Written by vampirefan on 06 Dec, 2006
All of a sudden and much like Carnival, string rays have earned a reputation they do not deserve. First, and tragically, the late Steve Irwin was killed by the barb of a string ray. Then a few weeks later another person was barbed by a…Read More
All of a sudden and much like Carnival, string rays have earned a reputation they do not deserve. First, and tragically, the late Steve Irwin was killed by the barb of a string ray. Then a few weeks later another person was barbed by a ray. So now they are moving up into shark status as man killers. Both of which is asinine. These are usually very shy and gentle creatures. Their barbs normally are not fatal to humans. Unfortunately Steve was barbed in the heart, and nothing is supposed to be penetrating the heart. It was a terrible loss of someone who only wanted to do good in the world. Somehow or another I would imagine Steve would have rather gone this way then slowly dying in a bed from a ravenous disease. One of the first things you learn when starting to dive or snorkel is that you are venturing into these creatures habitat and to do so you must respect their home. You also know that entering the water like this has its own set of dangers that can include death. But then so can getting in a car and driving down the road. Yet we don’t let that stop us from getting in and taking off. We caught our boat near where the cruise ships embark. After settling in we were off to island paradise. The 20 minute boat ride to blue lagoon was pure heaven. We charted through turquoise blue waters, past the Nassau lighthouse in the distance, and from the top deck we could see any number of sea creatures. All too soon we were pulling into the island and ready for the next phase of our adventure. This island is the setting for many different shore excursions so there will be plenty of people along for the ride. In addition to swimming with the rays, there is snorkeling, diving, kayaking, and just relaxing at the beach or snoozing in a hammock. You do have to purchase your shore excursion in advanced to take advantage of the water sports offered here. Now you actually buy time here on the island and not a specific time to go snorkeling. You’re told what time the boat will pick everyone up and then the day is at your leisure. Since we didn’t have to be in the swimming area at any specific time we just enjoyed the island first. Our first stop was at the restaurant on the premises. This is an open grill with tables setting around it on the beach. Nothing fancy, but you’re on the beach so they don’t need to be. They serve burgers and hot dogs as well as local specialties such as seafood and jerked meat. We had wanted some of the jerk chicken that was so artfully grilling away, but we didn’t know they didn’t accept credit cards, so we only had enough for burgers and fries. Still good and the jerk season are used in the hamburger patties giving them a spicy kick. After our taste temping meal we decided to wait a while before swimming. I don’t know if that old wives tale is actually true, but I didn’t feel like diving in the water after immediately eating anyway. There are hammocks stretched across trees and tucked into ever nook on the island. John and I found two together in a nice secluded patch of palm trees and just plopped in for a while. We just swayed back and forth as the gentle breeze from the water almost lulled us into a nap. After about 45 minutes of enjoying our romantic surroundings we decided to go play with the rays. We followed the path to where we would begin the second part of our day. They have bathrooms and lockers located on the path to the pool area. John and I both wore our swim wear under our clothes and when we arrived on the island we just striped down to our swim wear. We went inside and secured a locker and were on our way. We donned our snorkel gear and waited with other guests for our guide. Within a few minutes, Damon, came over and went over the rules and what to expect. Then off to the pool. This area was specifically chosen because the rock formations have set up a natural pool area thusly keeping currents from the ocean at bay. Making it safe for all levels of participants. This was our first snorkeling adventure so I was a little nervous. At first I was being cautious, barely venturing from the safety of the steps nearby and hanging on to them for dear life. There were plenty of beautiful fish just swimming around this area. Eventually I felt confident to swim out closer to where the rays were. The rays tended to stay near the bottom and swimming up on occasion to interact with the curios people above who had made this trip specifically to see them. The 2 divers would swoop down with fish in hand to encourage these guys to come up top for a bit to give their guests a closer look at these amazing creatures. John and I swam around enjoying the beauty of these creatures and there are some pretty amazing fish here too. But before long our time had quickly flew by and we needed to head in to change before making our way back to our boat. Once again we boarded the boat that would be taking us back to Nassau. Once we were headed back the DJ started spinning a few tunes and everyone got into the party mood. Rum punch was free flowing and sodas for kids and those of us who are tee tottlers. On our way to the island, John and I sat topside in order to take full advantage of the amazing view. On the way back it had become cool and we decided to stay inside and just relax and amazingly enough one of John’s students and his family had been on the island as well. So we just sat around talking with them over our island getaway.Swimming with the rays was an experience I will never forget. This excursion is offered with just about every cruise line and resort. If your cruise or resort doesn’t offer this option you can just got to the visitors booth which can be found at the cruise ships docks and someone there can help arrange it for you. For more information simply go to www.bahamas.com Tip#1 Make sure to bring cash with you. There is a restaurant on the island but they only take cash. They also have a gift shop here and they do take credit cards, but they do not have an ATM. Tip#2 No matter what time of year you are coming make sure to pack a sweatshirt in your bag with you. Temps here average in the 70’s year round making it very nice. But after you have been in the water then you are out in the water on the boat it gets very cold. We were here in December and about froze our butts off on the boat ride back. When I was a travel agent I had several clients tell me the same thing and they went in the dead of summer. Tip#3 If you think snorkeling is something you might be interested in doing again, invest in good equipment. You are provided with everything you needed on the island and the masks and snorkel are soaked to sanitize them. I still don’t like putting something in my mouth that has been in someone else’s mouth, I don’t care how much they sanitize it. Go to your local dive shop and let them help you. You can get sets at sporting goods shops for about $30-$50. They are junk! Good equipment will cost you (my diving mask alone was $150) but will last a very long time. While there you can also take snorkeling classes. Once you start, who knows, you may decide to take the plunge and learn how to dive! Close
Written by lashr1999 on 16 Sep, 2006
Cable Beach was an unnamed beach until 1907 when it became the landing point for the Trans-Atlantic cable. The cable connected The Bahamas to mainland America in Florida. Today, a myriad of upscale resorts line it. The Nassau Beach Hotel, Radisson Cable Beach Resort, Breezes,…Read More
Cable Beach was an unnamed beach until 1907 when it became the landing point for the Trans-Atlantic cable. The cable connected The Bahamas to mainland America in Florida. Today, a myriad of upscale resorts line it. The Nassau Beach Hotel, Radisson Cable Beach Resort, Breezes, Sandals, Nassau Marriott and the Crystal Palace are located here. It's the ultimate playground for fun in the sun. It’s what we came to the Bahamas for. There are long white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. The sand is a bit course but there are no rock and garbage in it. If you are no staying at a cable beach hotel do not worry, the beach space is public. There are plenty of lounge chairs and thatched-palm umbrellas for shade. Just pull up a chair and soak up the sun. We stayed by the beach area near the Crystal Palace. You can see little fish in the clear waters, so you can snorkel pretty close to shore if you wanted to. There are companies that offer other water activities such as para-sailing and diving. After hours in the sun and water, we had a drink at the bar/pool at the Breezes. Non-Guest can purchase there drinks here. We purchased a drink from here before heading off to eat.
Cable beach is just a few minutes away from downtown Nassau. You can hop on the #10 bus for $1 to get here.
There was one thing we missed doing. My friend Liz said that if we walked down a bit more we would probably find a beach party, which she went to a couple times when she came to Nassau last year. We missed doing this because we wanted to eat and check out other things
Written by lashr1999 on 24 Aug, 2006
Warning, this journal has spoilers, don't view it if you are going to do it!Exhausted from the previous night, we reluctantly woke up the next morning to go to the powerboat adventure. The bus was a bit late coming to the hotel to pick us…Read More
Warning, this journal has spoilers, don't view it if you are going to do it!Exhausted from the previous night, we reluctantly woke up the next morning to go to the powerboat adventure. The bus was a bit late coming to the hotel to pick us up. It picked up people from other hotels then dropped us off to a shop near Nassau Harbor. Here, we were given a disclaimer to sign. Basically, if you get hurt, they are not responsible. My friend Jessie read the part about a possibility that a shark could bite and was apprehensive about signing the papers.
Getting on board some groups were given a pink ticket and some were given a yellow tickets. We were then split to go into two boats. On board we were given a brief safety talk and told where to find the life vests. The crew did not pass them around so Jessie screamed for one of her own.
Once you leave the dock the boat speeds even faster. The destination is the Exuma’s Cay about 38 miles away. You feel the wind and salty air hitting your face. It was exhilarating. The journey to the first stop took us about 45 minutes so we were doing about 40 miles an hour on average. When the boat finally stops you feel your face tingling for several minutes due to the air and salty hitting your face. It feels funny.
The first stop is Allan’s Cay here you see an island of Iguana Dragon lizards. These prehistoric looking creatures actually come out to see you from the bushes to be fed. We were warned that the Iguanas bite and to only feed them with a long branch so they won’ have you as a snack as well.
Watch out, the Iguana will try to nibble on your toes if you get too close. The beach and water here were crystal clear you could see fish in the waters close to the beach.
After a while we headed to the boat to continue on to our second destination, Ship Channel Cay, a private island. Along the way we did several racing maneuvers with the second boat. We were having fun being bounced around a bit.
A short time later we reached Ship Channel Cay. When the boat stopped we could see stingrays and sharks close by.
We headed to the base with a renovated fishing cottage. Here, we had access to unlimited drinks, beer, cocktails and snacks. We tried a couple of drink but we kept coming back for a drink called ‘that thang’. The guy at the bar joked about how much we loved that thang in his island accent.
A few drinks we headed to relax on the beach with drink in hand. The sand was a whitish pink powder and the water was a crystal clear blue green. You could see small colorful fish swim right by you.
About an hour later the guide called us to fed the sting rays.
We were warned not to step on their tail or we could get stung. The creature are not aggressive unless they feel threatened or hurt. Those that wanted to feed the stingrays were given small pieces of fish. We held our hands under water and the stingrays sucked up the fish. Jessie was scared to feed them so I held her hand under water so she could feed them. She was terrified but she feed them. Liz was somewhere far from the stingrays.
Next, the guide started to lure the sharks close to the shore with a big bloody piece of fish.
Many sharks headed towards the beach, we were told it was a very good day.
There were not usually this many. You have to see how close they got to believe it.
The guides had to scared the sharks off with a stick if they got to close to them or us. This was exciting and scary at the same time. Jesse and I stayed up close.
Liz the wiser of our trio stayed further behind. Little children were trying to go up closer to the sharks than their parents.
After this the guides invited everyone to scuba with them. Not being able to swim Jessie, Liz and I stayed behind to drink and relax on the beach. We everyone came back it was time to eat. A buffet of salad, rice, grouper, bread and meat were served. The food all tasted very good as we continued sipping on That Thang.
Jessie after having a lot of liquid courage amazingly went with the guide when he asked if anyone wanted to scuba dive. Liz and I still having our senses partially intact stayed on the beach and relaxed. When Jessie finally came back we got to hear what an amazing time she had how she saw a shark in the water. Then, she started to convince us to go scuba diving the final time they were going. She said she was the most terrified member of our group and a hypochondriac and if she could do it we could as well. After awhile of hearing this and drinking some more Liz and I decided to go. I was afraid of drowning since I could not swim and Liz was afraid of the sharks. We headed to the water with the group I had a life vest and inner tube on as well as the scuba gear. Liz went back to the boat as soon as she went in. Jessie and I continued. I had always wanted to try this but I could not swim. Everyone was getting further away from Jessie and I since the current was strong. Then Jessie was closer to the group than I was. I was floating above the water scared the inner tube and the vest might somehow fail at the same time and I would be pulled underwater. Anyway, I did manage to dip my head underwater with my scuba gear and was amazed by the fish and the clean water that I saw. It was looking at a topical fish tank there were colorful fish swimming in different places and different plant. At one point I saw the fin on a shark but that didn’t bother me. Panic was setting in because the group was far away and I was not going towards them since the current was so strong. I was trying to paddle as hard as I could but I would only move a few inches. Visions of open water shot through my head at the same time, since yes these were shark infested waters. But I kept looking at the water and was calmed by the sea life around.
I knew the boat was nearby and was watching us. Everyone else was headed to shore. Since the current was strong the boat picked Jessie up and then came for me. For some reason the ship line had become tangled with me and it was pulling me and I had problems getting on. Boy, was I scared that I would go under. When I finally did manage to get on board I plopped on board like a dead fish. The rope was still tangled with me, it took awhile to get it off. It was a terrifying experience towards the end but I am glad I got to experience some of the beauty of the Caribbean sea. However, I don’t think I will be trying to scuba again anytime soon.
It was about time to leave the guide showed us a video of our adventure which was pretty good. I brought a copy. After another that thang it was time to leave and we had to say good bye to the crew.
We sped back the way we came. It had been a great day it was well worth the $200 each we spent to go on the trip. If I go back I would have to do this trip again!
Written by rschell on 25 Nov, 2005
We spent 14 days at the Regatta in early November, however, conditions and activities may be different during the peak season which begins around Thanksgiving. Our weather was variable with many days of sunshine and temperatures in the low to mid-80’s. And even though some…Read More
We spent 14 days at the Regatta in early November, however, conditions and activities may be different during the peak season which begins around Thanksgiving. Our weather was variable with many days of sunshine and temperatures in the low to mid-80’s. And even though some days were windy with some rain showers intermittently during the day or night, the weather didn’t hamper our plans or activities. While 14 days gave us plenty of time to relax and enjoy the island and cays, 7 days would make for a pretty tight schedule. Greater Abacos Island and the off-shore cays were a joy. If you are expecting great night life or a polished environment you have chosen the wrong location.
Greater Abacos is a little rugged and very laid back. You don’t need to exchange for Bahamian money as everyone accepts US currency at an even exchange rate. If you cash a Traveler’s Check at the bank, you will get Bahamian currency. The change you receive at a shop or restaurant can be a mix of US and Bahamian currency. Sunday is a very quiet day on the islands. Few businesses are open and those that are, such as the grocery stores on Greater Abacos close by 2 or 3pm On the Cays, even the grocery stores may be closed and sometimes only one restaurant is open on a particular Cay. Car rentals on Abacos are open until mid-day on Sunday, so you can rent a car and buy your groceries if you fly in on Saturday afternoon. Car rentals run from $300 per week and up. Ours was a Chevy Cavalier that ran quite well, while others we talked to had bad experiences with the cars they rented … loud and smelly. The food is great. You have to try the Conch Fritters and Cracked Conk. We enjoyed the food at Snappa’s, Sopadilly’s, Jamie’s Place, Mangoes, Wally’s and Mother Merles in Marsh Harbor. Anglers, right next door to Regatta has a wonderful Sunday Brunch. You need to eat at Pete’s in Little Harbor (very, very rustic), Coco Bar in Treasure Cay and the outdoor Bar and Grill at the Harbor Lodge in Hope Town (fantastic view). No one dresses up for dinner and the only rule is no swimwear.
Meals are expensive … lunch for two runs $30 or more with tip and dinner is around $70 for two with tip (dinner at Mother Merle’s ran only $35.00). If you are drinking beer or cocktails the price goes up. Don’t take a lot of "dress up" clothes either. You can wear slacks and a nice polo shirt or tropical shirt or just Levis or shorts and t-shirt. If you buy groceries I recommend the two major stores in Marsh Harbor; Solomon’s and Price Right. Each carries different brands and products. Everything is shipped in so it is expensive and the quality of produce may not be what you are used to at home. The "barge" from Nassau arrives on Tuesday so "fresh" foods hit the shelves on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning. By Monday and Tuesday morning the remaining produce looks sick! The people are friendly and full of information and advice. On numerous occasions, while shopping we engaged in conversation with locals for extended periods. When visiting Treasure Cay, you have to stop at Abacos Ceramics and check out the locally made ceramics. Karen McIntosh (from Green Turtle Cay) does all of the painting and is a great source of local information. We found the youths and children in the Abacos to be extremely well behaved and respectful! Our only negative experience with anyone was found in the far north in the area of Cedar Harbour and Fox Town where we experienced minor disrespect from several young adults.
This is the world of beautiful water and beaches. It looks like someone gets up early every morning and "paints" the water beautiful colors … azure, aquamarine, turquoise, etc. The beaches are also wonderful. The sand in some places is so fine it resembles sugar or even white flour. We enjoyed collecting sea shells at Treasure Cay and Casuarina Point. The North end of the island is pretty destitute and I wouldn’t take that drive again. The island vegetation is not the tropical vegetation found in Hawaii and is pretty much the same everywhere, dominated by stunted pine mangroves and palmettos. We also drove south to Sandy Point, stopping at Little Harbor and Cherokee Landing on our way. The beach at Sandy Point is very nice, but the community has little to offer in the way of interest to a tourist. If you are interested in seeing how the locals live outside of Marsh Harbor, visit Little Harbor, Cherokee Landing and the Cays. The out-islands (cays) were wonderful day trips. We didn’t visit Great Guana Cay as the only attraction there is Nippers restaurant, though they do cook a whole pig on Sundays. Hope Town (Elbow Cay) is a beautiful community with a number of shops and a beautiful harbor. Green Turtle Cay also offers a number of stores and a wide selection of restaurants. Man-a-War Cay is a friendly community. You must stop at the Albury’s Sail Shop where we met "Mother" Albury. We had a wonderful time chatting with her and hearing about the island and it’s history.
Written by Jose Kevo on 05 Nov, 2001
My IgoUgo passport information details how frequent travel became my escape to/for sanity from working full-time and "on call" in the inner-city. Whatever the reasons, for those of us who've caught the Travel Bug and got it bad, it's not about trying to be…Read More
My IgoUgo passport information details how frequent travel became my escape to/for sanity from working full-time and "on call" in the inner-city. Whatever the reasons, for those of us who've caught the Travel Bug and got it bad, it's not about trying to be part of the "jet set" - even for a ghetto boy transplant like myself who's given the term "Harlem Globetrotter" a whole new meaning! But I'll be the first one to admit - it's all but uppity and obnoxious to say you spent the day on a tropical beach in the middle of winter...no matter which circles of people you might associate with.
Over time, I've gotten less cocked eyebrows and loaded questions from my staff and students when disclosing I'd be gone...AGAIN for a few days. They've simply learned that travel is my thing; my passion and motivation as well as my greatest means of surviving the often day in - day out tense and hostile environment they accept as normal. Unfortunately though, travel has too long been associated as something ONLY for the rich and famous despite the obvious changes. For someone like myself living and working with the poor, and not really any better off financially, it's potentially caused a Grand Canyon-sized perception gap I've worked to educatively close.
The key word has been "BUDGET" plain and simple and I'm not just talking about what/how I spend money once I arrive somewhere. Financially budgeting of my meager income is the bottom line to ensure my priorities and love for travel are going to be met as often as possible. And it's been quite interesting to see how others have watched, questioned and began to learn how they, too can fulfill their desires of life whether travel or something different.
While most of my people wouldn't think twice about booking a highly inflated, last-minute ticket to go see family in the islands, they never would consider spending $137.50 to spend a day in Nassau just for the heck of it; one of life's rewards which we've all certainly earned.
Of course, they would and do regularly spend more for gold chains, new pairs of Timberland boots/sneakers, or other necessary ghetto gear known as "props"...not to mention lottery tickets and other addictive sources that drain cashflow. And for those youngsters illegally "working" on the street corners making more in a single weekend than I will in two or three weeks, don't you know I've a full arsenal of ammunition based on turning the tables when it comes to my travels vs. their excesses and extremes of poor investments.
Living in the inner-city is a trap only a small percentage will ever fully escape - something evident whether I'm returning from the day or a two week trip half-way around the world only to annoyingly find everyone exactly in the same spots I left them. It never ceases to amaze me how I'll round-up a group of these born-and-bred New Yorkers to take them out and about in the city...to places they've only seen and heard of despite just being a short subway ride away! And I'll never forget one 11-year old's astonishment standing on the corner and looking up for his first close-up glimpse of the Empire State building...something he'd only seen everyday of his life looking out the bedroom window of his upper-floor Projects apartment 78 blocks away. These children, teens, and even some adults can still find unexplored adventure and excitement right here that seems as far away as the stuff I've always got to get on a plane and go seeking. But when it comes to such lessons in life, I've got to believe they've been blessed with a well-practiced role model; a budget traveler at that!
Once they figured out I always came back from my many trips and wasn't trying to give them the slip in abandonment, their apprehensiveness turned to eagerness based on learning more about where I'd been, what I'd done and what things I might've brought as behavior incentive rewards. Some have even "dared" to venture out beyond the city with me for summer camp, day trips and weekend camping trips up and down the East Coast.
You'd likely be amazed as I how these adults and youngsters daily face in the 'hood assorted forms of crime and violence, cat-sized rats, humongous cockroaches and such to think nothing of it. But the "we bad" homeboy facades quickly melt into the innocent, scared people they really are with every spider, shadow and thing that goes bump in the night in other new, strange environments...like most of you would be terrified visiting where they/we come from!
With NYC's lacking public schools, I've also became the stand-in geography/history teacher through my travel stories and photos...something desperately needed since students can stand on the banks of the Hudson River and see the cliffs of New Jersey but couldn't find their neighboring state on a map - if they even knew it was Jersey to begin with! 'Home Field Advantage' is a curriculum I've developed teaching "boring" U.S. geography using what they already know about professional and college sports with the insignias and mascots that fill their clothing. Otherwise, don't talk sports unless you can find the city and state on a map and know if it's the capital or not!
I can't imagine life without traveling, but the double bonus is not only being able to see the world but also bringing it back to teach and inspire. There's a whole lot more out there than what we often settle for...regardless of WHERE we come from. So why would I write to tell you this? Consider - are you really any different than people from the inner-city when it comes to acknowledging and fulfilling your greatest desires of life? And for this audience, that would likely involve a long-list of "yet to see" or "ready to return" travel destinations. Whether extremely excessive or seldom; budget or first-class, it's only up to you. I'm a firm believer that regardless of backgrounds and circumstances, if there's something we want out of life but don't have it - we simply didn't want it bad enough! Now, about that winter day on a tropical beach...
Written by kiminhalifax on 26 Apr, 2002
Well, first of all, let me say that I was not in the best frame of mind when I visited this island. I had just gone through a nasty breakup and needed to get away. So I may not have the most optimistic…Read More
Well, first of all, let me say that I was not in the best frame of mind when I visited this island. I had just gone through a nasty breakup and needed to get away. So I may not have the most optimistic view of this location.
I did not like the Bahamas.
I found the downtown core dirty, poverty striken (more than I expected), and dangerous. I would not walk alone in this area after dark. Frankly, it reminded me of an area of my home-city that is the home of drug addiction centers and prostitutes. Not exactly what I'm looking for in a vacation spot.
I found the locals not very friendly or helpful. They couldn't tell me where to eat, how to get around, or where to find groceries unless there was something in it for them.
I did not find the beaches to be nice - public beaches were dirty, smelled like diesel fuel from all the jetski operators, and you were hounded by vendors from the time you sat down until the time you left. One exception - the beach belonging to Radisson at Cable Beach was great - and the hotel didn't mind that I wasn't staying there. Great set up!! Restaurant, bar, and lots of chairs. Wonderful, and wonderful staff!!
The scuba diving on Nassau is great - much better than I expected. There are reefs, walls, wrecks, blue holes, and sharks!! And it is priced very reasonably, compared to other vacation locations.
Most of my time was spent underwater. I dove 5 out of 7 days. That usually left afternoons open, where I tried to hit the beach, take a walking tour (unsuccessfully), or gawk around Paradise Island and Atlantis.
So, overall, would I go to Nassau again? Not likely!! But if I did, it would be to dive and I would stay at the South Ocean Resort so I didn't have to deal with the rest of Nassau.
You can see more photos at http://www.pbase.com/kiml/bahamas__underwater
Written by jlmadnick on 26 Aug, 2004
Snorkeling on your own!If you are not a big time snorkeler and are happy with a shallow reef and a few fish, here's a few places to try.We brought our own gear (mask, snorkel, pfd) with us. The snorkel and mask cost $19 at sports…Read More
Snorkeling on your own!
If you are not a big time snorkeler and are happy with a shallow reef and a few fish, here's a few places to try.
We brought our own gear (mask, snorkel, pfd) with us. The snorkel and mask cost $19 at sports authority and the pfd's were $20 at Namco. By bring our own, we could explore the beaches and snorkel at any spot that looked interesting.
Westwind II SnorkelingThere is some sea grass and a few fish in the area marked as the Westwind II swimming area. But a better place is to walk next door to the Radisson's beach. There are 3 small reefs a short distance from shore. The reefs appear to be manmade but there's enough to see. There were Sargent Majors, Jewel fish and Angel fish. Also some sea anemones. We were told that a barracuda and a small octopus were spotted the week before but we didn't see them.
Orange Hill BeachThis is a small beach off the side of the road past Sandyport and before the Love beach area. There was not much hard coral here. The water was shallow and calm. We stopped because we saw a few others snorkeling here. There were a few sea anemones and some small fish.
Honeymoon Cove at AtlantisWe walked here from the public beach access next door to the old Sheraton. The Atlantis beach is private but nobody bothered us. Walk all the way down the beach and then across the bridge to honeymoon cove. About 3/4 around the cove is a good sized coral reef with a deep cut. There were a few large fish and some smaller ones around the reef. The main Atlantis beaches are clean but crowded. This one is a bit of a walk and was nearly empty.
We had fun at these smaller reefs but they didn't compare to the Sea Island Adventures Rose Island trip we took. These are fine for an hour or two and for some practice before you head out on a snorkeling tour. They are also great if you want to hit the beach for a couple of hours either before or after some other exploring of the island.
Written by Blackhat72 on 08 Jul, 2007
I've been to Freeport twice in the last 45 days on business. Because of this, I've had the opportunity to see more than the average tourist and have had the chance to meet "regular" people. So far, I've found very few who weren't…Read More
I've been to Freeport twice in the last 45 days on business. Because of this, I've had the opportunity to see more than the average tourist and have had the chance to meet "regular" people. So far, I've found very few who weren't helpful and accommodating.GBI is one of the more industrialized islands in the Bahamas. The area west of Freeport near the main harbor is home to a major oil terminal and several chemical plants. The harbor itself is very busy with incoming shipping and transloads from around the world. East of town is a major oil terminal that can be seen on the south side of the road as you travel east.On both trips I've stayed at the Pelican Bay hotel. It's a delightful location within easy walking distance of the Lucayan Marketplace. This provides innumerable restaurant choices, but at resort prices. The Sabor at the Pelican Bay is a great little restaurant. When word gets out, it'll be hard to get a seat. I'm partial to Sweet Pea's for lunch. It appears to be a favorite of the locals with both dine-in and carry-out. Near the government Port Authority offices, it seems to be frequented by the local business men. I also like the Seaman's Rest Sports Bar at the Harbor as a spot for a cool ginger beer on a warm afternoon. We found it a comfortable place to work. The restaurant at the harbor has a huge cracked conch lunch for about $8.Freedom of movement is important to me and, as such, I rent a car. No problem getting anywhere on the island and traffic is light. Driving on the left takes a little concentration for the first day or so, but soon becomes second nature.I haven't had much chance to enjoy the beach as I'm normally working from early morning until late evening. I did enjoy a morning snorkeling trip one day. The trip left from the Westin beach and we were out about two hours total. It was enjoyable but, at $35, you couldn't afford to do it too often.I've made several new friends on the island in the last two months and have enjoyed my visits enough to make it a vacation destination this year. I'll be leaving in a week with my family to see if they enjoy it as much as do. As always, I'll have a car and intend to check out more places "off the beaten path." Close
Written by CHIBulldog09 on 02 Jun, 2007
Some brief information on traveling into the Grand Bahama Island, largely specific to US citizens visiting.- The airport you'll by flying into for Freeport or the Grand Bahama Island is the Grand Bahama International Airport, which has a airport code of FPO.- They speak English…Read More
Some brief information on traveling into the Grand Bahama Island, largely specific to US citizens visiting.- The airport you'll by flying into for Freeport or the Grand Bahama Island is the Grand Bahama International Airport, which has a airport code of FPO.- They speak English in the Bahamas, so don't worry there.- A lot of the flights into Freeport, if not all of them, are on regional jets. On my trip, we flew in on American Eagle from Miami on a prop plan.- This is not some Chicago O'Hare of JFK; there are no gateways. When your plane lands, it will taxi very close to the terminal, which isn't that big. You'll walk down your plane's stairs, and then walk over to the ramp to walk into the terminal. It's a very simple affair.Customs Entering Freeport:- The airline will likely present you a card before boarding that you can fill out. You'll need to give this to the agent when entering the Bahamas.- They'll give you part of the form back with an entry stamp. Don't lose this form, as they'll want it when you leave.- There really isn't anything in the way of bag searches. Simple and to the point.- Once you clear customs and immigration, you walk out two double doors and are confronted with a stand for the Our Lucaya resort, some rental centers, and a taxi stand. It' all pretty simple.Returning to the US:- Freeport is actually one of the few places in the world with a US Customs and Immigration pre-clearance facility. Basically, you clear customs and "re-enter" the United States in Freeport, and so when you arrive in Miami (or wherever), you're able to go straight to the terminal rather than go through that customs zoo.- This can be done because Freeport has a "terminal" dedicated just to US-bound flights. - Because you clear customs in the Bahamas, it's important to remember that even though it's a small airport, you need to give yourself time to do customs. The absolute cut-off for my American Eagle flight was 50 minutes before departure.- Finally, just a comment on American Airlines / American Eagle in The Bahamas - no one would pick up the phone. It was terribly frustrating, especially since I couldn't get through to the US desk.Anyway, hopefully this information can be useful to those who might be wondering how the process of entering and exiting Freeport will work. Close
Written by Cantin2 on 28 Mar, 2007
The rooms are basically 172 sq. ft. with twins converting to a Queen. Lots of balcony rooms on the Spirit and many connecting rooms making it attractive for families. All rooms are similar except for the few more spacious mini-suites.We felt very comfortable in our…Read More
The rooms are basically 172 sq. ft. with twins converting to a Queen. Lots of balcony rooms on the Spirit and many connecting rooms making it attractive for families. All rooms are similar except for the few more spacious mini-suites.We felt very comfortable in our balcony room on Deck 11. Although the deck was small with two plastic chairs and a small cocktail table, it made the room seem much larger because of the large sliding glass doors allowing us a panoramic oceanview.The decor on deck 11 is a deep rose and yellow. These hues are used in the striped spreads, checkered coordinating fabric on the small sofa and desk chair, and in a print on the room darkening curtains. Other floors were done in shades of green and blue. Storage was adequate for two, but would be cramped for three. The drawers are small, a few corner shelves in the closet and a hanging bar. The pull out sofa seems adequate only for a child because of it's small size.We did like the tiled bathroom. Different than any we've seen at sea, possibly because this ship was originally designed for the Asian market. Straight ahead as you enter is the sink area with a large mirror and small corner shelves. To the left is a separate toilet stall with a glass door and behind a glass door on the right is the shower stall. The hairdryer is powerful - nice shower head with controls, good water pressure, and a temperature control that allows you to dial the temperature that you personally prefer. These rooms are very comfortable for the amount of time spent there and the length of the one week cruises that the Spirit travels.The room stewards are efficient and pleasant and service the room at least twice daily, leaving you candy at night and many times animals in the form of towel art. Close