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Dive Review of Stuart Cove's Dive Bahamas/Sheraton Nassau in
Bahamas/Nassau, New Providence

January, 2010, an Instant Reader Report by S Singer, Panama, Panama (2 reports)
Report Number 5351
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
South Florida, Mexico, Grenada, Tobago, Panama, Curacao, Belize
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny, windy  
Seas
calm, choppy  
Water Temp
72   to 74    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
3
Water Visibility
15   to 60    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
no  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
Depth limits were set depending on experience and use of a computer.

Time limits were set, but generally long enough  
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
yes 
What I saw
Sharks
1 or 2 
Mantas
None 
Dolphins
None 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
1 or 2 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
  N/A
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
1 stars  
Comments
Boats had a special rinse tank only for cameras. Boat crew was very
insistent that the tank only be used for cameras. A crew member was always
willing to pass your camera to you in the water as well as taking it from
you when coming up the ladder, if you asked. 
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
4 stars
Food
3 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
4 stars
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
N/A  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars    
Beginners
4 stars   
Advanced
4 stars    
Comments  
I was joining two friends who were completing their open water dives to get
basic certification. Getting to Nassau was basically smooth, except for
American Airlines not being able to load the luggage on the plane properly,
which then led to the pilots "timing out" and finally refueling
the plane. Basically, it turned in to a 1 hour delay. Once I finally
arrived to Nassau, the hotel was fine the three of us shared a room 2 beds
& a cot, a little tight, but very manageable. The Sheraton is located
on Cable Beach, which means that besides the restaurants and the casino at
the hotel, there is not much to do, nearby. I do recommend going at least
one night to the Fish Fry, its an outdoor area with about 20 different
restaurants with different types of food. Personally, I found the food on
the island to be expensive, even for an island, especially for local fish.
Salmon (imported) and snapper or grouper (both local) are about the same
price.

The operation at Stuart Cove's is very well organized, especially for the
size. Initially, I was a little apprehensive, as you can tell from their
website that this is a large operation and I was concerned about cattle-car
dive boats, but I was pleasantly surprised to not have that experience, I
never felt rushed on any dive. They picked us up at the hotel every
morning, however I would recommend that you be ready and waiting for them
approximately 10-15 minutes before the time they said they will pick-up, as
they do not wait very long even if they're early. This is important,
because the dive shop is on the other side of the island, we had about a 30
minutes ride each way. 

Once there check-in is pretty smooth, but remember the main industry on the
island is tourism, so they will try and up sell you, although they're nice
about it. As I was not in a class and would be diving for several days,
they gave me the option of opening a tab at the dive shop and settling the
bill at the end, all they required was an authorization on my credit card.
This was very convenient, as this way I did not have to pre-pay any of my
dives and did not have to worry about carrying cash to purchase things
while I was there. 

I dove for 3 days, 4 dives on the first 2 days and 2 dives on the last. The
dive boats were comfortable with space for everyone, the morning dives
always had more divers than the afternoon, probably on account of the shark
dives being in the afternoons. On every trip there was a dive master who
would lead the first dive and then stay on the boat for the second one.
Additionally almost every trip had at least 1 student & instructor
onboard, but they did not inconvenience anyone. The crew was accommodating
of everyone, I personally like to put my BCD on in the water and they were
very willing to pass my BCD to me once I was ready. First day we had great
diving conditions, the ocean was completely glass, so easy diving. Second
day, conditions got a little choppy, nothing too serious, but the crew made
sure to warn everyone to be careful of the ladders as they were bouncing
due to the ocean condition. Third day, ocean was a little rougher, so the
crew took us to a site on a different part of the island in the hopes of
calmer seas and good visibility. The ocean was calmer, but the visibility
was really bad, amazingly there was better visibility in deeper water then
shallower. On this day, one of the divers got in to some trouble as we were
surfacing, leg cramps I believe, and the dive master was very quick to take
care of this gentleman and send everyone else back to the boat. One of the
instructors that was onboard jumped in to assist. I'd say the situation was
handled very well. 

First dive was always deeper, generally 60-80 ft, 100ft if you and your
buddy had a computer. These were generally a combination of the wall that
surrounds New Providence and a wreck, the wreck generally being around
45-60ft. Second dive was almost always a reef, between 25-35ft. First dive
was limited to about 35 minutes or 500psi, second dive was limited to 45-50
minutes or 500psi. These limits felt quite comfortable to me, as I returned
to the boat on almost every dive as time was ending.

On all trips, you were required to sign-in on a roster on the boat and
after each dive. The crew was very strict about each person signing
themselves in, even if you were wet, my dive buddy was not permitted to
sign me in. Surface intervals ranged between 30 - 60 minutes, some done
while traveling from one dive site to another or in one case in a small
cove, while some students were practicing skills. 

Upon return to the docks, the crew would take care of all the rental
equipment and the tanks (they were always on the boats for us). As I was
using my own equipment, I was responsible for taking it off the boat. I was
permitted to use the rinse tanks for my equipment and to store my gear in
their equipment room, where it was locked up every night. One thing that I
found very interesting, was separate rinse tanks for wetsuits and all other
gear. 

We saw a few sharks and a couple of turtles, and a lot of lion fish. I
don't recall seeing less then 2-3 on each dive, on at least 1 dive I saw
well over 10 of them.

All and all, I had a great experience at Stuart Cove's, I wish I would have
done a specialty with them, as I noticed that all the instructors were very
attentive of their students.
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All Bahamas Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Bahamas
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.


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