My wife and I went on our very first cruise in 1993 to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. We sailed from Miami on Royal Caribbean’s Nordic Empress and visited Nassau, Freeport, and Coco Cay—Royal Caribbean’s private resort island—in the Bahamas before returning to Miami. We chose this short, 4-night cruise for two main reasons: it was inexpensive, and the Monday-to-Friday schedule allowed us to use the surrounding weekends to travel to and from New Orleans, where our young daughters stayed at Nana’s while we enjoyed our vacation. Also, as first-timers, a short itinerary allowed us to sample cruising to make sure it was something we liked before committing to longer 7-night cruises (of course, we loved it and have enjoyed a cruise vacation almost every year since). Nearly 20 years later, cruises to the Bahamas remain popular for these very same reasons.
Typically 3- to 5-nights in duration, Bahamas cruises always include a visit to Nassau—the capital and largest city—and will often include a day at one of the private resort islands owned by the cruise lines, plus one or two days at sea. Other popular ports of call are Freeport, Bahamas and Key West, Florida. Port Canaveral, Florida is the most popular departure port for North Fulton residents embarking on a Bahamas cruise. Located near Orlando, Port Canaveral is within a one-day drive, which eliminates airfare costs—a significant consideration when cruising with a family. It’s also possible to combine a 2-3 day visit to Orlando’s theme parks with a Bahamas cruise from Port Canaveral. Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Disney cruise lines all have ships that sail to the Bahamas year-round from Port Canaveral.
Other departure ports to consider are Charleston, South Carolina and Jacksonville, Florida, both of which are within a one-day drive from North Fulton. Carnival has one ship in each of these cities that sails to the Bahamas year-round. Miami, the cruising capital of the world, is also the embarkation port for Bahamas cruises by Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian cruise lines. However, airfare from Atlanta to Miami can add significantly to the overall vacation cost.
Cruises to the Bahamas can be very inexpensive with fares starting as low as $169 per person (excluding government fees and taxes) for a 3-night cruise. Fares are lowest from September through February and start rising in March; the highest fares are in July and early August. Fares tend to be higher on Disney than on other cruise lines. A Bahamas cruise is a great option for a family getaway during Spring Break or summer vacation.
If you’re interested in learning more about cruising, please join us at Expedia CruiseShipCenters for one of our regularly scheduled free Cruising 101 information sessions held every Tuesday at 7:00 pm and Saturday at 10:00 am. You can learn more about these sessions by visiting our web site or Facebook page, or contacting us via email at Alpharetta@cruiseshipcenters.com or phone at 678-712-5059. Thanks!