The bus that picked us up at the Atlantis was overfilled by 3 people. 3 unfortunate adults had to put 3 unfortunate children on their laps for a 45 minute bus ride. It was an old and mostly uncomfortable bus. They need to coordinate better or provide more busses.
I booked the mini-sub by calling an 800 number that takes reservations for various excursions at the Bahamas. They were very professional, took my credit card and sent me a confirmation e-mail. The problem started when we arrived at Stuart's Cove. They had no knowledge of my reservation, not because it was lost, but because they have no links with reservation systems. People must print the e-mail and bring it or else no entry. Lucky my friend remembered his e-mail password! Unacceptable by today's technology standards.
The boat ride out to the dive spot could have been better. The boat had 2 levels and we were asked to stay on the top level. It was not covered so we roasted in the hot sun for the 30 minute boat ride.
34 people were booked on the excursion and only 10 mini-subs were available so we were out there for longer than expected but that turned out to be a good thing. I will explain later.
The mini-subs themselves were outdated and needed a lot of maintenance; dead batteries, wiring. They absolutely need a better system to keep things up-to-date. Half the subs moved at an ok speed. The other half were slow and 1 needed to be pushed along by a diver whose job it was to monitor everyone.
Now for the good parts. The team was super great, a real good bunch of people. If it wasn't for the nice and very entertaining people working there I don't know how Stuart's cove would still be in business.
Since the mini-sub rides were taking way longer than expected, they provided snorkels and allowed us to snorkel for free. That was awesome. We snorkeled for more than 1 hour. That was a blast and totally unexpected.
The sub ride was good though a bit shorter than I expected. About half of the people liked it (I was one of them) and the other half didn't think much of it (my son and my friend). They provided good training and divers were there the entire time to make sure people felt safe. The view from the sub was amazing but depth was less than 15 feet. We couldn't go any lower.
The bus ride back to the hotel was the best ever. It was a newer bus and only about 75% full. The driver was very talkative and engaged everyone in conversation. We had so much fun. We felt the bus ride back made the whole trip, or at least made us forget about the bad things we experienced in the beginning.
In summary, I wouldn't go on the mini-sub again. I would definitely do snorkeling. It was better, faster, more fun and the views were virtually the same as the sub without the hassle and extra cost.
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