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“Huge place with tons of options” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Stuart Cove's Dive Bahamas

Stuart Cove's Dive Bahamas
Southwest Bay Street, New Providence Island
242 362 4171
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Type: Water sports, Adventure
Activities: Scuba diving, Viewing wildlife
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Owner description: Stuart Cove's Dive Bahamas is Nassau's leading full service dive centre. Originally opened in 1979, the operation has grown to a fleet of nine dive vessels, with five of the boats over 40 feet in length. Located on the Southwest side of Nassau/New Providence Island, Stuart Cove's is in the ideal location to take advantage of the most diverse diving the Bahamas has to offer. Walls, reefs, wrecks and sharks! There something for everyone from beginner divers to experts. Holiday travelers who have never been diving before will enjoy the 3-hour "Learn To Dive Program". In this program guests will be introduced to the equipment used in the sport of diving in a swimming pool, receive an introduction into the basics of diving, and then complete their first ocean dive. All of this takes place under the supervision of a professional dive instructor. 2-tank dive trips are offered both moring and afternoon with 2-tank Shark dives offered every afternoon. Night dives are available on selected evenings with a minimum of 6 guests. Dive sites encompass steep vertical walls that plummet to 6,000 feet of depth, shallow tropical reefs, 13 different locations containing ship or airplane wrecks, and numerous locations that were used as underwater movie sets for feature films. The feature activities at Stuart Cove's for our divers is our "Extreme Shark Adventure". The Shark Adventure program is a 2-tank dive trip that takes divers on an underwater encounter with Caribbean Reef Sharks. On the first dive divers participate in a "free swim" with the sharks along a beautiful wall. On the second dive, the group forms a semi-circle on the 40-foot bottom and watch while a professional shark feeder enters the water with a box of bait. Upon reaching the bottom, the feeder begins feeding the sharks with the aid of a pole spear. To say the sharks come close to the divers is an understatement - they are everywhere! However, Stuart Cove's is not exclusively about diving. It's about sharing the underwater world with as many people as possible. Have a non-diving buddy? We have snorkel dedicated trips that take guests to a variety of shallow reef sites and even visits the sharks weather permitting. Want something more exciting? How about our personal submarines? SUB Bahamas takes adventurers on a trip around a shallow reef and allows them to snorkel as well on a custom boat.
Austin, Texas
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30 attraction reviews
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51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
“Huge place with tons of options”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2012

They must have had 8 large boats, that could hold about 30 people each. They do all kinds of dives. We did a wall dive and a wreck dive. Both did not produce much in way of fish. But I think that is just Bahamas for you. There were shower facalities, huge gift shop, food, and other things. Our dive involved a transfer from the cruise, as it turned out I forget something in the gift shop. We noticed this while we were on the bus, so they called on the walkie talkie back to the gift shop and was able to find it and bring it to me vicinity on the cruise ship.

Visited August 2012
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New York, NY
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“Professional and safe but extremely disorganized”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2012

Been meaning to write this for a while, so here it goes. The title pretty much sums it up - the DM's were very nice, professional and safety minded. However, the desk inside the shop is a disaster. I signed up for 2 days of all-day dives (2 AM and 2 PM each day); when we arrived at the shop I was literally the first one off the bus and at the desk. It took about 3-4 minutes before anyone even acknowledged that I was there. Finally, instead of waiting, I flagged one of the FOUR people behind the counter over and they came over to assist me. I had already pre-filled the paperwork (printed online back home) as I thought it would save some time and glad that I did. It just seemed that there was no communication whatsoever between the staff working there; people were either inexperienced or just down right rude.

They put a huge mix of divers on the boats, learners, beginners, advanced and DM's. The boats are fairly crowded, but I expected this from such a large operation. It's unfortunate that the other dive shops in the area don't seem to have good reputations - it almost makes it like SC has a monopoly on the diving in the area.

As I had mentioned, I had signed up for 2 all-day dives; I had pre-paid online in advance to get a better price. When I arrived on the island, everyone couldn't stop raving about the shark dive, so I decided to try to upgrade one of my afternoon dives to the shark dive. I explained this to the woman behind the counter and she said it wasn't possible. She was clearly very new, as someone had to show her every little detail, so I asked to speak with someone else or a manager. Another woman came over and also told me it wasn't possible, so I explained one last time that I was willing to PAY the difference to upgrade my dive. After some huffing and puffing she said fine, and I paid the difference. I just don't quite understand what the problem was. It seems to me that the just didn't want to be bothered or inconvenienced to change the boat I was on.

Although the diving was decent (unfortunately the coral is in pretty rough shape here, but there are good wrecks) the shop staff really put a bad taste in my mouth. However with all that said, the diving staff is great, safe, and knowledgeable. Although I have mixed feelings about shark dives, it is definitely worth doing at least once. They are such beautiful, incredible creatures.

I don't want to discourage anyone from going here, but definitely come with a relaxed attitude, as the shop experience can be a bit aggravating.

Visited May 2012
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“Shark dive is a must do!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2012 via mobile

2 dives in pristine reef with amazing 100 feet visibility. 2nd dive to shark feed was an amazing thriller. We saw 37 reef sharks a nurse shark and grouper. Master diver and videographer ensure an awestruck adventure of a lifetime. Stuart's cove made special arrangements for our cruise ship. All rental equipment in great shape. Totally amped!

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Orlando, Florida
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51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
“Shark Dive 7-29-12 (See also Stuart Cove's Dive South Ocean Reviews)”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2012

It's weird that TripAdvisor doesn't have a link just for the Shark Dives. Stuart Cove's really offers several different adventures: Snorkeling, Diving, Shark Diving, and in a Sub (yellow helmets). We did the all day diving trip (4 tanks) which I posted on the other Stuart Cove's review. I only have them a 3, and it's very detailed about why I didn't think it warranted a 5. That was for Saturday's dive. More information about food available, tipping, the pick ups...they are all in my other review.

Sunday's PM shark dive was unforgettable and we can't wait to go back and do it again!!!!!

We stayed at Breezes resort and were picked up early (so always be ready about 15 minutes before your scheduled departure; which we always are). We didn't have to fill out any paperwork since it was done the day before.

Again, we arrived, checked in, got our equipment, loaded up the boat, checked our equipment (good thing, as two of our tanks had problems), then headed off.

You actually dive in the same spot twice. The first dive, sharks are already there (totally awesome) and you go along a reef. We had a problem with the dive master going too fast the afternoon before, so I said something to him, and during this dive, he slowed his pace for everyone. The dive is like something out of the movies because there's a boat wreck and the sharks are circling around. I can't describe how exciting it was! Our 18 year old son wasn't as excited, in fact, he was quite scared, but he did really well and never panicked.

The dive is SHORT. I complained about this on my other review. They don't let you stay much longer than 30-35 minutes, which is ridiculous. Most 2-tank dives are one hour long. We had plenty of air and there's so much to see. I definitely hate how the employees rush you on all of your dives. I think they forget that it's NEW to us and that we need time to explore.

The actual shark dive, which is your second dive, it fantastic. You are placed near rocks, dependent upon how many people are with you. When everyone is settled, the shark feeder comes in with the food (and a parade of reef and nurse sharks). The photographer works really hard to get good shots with you and the sharks. He made excellend photos and the DVD guy did a great jot too. We bought the DVD and 11 pictures and it was $140. Not great, but they are so unique that you can't NOT get them.

My husband and I brought our own cameras and we took wonderful pics and videos. We moved a lot. By move I mean, we stayed in our kneeled positions (well, our son layed on the sand because he was scared), but we were looking all around us, twisting our bodies behind us, and taking lots and lots of pics. More than we were supposed to, I am sure, but none of the three master divers with us ever gestured to us or anything about what we were doing, so we just kept taking pics and looking at everything and having a blast. Definitely didn't get cold on the bottom because of all our movement, but the other divers in the circle were very still, with their hands folded in front of them, and I heard several say they got cold once we were on the boat.

I could have stayed down there all day. There were over 30 reef sharks, big groupers and several nurse sharks. The nurse sharks circle behind you and try to suck the bait out of the box when they get back into the circle. The reef sharks are all over the place.....they love to eye ball you when they go by. I never had a chance to even think about the danger; I was too filled with adrenaline and excitement.

Best dive ever!!! Check out my pics :)

Visited July 2012
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Orlando, Florida
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Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
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“ALL Day (4 Tank) Dive 7-28-12”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2012

I gave this trip just a 3 because it wasn't as great as our Shark Dive (which I will review and give 5 stars). I heard other people talking about other dive companies in Nassua area, and we only heard negative things about the other businesses, so my intention of 3 is not to discourage your from booking with Stuart Cove's; just be forewarned of all the positives and negatives.

My husband, teenage son and I dived with Stuart Cove's at the end of July. We did an all day trip on Saturday, then returned Sunday afternoon for the shark trip (which I'll put in another review).

We were picked up on time in their shuttle van from our hotel (Breezes). We filled out paperwork on the bus. Upon arrival (about a 40 minute ride with other pick ups), we easily completed registration and received our rental equipment (regulators and BC's...they give you weights and weight belts---which we hate diving with---definitely wish they had integrated BC's) but the rental equipment was in great condition, with no problems.

We loaded up on the boat and checked our equipment and tanks. A couple of their employees questioned us checking them, but we reminded them that all good divers check everything before leaving the dock (not to mention it's in the paperwork we signed that we would) and I am very glad we did because for the afternoon trip, we had two tanks with issues (one with a bad seal and one with only 2500 PSI)!

We went to two different wrecks DC 9 and James Bond (airplanes and boats) in the morning. A big complaint is how short the dives are. Supposedly, per regulation, and by what the dive masters told us, you can only got 30 minutes or so, but that's bogus. We had tons of air left both dives and should have been able to stay down for an hour each. I felt like the dive masters wanted to get back to shore quickly on every dive except our shark dive the next day. I definitely think that's something they need to work on. A 60 min dive is the norm and you shouldn't be rushed (especially considering how much it costs to dive there and the fact that it's a NEW environment and we need time to check it all out).

We returned to shore for lunch and to switch over boats. Lunch is wicked expensive ($8 for a burger). All they have are grilled burgers or chicken (not included in your all day dives). Plus, it's a pain because you have to buy the food inside, then go outside to order. When it's busy inside, this can take awhile. Nothing healthy to eat except the chicken. Soda and beer available. Where you eat is pretty much fly infested (tables under a covered area) and hot with weak fans rotating. Plus, the bathrooms are almost right next door and just disgusting smelling. Overall, not impressed at all with their eating area!

The afternoon dives were split 50/50 for enjoyment. The first dive was at Tunnel Wall and it was really amazing, however our dive master was a speed demon! He said to tell him when you were on 1/2 air, however he was always so far ahead of the group that we wouldn't have been able to tell him if we wanted to. My son (who is 18) is still a new diver and sure enough, he was at 1/2 about 15 minutes into the dive. We finally got the DM's attention and all he did was gesture towards the boat and signal up. Are you kidding me? Again, the dive was really short (just over 35 minutes and that's b/c we were first off the boat) and we had little time to actually enjoy being there (this dive site is just amazing, with lots of holes to go through!). I am speaking about my husband and my air since my son really couldn't go much over 30 minutes.

The last dive of the day completely blew. It was supposedly a new site (not even officially having a name) and again the DM went crazy fast, always so far ahead of us that you couldn't even reach him, but there was relatively nothing at all to see anyway. Little coral, hardly any fish. It was a complete waste of time. I was so bored and over it. I also heard some of the afternoon divers complain they were misled because they were told they'd see a wreck.

The problems with diving with Stuart Cove are

1. You don't know who is on your boat. If there's a child (under 12), they can't legally go to certain sites. This was the problem with our afternoon dive. Despite our AM Dive Master telling us she'd make sure we saw some "bigger" animals on the afternoon, we had a different DM in the PM (even though the girl was still on our boat) and you could here them arguing with the captain about where to go. It finally came down to us having a 10 year old on board and not being able to go anywhere there might be sharks or anywhere deep.

2. If you have people on your boat who already dived in certain areas, they don't repeat them so if you are just doing a 1/2 day, you can get completely jipped on your dives.

3. Everything in the gift shop is outrageously expensive. $35 or more for a towel that says Stuart Cove's. T-shirts over $25. Sunglasses with a little dive flag over $100. Of course, we ended up buying several things and after two days, just the souveniers, lunch and sodas cost me $390! Yes, $390 and that did NOT include pictures I bought for the shark dive the next day and all we bought was a towel, two t-shirts, a hat (that was a package deal with one t-shirt), a pair of sunglasses (that my son HAD to have) and the food and drinks. Insanity.

4. If you aren't certified, you really need to be. I didn't say anything, but I was shocked at the "new" divers (some who had only dived in a pool ONCE or some who had only done PAPERWORK) that went diving with us. Yes, they were with a dive master who supposedly did their skills, but diving is very dangerous and I can't believe they put brand new divers with little or no experience, on board with certified divers. Maybe that's why our dives were so short. It's not fair because it costs a lot of money to dive with them.

Good side: Water was very warm (you won't need a wet suit in July) and our days of diving had beautiful weather with just 1/2 foot waves, partly cloudy. Vis was about 50 feet. Didn't see any big animals on any of our dives on Sat, which was also disappointing, but we saw plenty of little fish and beautiful coral on 3 out of the 4 dives.

Return trip to hotel was with pushy drivers (they want to get you back to your hotel so they can be done for the day). By pushy, I mean, constantly asking if you are ready. For people who are ordering pics or food or whatever, it can give you a panic attack. We were told on Sunday that the drivers can't leave anyone behind, however you are conscious of making other's wait too if you don't hurry up. Definitely a catch 22. Also, we had four different drivers for the two days and one of them had a "Tips Appreciated" on his van visor. Thought that was a bit tacky.

So, suggestions for your trip.
1. Make sure you find out who is on your boat and where they are going to take you. With almost 40 dive sites, there's no reason you can't do a wreck and a wall.
2. Ask about dive times before you go so you know what their "laws" are and expectations.
3. They do have good equipment to rent, however be aware they have weight belts and not integrated weights in case you want to bring your own BC.
4. Expect prices to be high in the gift shop.
5. Expect to tip well. The crazy fast dive master, who we also had on the shark dive the next day, mentioned tipping over and over again. A bit ridiculous.
6. Bring your own camera, especially if you aren't doing the shark dive. Our photographers for both AM and PM trips rarely came near us (in fact, they seemed to take a lot of pics of the scenery and not people), so make your own pics if you want them (plus they are very pricey and we only bought them from the shark dive).

Would we go back? Well, we definitely did the next day for the shark dive and would do that one again, but I doubt we'd do the AM or PM dives unless we were guaranteed the dive sites and the times to dive (60 min dives). We also would only go with Stuart Cove's since that's the only company that we heard over and over again was the best one and they did deliver mostly what they promised.

Visited July 2012
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