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All reviews sea turtles deadman's reef red bar cruise ship conch fritters low tide snorkel gear long swim artificial reef reef balls safety briefing nurse sharks colorful fish carnival pride dead man's reef great snorkeling shallow water
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Reviewed May 16, 2012

We got shut out of the cruise snorkel excursion and researched some on our own. Lonely Planet guide to Bahamas had good things to say about Paradise Cove Beach and snorkeling on Dead Man's Reef so we hooked it up. What an incredible stroke of good fortune! While the rest of the cattle were herded off, a small group of 19 were directed to a fine motor coach operated by the friendly and courteous "Smitty". I would guess the trip from the port to the beach is perhaps 15 miles or so. Smitty told us stories about the island, the devastation of Hurricane Wilma in 2005 and the local residents all the way. One of my favorite sights along the way was the local outdoor seafood market. There was a man with a half dozen beautiful red snapper and a women with traps brimming with dozens of large live crabs. The conch shells that were tourist souvenirs everywhere else on the island were piled high here to create new land for fisherman to sell on.

Once at the beach the ladies took over and got everyone their snorkel gear and floatation belts if needed. Barry gave a briefing on where to go, how to get there without harming the coral or sea grass and what we might see. The reef is a very easy swim from the beach, it's so sheltered here there is no real current to fight, you can walk out a good ways before settling into a swim of maybe 30 yards. The reef starts where bottom drops from three or four feet deep to 20 feet or so. There is a lot of colorful fish and interesting small critters in this area. Just a dozen yards or so farther out from there if you're comfortable, it gets deeper and that's where it got interesting. A spotted eagle ray swam back and forth, three dolphin swam by, a green moray eel peered out from under a rock down at the bottom and we saw live conch and cowries crawling along the sea floor. Barry said we might see nurse shark and remora (harmless), possibly reef shark but that they would avoid us. We saw none of these this day.

After snorkeling we dried off and had a great lunch, The snack bar make superb burgers and hot dogs but forget it, they have fresh seafood! Grouper fingers, cracked conch, french fries. Best conch I had the whole trip. Two words of warning about the nice shaded deck with all the chairs and picnic tables: Bug Spray. There were no-see-ums feasting on us while we were feasting on conch. We didn't know it at the time, but the next day we were all itching.

Smitty makes three trips back to port to accommodate everyone's plans. 12:30, 2:30 and 4:30. The whole trip including gear rental was $35. They rent beach lounges, kayaks, and umbrellas for low prices. There are two rental villas built after the hurricane in 2005. The topper after our great adventure was finding out the cruise snorkel excursion to the other side of the island had been canceled for rough currents.

Room Tip: The welcome center at port had a tour magazine that had 10% discount coupons for Paradise Cove.
  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with family
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12  Thank DugRau
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 16, 2012

My wife and I first went to Paradise Cove in 2010, when our original excursion was cancelled. When we arrived, I thought, well, this is better then nothing but by the time we left, I thought, this was Fantastic. I enjoyed the snorkeling and my wife enjoyed the clean beach. We met the owners and had a nice conversation with them both. We returned to Freeport in April 2012 again, we headed for Paradise Cove, this time knowing we were going to have a great time and we did. We will be going back in Oct 2012 with three of our grandkids, I know they will enjoy the beach and the water as they snorkel with me. I highly recommend Paradise Cove. Oh by the way, the food was priced fair and taste very good.

The Walkers from NY

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Arson91
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 26, 2012

This place is a hidden gem! It may not look fancy, but the sand is clean and soft and the snorkeling is excellent. We saw sea turtles, manta rays, tons of different kinds of fish (big and small), at least 10 - 15 different types of corals, conch shells, etc.... The visibility was excellent! It was higher tide when we started, but were told the tide was starting to go out and we were shown the path to return during low tide. In order to see the most beauty, you must snorkel around to the back side of the little islands/rocks - Deadman's Reef. It was fairly shallow until you got out there. It was not hard to swim out there at all - the rental equipment includes a life belt that keeps you afloat easier. My 11 year old had no problems and we were out in the water for almost 2 hours (but he is a good swimmer). There are also 2 buoys (one on the left side, and one on the right side of the islands/rocks) that you can hold on to for a little while if you need to take a little break from swimming. They allow you to take shells and conch if you'd like - we just had someone make sure there were not living creatures still inside - we found some beautiful sand dollars too. We arrived in Freeport via cruise ship, and luckily there was only that 1 ship in port that day. It was Monday, April 9, 2012. The day after Easter. We didn't know ahead of time, but this is a holiday - Easter Monday - so there were a lot of things closed that day. However, we found a nice gentleman that suggested Paradise Cove for snorkeling at Deadman's Reef, and he took us there for free! And picked us up at the time we told him. Of course we paid him a nice tip though. It took about 20 minutes to drive there each way. We did not book any excursion ahead of time either through Carnival Cruise Lines or through Paradise Cove, but they allowed us to use the beach - perhaps because we rented snorkeling equipment. (??) And we only paid $15/person for a full set of equipment. We also ordered some conch fritters - they were really good - tasted a little bit like fried Thanksgiving stuffing because they mix the conch with flour and seasonings and onions and peppers. They take credit cards and cash. The beach wasn't crowded at all that day - there were maybe 20 people there. They have an outdoor shower which was nice to rinse off in after snorkeling because the ocean water is quite salty compared to Hawaii or California. The bathroom was very clean. Half of the deck area is in the sun and half in the shade, with tables. You can rent chairs and/or umbrellas if wanted. The gift shop is tiny - like a big closet. We were so glad the taxi drivers couldn't talk us into going to one of the other beaches closer to Freeport, where there was no snorkeling equipment to rent, and larger crowds. If we ever go to Grand Bahama again, we will definitely return to Paradise Cove. The local employees were all so nice too. The have a website - deadmansreef.com. Thank you!!

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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7  Thank SoCalWeezer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2012

Such a nice place to go for a fun day on the water and beach! The owners greet you and they and the other staff frequently check to make sure that you are pleased and having a nice time. The beach if quite nice-low tide provides more space which may be important if it is a busy day at the cove. We love kayaking here. It is a very relaxing experience--the kayaks & eqipment are all in good, sound quality. The water is shallow for a long distance out--even at high tide. It is best to chose a calm day though as there are currents out near the rocks. Coral, fish, crabs and other sea life can be observed in the kayak as wells as gulls, egrets, herons and even pelicans can be seen on shore and on the rocks. We didn't snokel but should have as we heard many excited snokelers telling of the beautiful creatures they saw. The Red Bar has good food and fairly priced, but on a busy day--can be very slow, which is expected with only 2 doing all the cooking--just relax on deck and enjoy the weather while you wait! The gift shop is quaint and does have some nice items. What really makes it is the staff and their obvious concern for your enjoyment of the estabishment. Certainly, a nice place to spend the day!

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank WanderIND
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2012

We visit Freeport several times a year and always make Paradise Cove a place to go to. The beach is absolutely beautiful, the water is crystal clear, and my husband and daughter love the snorkeling. They always see beautiful and colorful fish.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank KimberlyB854
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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