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Bahamas Cruise #41267
02/21/2015 08:50 PM
02/21/2015 08:50 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 3,160
Greensboro, NC
charlieh Offline OP
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charlieh  Offline OP
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Greensboro, NC
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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Re: Bahamas Cruise [Re: charlieh] #41268
02/22/2015 09:20 AM
02/22/2015 09:20 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 76,709
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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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.


Carol Hill
Re: Bahamas Cruise [Re: Carol_Hill] #41269
02/22/2015 11:29 AM
02/22/2015 11:29 AM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 3,160
Greensboro, NC
charlieh Offline OP
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charlieh  Offline OP
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Greensboro, NC
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.

Re: Bahamas Cruise [Re: Carol_Hill] #41270
02/22/2015 11:42 AM
02/22/2015 11:42 AM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 3,160
Greensboro, NC
charlieh Offline OP
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charlieh  Offline OP
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Greensboro, NC
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.

Re: Bahamas Cruise [Re: charlieh] #41271
02/22/2015 02:47 PM
02/22/2015 02:47 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 76,709
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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It's just that the Bahamas in general is just not very exciting... To ME, anyway..


Carol Hill
Re: Bahamas Cruise [Re: Carol_Hill] #41272
02/22/2015 03:25 PM
02/22/2015 03:25 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 3,160
Greensboro, NC
charlieh Offline OP
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charlieh  Offline OP
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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.

Re: Bahamas Cruise [Re: charlieh] #41273
02/22/2015 04:31 PM
02/22/2015 04:31 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 76,709
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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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!!


Carol Hill
Re: Bahamas Cruise [Re: Carol_Hill] #41274
02/22/2015 06:28 PM
02/22/2015 06:28 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 3,160
Greensboro, NC
charlieh Offline OP
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charlieh  Offline OP
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Greensboro, NC
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.

Re: Bahamas Cruise [Re: charlieh] #41275
02/22/2015 08:29 PM
02/22/2015 08:29 PM
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 2,288
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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.

Re: Bahamas Cruise [Re: PelicanPirate] #41276
02/22/2015 08:41 PM
02/22/2015 08:41 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 3,160
Greensboro, NC
charlieh Offline OP
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charlieh  Offline OP
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Greensboro, NC
Very cool Pelican - thanks for all the info.

Re: Bahamas Cruise [Re: charlieh] #41277
02/25/2015 06:09 PM
02/25/2015 06:09 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,315
Cincinnati area
Cincinnati_Kid Offline
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Have been to Nassau and Grand Bahama. Nassau is nice, we stayed on Crane Beach. The vendors were persistant, unfortunately. Paradise Island might be nice, but didn't go there. Saw Gladys Knight's handprints in concrete and the Princess Casino. Drove on the left side of the road. Missed a weekend cricket game.
Grand Bahama was nothing like I expected and was disappointed. Two straight days of rain didn't help matters. Did see the old hotel that Howard Hughes used to hang out at, the Xanadu??


Paradise is an island in the Caribbean!
Re: Bahamas Cruise [Re: Cincinnati_Kid] #41278
06/27/2015 01:14 PM
06/27/2015 01:14 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 3,160
Greensboro, NC
charlieh Offline OP
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charlieh  Offline OP
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Posts: 3,160
Greensboro, NC
Well our first cruise will be our last cruise. I don't ever see us wasting time and money on a cruise again.

Re: Bahamas Cruise [Re: charlieh] #41279
06/27/2015 02:41 PM
06/27/2015 02:41 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 76,709
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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charlie--as I replied a while ago, cruises to the Bahamas are not an exciting destination, period. Too bad you picked a Bahamas cruise, as they are too short and not really indicative of what cruises are..


Carol Hill
Re: Bahamas Cruise [Re: charlieh] #41280
06/29/2015 07:01 AM
06/29/2015 07:01 AM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 221
Massachusetts USA
tmsxmsails Offline
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Massachusetts USA
I'm with you. We are by no means "pro" cruisers but we just don't find them enjoyable anymore - regardless of the ports of call. So many people, pricey excursions, viruses, did I mention all the people?

We *would* like to see Alaska and a cruise seems to be a good way to do it but it's going to take a lot of self-convincing for us to pull the trigger on it.

Re: Bahamas Cruise [Re: charlieh] #41281
06/29/2015 09:34 AM
06/29/2015 09:34 AM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 1,166
Virginia
Snorkeller Offline
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Sorry that you did not enjoy the cruise more. I agree with Carol that a Bahamas cruise is very low on a list of favored destinations, but I am not sure how much difference it would have made if you had taken a western or eastern itinerary of at least 5 nights - it might have made a difference. I think that you would find the experience of an Alaskan cruise of at least 7 nights very different than the Bahamas cruise you took . It is hard for me to imagine what it would be like for a first time cruiser now because I doubt it would be as enjoyable generally as our first cruises in the mid to late eighties because of the changes in the "mass market" cruising industry. We will be taking our 46th cruise at the end of August, so obviously we enjoy cruising and know how to make best use of it for us. Our cruise vacations are extremely different from our SXM vacations (especially cost) and I can see why some people would not enjoy both as much as we do.


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