node/40582