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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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 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.
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’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.
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!
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.