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

April, 2012, an Instant Reader Report by Steve Giles, CA, US
Sr. Reviewer   (7 reports)
Report Number 6534
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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 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
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  
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  
 
 

Overall Rating

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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All Bahamas Dive Reviews and Reports
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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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