As I read about becoming PADI certified for open water dives, I see different prices for the classroom and pool dives, plus are additional dives required (with extra fees?) neccessary for certification and why do I have to buy certain equipment of my own for certification, like snorkel, fins, boots and mask. Is this typical? Why do I have to purchase this stuff? How much does the gear cost? And I have two teenage daughters plus my husband interested in doing this for our cruise in August- should we pursue this, or just do the "beginners dive" that the cruise offers?

well when iwas taking my course i had to buy my own mask snorkel boots fins becasue this a necessitiy when your diving and you should always buy your own regulator and B.C. becasue these things not all dive sites have them to rent and you wouldnt want to share all that equipment that other people have used i have everything except my dive tank which you dont have to buy beavuse you can rent that anywhere but ive sometimes left some of my equiment at home and find it to very fruasting that i have to rent all this equpiment its really qutie annoying not to have your equipment as for the cruise dive you should only do it if you dont plan to go diving alot becaus the diving equipment does tend to get kinda of expensive but prices vary on what kinda brands you buy hope thid helps