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, 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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Thursday, November 21, 2019

Fun on the water, safe for the environment!

There’s no question that for most of us, boating is just plain fun. Being out on the water with friends and family can be relaxing, or exhilarating!

Unsurprisingly, several studies have identified dozens of unintentional and unexpected hazards to the environment associated with boating, which might have many reevaluating how they spend their days on the neighborhood lake. Boating can be a real detriment to the health of our waterways, sea life, and surrounding land. Heavily trafficked waterways and the presence of vessels increase the growth of algae. Deposits left from boats can change water chemistry. And, wildlife can be negatively impacted by boat fumes and the chemicals used to clean watercraft.

solarcat solar electric catamaran

But there are options for eco-conscious boaters! Solar power is now being utilized in boating operations. In fact, experts say that the aquatic applications of solar are evolving faster than ever, as people seek a way to enjoy boating without contributing to waterway damage or loss of sea life.

As a company, Sub Sea Systems is always seeking new ways to get people to enjoy the water while respecting the environment. In 2001, we began producing FunCat, an electric catamaran designed for boaters who sought a way to enjoy the water, without the damaging effects of a typical boat. FunCat catamaran owners loved the easy to drive, easy to dock and easy to store FunCat! FunCats also proved to be a great rental product for the boating industry, allowing even inexperienced boaters to steer their way across the water.

In 2018, as demand for eco-friendly options grew, we upgraded the FunCat to include solar panels. The solar panels offered FunCat boaters additional time on the water and a vessel that utilized no gasoline or oil. As interest in a solar boating option grew, we rebranded our popular FunCat as SolarCat Solar-Electric Catamarans. And, this year, we launched a brand new website,

solarcat solar electric catamaran

There’s more to the SolarCat than just its flashy solar panels. SolarCat personal catamarans are designed and constructed in the USA of high quality, long-lasting materials. As easy as ever, SolarCats require no boating experience. Two switches propel the SolarCat forward, backward, left or right, or even a super smooth 360°. Every catamaran includes a sunshade for comfort on the sunniest of days, and plenty of storage for personal items. One of the compartments can even be used as an ice chest, for that just-caught fish or a bottle of champagne! The on-board battery charger ensures you’ll have plenty of juice for a leisurely day on the water. SolarCats are built to last and include a 12-month warranty on parts. And, Sub Sea Systems’ amazing SolarCat team members, Keenan and Greg, are here to help with outstanding product support.

We’re so excited about our amazing, eco-friendly SolarCat that we’re offering an incredible price cut for Black Friday! If you’re in the market for a unique gift, want to avoid the crazy mall crowds, and are looking for the perfect present for your family, you can purchase a brand new, American-made SolarCat catamaran and save a whopping $1000. Check out our deal, starting Friday, November 29th. The special pricing ends on Cyber Monday, so you’ll want to sail on over to our website, If you’re in the US, you can purchase securely online! Or, give us a call at 530-626-0100 during normal business hours, and we’ll get a brand new SolarCat on its way to you. You’ll be out on the water in no time!

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Thursday, November 7, 2019

Virtual Reality Goes to New Depths… Underwater!

At Sub Sea Systems, we create immersive and interactive products and programs for the marine tourism industry. From our incredibly popular Sea TREK helmet diving experience, available across the globe, to our newly upgraded SolarCat solar-electric personal catamarans, we’re always looking for fun and creative ways to get people in and under the water.

Our latest product endeavor entails an ever-so-slight submersion (snorkeling) with incredibly detailed virtual reality content. In partnership with Ballast Technologies, Inc., a world leader in aquatic virtual reality, we are releasing three VR snorkeling systems: DIVR, DIVR+ and Deep Dive VR. Welcome to the next level of immersive virtual reality!

VR snorkeling combines the neutral buoyancy of water with the immersion of virtual reality.  The patent-pending technology includes a waterproof virtual reality headset combined with a library of high-quality VR content- from coral reef dives to shark encounters, an Atlantis adventure, and even an out-of-this-world space journey!

virtual reality snorkeling


DIVR allows participants to float freely while experiencing neutral buoyancy, audio and 360° virtual content. The DIVR system is portable, and can be used in any shallow swimming pool. Participants wear a floatation belt, VR headset with snorkel, and a secure tether.

DIVR plus virtual reality underwater


The DIVR+ system is a portable snorkeling system with sensory effects. Custom, stationary thrusters emit fluctuating thrusts of water and multiple bubble-induced sensations, which are synchronized with the visual and audio content. Participants feel the tickle of a school of fish or the rushing sensation of water as they zoom through tunnels. In the outer space journey, participants feel the vibration of passing meteors as they approach the space station. The system sets up along a pool edge in minutes, so guests can enjoy the 360° virtual adventure in neutral buoyancy, in no time.

deep dive vr water park virtual reality

Deep Dive VR

Deep Dive VR is a fully self-contained, standalone system. It comes complete with a shallow acrylic pool, 10 VR snorkeling stations, and a back-of-house building with an equipment room, briefing room and top deck lounge. It’s a complete turnkey setup!

Stephen Greenwood, CEO of Ballast shared this about these amazing new products, “Pairing virtual reality with water may not seem like the most obvious match, but once people try it, it's clear just how powerful the combination is. When guests are suspended in water, there is a freedom that allows for absolute immersion, which is impossible to achieve in any other way. Our experiences have already delighted over 400,000 customers.

At Ballast, we've been extremely proud to pioneer this technology and introduce the world to aquatic VR. Our amazing partnership with Sub Sea Systems has enabled us to take our systems to the next level and develop heightened sensory experiences while delivering the best customer service possible. We're grateful to Jim Mayfield and the entire team at Sub Sea Systems for their extensive knowledge of water-based technology, deep industry relationships, and for our shared vision of the future of aquatic attractions.”

Are you ready to jump in? Ballast and Sub Sea are demonstrating the exciting DIVR and DIVR+ systems at IAAPA Expo 2019 in Orlando, Florida– November 19 -22. Sign up now to try an in-water, virtual reality snorkeling demonstration at booth #8180. Spots are limited!

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Thursday, October 24, 2019

Part 7, Get to Know Sub Sea Staff

Introducing Sub Sea’s newest staff member and Graphic Designer, Myles Thompson. Even though he joined the team recently, he has seamlessly fit right in! Myles jumped into a full workload and has been producing amazing work since day one– including applying his extensive background in videography to shooting and editing promotional videos for our latest products– VR Snorkeling (DIVR+) and SolarCat Solar-Electric Catamarans.

Q: When did you first start working at Sub Sea Systems? 

In August of 2019, 3 days before my birthday.

Myles Thompson Military

Q: What did you do for work, prior to working for SSS?

I worked on a variety of freelance film & graphic design projects.

Q: What was your first project for SSS?

My first project was coming up with a concept rendering of the new DIVR+ system, in use in a swimming pool.

Myles Thompson Family

Q: Tell us about your family

I have a five-year-old daughter, Aria, who is intelligent beyond her years and is the cutest thing on planet earth. My mom, who does interior decorating, is basically a cross between every Hallmark mom and Martha Stewart… in short, she is amazing. My dad is my hero and idol; I joined the military because of how much I look up to him. He’s currently battling Alzheimer’s disease, but still maintains his daily quota of dad jokes.

Myles Thompson and his dad

Q: Where did you go to school? 

I went to The Art Institute of San Francisco.

Q: What do you do for fun?

I enjoy taking long road trips and spending time alone in nature, where I practice my photography. I also really enjoy freediving, when I’m able to.

Myles and Aria

Q: What are you most proud of?

My daughter Aria, of course!

Q: What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

Anything is possible as long as you’re willing to ignore the naysayers. That includes yourself, sometimes.

Q: What would your co-workers be surprised to learn about you?

I don’t think anything would surprise them, they think I’m pretty weird.

We’re not sure we’d call him weird (although he does do some pretty realistic impressions of Family Guy characters), but Myles is definitely fun, and we’re grateful to have his positive spirit, incredible work ethic and creativity in the SSS office!

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Thursday, October 10, 2019

Virtual Reality Snorkeling

DIVR snorkeling

Imagine snorkeling with whale sharks in the Gulf of Mexico or humpback whales in Hawaii. Diving a pristine vibrant reef or exploring the international space station. Experiences previously thought to be inaccessible will soon be available, and in only 3 feet of water!

virtual reality underwater

We’re talking about Sub Sea’s latest endeavor, virtual reality snorkeling! This new and exciting experience is actually THREE different products, with three different opportunities to offer virtual reality in an entirely new and unique way: DIVR, DIVR+, and Deep Dive VR.

Virtual Reality snorkeling

The VR snorkeling product line was created in partnership  with Ballast Technology, Inc. out of San Francisco, California. Born from a chance meeting at a trade show, the Sub Sea team joined forces with the Ballast team to develop, market and sell these incredible systems. Ballast Technologies is the leading provider of aquatic virtual reality. They were the first to design and patent an underwater VR headset, and their premium product, VRSlide, was the world’s first virtual reality system for water slides.

So, what are these new and super cool products? Virtual reality snorkeling is digital entertainment, allowing your mind to explore while your body feels the extraordinary full sensory experience of a near-zero gravity environment. Guests feel as if they are actually soaring through the water, as they explore new worlds previously only accessible to scuba divers, deep ocean submersibles, and astronauts.

deep dive vr snorkel

All three systems allow guests to enjoy this incredible experience! The difference is really in the installation. DIVR takes up a very small footprint. All that’s needed is a shallow swimming pool area large enough to accommodate participants in snorkeling positions without touching one another.  During this experience, participants wear a floatation belt, underwater VR headset and a snorkel. A swim tether is attached to an anchor on the bottom of the pool. The video content begins with the tap of an NFC launcher card.

With DIVR+, participants experience multiple, in-water sensory effects in unison with the visual content. Participants hold on to stationary thrusters that produce varying flows of water and air bubbles. Guests feel as if they are actually zooming through the water, corkscrewing through tunnels and feeling the rumbling vibrations of swimming with a pod of dolphins! The stations are designed for setup along the edge of a pool.

deep dive-vr setup

Last but not least, Deep Dive VR takes the stage as a fully self-contained, standalone system. Complete with its own shallow acrylic pool with 10 DIVR+ stations, and “back-of-house” building comprised of a briefing room, equipment room, rooftop seating area and water entry platform.

DIVR, DIVR+ and Deep Dive VR are the world’s premiere virtual reality snorkeling systems. Dive in and add this incredible experience to your operation. Contact us to set up an in-person pool demonstration. We’ll also be exhibiting and demonstrating at the upcoming DEMA and IAAPA Expo trade shows in Orlando.

deep dive video

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Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Cleaning Up in California’s Gold Country

On Saturday, September 21st, Sub Sea Systems’ staff joined over one million ocean lovers to remove trash from our beloved waterways. Sponsored by the Ocean Conservancy, the annual International Coastal Cleanup event focuses on freeing our oceans and coastlines from the global challenges of trash and pollution.

The Ocean Conservancy, a non-profit organization, has held cleanups across the globe for over 30 years. More than 100 countries participate in cleanups. The Conservancy provides volunteers more than just a lengthy list of cleanup locations and cleanup kits. It also collects data and reports on cleanup results. Last year, volunteers picked up over 23 million pounds of trash in a single day!

Sub Sea Systems’ team combined forces with the Greater Sierra River Cleanup crew, who removed debris and trash from the Sierra watersheds. 169 volunteers scoured ten different shorelines for three hours. The volunteers covered 11 miles of coastal terrain on foot and recovered 1,500 pounds of trash and recycling, which equates to 3/4th of a 20-yard dumpster. These results will be added to the 10-year totals of nearly 860 tons of trash and recyclables from more than 3,000 miles of river in the Sierras.

While plastic trash accounts for the largest percentage of debris, cigarette butts are the highest singular item collected. In 2017, almost 6 million butts were picked up during the Conservancy’s cleanup. This year, the Sierra crew picked up over 800, with Sub Sea’s team collecting just shy of 400. Additionally, SSS volunteers collected over 100 metal bottle caps and 100 pieces of recyclable paper.

In addition to coastline cleanups, some participants take it a step further. Project Aware works with scuba divers across the globe to protect underwater environments. Project Aware divers span 182 countries and have removed 1,493,381 debris items from 444 miles of underwater habitat.

If you’d like read more about the efforts of the Ocean Conservancy, or if you’re interested in joining next year’s International Coastal Cleanup and fight for trash-free seas, you can “sign up to clean up” at

Sub Sea Systems Crew

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Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Deep Dive - An In-depth Look

Check Out the Deep Dive VR Video!

Have you ever wanted to swim with whale sharks? Or snorkel a pristine, vibrant reef? Perhaps explore the depths of the ocean, or even deep space?

Sub Sea Systems and its partner, Ballast Technologies, have created a series of underwater virtual reality systems! DIVR, DIVR+ and Deep Dive VR will transport guests visually, physically and emotionally, into undiscovered territories, all while floating in water! Utilizing a snorkel and waterproof VR headset, explorers can glide alongside graceful humpbacks, feel the sensation of tickling tentacles, and experience a rush of water while zooming past sunken shipwrecks... all from within a swimming pool!

headset for deep dive vr

Born from a chance meeting at a trade show, a shared passion for the water, and a mutual drive to introduce new experiences to the industry, Ballast Technologies and Sub Sea Systems have joined forces to create these unique systems. Ballast Technologies is best known for its lightweight VRSlide System, which is utilized at water parks across the world.  Over 270,000 water park enthusiasts have worn Ballast’s VR headset while traversing water slides such as Galaxy Erding in Germany!

Underwater virtual reality is the newest in digital entertainment, allowing one’s mind to explore while the body feels an extraordinary, full-sensory experience of a near-zero gravity environment. When submerged in water, virtual reality becomes even more powerful!  The innovative underwater VR systems transport guests into new worlds via patent-pending hardware and proprietary software technology.

virtual reality underwater mask
Three different Deep Dive experiences are bring created: DIVR, DIVR+ and Deep Dive VR.

DIVR is a portable virtual reality snorkeling system that allows water parks, hotels, and resorts to transform any ordinary pool into a vibrant, exciting attraction, where guests drift through coral reefs, shipwrecks and exotic locations. DIVR requires a small footprint– an area large enough to accommodate participants in snorkeling positions, without making contact with one another. During the experience, participants wear a flotation belt, underwater VR headset and snorkel. A swim tether is attached to an anchor on the bottom of the pool to maintain the guest in position. The video content begins with the tap of an NFC launcher card. In every direction guests turn their heads they see a different view of the virtual world.

DIVR+ is a portable virtual reality snorkeling system with multiple in-water sensor effects. Participants hold onto a thruster that produces water and air bubbles, which create tactile sensations. These elements are queued in perfect unison with the visual content, resulting in an incredibly realistic VR experience. Participants feel as if they are actually zooming through the water, corkscrewing through tunnels, or feeling the rumbling vibrations of swimming with a pod of dolphins. During the experience, participants wear a belt to assist with floatation, underwater VR headset and snorkel. The video content begins with the tap of an NFC launcher card. Almost immediately, the participant begins to feel jets and pulses of water and the tickle of air bubbles across their body as they move through a stunning virtual world. Dramatic visual cues sync with cavitation in the thruster and transmit vibration through the participant’s hands and arms.

deep dive vr pool

Deep Dive VR is a fully self-contained, standalone system comprised of two structural components– a back-of-house building and a stainless steel and acrylic pool, 3 ft (1 m) deep. The pool features 10 individual underwater VR stations with acrylic dividers that provide separation between participants. Participants watch a one-minute orientation video, ascend an outdoor staircase to the launch platform, enter the water via a vertical ladder, and walk to their designated station. During the experience, participants don a floatation belt, underwater VR headset and snorkel. The video content begins with the tap of an NFC launcher card. Like DIVR+, participants feel jets and pulses of water, the tickle of air bubbles, and a rumbling vibration, all synced in unison with the visual content. This incredible virtual world is more real than ever before!

We are excited to exhibit these new products at several upcoming industry trade shows! Sub Sea Systems joins Ballast Technologies at IAAPA’s Expo in Paris from September 17-19th. Our teams will travel to the WWA in Orlando on October 8th and 9th, and again to Orlando for the DEMA show– November 13-16th, and IAAPA– November 19-22nd.  We’re also offering in-water demonstrations at select shows. We hope you’ll come and check out these fun new products, and chat with us about all things VR!

virtual reality at IAAPA

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Friday, August 30, 2019

Cruising to Privacy

Headed for a cruise vacation? If you envision crowded beaches, long wait times, and scheduling hassles, consider a cruise that includes a stop at a private island. Over the past several years, cruise lines have ramped up private island excursions, which allow passengers to enjoy unique attractions, pristine private beaches, and top-notch service that is “just for them”.

Cruise lines’ private islands allow passengers to live the Caribbean dream. They can enjoy perfect white-sand beaches, clear water, colorful fish, coral reefs and lush fauna — and an invitation to have fun all day! Each island has something out of the ordinary to offer cruise passengers. Below are some of the cruise lines’ private destination offerings, and what makes each distinctive.

Castaway Cay, Disney Cruise Line

Castaway Cay (pronounced “key”), was developed by Disney, so it’s not surprising that it’s all about family fun! Guests can choose from a wide variety of private island activities, including a kids’ 2,400-square-foot water play area, a gaming pavilion, a sports beach, and of course, Disney character greetings! The pristine beach offers sparkling water, an “adults only” area, and boat rentals, including FunCat electric catamarans.

Castaway Cay also offers intriguing snorkeling.  Two submarines from the retired 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea ride at the Magic Kingdom are submerged in the snorkeling area of the Family Beach. You’ll also discover statues of Minnie Mouse and Mickey Mouse underwater in this area, too!
Fun fact: Some Disney Cast Members actually live on the island year-round!

half moon cay bahamas

Half Moon Cay, Holland America Cruise Line

A slice of heaven, Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas is a stunning paradise. Crystal blue water and powdery white sand await guests at this private sanctuary. Take a horseback ride on the beach, quench your thirst at the “I Wish I Could Stay Here Forever” bar, kayak the lagoon, or let someone else drive while you enjoy a leisurely glass-bottom boat tour. There’s even a chapel for weddings and vow renewal ceremonies!

Fun fact: Half Moon Cay has won Porthole Cruise Magazine’s Best Private Island award for 17 consecutive years!

Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian Cruise Line

There’s so much to do at this stop in the Bahamas, that you might have trouble deciding! From peaceful, uncrowded, white sand beaches to heart-pounding parasailing, there’s fun for everyone. Don’t miss the stingray encounter, which garners a five-star rating from TripAdvisor. Guests can enjoy a speedboat ride to Stingray City, then enter the deep water, (an easy step from the large swim platform) and meet these fabulous critters. Even non-swimmers can enjoy the rays!

Fun fact: Great Stirrup Cay was the first cruise line private island, and was acquired way back in the 1970s!!

Princess Cays, Princess & Carnival Cruise Lines

Princess Cays, Princess & Carnival Cruise Lines

Actually, a single island located in the Bahamas, Princess Cays offers everything you’d expect from a private island with an additional layer of exclusivity- private, air-conditioned bungalows! These colorful, adults-only bungalows each feature a ceiling fan, table, and chairs inside, sun loungers outside, and an individual outdoor, open-air shower. The friendly, attentive staff is available to take drink orders.  Guests also enjoy the use of a motorized cart for transportation. When you are ready to take a dip or walk along the shoreline, just walk down the path to the beach. Not into extra privacy? Take a bike adventure along the beach to the rolling hills and see sparkling lagoons framed by mangroves, or hop on a clear-bottom kayak or dune buggy and create your own adventure!

Fun fact: Getting a chair in the shade is never an issue on Princess Cay. There are over 3,000 beach chairs on the island!

harvest cay belize cruise

Harvest Caye, Norwegian Cruise Line

It’s all about the location at Harvest Caye! The island is situated in Belize, which is known for its ecotourism. The island’s offerings include some unique experiences, such as exploring Mayan ruins, visiting a spice farm, or exploring incredible, saltwater estuaries teeming with wildlife. Guests can relax on white sands, enjoy exciting ziplining adventures, snorkel the world's second-largest barrier reef, or take an easy ride on a brand new SolarCat solar-electric catamaran!

Fun fact: The 400 staff members working on the island are locals. All the restaurants, amenities and shopping stores are also locally owned.

Labadee Royal Caribbean

Labadee, Royal Caribbean

Coasting takes on a whole new meaning at this tropical locale in Haiti. If you’ve “been there, done that” with ziplining and you’re looking for something different, Labadee offers you Dragon’s Tail Coaster, which reaches 680 feet before whooshing down a hill at 30 MPH. With 360-degree turns, as well as dips, waves, and curves, this thrill ride is sure to keep you entertained. However, if you’re less than “thrilled” at the idea of flying down the side of a steep mountain, don’t worry. You can climb the only icebergs in the Caribbean, or just kick back and relax, with the island’s signature drink— the Labadoozie!

Fun fact: Labadee is actually NOT an island. It’s located on Haiti's northern coast

coco cay royal caribbean

CocoCay, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line

Want a “Perfect Day at CocoCay”? That might mean conquering the tallest waterslide in North America! CocoCay’s waterpark boasts 13 waterslides. If you prefer your thrills on the dry side, drift “up, up, and away” 450 feet above the ground in CocoCay’s helium balloon. If your interests lie more with relaxation and libations, you won’t be disappointed. CocoCay’s Oasis Lagoon, the Caribbean's largest freshwater pool, has a massive swim-up bar and a beautiful, beachfront infinity pool. When stomach growling commences, there’s a variety of dining venues, which are included at no additional cost. Five dining venues are located throughout the island.

Fun fact: It is not uncommon to see wild chickens roaming the grounds, along with iguanas that sometimes get close to the dining areas to see if any scraps of food rolled away.

Coming Soon: Lighthouse Point, Disney Cruise Line

On the horizon, the newest private island destination– Lighthouse Point! Disney recently announced this development, and revealed that the island experience will celebrate Bahamian folklore, local artists, culture, nature, and of course, special Disney touches.

Disney will also be directly involved in conservation efforts to preserve and protect the island’s natural environment.

Construction at Lighthouse Point has not started yet but will begin after an Environmental Impact Assessment and Environmental Management Plan are reviewed and accepted by the Government of The Bahamas. Stay tuned!

Have you visited a cruise line private island? Share your adventures below. Happy Cruising!
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Thursday, August 15, 2019

Carl's Travels Continue - to Cebu Ocean Park, The Philippines!

Sea TREKs Carl Hanson travels to Cebu Ocean Park

Sub Sea Systems’ favorite frequent flyer, Carl Hanson, was off to the friendly skies again last month, this time for the long journey to our newest Sea TREK helmet diving location in the Philippines! With an opening date set for August 21, we’re excited about this new location and Carl’s journey to ensure their success. Here’s what Carl shared about his latest adventure:

Cebu Ocean Park Philippines

Where is the new location?

Cebu Ocean Park, in the Philippines. It’s the first marine park in Visayas and Mindanao, and the largest and deepest Oceanarium in the Philippines. The park is home to around 200 different animal species, and as many at 3,000 people will be able to visit the park at any given time.

Tell us about your travel route.
I traveled from Sacramento, California to LA, LA to Hong Kong, and Hong Kong to Cebu. ✈️

Cebu Ocean Park Philippines

What makes this location and park unique?

The area itself is outside of Mactan, a major tourism hub, but it’s far enough away to give visitors a more “local” feel of the Philippines. Cebu is known worldwide for whale shark swimming, so travelers interested in sea life have an additional opportunity to learn more about our oceans and conservation efforts. Cebu Ocean Park is committed to promoting environmental awareness and offers educational displays and attractions to engage kids and adults alike.

What kind of work did you do while visiting Cebu?

I set up a brand new Sea TREK backpack system. I trained staff, met with marketing teams and management staff, and met the facility owner to educate him and help set expectations. Basically, everything from scratch! The facility is so new that while I was there, they were still working on the details such as laying flooring. I was amazed to see how fast things were being done.

Cebu Ocean Park Aquarium

What did you do when you had downtime?

I ate… a lot! The food there is so inexpensive- a buffet for $3!  Local food was plentiful and varied, due to the Philippine’s unique mix of many cultures. The food is only eaten with hands, though, no utensils!

I got to participate in a boodle fight, which is a Filipino tradition! A boodle fight is a culinary experience where a big pile of food is placed in the middle of a table that is lined with banana leaves. Water jugs are placed on the side, used for hand washing, just before the “fight” starts. No utensils are used…just hands. The boodle “fight” originated with the Philippine's military, and symbolizes camaraderie and brotherhood. Definitely not a fine dining experience, but an experience just the same!

I also had the incredible experience of swimming with whale sharks in Oslob. Whale sharks can reach up to 40 feet (12 m) in length, and their mouths are over 5 feet (1.5 m) wide! However, they do not have teeth, and their throats are only the size of a quarter. I saw 5 of these all at once!

Cebu Ocean Park Philippines Sea TREK

What are some of the challenges the operator faces and how he is overcoming them? 

Currently, their biggest challenge is completing the facility. The owner of the facility is actually now living there, to ensure things are being done perfectly and in a timely manner. He’s there 24/7 and really cares about the facility being done correctly. I was there for approximately 1 week and I was impressed by how much they got done in such a short period of time.

Talk about the staff:

The staff is motivated and hard-working. They really want to do things right. They’re definitely a “no challenge is too big” group!

Cebu Ocean Park Philippines Sea TREK

What surprised you the most about this location?

I didn’t realize that the area is considered “up and coming” and thought it would be more tourist-y.

When will this new location open?

The target date is August 21st for both the aquarium and for Sea TREK!

We can’t wait to celebrate the success of Cebu Ocean Park. Stay tuned into our Facebook and Instagram pages, where we will be sharing images and updates!

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Thursday, August 1, 2019

Leading the Way

At Sub Sea Systems, we provide the tourism industry with fun, interactive products that allow guests to explore the underwater world, learn more about our precious oceans, and discover incredible sea life.

With over 50 Sea TREK locations (and counting), we rely on hard-working representatives to get the word out about our helmet diving system as well as our other products. Our dedicated global representatives are paramount to the success of our products and our company.

We asked some of these amazing regional reps. to take a few minutes out of their action-packed days and share their interesting backgrounds and incredible stories with you. A big thank-you to Javi, Ad, Fili, and Takeshi, for giving us a peek into their busy lives!

Fili and Friends!
Q: How long have you worked with Sub Sea Systems?

Javi: I've been working for SSS since March 2014, but have been in contact with the company since 2002 when I was in charge of the Sea TREK, SNUBA and snorkel tour at Xel-Ha Park. I'd like to say that I've been around for a long time!

Fili: It's been 6 years since I started working with the Sea TREK experience as a licensee of Sub Sea Systems. I soon realized that it would be very interesting to represent the company for Spain, and I now represent Europe, too!

Ad: Since May 2014

Takeshi: It has been about one month!

Q What is your title?

Javi: I'm Regional Coordinator for the Mexican Caribbean and Belize regions… and wherever my boss sends me.

Fili: I am Sub Sea Systems’ Sea TREK Operator, Fun CAT Operator and Representative for Europe.

Ad: I am the Regional Director of the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East & Africa), Russia, & Turkey.

Takeshi: I am Sub Sea Systems’ Representative in Japan.


Q: When people ask you what you do for a living, what do you tell them?

Javi: I say: “Have you seen activities that allow participants to walk underwater while wearing a helmet? Well, I do that!”

Fili: I usually say, “I develop unique and innovative experiences focused on tourism. You have to try them!”

Ad: I hunt for potential prospects and projects for Sub Sea Systems in my region. Once found, I help my clients to purchase our products. I combine my knowledge about our products and possibilities, and advise them which product and programs will work for them. I support them during the complete process of purchase, engineering, installation, startup and even in the years after.

Takeshi: Marine activity production and construction sales, and diving business in general.

Q: What do you enjoy most about your work?

Javi:  I really like to train the new divers/Guides.

Fili: When I finish the day, knowing that I have managed to make at least one person happier.

Ad: Meeting new people with all kinds of different needs, then finding the best solution to create a win-win situation for them and us. Once a product has been sold, I enjoy assisting during the engineering, construction and installing phase, and training the staff.

Takeshi: There are a lot! First of all, going beyond the norm and trying something new. Working on a project that combines creativity with marine activities.

Ad, Hard at Work

Q: Prior to working with Sub Sea, what was your primary career? 

Javi: I was (and still am) a Diving Instructor.

Fili: For many years I worked in the world of advertising and marketing while preparing as a financial advisor. But all my life has been linked to the sea- surfing, underwater fishing, diving, etc.

Ad: I was the director of a company and worked as an advisor/consultant in International Business Improvement for multiple international companies/clients.

Takeshi: I have been a diving instructor for about 30 years. I also worked as a scuba gear repairer at US Kadena Air Force base in Okinawa for about 4 years.

Q: What do you do when you are not working? Do you have any hobbies?

Javi: I love spending time with my family, going to the beach or doing fun activities.

Fili: My favorite hobby is to think about being more productive and creating new opportunities – it is a very enriching experience

Ad: Spending time with my family and friends. Diving, and in wintertime, snowboarding.

Takeshi: Recently, I started to learn 3D CAD, so I design various things myself and enjoy making prototypes with 3D printers.

Javi and Family

Q: Tell us about your family.

Javi: My son Luca and my wife Romi are the lights of my life. I also have my parents and brother, who live in Argentina.

Fili: My greatest treasures are my two daughters, and of course my mother. They are for me the most important pillars. Every day, I strive to do my best to keep moving forward for them.

Ad: I have a fantastic and lovely wife named Evelien, who supports me in everything I do. Since I was 16 years old, she has been the love of my life. We are celebrating our 35th anniversary in August. We have 2 beautiful and lovely children. The oldest is our son Stefano, who lives in Spain. He is the owner of a company named Oasis Europe. Which offers rental management, property optimization to property owners.  Our daughter Naomi is an assistant broker for a real estate company and lives near us.

Takeshi: My daughter will enter University in Tokyo next year, so she will leave the small island of Okinawa. My daughter's character is very similar to mine, so we often disagree with each other! When I think about being separated next year, I feel a little sad. I have a son in high school. He wears a headset every day and plays only online games. However, he’s very good at snorkeling, so I think that I will teach him scuba diving. My wife is a person who is busy and moving around, who cannot take a break at all. She is a wonderful woman.

Q: What is your favorite work memory / funniest thing that has happened to you at work / craziest thing that has happened at work?

Javi: My favorite memories are the good moments spent with my co-workers, Calin and Josue. I also have a wonderful time with visitors or potential new operators. When I show them “my operations” and they see how many helmets we have in only one location (Xcaret, for example, utilizes 50 helmets every 30 minutes in just one of their two locations!) I love to show them how many safety divers are there taking care of the people and they see how well organized we are and they finally ask me: “and you trained them all?” And I say: “Yes!”, proudly. Bottom line: I LOVE MY JOB!

Ad: Too many to write about! My former and current colleagues all know I am a little crazy and I always try to bring fun in anything I do. I like to surprise people with my “magic dice” and doing that, they all will remember me with a smile.

Fili: One of the most beautiful things I’ve experienced happened during a Sea TREK, with a grandfather and his grandson. Developing an experience that is able to unite generations at 5 meters deep is wonderful. Neither of them knew how to swim and they could never imagine, that they could be together feeding the fish underwater. The grandfather was crying with emotion, seeing his grandson at his side.

Takeshi: There are so many, I’m not sure how to answer! I was attacked and bitten by a Hammerhead Shark. Humped by a Humpback whale in the chest. I have a lot of episodes in the sea! Things that were fun, scary, and dangerous!

We hope this interview made you smile as much as it made us smile! We’re grateful for these fine individuals and proud to have them represent Sub Sea Systems. A big thank you to Javi, Ad, Fili and Takeshi!

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