Completed the Express class with Sea Lions Scuba (Hanover Park) this weekend. Going to do the certification next weekend. She's also allowing us to go out with a class during this week to have fun/practice.
The class was good. Fast paced, just the way I like it. But, it's not for everyone. As CP mentioned, she is Polish, and although her English is very good and understanding her is not an issue, she is very straight forward, and straight to the point as most Polish women are! So, if you're a softy, or if you need someone to tell you how good you are swimming with fins on, probably not for you.
Saturday, some class time in the morning, then almost 6 hours in the pool. Sunday was some class time, then the tests. Done. Nice and quick. But again, she expects that you read the stuff before hand, and understand it. Because its the express class she just tells you how it is, and moves on, you need to keep up. As I said, just the way I like it, no fluffy bull in the middle. Teach me what I need to know, and move on.
My fiance was a little scared to do Scuba, but after 10 minutes in the water, she was a pro. Better skills than every guy in the class (except for me of course!
Overall I would definitely recommend Sea Lions and the Express Class. We paid $325 for the class. This included everything except for tip for the dive masters, or entry in the quarry next weekend.
We bought our masks/snorkels/boots through Sea Lions, and bought our fins online. Bought mine off Craigslist, got an awesome deal on really good, but older fins. For the fiance, bought her almost top of the line fins, on eBay, "used" but never actually worn, still had tags on them. In store they were $160, we paid $80 on ebay shipped. I would definitely recommend looking at used fins as you can get great deals for people who bought them and never used them really, but the rest doesn't cost that much, so buying new in store is better (who wants to wear a used mask or snorkel anyway!).
Thanks to all your tips and help. Glad we are finally getting this done. Going to try for a day at Pearl Lake in June, then our vacation in July.
And big thanks to CP for borrowing us his wifes fins for my fiance, as hers didn't come in the mail in time!!