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  • Bahamas Islands Cruises
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Bahamas Cruise Vacations, Cruises to Bahamas Freeport/Lucaya and Nassau - Here you will find information on Bahamas cruise travel, things to do in Bahamas, sightseeing & attractions, map of bahamas, weather and cruise port information.

The Bahamas, a country of 700 islands! Between Grand Bahama and Great Inagua there are 23 inhabited islands with thousands of other unpopulated islets and cays. These beautiful islands are located only 50 miles off the Florida coast, making the Bahamas the closest tropical paradise! Three and four day Bahama cruises sail from Miami and Port Canaveral and because these cruises are short in time, this means there is no excuse for you to book your Bahama cruise today! 

The rainy season is May - October, but rain is generally fleeting. The hurricane season picks up in August and can last through November. Among the majors like Carnival, Costa, Crystal, Disney, Holland America, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Regent Seven Seas and there are hundred of cruise ship choices when it comes to dates, ships and days at sea.

The Bahamas, North America's nearest and most accessible tropical islands Freeport Grand Bahama Island and Nassau are ideally suited as a destination for short three and four-day cruises and some seven-day cruises call there as well. Most cruise lines' "private" island retreats are Bahamian Family Islands.

Turquoise waters and cooling tradewinds have earned the Bahamas an international sailing reputation. Regattas and races are held year-round. The Bahamas offers an underwater paradise for snorkelers and divers. The beauty of the water of the bahamas in addition to the thousands of miles of shoreline, provides for the world's most stunningly beautiful beaches.

Experience the genuine and informal taste of Bahamian hospitality and culture. Try the succulent dish of cracked conch, and hear the tales of the famous pirate Blackbeard. Enjoy a visit to the fabulous resort The Atlantis, a round of golf, a set of tennis, a visit to any of the island's shops or relax on the beach, with a good book, and a tropical drink.

A Bahamas cruise offers perfect climate, thousands of beaches, great shopping at duty free prices, live shows and casinos, and clear turquoise blue seas. All of this makes the Bahamas a perfect cruise vacation destination.

Cruise Lines' Private Islands: Who Offers What in the Caribbean and Bahamas
 
Here's a list of all private islands, peninsulas, or beaches operated by the cruise lines and offered as a port of call on many of their Caribbean and Bahamas itineraries.Ideally, a Caribbean cruise should be like acting out a Jimmy Buffett song -- lots of eating, drinking, and hanging out on deserted beaches. If only it were that easy. As ships get bigger and cruise line fleets grow, some Caribbean ports feel like being at home in your SUV: all primped up and no place to go. Our recent experiences in St. Thomas, San Juan, Cozumel, and Nassau were more about traffic jams and crowded shopping malls than frosty margaritas on windswept beaches. With easily 15,000-plus passengers pouring off as many as 8 to 10 ships on an average day, it's goodbye to a relaxing beach paradise, and hello to queues, crowds, gridlock, and pushy solicitors.
 
Private resorts are the perfect business solution to the fact that most cruise destinations have actual people living in them -- not to mention thousands of other cruise passengers who may be swarming the place when you arrive. These islands have two simple missions: (1) provide passengers with a sane, hassle-free place to enjoy a day at the beach; and (2) keep more of the bar, souvenir, and excursion profits in the cruise line's pocket.
 
All the mainstream lines (except Carnival) have private islands (or parts of islands) that are included as a port of call on many of their Caribbean and Bahamas itineraries. While few have any true Caribbean culture, they do allow cruisers a guaranteed beach day with all the trimmings and a more private experience than enjoyed at most ports' public beaches. Note that aside from Disney's Castaway Cay, none of the islands has a large dock, so passengers are ferried ashore by tender.
 
Disney Cruise Line
A port of call on all Disney Magic and Disney Wonder cruises, 1,000-acre, 3.2-mile Castaway Cay is rimmed with idyllically clear Bahamian waters and fine sandy beaches. Disney has developed less than 10% of the island, but in that 10% guests can swim and snorkel, rent bikes and boats, get their hair braided, shop, send postcards, have a massage, or just lounge in a hammock or on the beach. Barbecue burgers, ribs, fish, and chicken are available at Cookie's Bar-B-Q, and several bars are scattered around near the beaches. Recent enhancements include the barnacle-encrusted, 175-foot Flying Dutchman ghost ship anchored just offshore. An actual prop from Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, which was filmed in Freeport, makes a whimsical backdrop for photos.
 
Castaway Cay: Disney Cruise Line's 1,000-acre Bahamas island has been carefully configured to please kids and adults alike, and is the line's most popular port of call. Wet fun includes a floating play area decorated with faux flotsam and jetsam, with two water slides and water canons. Grownup allure includes an adults-only beach — away from the separate family and teen beaches.
 
The island's best quality is its accessibility. Unlike other private islands that require ships to anchor offshore and shuttle passengers back and forth on tenders, Castaway Cay's dock allows guests of Magic and Wonder to just step right off the ship and walk or take a shuttle tram to the island's attractions. Families can head to their own beach, lined with lounge chairs and pastel-colored umbrellas, where they can swim, explore a 12-acre snorkeling course, climb around on the offshore water-play structures, or rent a kayak, paddle boat, banana boat, sailboat, or other beach equipment. Teens have a beach of their own, where they can play volleyball, soccer, or tetherball; go on a "Wild Side" bike, snorkel, and kayak adventure; or design, build, and race their own boats. Parents who want some quiet time can drop preteens at Scuttle's Cove, a supervised children's center for ages 3 to 12, with activities including arts and crafts, music and theater, and scavenger hunts. An excavation site here allows kids to go on their own archaeological dig and make plaster molds of what they find -- including a 35-foot reproduction of a whale skeleton.
 
Meanwhile, Mom and Dad can walk, bike, or hop the shuttle to quiet, secluded Serenity Bay, a mile-long stretch of beach in the northwest part of the island, at the end of an old airstrip decorated with vintage prop planes for a 1940s feel. You can enjoy 25- and 50-minute massages here in private cabanas open to a sea view on one side (sign up for your appointment at the onboard spa on the first day of your cruise to ensure a spot), and the Castaway Air Bar serves up drinks. Heidi sampled a piña colada and a deep-tissue massage at Serenity Bay while her kids were back in the nursery aboard the Wonder, and she gives it a giant thumbs-up.
 
Adult- and child-size bicycles can be rented for $6 per hour. A newly lengthened bike/walking path lets you stretch those hamstrings, but don't go looking for scenery or wildlife -- at best, you'll see the occasional bird or leaping lizard. Parasailing can be enjoyed for $79 (45 min., airborne 5-7 min.; over age 8 only). All-terrain strollers with canopies and beach wheelchairs are available free of charge.
 
Holland America Line
Located on the 2,500-acre Bahamian island of Little San Salvador, 55-acre Half Moon Cay is a port of call on most of HAL's Caribbean and Panama Canal cruises. The sand here is ultrasoft, so go ahead and lie right down in it or flop on one of the many beach chairs or under a blue canvas sun shade (though you'll have to rent it; they're in limited supply).
 
Half Moon Cay: Holland America Line maintains a two-mile, crescent-shaped stretch of perfect beach on the Bahamas island formerly known as Little San Salvador. The rest of the island is an international bird sanctuary. That means those who can pull themselves away from beach hammocks and water activities can hike, bike or horseback ride on a network of bird-watching
 
Families will appreciate the water park at one end of the beach (closest to the tender pier), where there are three water slides on the sand for young children, as well as a couple for teens. Just offshore in the shallow turquoise sea, a cluster of floating toy animals -- including a crocodile, shark, and octopus -- are tethered to the sea floor and perfect for climbing. Other highlights of the beach area include massage huts as well as air-conditioned, beachfront cabanas available for rent (the regular ones accommodate four people and start at $249 a day, while a superdeluxe cabana for up to 25 people has a private bar, hot tub, water slide and a steeper price tag). A couple hundred bucks will buy you butler service and an open bar. Away from the main beach area and accessible via a short tram ride, shore-excursion opportunities include horseback riding (1[bf]1/2 hr., including a scenic trail ride and a gallop through the surf) and a visit to a 150[ts]75-foot water pen where you can pet and feed tame stingrays. You can also sign up for windsurfing, snorkeling, kayaking, scuba diving, deep-sea fishing, parasailing, sailboarding, or aqua-cycling. Half Moon Cay has lunch facilities, several bars, a playground, and even nature trails through a wild bird preserve at a remote part of the island.
 
Norwegian Cruise Line
NCL's private island, Great Stirrup Cay, is a stretch of palm-studded beachfront in the southern Bahamas, and was the very first private resort developed by a cruise line in the Caribbean. It's also the most cramped of the cruise line private islands, and part of the shoreline is very rocky. Still, after a piña colada -- or two -- you probably won't notice its flaws. Rest assured, the bar, lunch, and watersports facilities are hopping, as the sleepy beach turns into an instant party whenever one of the NCL vessels is in port. Music is either broadcast or performed live, barbecues are fired up, hammocks are strung between palms, and there's a definite beach buzz that takes over. Passengers can ride paddle boats, sail Sunfish, go snorkeling or parasailing, hop on a banana boat, join a game of volleyball on the three deep-sand courts, get a massage at one of the beachside stations (though they're not very private or quiet), or do nothing more than sunbathe all day long. For kids, organized activities include volleyball tournaments and sand-castle building, though there is no playground here.
 
Great Stirrup Cay: Norwegian Cruise Line purchased this historic, 250-acre Bahamas hideaway in 1977. While pirates once roamed the sands, the focus now is on fun in the sun, whether snorkeling around sunken cannons, interacting with sting rays, hanging out in private cabanas, whizzing down a 175-foot-long inflatable slide or imbibing at a first-of-its-kind Bacardi rum bar.
 
Princess Cruises
Most of Princess's eastern and western Caribbean itineraries stop at Princess Cays, a 40-acre beachfront strip off the southwestern coast of Eleuthera in The Bahamas, which is basically cut off from the rest of the island. The half-mile of shoreline allows passengers to swim, snorkel, and make use of Princess's fleet of Hobie Cats, Sunfish, banana boats, kayaks, and pedal boats. (If you want to rent watersports equipment, be sure to book while aboard ship or even online, before your cruise, to ensure that you get what you want.) There's also a beach barbecue -- though don't look for live music or massage facilities, as there aren't any. Those who want to get away from it all can head for the several dozen tree-shaded hammocks at the far end of the beach. For kids, there's a supervised play area with a sandbox and a pirate-ship-themed playground. The Princess shop sells T-shirts and other clothing, plus souvenirs of the mug-and-key-chain variety, and local vendors set up stands around the island to hawk conch shells, shell anklets, straw bags, and other crafts, as well as to do hair braiding.
 
Princess Cays:Princess Cruises serves up a beach party on the southwest coast of the Bahamas island of Eleuthera, where the cruise line's 40-acre retreat has a half-mile of white sand beach and the advantage of shallow water out for about 100 feet — meaning you can easily view colorful fish. Catch island views from the observation tower or on a dune buggy tour of the back roads.
 
Royal Caribbean & Celebrity Cruises
Many ships of sister lines Royal Caribbean and Celebrity stop for a day at one or another of the line's two private beach resorts, CocoCay and Labadee. Both have organized children's activities such as beach parties, volleyball, seashell collecting, and sand-castle building.
 
At CocoCay (aka Little Stirrup Cay), an otherwise uninhabited 140-acre landfall in The Bahamas' Berry Islands, you'll find lots of beaches, hammocks, food, drink, and watersports, plus such activities as limbo contests, water-balloon tosses, relay races, and volleyball tournaments. Kids, both big and small, will like the aqua park with a floating trampoline, water slides, and a sunken airplane and schooner for snorkelers. The newest gimmick: Kids 3 to 8 can now hop in battery-operated mini race cars for what the line bills as a "special driving adventure" on the Fisher-Price Power Wheels Track. For something quieter, head for Wanderer's Beach; it's a longer walk from the tender pier than the other beaches, so it's usually less crowded and quieter. With calm surf and ultrasoft sand, it's perfect for families with young children.

CocoCay: Formerly known as Little Stirrup Cay, this island is tiny at 140 acres, but owner Royal Caribbean has been creative with the space. Passengers will fun a fun-filled environment where they can snorkel around a replica of a Blackbeard ship, lounge on three beaches, walk nature trails or enjoy wet fun at an Aqua Park. A separate area for tykes has a Power Wheels track.
Bahamas Islands Cruises ports
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Bahamas Freeport
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Grand Bahama Island is the Bahamas fourth largest isle. Located only 50 miles off the coast of Florida, it easily accessible and a popular 3 & 4 night cruise destination -- while Freeport is the "official" port designation, most of the a...
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Castaway Cay
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Castaway Cay is Disney's private island in the Bahamas and is always a highlight of their Caribbean cruises. If you're expecting a Mickey shaped island with black, red and gold umbrellas, guess again. While this is the tropics a'la Disne...
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CocoCay
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CocoCay is Royal Caribbean's own Bahamian island, located about 45 miles north northwest of Nassau. Before being re-christened CocoCay by Royal Caribbean, the island was known as Little Stirrup Cay. It really is a deserted island; the lo...
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Great Stirrup Cay
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  Cruise Passengers are tendered to shore in order to protect the island's reef. Norwegian Cruise Lines was the first to come up with the idea of your own private island in the 1970's, where you can spend an afternoon of calm surf and ...
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Half Moon Cay
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Half Moon Cay, an exclusive private Bahamian island owned by Holland America. The exclusive resort is visited by their cruise ships during the majority of their Caribbean and Panama Canal cruises. Once you visit you will consider Half Mo...
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Nassau
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Nassau is one of the biggest cruise ports in the Caribbean. There's lots to see and do in Nassau; your only job is to find your little bit of heaven in this great cruise port.Nassau's rich history is really the history of the Bahamas. In 19...
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Exclusive to Princess Cruises passengers on Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries since 1992, Princess Cays -- located 70 miles east of Nassau, on the southern tip of the island of Eleuthera -- comprises 40 acres that offer more than...
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