Bahamas Trip Recap
Our trip to Bahamas in March was more than I ever expected it to be, truly a dream come true for my family and I. I have had a few requests asking for trip details and I had not been able to get to this post until now. So, here we are two months later, but better late than never, right?
We have been taking trips to Florida pretty much every year for the past several years to visit the Disney Parks. This year, we really wanted to do something a little different so we cut our usual Orlando trip short, drove to Port of Palm Beach and booked a two night budget cruise to the Bahamas.
My family and I booked our two night cruise with Bahamas Paradise Cruise. I have never been on a cruise before and have always been a little scared of going on one because I get really bad motion sickness, but because it was only a two night cruise I decided to brave it. My mom, who has been on a cruise before, told me that the boat was a little older and much smaller than regular cruises. If you book this cruise, no it won't be as luxurious as regular line cruises but you are paying for a small fraction of the price, and so if all you want is to visit the Bahamas on a budget, than this is the way to do it.
The food was all inclusive as well as juices and you had to pay extra for alcoholic drinks, water and soda but they had special drink packages if you choose to buy it. The buffet served, what I consider to be, regular cafeteria/buffet like food. They were open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and midnight snack. Honestly, the midnight snack that was served until about 2am was probably the best food out of the entire trip. There are also other restaurants on the boat including a candlelit restaurant called Admiral’s Steak and Seafood. Keep in mind that they do have a dress code of no flip flop, jeans and men have to wear collared shirts and it requires a reservation. We decided to go to that one on our second night and left the kids at the kids club so that we could actually enjoy our dinner.
They also have a couple of pools and hot tubs but are super small, crowded and old so we didn't really get in them. They do also have a kids club and kids section with its own little pool and that was good so that was where we spent our time on our first day.
They had plenty of night entertainment and my husband and I had fun bar hopping around the cruise to all of the different areas (including a latin bar/club and a kareoke bar). We also went to the casino and my husband won $600! The kids club is opened until 1am for kids 3 and up. They had a lot of activities for them to do and the kids loved it there. They just ask that parents go by every hour on the hour to check up on their kids since there isn't any phone service to call.
The boat arrives to Bahamas in the early morning on the second day. There are a couple of different excursions you can choose from as well as several beach trips. Keep in mind this is an additional cost, but you can plan for them before getting to the boat by visiting their website where prices are listed. We decided to go to the Grand Lucayan Resort for the day and this included access to the Resort facilities, free wifi and transportation. Because we were in a group, we were all charged the kid’s price of $35 each person.
Grand Lucayan Resort was stunning and I would love to go again and actually spend a night. (FYI they also have packages where you can take the cruise, stay overnight for as long as you want and then take the cruise back). They had a DJ the entire day, a beautiful infinity pool and hot tub, as well as a stunning beach with clear, blue water.
At the beach, the resort offers several water sports for an additional price and they also have another outside company offering watersports as well. I didn’t know there was a difference in the two companies until the end of the day. We decided to do the banana boat and ended up going with the outside company because they offered us a better rate after negotiating. We paid $15 each for what we thought was a banana boat ride and got so much more than that. The banana boat ride ended up being about an hour long, and not only did we ride on it, but my mom and the baby were able to come too because they were able to sit in the boat that was pulling us. We were also taken to an area where we saw dolphins, millionaires circle with all of the big houses, snorkeling at a private beach and went diving for a dead starfish. It was truly an unforgettable moment for us and the highlight of our entire trip (Don’t worry we tipped him well).
For lunch, we walked right outside of the resort to the local Marketplace. It’s pretty much a plaza with cute colorful buildings and several businesses and restaurants. We asked around for authentic bahamian food and found a little restaurant that we loved. Not only was the staff very friendly, but the food was delicious and super cheap.
The ride to and from the resort was in a comfortable air conditioned bus and the driver was really entertaining. On the ride there, the driver even gave us a little lesson on the culture and history of Bahamas and was really funny. It felt like we were on a tour so that was also a plus and made the money we paid for the excursion even more worth it.
On the the third day, we were told we had to exit our rooms by about 8:30am so that they could start cleaning it out for the next travel. The night prior, when we ate at the steakhouse, the waiter had advised us to go back there in the morning to eat breakfast. He said that the main buffet cafeteria gets really filled up and crowded since everyone has to exit their rooms at the same time, but that not many people knew they served breakfast so we would be better off there. We took his advice and was so glad we did!
Keep in mind that when you enter the boat it is a pretty big line of people having to check in and there is also a bit of a long line to check out of the boat. Tips are charged at the end of the trip, so unless you are buying alcohol, where you are charged for tip automatically every time you buy it, you do not have to tip the rest of the trip. Instead, they charge your debit card $25 per person at the end of your trip to pay for tips. This charge includes children too. There is also a fee for parking your car and we paid $25 for that too.
Our trip to the Bahamas was so much fun for all of us and a memory my family and I made that will always remain with us. It was the perfect way to travel to Bahamas, with children, on a budget.
Check out the video below of the trip. Keep in mind we barely had our phones on the ship since there wasn’t any signal so we didn’t have too many pictures and videos of the boat.