I want to premise my review with the following options for a quick trip to the Bahamas from Florida.
The Discovery Cruise Line is no more. The Bahamas Express I can't find a date that is less than $200 per person round-trip even though it states $49 one way. The cheapest round trip air from Miami is currently $235 round-trip.
Even at full price, this trip is a deal to get away for a couple of days. So for ABOUT $200 per person plus port this is a real deal. Yes, you have to pay $30 for parking, you would if you opted for another option. Yes, you have to pay taxes and fee charges, as you would with any other option.
Here are the pluses:
It is not Miami with all the traffic and headaches.
Walk on board and you don't have to leave for 2 days if you don't want to.
You will be far from starved.
A casino close enough to walk away when you are losing and close enough to visit several times if you are winning.
clean lounges that you can sit and watch the world go by or indulge in a favorite drink at any time.
CLEAN rooms and baths.
For about $200 per person plus fees you have a 2-night vacation with transportation, entertainment, round the clock food, casino, gym, pool, hot tubs, music, tasty drinks (fee), without having to worry about driving and/or hauling your baggage around.
Here are the minuses:
The food is, adequate. I certainly won't write home about it. The Italian "buffet" was probably the best food on the ship but is only open 4pm to 3am. Room service is limited to ice and a beverage.
The deluxe suites have no extras other than space, storage, and a sofa. The bathroom is the same size, so are the beds.
Things I wish I knew in advance:
You can get into your room at 1:30pm. They tell you 2pm but we were able to get in at 1:30pm.
Guided tours are at 2 and 3pm on embark day from the excursion desk, deck 3.
Don't tip your room steward thinking he will have ice in your room 24/7. We did, he didn't.
Dress code for the restaurants are: "No cutoff jeans, cargo pants, or t-shirts".
Seating times for crystal restaurant (the free one) is 6:15 and 8:30pm.
Beverage package for $60 includes 10 drinks that you can share. Higher end drinks are $8.75 (martinis) and low end are $6 (margaritas). It could be a deal depending on what you are drinking.
Disembark in Grand Bahamas at 8am. Be back by 5:30pm at the LATEST.
Things everyone should consider doing:
There is no safe. Bring a $1 package of zip ties and put your valuables in your suitcase and zip tie it shut when you are not in the room. This gave us great peace of mind. Less
Family & Children
Fitness & Recreation
Value for Money
Room 8148 was a front right deluxe suite room. Lots of storage. Two desk areas with one stool. Bed was uncomfortable on the one side. Bed and bath same size as other smaller rooms. Large sofa was nice. Steward will call and get TV unbolted from only facing the bed. That way we could watch from the sofa. Lots of windows made the room HOT. The staff walked in front of the windows to get from one place to another so it was not private. No extra perks for having a suite (butler, special seating at restaurants, room service...)
There is nothing to do at Freeport Port. There are some flea market type shops but nothing serious here. They shut down when the Carnaval ship leaves or open late and close early when only the Celebration is in Freeport.
Take the $10 round-trip taxi to Port Lucaya for shopping, rum, beach access, and fantastic $11 conch salad made to order at the end of the free beach access.
Or, in advance, contact Deadmans Reef AKA Paradise Cove (Google it). They will pick you up at the ship and you can spend the day on the beach, snorkeling, and kayaking then return you to the ship whenever you want.