The Bahamas Tips
Tip on : The Bahamas - 4 years ago
I just got back from my first ever cruise. We flew from Omaha to Ft. Lauderdale. Once in FTL we used SAS Transportation. (http://www.ridesas.com/html/cruise_lines.html They were great! It was only $15 per person per trip to use them. There was some thunderstorms when we were trying to land so we had to circle the airport for about 30 minutes. Tony (SAS driver) called when we landed to see if we were ok and give direction as to how to find him after we picked up our bags. We were futher delayed when all the luggage for 5 flights ended up going to one carousel. Apparently when there is lightening in FTL, they dont let the baggage guys go outside. Safety first! A little something else was also going on that passengers weren't privy to....Hollywood/FTL airport. The Sherrifs department was there with the drug/bomb dogs sniffing everyone and everything in sight. Tony patiently waited for us and once we finally got our luggage, we were on our way to Miami. We stayed at the downtown Courtyard Marriott. The staff was very friendly. It was raining cats and dogs so we opted to skip the night on the town. We wandered around and found Tre Italian Bistro within walking distance to the hotel. We were lucky to do this in between rain showers. My sister also found a liquor store near the hotel so while I was getting ready, she got us some libations to smuggle on the ship. Drinks are expensive. Get plastic bottles and wrap them up in your clothes in your suitcase. I had my dirty clothes in a plastic bag within my suitcase so put them in there. (we met some guys that emptied a lysterine bottle, put the booze in it and died it green to look like lysterine! You dont need to go through all of that) The next day the hotel took us to the Port of Miami for $5 pp. Once there the friendly staff took our luggage and told us where to go. We went through security, filled out our forms and were ready to board. We had our pictures taken twice before getting on the ship. Get used to it...they take your picture every chance they get. You will then have the option of purchasing the photos. ($20 a photo). We weren't really sure on the tipping. It didnt appear that the help desk knew either. Long story short, just pay the gratuties at the end of the cruise. They will give you envelopes the night before you return. It was only $30 per person for the 3 day cruise. You can either have them charge it to your card or put cash in each envelope. We prepaid it. We also bought the soda package which helped with sneaking the booze in. You fill up the cup they give you yourself and we would go back to the room and make our drinks. I probably spent $100 on drinking the fruity drinks and Corona's on board. (anywhere from $4.75 to $10) The food is free except for Johnny Rockets. They call it a cover charge to eat there. ($4.95 pp). We ate in the main dining room at night. You are assigned a table and there are 2 different times to dine, which will be assigned to you. You can change the time if your travel agent didnt set it up for you. Ours didn't so although we changed the time, we had a bad table. It was in the back near the kitchen. We sat with a nice (very young) couple though. We were on Royal Caribbean, Majesty of the Sea. Our stateroom attendant, Nova, was awesome. He took great care of us. You can't bring an iron on board. Next time I will bring a steamer on. I sent out 8 articles to get steamed and it was only $20.00, so not too bad. You may not have cell/text service. I have Verizon so had it but they will charge you roaming and other fees. They do have an area with internet access. It will cost you $.65 cents a minute to use it. I figuered everyone could wait for my updates! The first port of call was Cococay. We booked the Kayak adventure. It was full so we were glad that we had that booked. There were 40 of us, 2 per Kayak. We saw some Stingrays and some saw a small shark. We missed it though. It was very fun and something we can now check off the list. You will feel the burn in your arms! It is harder than it looks but was well worth it. Lunch was served on the island. It was a huge bbq with tons and tons of food. Once we got back to the ship we took a 2 hour nap! There are so many things to do on the ship. There is really something for everyone. We saw a great Comedian, danced all night long at the Late Night Pool party, listened to Karaoke, went to a game show type night and spent a lot of time at the pool where there were plenty of activities. The night before you arrive back at port, you have to have your luggage ready and in the hallway by Midnight. Keep this in mind when planning your trip. We had beach bags so just stuffed them with whatever we needed for the next morning. Once you get your luggage you can shove more stuff into your luggage from your beach or carry on bag. The last morning you are assigned an area of the ship to go to and the time to be there. They will go over what you need to fill out out and have ready when going through customs. Fill out your customs form the night before. It will speed the process up for everyone. Customs only had 3 people working....and 1300 people trying to pass through. It was a bit ridiculous. We used SAS again on the way back from the Port of Miami to FTL. I don't recall the gentleman's name but he was very nice. He offered to drop us off at the beach sincce we had 6 hours to kill before we flew home. Unfortunately, the FTL airport doesnt have lockers and Southwest Airlines won't let you check in prior to 3 hours before departing. Hence, we didnt hit Dania Beach as planned. Who wants to drag luggage around the beach? We didnt! :) He did mention that the Taxi's will take you for a ride down there. Be careful if you choose to take a Taxi. We had a wonderful time on our first cruise. If we do it again we would want to do it with a big group of people. We did meet a lot of nice people on the ship from all over the world.