I am going to St. Maarten this summer and I will be scuba diving. I would like to take my own equipment instead of renting equipment. I know that you are not allowed to bring the cylinders on the airplane so I will be renting one..But is the rest of the equipment allowed to go onto the plane? What should I do? Do you make it a "cary on" or what? Please help!

You should feel free to take everything your need except cylinders and weights. If you can fit all your gear & clothes into a carry-on bag, great, otherwise pack it in checked luggage. If you feel there is equipment that you want to make sure you have when you arrive or want to be sure is not damaged during the trip, pack that in your carry-on and the rest in checked luggage. Also remember that the TSA will confiscate items such as dive knives from your carry-on bag, but it will be ok in checked luggage. Remove the batteries from dive lights and pack them separately.

Examples of things that you might want to carry on would be your regulator, dive computers, prescription masks, and of course your C-card. Anything else you could probably make do with rental for a day or two if your checked luggage gets misplaced.

Enjoy your trip.