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traveling_gal Freeport - A travel report by Michelle
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Freeport,  Bahamas, the - flag Bahamas, the -  Freeport
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traveling_gal's travel reports

Bahamian Beauty in Freeport

  14 votes
For a birthday present from one of my close friends, I took a trip to The Bahamas where I stayed in Freeport on Grand Bahama Island for 5 days. It truly is the paradise that I had dreamed of.

Lucaya Beach
Lucaya Beach
As far as beaches are concerned, the Bahamas have some of the most beautiful beaches that I've ever seen and that's saying alot considering I live in Florida, land of beaches. :) And, it can be noted that since most people travel to the Bahamas exclusively for its beaches, most activities are water or outdoors related. In that respect there are endless activities to do : jetskiing, parasailing, snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, biking, horseback riding, hiking, fishing and many other activities. However, because of this it is not a good idea to travel there in the summer, as it can be rather stifling.

Favourite spots:
Xanadu Beach
Xanadu Beach
The beach!!!!! Of course the Bahamas are best known for its luxurious beaches with crystal clear turquoise waters, and although all of the beaches that I visited were beautiful I particularly liked Xanadu Beach and Paradise Cove. I found Xanadu Beach to be particularly beautiful because you get the sense that you are away from the rest of the world. It was surprisingly deserted, which could either be due to the fact that it was away from highly touristed areas or that it is so excessively hot in the summer. And, if you tire of swimming or lying on the beach, you can participate in one of the multiple activities that are offered throughout the day, like scavenger hunts, bingo and more. Paradise Cove, on the other hand, is simply breathtaking in so many aspects, from the rocks that line the coastline, to the thick white sand, to the enchanting coral reefs. It is also the most secluded beach that I visited and the ride there is equally interesting.

What's really great:
Snorkeling at Paradise Cove
Snorkeling at Paradise Cove
It is a MUST to either snorkel or scuba dive while in the Bahamas. Having never snorkeled where there are coral reefs, I was absolutely taken aback by the beauty of the sea life and the magnificence of the reefs. Also, it was relatively cheap to snorkel at Paradise Cove. I decided to go on the snorkeling tour which I found out about through my hotel and for $35 it included the 20 mile bus trip there and back, snorkeling gear, lunch and access to the beach from 10-6. If you are in Freeport and are interested in going on this tour call 349-2677.

Port Lucaya Marketplace
Port Lucaya Marketplace
Aside from the beaches, it is also fun to check out the straw markets where you can find some interesting things, most of which is hand-made, at cheap prices. Always remember to barter since everyone jacks up the prices in tourist areas (or simply if you look like a tourist). There are also several very nice casinos around the area.
Freeport is a nice little town to visit but it has a very touristy feel. Though it is not as much a tourist hot-spot as neighboring Lucaya, it still is abundant with tourists and people trying to make money off of tourists. If you want to get a true feel of the island, travel to the west or east ends, or even farther inland. For photography buffs, myself included, the communities, and people within them, scattered throughout the island are great to check out and they convey a true sense of island life.

Royal Islander Hotel Pool
Royal Islander Hotel Pool
I ended up staying at the Royal Islander Hotel which was a rather nice hotel with a pool, bar and restaurant. Since my accomodations were arranged by the Cruise line that I went on, the room prices were pretty cheap ..only $38 a night. However, if you book it yourself I am not really sure how much they charge. Nonetheless if you would like to book a room there the number is as follows : (242) 351-6000.
There are also many lovely hotels in Lucaya such as the Sheraton at Our Lucaya and the Westin at Our Lucaya which are a great deal more expensive and are on Lucaya Beach.
I also wish to point out that you should expect to be charged a hotel tax of 6-12% as well as taxes on your airline or cruise ship ticket since there is no sales tax in The Bahamas. Gratuity is also added onto your bill in restaurants and is normally 15%.

Clubs are few and far between and apparently are not a popular source of entertainment in The Bahamas.

I did not really visit many pubs, only the Pub at Port Lucaya and Sire's Bar and Restaurant, both listed below.

Playing the slot machines
Playing the slot machines
There were a couple of really good restaurants that I tried. The Pub at Port Lucaya is noteworthy as their food is excellent, the location on the bay is nice and so is the atmosphere. Prices are around $6-$9 for lunch and $11 and up for dinner. Also, Sire's Bar and Restaurant in Freeport (in the shopping plaza by The Royal Islander) is excellent. It is a very small and cozy little bar and is right by the movie theatre. Lastly the restaurant in the Royal Islander Hotel is recommended. Although there is a limited menu, the food is very good.

Other recommendations:
Xanadu Beach jetty
Xanadu Beach jetty
I want to use this spot to make additional notes of some other useful information. Always have singles on hand if you plan on taking the public bus alot which is $1 per person anywhere in town and don't bother bringing your own phone cards because 800 numbers are not available in The Bahamas.

Published on Saturday June 12th, 2004

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Tue, Oct 03 2006 - 12:39 PM rating by mrscanada

Hi Michelle I wish I was back in the Bahamas.

Sat, Apr 02 2005 - 10:20 PM rating by doltra

I'm almost allergic to sun, so beaches are like hell for my skin, nevertheless after reading your report Bahamas it sounds like paradise to me... I wish I could enjoy it much as you did.
By the way, nice friends you have there in Florida :-)

Wed, Sep 01 2004 - 09:26 AM rating by bear495

What a wonderful birthday present!

Sat, Aug 07 2004 - 03:29 AM rating by ravinderkumarsi

I read ur nice and cute report and beautifully explained all the minutest things..

Sun, Jun 13 2004 - 03:36 AM rating by britman

Hi...enjoyed reading your report. You saw this island with different eyes than mine. Far from being paradise I found it the most boring of all islands that I have ever visited. I found it expensive, geared solely to the American vacation market with exhorbitant car hire rates and poor hotel service. Ahhh well ...... one man's meat is another man's poison!
Nevertheless I enjoyed your report.

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