Bahamas Cruise Itinerary

Why A Bahamas Cruise Itinerary?

Head for these laid-back islands on casual Bahamas cruises, most of which depart from Florida. Cruise to the Bahamas and you’ll find pretty beaches, good snorkeling and opportunities for water-skiing, parasailing, jet skiing, windsurfing and more. Cruises to the Bahamas also offer colorful artwork, spirited dances and lively music. Nassau’s duty-free shopping and famous straw market lure shoppers in search of handicrafts. At night, many Bahamas cruise passengers go ashore to try their luck at resort casinos.

  • Cruises to the Bahamas are available year-round.
  • Most cruises to the Bahamas last 3 or 4 nights, though some Caribbean cruises visit a Bahamas cruise port as part of a longer itinerary.
  • Most ships that cruise to the Bahamas depart from Port Canaveral or Miami.

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Best Time For A Bahamas Cruise

Due to its pleasant year-round weather, the Islands of the Bahamas makes a great cruise destination almost any time. Just 50 miles off the coast of Florida, Bahamian ports such as Nassau and Freeport are included on many Caribbean cruises. The best month for a cruise depends on several factors, including who’s going on the cruise, what the expectations are, how much weather affects the fun and what the budget looks like.

If looking to take an inexpensive cruise to the Bahamas, again look to off-season times – late April, early May, September, October and early November – since many people are back to work and school and since rates are generally lower. If money is an issue, be sure to avoid holiday cruises and high-season cruises from December through February; these cost more.

Another way to save money on a Bahamas cruise is to find out if there’s a home port close enough to drive to rather than fly. For example, Carnival Cruises offers four-, five- and six-night Bahamas cruises year-round from Charleston, South Carolina; Celebrity Cruises offers longer Bahamas cruises from Baltimore, Maryland.  Up To 75% Off Cruises with Avoya Travel!

If sunshine and toasty temperatures are all-important for a Bahamian cruise, go ahead and take the plunge. In that case, the best month is August, when average high temperatures are 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Ships and ports may be crowded, but everyone will be in a holiday mood and enjoying the clear water and white sandy beaches of Nassau and Freeport. Note the wettest month of the year in the Bahamas is June, and hurricane season runs from June through November.

Bahamas Cruise Ports

Abaco

Take a stroll through the tiny Hope Town to see the candy-cane striped lighthouse. Built in 1864, it’s one of the last three hand-wound kerosene-burning lighthouses in the world. Feed the stingrays off Green Turtle Cay.

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Bimini

Diving, snorkeling and sea kayaking are just a few of the ways to spend your time in Bimini. The island plays host to several fishing tournaments throughout the year. Bimini is the westernmost island in the Bahamas and the closest to the U.S. mainland. For those who dare, dive from 70 feet into the Gulf Stream at the Bimini Wall.

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Castaway Cay (Disney Private Island)

For kids and teens, it’s Never Never Land. For adults, it’s Shangri-La. Hop on a bike and explore secluded white-sand beaches. Let Disney pamper you in rare style in one of their open-air massage cabanas. Enjoy a Bahamian barbecue, or kick back with your favorite cocktail. In true Disney fashion, this day-long island experience is one you’ll never forget.

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Coco Cay (Royal Caribbean Private Island)

The secluded island of CocoCay is located between the ports of Freeport and Nassau. One of the most popular activities is parasailing, where you get a view of the island’s spectacular scenery. Other activities include a wave runner ride down the coast, a visit to Caylanas Aqua Park and an island-style seaside barbecue. Beautiful coral reefs surround the island and make for great snorkeling.

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Eleuthera

Take a 10-minute water taxi to see Harbor Island (Briland) and Dunmore Town’s 200-year-old architecture with a cluster of New England-style clapboard houses framed by picket fences and fragrant, colorful blooms. Drink down a Goombay Smash (pineapple, coconut, light and dark rum, pineapple juice, lime and a touch of grenadine and bitters) while watching the sun set along the harbor.

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Freeport/Lucaya

Port Lucaya offers tourists shopping at more than 70 boutiques as well as a handful of restaurants. You can head to the Isle of Capri Casino for gambling and golf at the Lucayan and Reef courses. The beaches here are wonderful and have all the key services from Jet Ski rentals to oceanfront bars. You can also snorkel and scuba dive at Paradise Cove at Deadman’s Reef, horseback ride on the beach, or hike, kayak and cycle in Lucayan National Park.

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Great Stirrup Cay (Norwegian Cruise Line Private Island)

This private island is an unspoiled paradise of white-sand beaches and coconut palms.  Its home to lizards, seagulls and neon-colored fish. Snooze in a hammock under a shady palm tree. Learn to snorkel in a peaceful cove where tropical fish weave around equally colorful coral and sea fans. Dance the limbo and enjoy a beach side barbecue. Circle the island in a kayak or sailboat. Enjoy the day!

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Half Moon Cay (Holland American & Carnival Private Island)

The Bahamas National Trust has designated part of Half Moon Cay a wild bird preserve, leaving all but 55 of the island’s 2,400 acres untouched and unspoiled and creating a plentiful habitat for a variety of land and seabirds. Spend the day horseback riding or hiking the island’s nature trails through the forest. Enjoy swimming, sunning and relaxing on the beach, or go scuba diving, snorkeling or kayaking. Deep-sea fishing, parasailing and glass-bottom boat rides are also available. A variety of water toys are available for rent, including Hobie catamarans, Sunfish sailboats, windsurfing, sailboards, and kayaks.

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Nassau/Paradise Island

The Straw Market is a Nassau tradition, and you’ll find all sorts of touristic souvenirs.  A day pass to the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island gets you access to most of the must-see sights at the resort, such as the Dig, the marine habitats and their beach. Or go to Blue Lagoon Island to make friends with the dolphins. You can also visit the 18th-century Fort Charlotte and roam the dungeons and underground passageways, and see the waterless moat. Make sure to check out the amazing views of the harbor from the ramparts.  Of course you can also head to the beach and enjoy some water sports.

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Princess Cays

This private island is on the southern tip of the island of Eleuthera in the outer Bahamas, and is full of activities promising a great island adventure. Theres a special area dedicated to children’s activities, a beautiful beach with BBQ and bar facilities, a basketball court, and water sports pier.  Everyone in the family will enjoy the day on their own private tropical island!

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Be Safe

Crime has been on the rise in the Bahamas, especially on New Providence Island. The U.S. Embassy has had reports of robberies and muggings, as well as sexual assaults. Be aware of your surroundings, leave valuables onboard and don’t travel alone, especially at night or away from populated areas. Learn more about staying safe in port.

Most Popular Bahamas Cruises

Disney Dream, all about cruises, Bahamas Cruise Itinerary, best cruise deals, best priced cruises, cruise vacation, last minute cruisesDisney Dream

Disney Dream offers three and four-day cruises to the Bahamas from Port Canaveral in Florida. This cruise offers a wealth of on board entertainment, including three swimming pools, youth clubs in four different age categories, the one-of-a-kind Aquaduck, live show and restaurants, nightclubs and lounges. Port Canaveral is located approximately 53 miles from Orlando, with ports of call in Nassau and Castaway Cay. Disney Cruise Line’s exclusive private island for guests is also on Bahamian and Caribbean cruises.

Celebrity Reflection, all about cruises, Bahamas Cruise Itinerary, best cruise deals, best priced cruises, cruise vacation, last minute cruisesCelebrity Reflection

For those looking for a longer journey through the Bahamas, the popular Celebrity Reflection is a good choice. The Celebrity Reflection offers convenient departures from Fort Lauderdale and nearby Miami, with trips ranging from as low as four days to up to 14 days on its Ultimate Caribbean Cruise. Celebrity’s on board experience offers something for all ages, including a video arcade, three swimming pools, live entertainment, casino gaming, several bars and lounges and upscale spa services. Of the 12 dining venues on board, six are specialty restaurants, including the enormous central restaurant Opus and the superb French restaurant Murano. Departures on the Celebrity Reflection are from Miami and may feature Celebrity Cruises’ exclusive port of call CocoCay.  Up To 75% Off Cruises with Avoya Travel!

Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas, all about cruises, Bahamas Cruise Itinerary, best cruise deals, best priced cruises, cruise vacation, last minute cruisesRoyal Caribbean Allure of The Seas

Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas is currently the largest passenger cruise ship in the world. The 1,187-foot-long super cruise liner features 18 total decks, 16 of which are for guests, 24 passenger elevators and seven distinct neighborhoods featuring upscale retail stores, complimentary dining and a myriad of on board entertainment and activities. Among the featured entertainment highlights are two FlowRider surf simulators, an 82-foot-long zip line, an ice skating rink, four swimming pools, 25 dining options and an outdoor promenade known as Central Park. Allure of the Seas also offers “farm to ship” fine dining at 150 Park Central, led by James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Schwartz.

Norwegian Gem, all about cruises, Bahamas Cruise Itinerary, best cruise deals, best priced cruises, cruise vacation, last minute cruisesNorwegian Gem

Known as an excellent value for the money, the Norwegian Gem offers seven and eight-night cruises year round to the Bahamas from Manhattan and Port Canaveral. Norwegian Cruise line offers Freestyle Cruising on board its crews liners, which allows passengers to dine at any of the complimentary restaurants without having a specified time to be seated. Also enjoy Freestyle Fun such as casino gaming, world-class entertainment and Freestyle Accommodations, with a diverse collection of rooms. The Norwegian Gem also features 12 passenger decks, an art gallery, a four-lane bowling alley, a basketball-tennis court, swimming pools and hot tubs, kids club, spa and fitness center and the 1,042-seat Stardust Theater.  Up To 75% Off Last Minute Cruises!

Carnival Victory, all about cruises, Bahamas Cruise Itinerary, best cruise deals, best priced cruises, cruise vacation, last minute cruisesCarnival Victory

The Carnival Victory is just one of the many popular cruise ships that serve the Bahamas from the world’s largest cruise operator. Carnival Victory has a sizable collection of on board activities, many of which are family-friendly. These include “Dive-In Movies,” Twister Water Slide, world-class entertainment at Carnival Live and four swimming pools, in addition to more adult-oriented forms of entertainment such as 18 bars and lounges and Vegas-style gaming. Cruise lengths to the Bahamas run as low as two days and up to nine days with departures from Port Canaveral and Miami.

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28 Comments

  1. Lyndsay

    If you have ever been considering setting sail on a cruise then the Bahamas should definately be high on your list! We stopped at Half Moon Cay as part of our planned itinerary and we were blown away by the absolute beauty of this location! Great advice on different places to visit and tips on how to stay safe during your travels!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thanks Lyndsay, so glad you enjoyed!  How did you like Carnival Cruise line then?  I have cruised a couple times with them, no complaints.  No bad days on any cruise 🙂  Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  2. Dan

    Oh my god, these islands looks like a paradise! Would love to visit Bimini, Coco Cay, Eleuthera, Freeport… gosh, all of them! Abaco looks like out of this world… Wonderfull places I think everyone should visit. Thank you, Leahrae, now I got something to dream about 😀

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Great Dan 🙂 Yes, they are all paradise and you would love a cruise in the Bahamas. Dreams do come true! When you are ready to start planning, please let me know.

      Reply
  3. Traci

    The pictures you have found are amazing! Thanks for sharing all the beautiful blue Caribbean water! I am an avid cruiser and have been to mostly all of those ports in the Bahamas.

    Great descriptions on all of them! I also like how you listed the cruise ships. Do you have a particular port or cruise ship you like the most?

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thanks for reading Traci.  Then you agree that cruising is great!  I love Labadee and Belize.  Grand Cayman is up there too 🙂  We go on Royal Caribbean and it has been great so far 🙂  Thanks for visiting!

      Reply
  4. catherine

    I really like the sound of Princess Cays – it sounds like a bunch of fun for the whole family. Thank you so much for sharing.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Princess Cruise lines is really a great cruise to take. You would enjoy not just Princess Cays, but all the ports on a Bahamas Cruise Itinerary. Thanks for stopping by Catherine.

      Reply
  5. Holly Knudson

    I’ve always wanted to go to the Princess Cays. I enjoyed reading more about it! Went to Nassau and Jamaica years ago and loved it.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Great Holly, Princess Cays (Princess Cruises private island) is a wonderful choice for your Bahamas cruise. Please let me know if you need any additional information to start planning. Thanks for visiting!

      Reply
  6. Mercedus Long

    Hey Leahrae,

    Thank is for some great information. I almost fell into one of your pics they look amazing. Course I do not believe I would have the courage to jump 70 feet (Especially if the ground is nice and stable lmao)

    You be just helped me settle on next summer vacation

    Thanks

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You will love taking a Bahamas cruise Mercedus! A 70 foot jump into the water can’t be that bad, right? Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  7. JvonA

    Leahrae, thanks a lot for the post. We have been wanting to go on our first cruise, and this sounds like the perfect cruise. Do you think a 3 or 4 day cruise is too short for our first cruise? Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are welcome Jvon. I think a 3 or 4 day cruise is too short period. I think, even for a first cruise, that you will want to do at least 7 days. It is still inexpensive as far as cruises go. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

      Reply
  8. Judit Szabo

    Hi,
    Very many things to do there. However, I can’t do the cruise this year, but am looking to try planning for 2019. Which ship has the most entertaining? And I can stay on the cruise while the cruise is in port? Is this a combination of a cruise and hotel. What kind of flora and fauna will I see?

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Hi Judit, and great questions. I really can’t tell you which cruise ship is the right ship for you as far as entertaining goes. I think that everyone has their own personal tastes. All cruise ships provide an abundance of it, just maybe a different variety. Once you can determine when you want to go and from which port, then you can see the different ships available. Then you will be able to decide which one is right for you. Everything is included in the cruise, your room, board, food, entertainment, and ports of call. You will only have to pay extra for drinks and port excursions. The flora and fauna will be different as well, depending on which port you are in. Once you are in the planning stage and know when you want to go and from which port, I can answer these questions better for you 🙂

      Reply
  9. Jeremy

    A lot of good information you’ve provided for people who haven’t been on cruises before. So obviously the off-season would be best to avoid crowds and get something a little less expensive, but what locations are best that aren’t too crowded? I’m someone that when I go on vacation, I don’t like to be around too many people (some are fine as you can’t completely avoid it obviously). Any suggestions as far as cruises go? Thanks again for the information!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Any port in off season will be less crowded. The Bahamas is popular for families in the summer. So if you go while school is in session, you will avoid the crowds. Thanks for visiting the Bahamas Cruise Itinerary.

      Reply
  10. Eric

    Bahama cruise itinerary is for 10 places or is that just the number of ports? I didn’t think the island was that big but I haven’t been there to see it for myself yet. Also which do you think would be the best as far as departure among the cruise lines you have listed? I ask because it’s quite a difference driving from the mid-west to Florida or to one of the other places.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      The Bahamas is a group of islands. I couldn’t find a good map to add to my post. But these are all islands in the Bahamas 🙂 You could fly as well! For me it is just a 4 hour drive from the East coast of Florida to Miami.

      Reply
  11. Mick Krug

    A Bahamas cruise has a little bit for everyone especially for newbies. You can take a cruise over and stay a few days on one of the islands and then return by ship back to Florida. My wife and I did this once. Had a great time. Great beaches everywhere, good restaurants and of course the casinos. Atlantis casino on Paradise Island is a must visit if one enjoys gambling. On the Cruise over to the Bahamas, one can have a super hot time on board.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I agree Mick! It is a cruise that anyone can take. And you are right, it is flexible. It is popular here in Florida to take a cruise over, stay the weekend and then come back. And yes, fun for all 🙂

      Reply
  12. Patsy

    I’m not one for having the chance to travel and always wanted to go on a cruise. The Bahamas sounds interesting, it’s great they are available year-round. For myself I would love to go for more than the 3 or 4 nights for sure and during the off season when it’s not as busy.

    Bimini looks beautiful but Castaway Cay sounds like a place I would enjoy for a day. There are so many places to choose from! I’ll have to bookmark your article and go over them again.

    Thanks for your thorough and interesting article, just being on the cruise ship would be exciting.

    Patsy

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Great Patsy, and thank you for stopping by and learning about a Bahamas Cruise Itinerary. They are really pretty inexpensive, and you would have a great time. Please let me know if I can answer any questions for you.

      Reply
  13. Carole

    I just stumbled upon your site while looking for a Bahamas cruise. I have to admit that I am quite impressed with all the good information you provide. You just made my life so much easier! Thank you so much for sharing!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Great Carole, glad I could be of assistance. If you have never cruised before, the Bahamas Cruise is a great choice. Even if you have cruised before, pick some new ports and explore! Cruising is wonderful!

      Reply
  14. Amy

    I’m in…! We just got back from a vacation at Epcot and the Animal Kingdom and I heard a lot about the Disney cruise. I am sure it is absolutely wonderful, being all things Disney. This is definitely on my list for next year, as well as the Straw Market in Nassau.
    I have never been to the Caribbean…! Never…! So now I know where I have to go. I have bookmarked this page for reference and thank you for making it seem so easy to travel to paradise!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You bet Amy! A great way to get started is with a Bahamas cruise. They are pretty inexpensive, and you get a flavor for a variety of islands. Drop in when you are planning and ready to book. Thanks for reading my Bahamas Cruise Itinerary.

      Reply

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