We had read a lot of negatives about Freeport. I was pleasantly surprised that the port was, while in an industrial marina, was clean and bright with cheerful shops and awnings. The port is a 25-miute ride from the sights, so I would advise an excursion if you're going to Freeport. There are some really cool ones, including some ecotours to see the Blue Holes, so there's no excuse to just say "There's nothing in Freeport!" We had booked a biking adventure through Carnival. We took a bus with a group of 18, boarded our bikes and enjoyed 12.5 miles of biking. The exercise felt great after all the meals we had been indulging in! Our guides, Leroy and Johnny, we excellent. Leroy shared his passion for his country and related many facts about the history of Grand Bahama. We visited the Garden of the Grove (lovely), Taino Beach (beautiful), and peeked though the fence at the dolphin sanctuary (sounds lame, but it was interesting and we did spot a few dolphins). Carnival could have done a more detailed job of explaining all that this excursion offered; it was well worth the $89 fee. The trip had advertised a snack, but we had our choice of several sandwiches, chips and drinks. Leroy provided lots of water bottles so you don't need to bring water. The also ferried backpacks, so if you bring along swimming suits/towels, etc. you don't need to bike with your load. The bike ride ended at Junkanoo Beach Club for an hour of swimming and sunning. The water was a little cold, so we didn't swim, but enjoyed the view and a cocktail. After the hour was up, they drive us to Port Lucaya Marketplace which looked nice, but we opted to go back to the ship. The excursion was described as 5.5 hours, but was closer to 7, so we were ready for a rest.
We had been to Nassau before and my husband had been to the Atlantis resort on business and thinks it is overpriced. We did not want to spend a lot of money since we had booked a ship's excursion for Freeport. We did a lot of research and had emailed the Melia hotel in advance of the trip to confirm that they offered a day pass. We took a 15-minute cab there ($25) and purchased day passes for $30 each. They had several pools and gorgeous sandy beach. It was a little chilly, but their main pool is heated. The atmosphere there is calm and relaxed which suited us fine. If you go, make sure you bring a towel, as the towel system at the Melia was a complete mystery. They had a poolside restaurant that had a long line and an expensive list of offerings ($19 for a burger!), so we skipped lunch. After a few hours we took a cab back to the ship ($20) and had a late lunch at the LIDO buffet.