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Dive Review of Stuart Cove's Dive Bahamas/Atlantis Resort in
Bahamas/Nassau

Stuart Cove's Dive Bahamas/Atlantis Resort, Apr, 2012,

by Steve Giles, CA, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 7 reports). Report 6534.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving California, Hawaii, Bonaire, Mexico, Caymans, Fiji, Palau, Thailand, Maldives, Bay Islands, Belize
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy Seas calm
Water Temp 74 to 78 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 40 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions The first dive of each two-tank trip is guided and depth limits are suggested, but not strictly enforced.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 1 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics 5 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Prior to booking this trip I read several Undercurrent Reader Reports that were written over the past few years which weren't all that complimentary about Stuart Cove's Dive Bahamas operation. Based on that, I decided to avoid Stuart Cove's. We had visited Nassau approximately 12-15 years ago and my wife had always wanted to return and stay at the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island. When making the reservation at Atlantis, I inquired about an on-site diving operation and was told that they had one called "Blue Adventutes". We (my wife, I and a diving friend) made arrangements to dive with Blue Adventures for the week. Since my friend had not been to the Bahamas, and I wanted to make sure he saw some good sized sharks we booked a "shark adventure" along with our other dives over a six-day period. (Note: reader reports had stated that few sharks were being sighted. I thought this odd as on our previous trip they were literally everywhere - but things do change). Upon our arrival and checking in at the Blue Adventures desk located the Coral Tower lobby of the resort, we discovered that we had been booked to dive with Stuart Cove's and that in fact, Blue Adventures was operated by Stuart Cove's. We determined to make the best of it, but honestly, I was prepared for the worst. Fortunately things went much better than anticipated.

(Note: To be absolutely fair, I do recall that many of the unsatisfactory to mediocre reader reports were written by people who made 2-4 dives. Like I tell my wife: the more water time you log; the more you see.)

Stuart Cove's Diving is a well-oiled machine. They keep a strict time schedule -- or at least try. It is amazing that they process the number of divers, snorklers, etc. each day as efficiently as they do. To be honest diving is "cattleboat" style, although they did make an effort to place advanced divers on boats with divers of like skills and capabilities. You are given a time that the Stuart Cove's bus will pick you up. We found the bus to operate pretty much on time with the exception being that things get thrown off schedule when divers aren't where and when they are supposed to be picked up. The bus ride to/from the dive operation is free, although tips for the drivers are appreciated.

The first dive is guided and pretty much limited to 35 minutes of bottom time -- the dive master's bottom time, and the dive master is last into the water and last to descend. Meaning that if you get in the water and descend prior to the rest of the crowd, your dive time is extended by as much as 10 minutes. On the second dive, buddy pairs are permitted to explore wrecks (lots of them) and reefs on their own. Once again the "early bird gets the worm" -- those who get into the water right away can extend their bottom times considerably.

The "shark adventure" is definately worth the price of admission: not only does the D/M feed the sharks (some as big as 7-8 ft. in length), but he also hypnotizes them. I had seen this done on U--Tube movies, but never before in person. If you are diving for limited days then definitely consider the shark adventure. If you are diving all week, like we were (16 dives in 6 days), then you are bound to see sharks at other dive sites: Mike's Place, Steel Forest, and the Port Nelson to name a few.

One thing you will notice is an over abundance of Lionfish, and a scarcity of almost every other variety of small fish -- the Lionfish have reduced the population of small fish by about 90%.

The Atlantis Resort - - what can I say, there is no place like it in the world except for it's twin sister in Abu Dubai. Elaborately decorated throughout, the rooms were clean and comfortable. This resort boasts the largest, most extensively stocked aquarium in the world: everything from sharks, Sawfish, and rays (Mantas, Eagles, Bat, Southern, etc.) to large fish (tarpon and jacks) to Clown Fish, eels, jellyfish, turyles, etc. etc. -- really an impresive display. There is an extensive waterpark for kids of all ages, a Dolphin experience, a stingray experience. Lots of shopping (not my thing), a casino (again, not my thing) and plenty of good restaurants on site. We found that many of the restaurants serve their meals "family style" meaning that the portions served would easily feed six people. Food and alcohol tends to be expensive in the Bahamas. There is a mealplan available for $125.00 per person per day, but we found that with our diving schedule we ate lite for breakfast, grabbed a burger at Stuart Cove's for lunch and were really at the resort only for the evening meal. Thus the meal plan is probably not a good choice for divers. (We didn't spend anywhere near $125.00 per person per day for food.

All things considered, this was a great trip.
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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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