Sub Sea Systems — Our World is a blog dedicated to the unique experiences of Sub Sea Systems — Immerse yourself in our incredible adventures, company culture, and innovative programs and products.

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Thursday, March 5, 2020

A Day in the Life of a Sea TREK Guide

Have you ever considered working as a Sea TREK Guide, or wondered what the work involves? Here’s a peek at a Guide’s typical day, and what they experience on the job!

Sea TREK guides testing diving helmet equipment

The first thing Guides do when they arrive on site is to set up the operation, which includes checking the water and trail conditions, and inspecting the equipment for the day to ensure everything is ready for guests.

Guides receive an anticipated guestlist for each day so that they know what equipment will be needed to run the operation. Then, they pack up and head to the watery worksite. Preparation of the site commences, which might include a beach cleanup, ensuring the trail is clear and handrails and ladders are free of debris, and if operating in an aquarium, staff check the health of the fish, so that guests are welcomed into a pristine environment.

sea trek guide safety briefing

When the guests arrive, the lead Guide for the tour gives a 5-minute safety briefing, where basic underwater communication and instructions are reviewed. Guides ensure all guests understand the underwater signals that will be used during the TREK. They also keep guests “pumped up” for the incredible adventure that awaits!

Guides then assist with the necessary equipment, such as wetsuits and footwear. Once the guests are dressed for the underwater journey, Guides place the helmets on guests’ shoulders and accompany them into the water.

Atlantis the Palm Sea TREK Guide

While the adventurers are in the water, Guides are with them every step of the way. Guides walk with guests along a defined path, communicate through hand signals to ensure all are comfortable, take photos and overall, facilitate a fun and controlled underwater experience. They even point out sea life or create bubble rings to entertain guests. Many of our locations also feature artificial reefs or unique enhancements (such as a sunken bus!), which create new homes for sea life and provide vibrant points of interest for guests to observe.

sea trek guide diver using hand signals

The daily life of a Guide is both exciting and fun. Sea TREK Guides are hardworking and well educated. Guides are required to be Rescue Diver certified and must be able to swim 400 yards within 10 minutes, tread water for at least 10 minutes without a wetsuit, and tow a person 50 yards. Other requirements include First Aid certification and CPR certification with AED and oxygen administration. Guides participate in weekly safety training drills and are constantly working to enhance their skillset. Most Guides are also knowledgeable “locals”– with insight on the native marine life, the best places to eat in town, and what else to check out during your vacation.

sea trek guide helping helmet diving guest

Being a Sea TREK Guide is truly a meaningful profession. Guides get to be a part of memorable experiences every single day– such as someone’s first breaths underwater or perhaps even their first time underwater. These encounters are frequently described as life-changing and the best experience of the entire vacation. Guides have the opportunity to share their passion for the underwater world with a broad group of individuals. Not to mention, they get to meet new people from all around the globe!

SeaTREK wheelchair dive

At Sub Sea Systems we truly appreciate our extended family of dedicated Sea TREK Guides, who work diligently to ensure guests experience an unforgettable, underwater journey!

Interested in exploring Sea TREK Guide opportunities? Head over to our website and jump on a live chat. We look forward to talking about all things Sea TREK!

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Thursday, February 20, 2020

Operator of the Decade, Xcaret Park!

A lot can happen in a decade. From debates over dress colors to the “Ice Bucket Challenge”, the last ten years have been a whirlwind! In the travel industry, we saw some exciting changes and challenges, like the explosion of Airbnb and the growing desire for travelers to experience eco-friendly destinations.

For Sub Sea Systems, the last decade has been a busy and exciting one. With the creation of new products like Aquaticar, DIVR+ virtual reality snorkeling and SolarCat, and the addition of new SeaTREK locations– we’ve expanded to 27 countries! We’re proud of our successes. We also take great pride in our relationships with SeaTREK operators, some of whom we’ve been partnered with for more than two decades!

xcaret park sea trek

One of these incredible partnerships is the well-established relationship we share with Xcaret Park. Located in Cancun, Mexico, Xcaret is a landmark in the Riviera Maya. Since its opening in 1990, the park has welcomed more than 23 million visitors from all over the world!

Xcaret cenote

Xcaret was founded by architect Miguel Quintana Pali, who initially acquired five hectares in the Riviera Maya with plans to construct a private residence. However, while surveying the land, he discovered that it had vast cenotes and a network of underground rivers. He knew this incredible place could not be kept privately; it had to be shared with the rest of the world. Thus, a partnership was established with brothers Oscar, Marcos and Carlos Constandse, and years later Xcaret was born. Since its opening in December 1990, Xcaret has been recognized as one of the most famous attractions in the Cancun-Riviera Maya tourist destination.

sea trek helmet diving at Xcaret Park

The park is comprised of 50 natural and cultural attractions. From the moment guests step on the property, they are surrounded by nature, from native flora and fauna, to underground rivers, lagoons, and cenotes. In addition to tropical surroundings and cultural demonstrations, Xcaret offers a wide range of activities for all ages. Visitors can take a snorkel tour where they encounter tropical sea life, or get up close and personal with sharks and stingrays. And of course, guests can take an incredible SeaTREK helmet dive at two separate locations within the park– the Caleta and Stingray Lagoon. Xcaret is the largest and longest operating SeaTREK location in the world. To date, they have welcomed more than 1.4 million TREKKERs!

Over the past ten years, Xcaret has received multiple awards, primarily for its creative vision and dedication to conservation. Accolades include the IAAPA Liseberg Applause Award for the World’s Best Park; the Travvy Award for Best International Theme Park, three years in a row; the 2018 Prevue Visionary Award (gold); and the “Obras del Año” awards for both “Economics Innovation, Tourism and Hospitality”, and “People’s Choice”.

Xcaret management team

Sub Sea Systems and SeaTREK are pleased to add to this ever-growing list of recognitions by awarding Xcaret with the first-ever SeaTREK Operator of the Decade Award!

Sub Sea Systems’ CEO Jim Mayfield presented a stunning art glass statue to Miguel and his executive team earlier this month at an awards ceremony held at Xcaret. We are so grateful to Miguel and Xcaret’s incredible team of dedicated staff, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to honor our relationship.

Here’s to the next decade of success!
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Friday, February 7, 2020

2019 Operator of the Year- De Palm Tours, Aruba!

Congratulations to De Palm Tours, the recipient of the 2019 Sea TREK Operator of the Year Award! Out of 54 Sea TREK locations worldwide, De Palm received the highest marks in overall staff professionalism, marketing, online presence, conservation, community outreach, communication and commitment to the Sea TREK program. This is De Palm's second time winning the Operator of the Year award– the team previously received the award in 2013. This is Sub Sea Systems' first time recognizing a previous winner.

De Palm Island, which is owned by De Palm Tours, is Aruba’s only all-inclusive destination that offers signature experiences for travelers. From lounging in the sun in luxurious, private cabanas, to heart-pumping action via intense water slides and off-road safaris, De Palm offers something for everyone!

De Palm’s Sea TREK experience enables island guests ages 8 and older to walk underwater and get up close to a bevy of colorful tropical fish, view a sunken bus, and pose for a photograph while “driving” an underwater jeep.

The tour consistently receives 5-star ratings online and is highly recommended by adults, children and seniors alike, regardless of skill, fitness or ability. One TripAdvisor reviewer shares, “...Sea TREK is a MUST. One of the most amazing experiences of my life!!!”

Tours are conducted by certified, insured and highly knowledgeable safety divers, whose professionalism, care and attention to detail are often the highlights of the tour.

De Palm Island enforces strict sustainability policies and is Earth Check Silver certified. The island is committed to employing local residents and sourcing local products. De Palm also works closely with Scubble Bubbles, a conservation group focused on involving local youth in ocean conservation. Scubble Bubbles maintains a coral nursery along the Sea TREK trail at De Palm Island. Staghorn coral fragments are grown on special coral trees until mature enough to transplant into the nearby reef. The project has been tremendously successful. Sea TREK staff also regularly participate in beach cleanup events and lionfish hunting tournaments.

To add to its philanthropic endeavors, De Palm is also active in several charities, including Family First, Micky’s Foundation and the Aruba Donkey Sanctuary.

As part of the Sea TREK Operator of the Year Award, De Palm Tours received an engraved crystal globe, certificate, and digital insignia for use on their website and marketing materials.

Click here for more information about De Palm Tours and their award-winning Sea TREK, or check out the video!

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Thursday, January 23, 2020

A Local's Travel Guide to St. Lucia!

My name is Levi Leonce. I’m from a small island in the Caribbean called St. Lucia and it is simply beautiful! I’ve lived on this picturesque island for almost my entire life. Currently, I’m in the U.S. pursuing my bachelor’s degree and have spent several weeks as an intern for Sub Sea Systems. As a guest writer for this week’s blog, I’d like to share with you my travel guide to St. Lucia.

Fourteen degrees north and sixty degrees west, you'll find our little paradise. With only 238 square miles of land, the island is home to a little more than 180 thousand people. It is found in the Lesser Antilles of the Caribbean, and it is the perfect place for a relaxing getaway with your friends, family or significant other. Tourism is the main economic industry on the island and travelers can be bombarded with things to do. However, I will give you some advice on the must do’s and the don’ts when exploring St. Lucia.

First off, if you’re planning a vacation to our island, I recommend you come during the summer months between June and August because this is when tourism seasons starts to die down and you get smaller, more personalized, down-to-earth experiences. It’s almost always warm and sunny in St. Lucia, even during the quieter seasons, with a few sessions of rain every now and then.

I recommend packing light, thin clothing, and feel free to bring all your bright colors! Also, you probably will want to bring all of your swimsuits. Be sure to leave some space in your suitcase for any local clothing you may purchase and bring back with you.

Fun fact, St. Lucia is home to the world’s only drive-in volcano! The volcano has been dormant for thousands of years and has been transformed into a beautiful and relaxing attraction for both locals and visitors alike. Located in Soufriere, on the southern part of the island, the volcano is home to various hot springs and a sulfur mud bath that does wonders for the skin. (It is actually my personal favorite place to be on the island.) I would recommend this to everyone who visits, simply because you can never go wrong with a nice, rejuvenating sulfur bath.

I also recommend you take part in tours and excursions, specifically Sea TREK, snorkeling, ATV riding and ziplining through the rainforest.  For the more adventurous, take a hike up our twin pitons or through the rainforest.

If you’re a diver or you just want to snorkel I recommend you get in contact with my dad, Anthony Leonce, phone number 1-758-484-3346. He owns a local dive company and will get you to the best snorkel and dive sites on the island, and the best prices, too! If, however, you want to snorkel on your own, you can always head up to Pigeon Island Beach to snorkel in a safe, protected area. Pigeon Island Beach is located on the north side of the island and houses a national park, a few restaurants and several hotels. The beach is also home to Sea Adventures, Inc., a tourism operation that takes you on amazing Sea TREK experiences, among other exciting things.  There is something for everyone to do, and it never gets overly crowded; you always have your own personal space to relax. In addition, there is 24-hour security. It is the safest beach on the island– and my personal favorite.

Obviously, after a nice day at the beach, you will need to get some good food to eat. My favorite place to go is a small sushi restaurant called Rituals Sushi in the Rodney Bay Marina on the north side of the island. I recommend this spot for all sushi and seafood lovers. Their restaurant is right next to a marina, so you get to enjoy the ambiance of the ocean while you enjoy your food. Also, be sure to get your fair share of local street restaurants and cuisines. Higher-end restaurants may not reflect the true taste of the island.

If nightlife is what you want, attend our famous Friday night street parties, where you get to mingle and party with the locals. We also have a fish festival that happens every Friday night at two locations on the island, and that always makes for a good night out. Or, visit the Baywalk Shopping Mall and the Rodney Bay area, where you will find the local casino and all the local bars and grills.

Unlike other countries, during the weekdays St. Lucia does not have a very active nightlife, most businesses close at five and most stores close at about eight. The latest store closes at roughly around ten, and restaurants and bars shut down at about midnight. However on weekends, stores extend their hours, and restaurants, clubs, bars and grills usually stay open till two in the morning! Since tourism is our number one economic industry, gratuities have slowly integrated into our culture. It’s becoming a norm in the service industry, and there is no cap on how much one can tip; your contribution is based on the quality of service you feel you have received.

If you are looking for a place to stay during your visit to St. Lucia, you have a number of options. For someone looking for a high-end, 5-star hotel, I recommend Jade Mountain Resort. You can find out all you need to know about them at  On the other hand, if you’re looking for a place that is budget-friendly but still offers great quality service and a high-end experience, consider Bay Gardens Beach Resort and Spa or the all-inclusive Windjammer Landings Villa Beach Resort. Both are wonderful resorts that provide excellent service and will give you the best experience for your dollar.

If you’re staying at a hotel, I highly recommend you use the hotel’s taxi services to get around the country. Be aware that occasionally, local taxi drivers will overcharge because of the incorrect stereotype that all tourists are rich! If you really know your way around the country and want to blend in with the locals, you can take the public buses, or you can rent a vehicle. Unfortunately, we have no Uber or Lyft services on the island...yet.

We don’t have tight restrictions on domestic or wild animals in St. Lucia, so you will probably see animals, like cows or goats, just roaming around the forested areas! We have wild dogs and cats as well. Iguanas are native to the island, however, there are not many left, so we protect them. The national bird is a parrot species called the Amazona Versicolour; it is endangered and therefore also protected.

The people of St. Lucia are very friendly and open to interaction. It’s customary to greet people when you meet them. Don’t be alarmed when everyone greets you every time we see you!
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Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Our (Exciting) Year in Numbers!

2019 was a VERY big year for Sub Sea Systems, loaded with fun and innovation! From exciting new products to world firsts, participating in a massive coastal cleanup, amazing new team members and a couple of weddings…our SSS family has had a very busy year.

We always recap our year by sharing a cute and clever infographic. This year, we’ve had so much “new and exciting” going on that we've decided to take a unique approach with sharing our year. We hope you enjoy the video below!

As we say goodbye to 2019 and TREK into a new decade, we wish you great success and many new opportunities. Our team has a lot on the books for the year and we look forward to sharing these exciting happenings! Stay tuned!

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Thursday, January 2, 2020

Get to know Sea TREK’s Anthony Leonce!

This week, we’re excited to share a special interview conducted by our guest blogger, Sea TREK Guide and Sub Sea Systems intern, Levi Leonce. We asked Levi to interview his father, Anthony Leonce, the head of Sea TREK in St. Lucia and the manager of Sea Adventures, Inc.

Anthony has been a member of the Sea TREK family for close to 7 years and his operation has won several awards. He is a well-respected member of the Sea TREK community and we’re excited for you to get to know him a little better.

LEVI: When did you first start working with Sea TREK? 
ANTHONY: I first started working with Sea Trek in 2013 and have been with them ever since.

LEVI: What did you do for work, prior to working with SeaTREK?
ANTHONY: Before working with Sea Trek I managed the dive center for the Sandals hotel in St. Lucia

LEVI: What do you love the most about St. Lucia?
ANTHONY: I would probably say the people and terrain.

LEVI: What is your typical day like?
ANTHONY: I wake up at 3:30am and worship. Then, I teach an exercise class at 5:00am. I drop my son to school at 8:00am and report to work doing dives till 4:00pm and then I proceed to teach another exercise and karate class from 6:00pm to 8:00pm.

LEVI: Tell us about your family
ANTHONY: I have two sons; one 20yrs and another 14yrs. My mother and father are still alive, and I have 5 brothers and 8 sisters.

LEVI: What do you do for fun?
ANTHONY: I love sparring, diving, playing cricket and board games with friends.

LEVI: What is your favorite sea animal?
ANTHONY: Aquarium fishes.

LEVI: What are you most proud of?
ANTHONY: It would definitely be SEEING my son grow into a young man.

LEVI: What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
ANTHONY: It would be to honor God, work hard and find a life to give to.

LEVI: What would your co-workers be surprised to learn about you?
ANTHONY: I lay hands and pray with the sick.

We’ve really enjoyed having Levi at SSS headquarters the past few weeks. Bright, kind, and willing to jump into any project, from helping assemble helmets to reviewing marketing materials, and writing this article! We appreciate  Levi and Anthony and the contributions both have made to our company and the Sea TREK program.

Levi Leonce

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Thursday, December 12, 2019

Delphinus Takes the Prize

delphinus wins reef alliance award

Each year, Reef Alliance (a conservation program sponsored by Sub Sea Systems) and its partners participate in the International Coastal Cleanup, a worldwide volunteer effort organized by the Ocean Conservancy.

Founded in 2009, the Reef Alliance program promotes sustainable diving practices and environmental education. The program's mission is to educate, create awareness, and encourage proactive conservation efforts in local communities. Every year, the Sea TREK operator that best exemplifies the program's goals is recognized with the Reef Alliance Award. We're extremely proud to announce Delphinus as the recipient of the 2019 Reef Alliance Award.

In 2019, Delphinus hosted multiple events for International Coastal Cleanup. Over 120 volunteers collected nearly 2600 lbs. (1178 kg) of trash and debris from local beaches, turtle nesting grounds and a mangrove habitat. In addition to cleaning up these vital resources, Delphinus continued its community outreach and conservation education efforts.

Delphinus crew cleaning up beach

In January, Delphinus held several events during World Environmental Education Day. Utilizing its interactive dolphin experiences, Delphinus curated strong emotional connections between participants and the dolphins. The event was combined with an educational message focused on threatened marine environments. Participants left with an indelible memory and a stronger passion to conserve the marine environment.

Delphinus has developed The Environmental Education Plan, which consists of several active campaigns. One of these campaigns, the Environmental Leadership Program, provides environmental training for the organization’s staff. 250 staff members participated in 14 sessions.

Volunteer cleaning beach

Delphinus’ also hosted its annual community outreach event, “The Festival of the Oceans.” Locals were invited to learn about the ocean through art, science, gastronomy and ecology presentations.

Delphinus is also one of the main conservation promoters for the endangered Vaquita, Mexico's only endemic cetacean and the world's most rare marine mammal that is on the brink of extinction. Through donations and its social campaign, #SOSVaquita, Delphinus draws awareness to the threatened species and supports ongoing efforts to protect Vaquitas.


Delphinus operates 7 dolphin interaction habitats across the Riviera Maya in Mexico, 2 of which are dolphin TREK programs (and one SeaTREK program). For 15 consecutive years, Delphinus has received the Socially Responsible Company Certificate, and its 7 locations are all certified by the Humane Conservation, AMMPA and IMATA. As this year’s Reef Alliance Award winner, Delphinus will receive a stunning glass trophy and promotion through Sub Sea Systems’ marketing channels. Big congrats to Delphinus!
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