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Home > Member Reviews > FunVACruisers's Port Reviews of Half Moon Cay, Nassau, Freeport

FunVACruisers's Port Reviews of Half Moon Cay, Nassau, Freeport
Carnival Ecstasy cruise in February 2013
Member Name: FunVACruisers
Cruise Date: February 2013
Embarkation: Port Canaveral
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Member Review: FunVACruisers's Carnival Ecstasy Review
Half Moon Cay
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
Out first stop was Half-Moon Cay, the private island. It was our first lengthy stop at a Caribbean beach and the island itself was beautiful. The sand was so white ans soft, the water crystal clear. We had a terrific time here and were sorry to go, it went by too quickly. However, the sun that far south was brutal. We applied sunscreen (SPF 50) several times but my wife, along with half the ship it seems to have gotten sun-burned. The tender process to and from this port was very quick and in less than 5 minutes you could made it to/from the ship. There is not a lot of shade on the beach so it is best to try and be on one of the first tenders to get a chair under the few trees that line part of the beach, otherwise you will be renting a clam-shell if you need to stay out of the sun.

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Nassau
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
Our 2nd port was Nassau Bahamas. We were not sure what to expect here as we'd never been to the Bahamas but Nassau was pretty nice. Plenty of shopping right outside to the port which you can walk to. The stray market area was interesting. You can bargain, but most of what you see from shop to shop will be the same. The shops that the ship tired to steer us to for bargains on jewelry were IMO way overpriced (Diamonds International, Emeralds International, Tanzanite International, etc.). The prices I think were better on the jewelry in Mexico. We did end up going to John Bull where I found a very nice watch. Transportation was super easy taking the No. 10 Jitney bus to Ardastra Gardens and the Fish Dry. Ardastra was a bit pricey but a lot of fun. The gardens were nice and there were a lot of smaller animals to see. It was an easy walk from where the bus dropped just past Fort Charlotte (and across from the islands SPCA).

We had lunch as the Twin Brothers restaurant in the Fish Fry section. The food was AMAZING!! I highly recommend the conch fritters. Most people rave about the conch salad. We tried it but that just wasn't for me. It was not what I thought it would be, and too spicy for me. We also had the fried grouper fingers which were very good. The lemonade I think was I think fresh squeezed. There are several choices to choose from here but I think Twin Brothers is probably the one that does the best business.

From there we took the Jitney a bit further to the Cable Beach area. I see now what they mean about difficult access to the beach. The hotels have been built in such a way as to block (not with walls or anything) your ability to get from the street to the beach without going through them. We decided to walk through the Sheraton and found the Hotel and lobby to be very nice. The beach also looked great, but if you want a public beach, there is one within walking distance (Goodman Bay) which looked very pretty with some shaded areas, and public bathrooms. If we go back, that is likely the beach we would visit. We heard from others that the beaches and pools on Paradise Island at Atlantis were also very good (expensive as well).

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Freeport
Port Rating: 1.0 out of 5+
Our final port of call was Freeport Bahamas. Freeport was a HUGE disappointment. I honestly don't know what the cruise ships stop here. There is nothing to see unless you take an excursion. The sand on the beaches is just the same as you'd find in Florida. In fact, we enjoyed the Florida beaches more. The town of Lucaya is the destination now, and the shopping area and beaches there as well as the food are a waste of time. I would take any port we've ever been to over this one and will try to avoid going there again in the future.

I have read that there are some very nice beaches much farther our such as Gold Rock, but honestly it is so far away that you would spend as much time working out how to get there as you would on the beach which just makes it not as inviting.

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