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charlieh
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Joined: 03/16/05
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Loc: Greensboro, NC
Bahamas Cruise
      #1633459 - 02/21/15 08:50 PM (71.54.151.134)

We're going on our first cruise which will be out of Miami to 3 islands in the Bahamas: Great Bahama Island, Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay (owned by Norwegian Cruise Line).

Looking for tips/pointers/suggestions concerning a cruise ship ride as well as our destination, as we've never been to the Bahamas.

The reason for the trip is to join 2 of our grandchildren, so this is a trip we can't miss.

The trip is a total of 4 nights and 3 days, so it's a short trip.


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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Bahamas Cruise [Re: charlieh]
      #1633526 - 02/22/15 09:20 AM (72.63.46.74)

Suggest you focus on having fun on the ship and not worry about the ports, as they are not that great, to me. Hopefully you're not going real soon, as this time of year, it may not be that warm, especially the water. Enjoy your family, and just because there is a line somewhere, doesn't mean you have to join it!! Cruise lines seem to want to disconnect you from the sea these days, but do make time to be outside, maybe aft and actually look at the water, and enjoy the scenery.

Haven't been to Grand Bahama for YEARS, last time I was there, it was just more of a shipping port. Nassau has lots of shopping, and is very crowded, similar to P'burg, and there seem to always be a ton of ships there. Atlantis is amazing to tour, but the prices for that are just astronomical. The private island is a decent beach experience, IF you get to go there. Often they can't go because it is too rough to tender.


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charlieh
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Joined: 03/16/05
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Re: Bahamas Cruise [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1633575 - 02/22/15 11:29 AM (71.54.151.134)

Thanks Carol - we're going in June. I'll certainly do some online research for island activities, but it's great to hear from those who have done this.

We'll be on a Norwegian cruise. Also as stated earlier, we've never done a cruise before, so this really is a new experience for us.


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charlieh
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Joined: 03/16/05
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Loc: Greensboro, NC
Re: Bahamas Cruise [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1633580 - 02/22/15 11:42 AM (71.54.151.134)

I just glanced at all the threads in this forum. A few were helpful for our cruise. It looks like staying on board is a good option. Sort of a foreign concept for me not to explore, but it is what it is.

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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Bahamas Cruise [Re: charlieh]
      #1633634 - 02/22/15 02:47 PM (72.63.46.74)

It's just that the Bahamas in general is just not very exciting... To ME, anyway..

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charlieh
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Joined: 03/16/05
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Loc: Greensboro, NC
Re: Bahamas Cruise [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1633642 - 02/22/15 03:25 PM (71.54.151.134)

Quote:

Carol_Hill said:
It's just that the Bahamas in general is just not very exciting... To ME, anyway..




Today I looked up the recipe for a Bahama Mama - now that looks interesting.

I discovered Harbor Island with some online research a few years back, and it looks like an interesting place to visit in the Bahamas.


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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Bahamas Cruise [Re: charlieh]
      #1633658 - 02/22/15 04:31 PM (72.63.46.74)

They should have them onboard the ship, as that is a really classic cruise ship drink. Just a hint though, if you don't WANT the souvenier glass, make sure they know that, as often it's kind of expected you want the glass. They charge a fair amount for those glasses!!

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charlieh
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Joined: 03/16/05
Posts: 3130
Loc: Greensboro, NC
Re: Bahamas Cruise [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1633687 - 02/22/15 06:28 PM (71.54.151.134)

Quote:

Carol_Hill said:
They should have them onboard the ship, as that is a really classic cruise ship drink. Just a hint though, if you don't WANT the souvenier glass, make sure they know that, as often it's kind of expected you want the glass. They charge a fair amount for those glasses!!




From what I can figure out, they want money in more ways than I can imagine. However there will be 6 adults and 2 children on this cruise in our group, so it looks like it's going to be an adventure. Hopefully not too costly of an adventure.


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PelicanPirate
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Re: Bahamas Cruise [Re: charlieh]
      #1633717 - 02/22/15 08:29 PM (24.209.97.223)

My first cruise was on Norwegian in 1977, the Sunward II which went on the same itinerary. I've since returned to both Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay. Here is my view.

Today's ships are way bigger than 1977, so Great Stirrup has a lot more people on it per visit. The tenders from the ship to beach are huge compared to other lines lifeboats and permanently based on island. I think they carry hundreds at a go which is good stability wise and bad as it takes awhile to load up (last on first off is a good strategy). I remember the grill out on the beach being good and they have bar service. The snorkeling and the reef are very good and I was amazed at how little, if any, damage the daily visits for over 30 years had caused. The shallow water (3 feet or less)immediately from the beach has a lot of people standing and cloudiness....but snorkel into deeper water (6+ feet)and it looked like 1977 with lots of coral, sea life and fish. Bring your own snorkel sets and the visit is free. They also rent gear and have lots of excursions, banana boat rides and water toys for rent.

Nassau: In the old days, I rememeber in additiona to the straw market there was a food/seafood market selling live crabs in barrels. Also, young boys diving for coins people threw off the ship. Like most ports it has been modernized and the food/live seafood (and smell) is gone) and no kids diving for coins which is a good thing. I had heard Nassau had some recent danger off side streets near the wharf. We didn't see any. Nonetheless, be aware of your surroundings and wouldn't flash cash or wear fancy jewelry in any port including here.
Options for the day....you can pay $65 per person and camp at the British Colonial Hilton (famous from Sean Connery Bond Movie)which is visible and easy walk from ship. Get to use their beach and pool and get a $45 credit/PP for food/drinks. $65 a head for a group is pretty steep. Or keep walking to Junkanoo beach for free. Several stands selling beer/cokes, grilled items for very reasonable prices. The beach is OK for the free price. We did this for an hour or so and left/caught the public jitney to Cable Beach (Buck or two per person well worth it) and went to the Melia hotel. You can buy a daypass at the desk and allows you to use pool. Beautiful beach, blue water, not densely packed at all. This worked out great for our group. The Chinese (with 70% Chinese labor) are building a huge resort at Cable Beach that looks like it will make Atlantis look small. We were told they are also going to fund a big redevelopment by the pier area as well.

We got back to pier area with time and took cab over to Paradise Island which I hadn't seen since the 70's when it was like one hotel/tiny casino......now everybody is there. We took 5 minutes to look at beach for future and cabbie took us back. Lot's to do there for sure like parasailing, etc.

Do your own research to find what you will like, but we would probably take the Jitney or cab to Cable beach again ourselves.

The straw market is the usual straw hats, bags and t-shirts ----- oh and there is a McDonalds.

As for Norwegian, they are good average cruise line by todays standards and we are going on them this summer to the Med because our favorite Princess Cruise Lines wants almost 3 times for the same 12 day itinerary. All ships sail the same Ocean and have same Ocean view and pull into same ports. Food/Cabin service are the discriminators. So, we set our expectations a little lower for NCL and we are always satisfied and surprised positively. In recent years I'd say that has to be done with even one's favorite cruise line as they have cut corners to keep the boats full and make a profit.

I hope you have a good cruise.

--------------------
Just the other night I was sleeping under a bridge and now here I am on the grandest ship in the world having champagne with you fine people.
Jack Dawson - Movie Titanic


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charlieh
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Loc: Greensboro, NC
Re: Bahamas Cruise [Re: PelicanPirate]
      #1633722 - 02/22/15 08:41 PM (71.54.151.134)

Very cool Pelican - thanks for all the info.

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