Why go to Freeport?
Freeport is easy to reach from the U.S. East Coast and appears on many Bahamas itineraries
Its location leaves it vulnerable to hurricane damage that sometimes goes unfixed
Although this port is cheerful and beachy, it's a bit run-down
Freeport Cruise Port Facilities?
There's very little in Freeport Harbor. Sure, the port facilities look mighty pretty -- passengers arriving might spot pastel-colored bungalows selling souvenirs scattered about, plus a gazebo where a Bahamian band plays from time to time. But very few of the bungalows offer useful shops or services, with the exception of a snorkel and beach tour. Chain restaurants Fat Tuesdays and Senor Frogs and Pier One (a waterfront seafood restaurant) are located at the harbor, but that's about it. Industrial factories and refineries surround the port for miles before reaching anything of interest.
Good to Know?
Pickpockets and thieves target tourists, so keep your belongings protected. Also, while travel guides might still mention the International Bazaar (a once a robust collection of shops and restaurants), because of hurricanes, it's essentially a ghost town and not worth visiting the few remaining vendors.
Taxis line up at the pier. If you are taking a taxi to a beach, arrange a time for your driver to pick you up to return. A taxi for two to Lucaya will cost about $25; if you ride in a collective van with other visitors, the fare would be about $5 per person each way. Otherwise, you can rent a car; Avis (800-331-1084) and Hertz-Red Kap Car Rental (242-352-9250) will send a courtesy van from the airport. Important note: Drive on the left! Motor scooters are also available for daily rentals from Island Jeep and Car Rental (Freeport Harbor; 242-351-7333) and cost around $65.
When you exit the port, you can hop on a local bus as it turns around and heads back to Lucaya. However, there's no schedule posted; they simply run when they're full, so you might be waiting a while. This could be an option during the week for those on a tight budget, but they rarely run on weekends.
Currency & Best Way to Get Money?
The currency is the Bahamian dollar, but U.S. dollars are accepted throughout the islands. ATMs are available at banks, but few provide U.S. dollars. For updated currency-conversion figures, visit www.oanda.com or www.xe.com.
English is the official language -- British, not American -- but it might be laced with Bahamian dialect.
Where You're Docked?
Ships dock at Freeport Harbor, an isolated area that is a 10-minute drive from the city of Freeport and about a 25-minute ride from Port Lucaya. Taking an excursion or renting a car (or scooter) is an excellent option: The island is dotted with quiet beaches that are perfect for escaping the crowds.