Beaches Turks and Caicos Review

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loosenit2

si respiratio sub aqua amet
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20190814_134347525_iOS.jpg 20190814_134358743_iOS.jpg 20190814_185426000_iOS.jpg 20190814_185835000_iOS.jpg 20190815_125336000_iOS.jpg 20190815_130823000_iOS.jpg 20190816_205558488_iOS.jpg IMG_0311.JPG 20190814_134347525_iOS.jpg 20190814_134358743_iOS.jpg 20190814_185426000_iOS.jpg 20190814_185835000_iOS.jpg 20190815_125336000_iOS.jpg 20190815_130823000_iOS.jpg 20190816_205558488_iOS.jpg IMG_0311.JPG Recently went on a family vacation to the Beaches Resort in the Turks and Caicos. Thought I would post a review for anyone considering a similar trip.

My family has two divers (me and daughter) and one non-diver (wife) so we chose the Beaches resort because it 1. Was a family resort, 2. Had diving included, 3. was no hassle all inclusive resort. All-Inclusives tend to be a little more expensive but are sometimes very much worth it, and others not so much.

Arrival - took non-stop flight to the Providenciales, uneventful flight. Checked in at the Airport for a transfer to the Beaches resort, was there maybe 10-15 minutes and then moved onto the resort. Upon arrival at the resort we were greeted and escorted through the check-in process. (We chose a Concierge level room). Overall the experience was efficient, although poorly executed. The escort gave us a quick tour of the property and led us to our room.

Room - Room was very nicely apportioned. (Pics attached). We chose a room that had separate master and kids rooms. You entered through the kids room and then there was a sliding door to block off the master. Not the most efficient layout but it worked. Beds, linens etc were very nice.

Food - There were 17 restaurants on the resort and at least as many bars. Overall the food was good but there were certainty high points and low points. Many of the restaurants were excellent, great food and great service. Several of them has passable food and their service was best described as apathetic.

Activities - there is lots to do, lots of water sports (paddle boards, kayaks, glass bottom boats, hobie cats, etc). Beaches were pristine and the pools were marvelous. Scuba Diving was included (up to a point).

Diving - Upon arrival we checked in at the on-property dive operation. Had to fill out a quick PADI release form and show our dive logs (if you have not dived in 6 months they make you do an in-pool skills orientation). We were good to go and scheduled trips for the next several days. The dive shop has 3 dedicated dive boats, each carrying up to 25 divers. The dive boats are nice and very fast. They schedule a 2-tank dive each day that you check in at 0800 and departs about 0820 and a 1 tank afternoon dive that departs about 1400. You are allowed only 2-tanks a day included in the resort fee, although you can pay extra for more if you want to, they also have night dives ($100US) that go from 1900-2100 at night. On M-W-F they go out to the more far flung locations to the East and West of the Providenciales. On T-Th-Sa they stay closer into Grace Bay. The farther out locations have much healthier reefs and more abundant sealife but take about 30-45 minutes to travel to vice the 5-10 min ride into locations in Grace Bay. Grace Bay has a lot of dead coral but there is still a good deal of sea life there. I attached a photo of the map outside the dive shop for the locations they can go to.

You don't get much of a choice in where you go, you show up and they assign you to a boat and a DM. If you need gear (included) you step over to another window and pick up what you need. (rental gear was SP Pilot BCDs, MK2/R195/S280 level gear and full foot fins). All tanks and weights are on the boat. From there you head to the boat grab a couple of tanks and check pressures to make sure you are good (they consider 2700 full but almost all my tanks were ~3000-3100). Weights and weight belts are on the boat; weights are covered lead and they have a few 2lb weights but mostly 3-5 lbs. Most (90%) of the guests used the shops rental gear and fair amount were taking resort classes there. From there out to the sites.

On site you would get a briefing from your Dive Guide (DM) and everyone would get in and move out. DMs moved at very slow pace but, as is typical for larger boats, groups can get a little close together and getting kicked in the head is not an uncommon occurrence. I tended to stay on the outskirts of the groups to avoid. If you are into UW photography you will be able to get some shots but the pace of the group movement will probably not be to your liking in getting set up for good shots. They did keep igloo on boat for camera rinsing.

After return of the boat they have good rinse bins for gear and storage for gear if you brought your own, large closet with hangers, but no individual lockers or security.

During visit I was able to hit (from most to least favorite): Football Field (very majestic), Eagle Ray Pass, Shark Hotel, Eel Garden (great wall dive), Aquarium, Grouper Hole, Pinnacle, Shark Alley. Attached a few (unedited pictures of sea life). Lots of smaller fish (parrot etc), a few lionfish, eels, lobsters, nurse sharks, reef sharks, sting rays, and turtles. The reefs on the east and west side of the island are still in good shape, but the reefs in Grace bay are very troubled.

Overall it was a good choice for a family of non-diver, new-diver, and non-diver. "Cattle boat" operation was acceptable as a way to get my relatively recently certified daughter exposed to ocean diving. If you prefer to have more choice or control in your diving this is probably not the best option for you, but if you want a non-thinking vacation and are willing to pay a little more for it this works just fine.
 

Rich Keller

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I was there a few years ago and thought it was great. I have no problem recommending this place.
 

drrich2

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Glad to hear you guys had a good time! How did everyone like the non-diving time using the resort facilities? If doing a 2-tank morning trip, about what time would you typically head over to get ready, and what time would you get back? I ask because meeting up with non-divers is a thing for some people; especially when one parent dives and the other doesn't.

Richard.
 
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loosenit2

loosenit2

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Glad to hear you guys had a good time! How did everyone like the non-diving time using the resort facilities? If doing a 2-tank morning trip, about what time would you typically head over to get ready, and what time would you get back? I ask because meeting up with non-divers is a thing for some people; especially when one parent dives and the other doesn't.
Richard.

You show up to dive between 0740 and 0800 and are heading out by 0820 or so. Typically back between 1200-1330 depending on the day. On morning dive days we would wake up about 6:30 and 7:00, go have breakfast, and then head to the dive shop. All within 2-4 min walk of each other.

The resort facilities beyond the diving were good. The beaches were excellent and there were lots of included activities. Also lots of additional cost tours available as well.

My wife loved me taking the kiddo out on the dives as she could enjoy some downtime in the morning and we could have family time in the afternoon.
 

hammet

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I've done about 80 dives with beaches over the years. yeah it's a cattle boat but I dont mind. All the DMs have been there for years and they are all genuinely nice people. If they know you they will let you take liberties... I like to jump off first, do a negative entry and hang out at the bottom while I wait 15 mins for everyone else to descend. I've met a tec diver from NY who likes to bounce to 200ft. And that's after he took a chamber ride the year before.
Otherwise dont be surprised if you surface with 1500psi.
Also nitrox is available for a small up charge. All the DMs started using it recently. Go the day before to analyze and lab your tanks.
I enjoy the longer boat ride.
Also... dont feed the fish during the SI. You will get yelled at.

Viz is almost always good.
Lots of reef sharks and turtles.

Night dives in grace bay are easy and fun if you're into it.
Also, if you haven't had a chance to blast through the bay on a hobie cat in 15 knts's of wind you do t know what your missing.
 

Redfoot

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Thanks for the great report, I love T & C and we walked by and talked to a lot of the Beaches folks when there.

The included activities definitely make it attractive for families. Also I thought the snorkeling just west of Beaches was very good for the ease of access.

A friend of a friend had booked a wedding there, but was recently told that the resort is closing permanently and Beaches changed the venue to Jamaica. They were not happy, but are getting tons of free upgrades so not complaining.
Did you hear any talk of the resort closing?
 

Rich Keller

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Glad to hear you guys had a good time! How did everyone like the non-diving time using the resort facilities? If doing a 2-tank morning trip, about what time would you typically head over to get ready, and what time would you get back? I ask because meeting up with non-divers is a thing for some people; especially when one parent dives and the other doesn't.

Richard.

I could get breakfast then get to the shop around 8, return between 12-1, take a short walk to the pool and meet the rest of the people I came with at the swim up bar. This spot was the biggest attraction for the people I came with. The beach and the rest of the facilities were great for the non divers.
 
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loosenit2

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Thanks for the great report, I love T & C and we walked by and talked to a lot of the Beaches folks when there.

The included activities definitely make it attractive for families. Also I thought the snorkeling just west of Beaches was very good for the ease of access.

A friend of a friend had booked a wedding there, but was recently told that the resort is closing permanently and Beaches changed the venue to Jamaica. They were not happy, but are getting tons of free upgrades so not complaining.
Did you hear any talk of the resort closing?

There was talk about 2 months ago about the resort closing due to a dispute with the government over tax rates. While we were there they told us that it had been resolved and the resort would remain open.
 

hammet

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I think that is correct that they will continue to operate. im basing my answer on the fact that the commercials are on tv every 5 minutes again.

were all about the good times....
 

flashnick

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Thank you for the awesome and detailed review. I'm about a month out from our trip to Beaches T&C with my wife. This is our first ever all-inclusive as we are typically more adventurous travelers, but were looking for a short relaxing get-a-way. My wife is a non-diver as well, but loves a good beach chair, pool chair, spa or a calm snorkel so I'm glad to hear our assumption that this would be a great spot for us both was on target. We also went the concierge route, so any advice for all-inclusive newbies would be appreciated.

I'm planning on doing 1 or 2 dive days so I was planning to pack just some minimal personal fit gear (mask, 3m jacket, computer and camera) and use the rest of their supplied gear. I'm not too particular about BCDs, Regs, full foot fins, etc. as long as they are well maintained. Is there anything else you would recommend bringing from a gear perspective though? It sounds like the dives and bottom times are pretty tightly controlled, so does diving EAN make sense other than post dive physiological benefits?
 

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