Hello. Well at one time I remembered if it included equipment, but I have forgotten.
If you get it, make sure it is the 4 dive, not the 2 dive lesson. Only the 4 dive is the true PADI certification. The 2 dive is NOT a full certification, he will need 2 more dives to complete, for a total of 4 dives to be fully PADI certified. If I remember, you do the studying while on board, and then do 2 dives in one port and 2 more in another port. Anyways, I once had a very specific question, that the shore excursion desk could not answer. They actually had a guy who ran the scuba dive shop on the Explorer call me from the ship. I was able to ask him all my questions. I would try that if you need too. Call RCCL, ask for the shore excursion dept, and if they can't answer your questions, ask if someone can call you from the dive shop on board. What might be ideal, is if your son could do his studying and pass the written exam prior to getting on board the Freedom. Then, he can do his 4 dives (2 in each port), on your cruise. They did tell me they can do that. Any dive shop should be able to do the written exam, and then they give you a referrel to a dive shop, to do the dives. Hope this helps. I was on the Freedom last June, you will LOVE her.