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All reviews sea turtles deadman's reef red bar cruise ship conch fritters snorkel gear reef balls low tide colorful fish artificial reef long swim deep water nurse sharks dead man's reef sand fleas great snorkeling minute drive
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Reviewed July 3, 2012

I booked the Snorkel Adventure for myself and my daughter. I didn’t use the reservation form on the website because I had already contacted the owner via e-mail once, so I just e-mailed him again. He assured me that we were “all set” once I provided all of the necessary information about our cruise ship and said for us to be at the Ministry of Tourism booth at 10:30am to meet the driver. Our ship arrived early (at about 8 am) in Freeport, so we rushed down to the pier as soon as we could because I was afraid I’d gotten the time wrong. It seemed that all of the other booths were already open at that hour except for the one we needed. At the time, I didn’t see the sign for Paradise Cove, so we just sat around and waited.

Finally, the driver showed up walking through the crowds with a sign. We went over just as he was calling names off of a handwritten piece of paper. My name was nowhere on the list! Good thing I’d brought along a copy of the e-mail from the owner confirming our reservation. The driver said he had room for us but he needed to wait for more people, and he wasn’t going to leave anybody. We probably waited another thirty minutes before he finally told the group to follow him to the bus. It was a very small shuttle bus, so most of the children had to sit in their parents’ laps just so everybody could fit. The driver gave us a brief history of Freeport on the way to Paradise Cove and explained that the owner was sick, and he was the only person who could drive us. All of the passengers filled out a clipboard with our information while he drove.

When we got to the resort, the owner’s wife made an announcement that all phone lines on the island were down. Although, they normally take credit cards, they wouldn’t be able to swipe them for payment. So they kept our credit cards and said they would keep trying until we left (more on that later.) We each had to stand in line and tell the staff our name and what equipment we needed for activities, which she checked off on the same clipboard we’d filled out on the shuttle. She then gave me two worn tickets to take to another window to get snorkel equipment. As others have stated, they gave a quick lesson on where we could snorkel as well as safety information. Then an instructor came to work with my daughter and me since neither of us had ever snorkeled. When I returned the equipment, I received two tickets which I had to take back to the first desk.

It was the same long process to order food: stand in line, place your order and get tickets, and then take the tickets to the window where the cooks prepare the meals. We had the conch fritters and fries, and I tried the Kalik beer. When it was time to leave, the phone lines were still down, so they totaled our expenses for the day. The owner’s wife stated she wanted “insurance” and wrote down our credit card information on the old fashioned paper forms. She instructed those of us who’d brought credit cards to go back on the ship to guest services and get cash. The driver would wait for us to return, and then give us back the paper that had all of our information on it. On the way back to the ship, the driver proceeded to read everyone’s name and balance who still owed money over the microphone. I thought this was very embarrassing and unprofessional although he never got around to calling out my total. I agree the beach and the views are beautiful, but the resort is not a place I plan on ever visiting again since it was anything but.

Date of stay: June 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
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1  Thank MikaMi2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 6, 2012

We recently visited Freeport on a Carnival cruise and used our stop in Freeport to enjoy this hidden treasure. The prices are extremely reasonable for use of umbrellas chairs snorkel gear etc... We brought our own snorkel gear and although the water was a little choppy that day, it was a great day of snorkeling. We followed their suggested path out around deadmans reef to the float and it was nice, but innexperienced swimmers kicked up a good bit of sand so we headed around the other side of the reef and here all by ourselves we saw barracudas, Spiny lobsters, Sea turtles and countless species of tropical fish! If you are coming from a cruise ship make sure you are clear on the time the taxi driver will pick you up because they dont hang around out here because of the distance. The staff were all very helpful and pleasant and the beach is very well maintained. I also recommend the Grouper sandwich on their grill menu it is a great sandwich that you will enjoy. Take a walk down the beach towards the beached sailboat in the distance to the left and you will find an amazing array of shells, sand dollars, sea biscuits and washed up coral. I also felt very comfortable leaving my stuff on the beach since the staff seemed to be vigilant in their care of the guests. Remember some of the best places are alittle harder to get to so make the trip and enjoy this little bit of heaven.

Date of stay: May 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
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4  Thank SSRhyne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 2, 2012

We stayed at a resort in Freeport. We rented a car and made the long drive to Paradise Cove. GO EARLY to avoid the tour groups from the ships!! We got there when they opened and when we were leaving the place was packed! It's $3 to snorkel if you have your own gear. My mask kept leaking and so I decided to rent one. The owner was very helpful in getting me one that fit. The owner gives you a quick info session that tells you where you can go while snorkeling. This was very helpful. I felt safe because they were watching you the whole time. We put our stuff under the covered area and I felt like it was safe. Not worth renting a locker. We snorkeled the back side of the rocks because it was low tide. It was rough but worth it. We saw some barracudas, a tarpon, sea turtles, and plenty of other ordinary fish and sea life. Took about an hour to snorkel the whole thing. The swim back on the left side took a long time but was worth it because that was where we saw the barracudas and the turtles. We decided to eat lunch here because our resort food sucked (Viva Wyndham) For $20 we got drinks, fries, and 2 grouper sandwiches. It was good...not great but better than our resort. Reminded me of a McDonald's fish sandwich and fries. Overall, great experience and I highly recommend this beautiful paradise!

Date of stay: May 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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1  Thank hurleydog1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 31, 2012

We couldn't do the snorkling that the ship offered because my son is 2 years to young so we stumbled upon this. We were VERY happy with everything they had to offer and would love to come back.

Date of stay: May 2012
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3  Thank wiggleworm3333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.
Date of stay: May 2012
  • Trip type: 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.
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