Snorkeling at Half Moon Cay or thru Stuart Cove in Nassau??

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20 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
My family and I are planning on snorkeling while on our cruise. My question is which place gives the best snorkeling experience...Half Moon Cay or Stuart Cove's? I have checked in to both, and at Stuart Cove's, you have more time in the water. Also, we will have our 5 year old with us. Will they allow him in the water if he wants to go? Will they charge us for him if he decides not to get in the water?? HELP???
Truckee, CA
220 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
At Half Moon Cay you can rent snorkel equipment on the island and go out by yourselves. We saw a lot of fish especially out by the rope area and there is no additional charge except for the equipment which was minimal. I'd snorkel there and take your 5 yr old to Atlantis in Nassau. It is awesome and he would love seeing all the fish, turtles, etc and it is far and away the most amazing water park I've ever been too. Went last year and my son (25) and I acted like 5 year olds running back up the stairs to the water slides. LOL.
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8,916 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
We honestly saw one lone fish and one lone jellyfish while in HMC. The reason everyone RAVES about HMC (myself included) is because the beach is gorgeous and sandy. Gorgeous and sandy isn't where the fish are...the fish are near coral and rocks. Granted, we didn't spend all day scouting out snorkeling locations because we were just enjoying the gorgeous beach, but where we were, there weren't any.

I'd go while in Nassau. There really isn't much else to do or see there and the snorkeling is primo.
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Elon, NC
91 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
Stuart's cove snorkle was awesome. You do three stops. The last one you can get in the water with the sharks. They have a spot where they feed them. You all get in the water and hang onto a rope and be very still and they swim all around you, but only for about 8 minutes. I don't know about bringing a 5 year old. They have a website that will probably have that info.
Toms River, NJ
547 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
we rented a cabana at HMC and they come with snorkles - saw absolutely zero fish - do not waste your time or money here
Tampa, FL
162 Posts
Joined Oct 2011
We went snorkeling with Stuarts Cove in January and had a great time. The snorkeling was excellent you will see lots of fish and coral. I do believe they have a reduced rate for someone that goes in the boat but does not snorkel. I am not sure if they have an age restriction or not. I would say if he is able to go that you would probably want him to stay in the boat at the shark stop at it is way out in the open water and was very choppy when we were there. The other two stops are great with calm water and shallow areas. They also give you the floatation vest that you can put more or less air in.

All the people at Stuarts Cove were great. Our captain and his helpers were awesome. The only other thing to consider is it did take a little while to get out there as it is on the other side of the island. That didn't bother me as it was kind of nice to see things along the way. The boat ride to the snorkel sites was a bit choppy too so just something to consider. Like I said we were there in January so I don't know if the choppiness was due to the time of year or not. I would definitely recommend Stuart Cove they run a first class operation.
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396 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
I didn't really see much fish at all in HMC, we saw quite a bit more when we went to Cable Beach in Nassau. We usually just snorkel from shore, I'm not a fan of the open ocean. lol
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Hamden, CT
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Joined Aug 2007
Stuart Cove does an excellent trip! We brought all of our (adult) kids for their first snorkeling trip with them and they loved it! The sharks weren't around the day we were there...the crew was surprised by that (I was a little relieved). They are very professional.

HMC is not a good place to's a gorgeous beach, and they have a water play area for your kiddo
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I would definitely go in Nassau rather than HMC. more to see!
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Southern New Jersey
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Joined Jan 2008
Just be careful of Stuarts cove if not on a ship sponsored excursion...make sure you have plenty of time as their snorkeling trip does not leave right from the is a bit of a drive to get to their shop...if you have all day and night than no big deal, if you only have a few hours, you won't make it...
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3,595 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Originally posted by tracyanns
Just be careful of Stuarts cove if not on a ship sponsored excursion...make sure you have plenty of time as their snorkeling trip does not leave right from the is a bit of a drive to get to their shop...if you have all day and night than no big deal, if you only have a few hours, you won't make it...
This is true. They are honest about it too and will tell you if they don't think you can make it on time.
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2,022 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
We took the Stuart's Cove excursion on our first cruise and had a horrible experience...but they could've just been having a very off day because I hear nothing but good things about them now.
On the other hand we did another snorkel excursion from Nassau and had a blast...lots of fish to see & excellent crew. Sorry, I can't remember the name of the excursion though.
As others have said HMC is really just a beach day & the snorkeling isn't that great.
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20 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
Originally posted by tracyanns
Just be careful of Stuarts cove if not on a ship sponsored excursion...make sure you have plenty of time as their snorkeling trip does not leave right from the is a bit of a drive to get to their shop...if you have all day and night than no big deal, if you only have a few hours, you won't make it...

well we are supposed to be at port from 7am to 10pm, should that be enough time to do snorkeling thru stuarts cove??? I really hope so
366 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
At HMC we went out past the ropes a little ways and saw big fish and a Sting was pretty cool and a little husband said he could hear me screaming thru my snorkel!! We also saw some crabs and were able to find some conch shells with the animal still inside!

Definitely not the kind of snorkeling you see on TV, but it was our first experience and it was a good time.
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Carnival Destiny Sept. 2010