Snorkeling in Freeport? Rent gear? What beach? Taxi or other?

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#1
Boise ID
33 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
We're planning to go on our own in this port, whatever cheap/easy transportation to a beach for snorkeling? How much would we spend to rent gear, are rentals readily available? What beach and transportation would you recommend?
#2
IOPSC
7,108 Posts
Joined Feb 2001
Originally posted by Tamiroo
We're planning to go on our own in this port, whatever cheap/easy transportation to a beach for snorkeling? How much would we spend to rent gear, are rentals readily available? What beach and transportation would you recommend?
Freeport (GBI) pier/port is in an industrial area and a taxi/cab is required to go anywhere. Our Lucaya is an nice area for tourists but no real snorkeling from beach. You might try some of the websites that deal with Grand Bahama Island and look for snorkeling packages. Not sure how long you are in port. This might be a port that you would look at an excursion and forgo one at another port that docks in town.
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#4
Orlando, FL
3,496 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
Originally posted by 3poes
We booked through www.sanddollarcruise.com and had a wonderful day.
I would highly recommend them, beautiful boat, great service , laid back and not crowded!!!!!!
I can second Bart's recommendation for the Sand Dollar. Hands down, it was the BEST snorkeling cruise I have ever been on. I have snorkled in many places, but have never seen so many fish in my life. Also, we were lucky enough to see (6) dolphins swim right next to us when we were snorkeling. Tony and his crew worked very hard to make our day special. The food and drinks were yummy (try the Fire in De Hole rum)!!
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#6
Orlando, FL
3,496 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
Originally posted by sickofthecold
I also highly recommend the sanddollar. Captain Tony was great and it was very reasonable. Just watch out for the rum punch. Tony has a heavy hand when it comes to the rum.
I had to buy a bottle of it just for the label alone..lol..I am a Capt. Morgan drinker but The Fire In De Hole is some potent stuff!
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Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away!
W~A~T~P~O~P~W~U~A

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Carnival Glory 9/06
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#7
14 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
Will I need a wet suit for snorkeling in January??

Might be cheaper to just buy a bottle of "Fire-in-da-hole" so I would mind the cold
#8
Bristol, Va
256 Posts
Joined May 2008
No need for a wetsuit, just some dry clothes for when you get out of the water. There is a BIG dive shop in the Port Lucaya Marketplace. I am sure they would have snorkel from shore maps and equipment rentals.
#9
1,417 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
Originally posted by Tamiroo
We're planning to go on our own in this port, whatever cheap/easy transportation to a beach for snorkeling? How much would we spend to rent gear, are rentals readily available? What beach and transportation would you recommend?
The best snorkeling in Freeport is done from a boat - Sand Dollar, Fantasia, Bahama Mama, Reef Tours, and others will take you to Treasure Reef or Peterson Cay for some excellent snorkeling. The reef is not far from shore, but far enough that it's quite a haul to get out there from the beach. Snorkeling tours take only a couple of hours too, so you have plenty of more time to shop or eat at Port Lucaya afterward.

The best beach snorkeling is found at Deadman's Reef (Paradise Cove). They'll give you round-trip transportation, snorkeling equipment, and lunch for $35pp and you can snorkel all day long if you want. Nice reef, with a deeper section where you can see large animals like rays and turtles sometimes.

There is some snorkeling off coral beach, west of Port Lucaya, but not as good as going on the boat or Deadman's Reef.

You won't need a wetsuit, though if you have one, you'll be more comfortable and not get sunburned - just make sure you jump in rather than wade in - you'll get used to it a lot faster.

Only natural, reef-friendly, Biodegradable Sunscreen should be used whenever snorkeling or swimming near the reefs. Make sure to pick up a bottle from the internet before you go, or look at your local health food store.
#10
2 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Paradise Cove is excellent. It it off the beaten path. You can rent a car and drive there. There are restrooms and a small restaurant. You can find it on a google search. Rental equipment is also available. If I recall, there was like a $8.00 charge for the entire day. You can literally snorkel right off the beach.
#11
S. Carolina
919 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
When you snorkel from the beach at Paradise Cove, how far away is the reef? Is there a current to contend with? Is the beach something young children could enjoy while some of the adults snorkel? We're 6 adults and 2 children . . .

Thanks for your help!
ninkb
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#12
1,417 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
Originally posted by ninkb
When you snorkel from the beach at Paradise Cove, how far away is the reef? Is there a current to contend with? Is the beach something young children could enjoy while some of the adults snorkel? We're 6 adults and 2 children . . .

Thanks for your help!
ninkb
The reef is a bit of a swim out there, but if you're not good swimmers, then you can rent a kayak and paddle out instead. No current at all, great snorkeling water. Yes, kids can enjoy the beach, but whether you leave them unattended while you snorkel is up to you. It's small and safe, just you'll be out there a ways so you might want to run shifts.

Have a great time!
#13
S. Carolina
919 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
. . . to Johann and Sandra. That's exactly the info we need. And no, we certainly won't leave the kids unattended. They're only 3 1/2 yr. and 9 months! Perhaps we'll have enough beaching at the private island that a short time at Port Lacaya will be enough. But at least we're prepared if we decide to attempt Paradise Island.

I do appreciate all the help these boards are to those of us seeking help!

ninkb
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#14
1,417 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
Don't confuse Paradise Cove in Freeport with Paradise Island in Nassau. Paradise Cove is a beach with a restaurant and bar and good snorkeling, but not an island. Mostly in the boonies.

Paradise Island is an island, where Atlantis is, and is fully developed.

I'm sure you'll have a great time no matter what you choose!
#15
IOPSC
7,108 Posts
Joined Feb 2001
Originally posted by Johann & Sandra
Don't confuse Paradise Cove in Freeport with Paradise Island in Nassau. Paradise Cove is a beach with a restaurant and bar and good snorkeling, but not an island. Mostly in the boonies.

Paradise Island is an island, where Atlantis is, and is fully developed.

I'm sure you'll have a great time no matter what you choose!
Very good advice.... remember you have to provide your own transportation to Paradise Cove and when securing a ride there make sure they will either wait or come back to pick you up. Sometimes cabs are there and sometimes not.
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#16
S. Carolina
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Joined Sep 2007
The island I was referring to is Great Stirrup Cay . . . the NCL private island that is the first port on our upcoming tour.

I'm very much aware of the differences between Paradise Island (where we have no intentions of going) and Paradise Cove that we are considering.

I do appreciate your clarifications and trying to keep me on track . . . not that I'd mind getting "lost" in the Bahamas.

ninkb
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#17
IOPSC
7,108 Posts
Joined Feb 2001
Originally posted by ninkb
The island I was referring to is Great Stirrup Cay . . . the NCL private island that is the first port on our upcoming tour.

I'm very much aware of the differences between Paradise Island (where we have no intentions of going) and Paradise Cove that we are considering.

I do appreciate your clarifications and trying to keep me on track . . . not that I'd mind getting "lost" in the Bahamas.

ninkb
Does you ship go to GBI(Freeport)? That is where Paradise Cove is.
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#18
S. Carolina
919 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
. . . go to GBI. That's why I was looking into snorkeling at Paradise Cove and asking the questions.
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#19
IOPSC
7,108 Posts
Joined Feb 2001
Just wanted to make sure... Have you ever been to GBI?
It is more suited - because of size for one thing - to an onsite vacation rather than a stop by the cruise ship. Having said that Paradise is nice but worth the hassle? I'm not sure. I just don't see missing a cruise ship because the cab didn't get there in time as "fun". As stated before if your ship provides a tour I would use it. Remember that the best snorkeling at Paradise is a good swim out. It is not for the weak or young and there is no one waiting to bring you back in. We will be going to GBI this month on a cruise ship - our first time doing so as usually fly over and stay a few days - and will be taking a catamaran snorkeling tour with Capt. Tony. He has been reviewed here in the Bahamas section. You might want to look at something like that.
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#20
14 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
Originally posted by bobsfamily
....usually fly over and stay a few days - and will be taking a catamaran snorkeling tour with Capt. Tony
Hey Bob, (or anybody else with info)
Not to change the post, but what airline or other transportation do you use when you go over?? We have been itching to go back to Freeport and Allegiant gets us from home to Florida (Sanford, Ft Lauderdale or Tampa) but I was wondering the best (cheapest) way to get over to GBI from Florida.