The islands of the Bahamas are one of the most popular cruise destinations in the world. Because of their location close to the southeastern United States, cruise ships can run many routes of varying lengths to the Bahamas, from two days to a week. Despite the fact that you’re leaving land far behind you, it’s often easier to pack for cruises because they’re all-inclusive with many on-board amenities.
Prepare for warm weather when you cruise to the Bahamas. High temperatures run upwards of 90 degrees during the summer months, with lows in the 70s. Lightweight, light-colored clothing and comfortable shoes are always good choices. If you plan on spending lots of time in the pool or at the beach, remember to pack several swimsuits. Additionally, you’ll want to check with your cruise line about special attire for formal nights in the dining room.
Cruise lines do their best to provide many of the comforts of home for their passengers. Often, they’ll provide complimentary personal care items such as shampoo, conditioner and razors. Check with your cruise line before your trip to see if such items will be in your stateroom. You’ll definitely want to pack sunscreen for your cruise to the Bahamas. A day of lounging by the pool while at sea can ruin the rest of your trip if you get sunburned. If you forget to pack sunscreen (or run out while on your trip), you can purchase it in cruise gift shops or while you are in port.
Money and Documents
Once you debark in the Bahamas, it’s best to use cash to pay for your purchases. Using cash allows you to avoid exchange fees on credit cards and can help you negotiate a better deal in some of the island shops. American dollars are accepted almost everywhere in the ports of the Bahamas. Passports or passport cards are required for American travelers to re-enter the United States after traveling to the Bahamas. Keep these documents with you at all times during your cruise.
Cell phone calls from ship to shore can be outrageously expensive. If you think you will need to use your mobile phone while on your cruise to the Bahamas, add an international calling plan for the duration of your trip. This will significantly reduce your charges. All the major cruise lines now offer Internet access, either in your cabin or at computer terminals on board the ship. Norwegian’s Internet cafes offer several access plans, as well as printer access and laptop rentals.
The Bahamas Warnings and Dangers
A visit to The Bahamas is a chance to enjoy soft sand beaches, warm sun and a culture that is still very British, but close to the U.S. One of the most popular foreign destinations for Americans, this series of islands can have some problems for any visitor including water hazards, sudden hurricanes, dangerous water creatures and driving that can be confusing.
One of the chief attractions of this part of the world are the numerous beaches and access to the clear waters that teem with sea creatures. Be aware that the water can be colder during fall and winter season, but many people still find it pleasant. Many popular beaches also have waters with strong currents that can catch you unaware. Do not swim beyond the marked areas or you could get pulled away from the land and even swept out to sea. Most beaches have flags indicating if it’s safe. If you see a red flag swimming is not recommended. If you have children, only swim when you see a green flag.
Sharks and other possibly dangerous fish roam the waters here. Barracudas are large fish, but generally harmless so don’t panic if you see one nearby. The most common shark in the area is the Nurse shark. They are not dangerous, but be wary around them. Do not go in the water with raw fish or a bleeding cut or you will attract them. Coral reefs lie off shore and remain one of the most beloved attractions in the area. Be careful them as you can get cut. Hire a guide if you are chartering a boat in regional waters to help you avoid getting the boat cut on the reefs.
Dangers on Land
The Bahamas have a lot of mosquitos, so make sure your hotel has a net or bring one of your own to sleep under at night. Do not feed any animals you see here. This particularly applies to the iguanas on Allen Cay. They are in danger, so don’t touch them or feed them. When taking a taxi, make sure you have a fixed price. While this is fixed in some places, it is not in others.
If you are renting a car, remember drivers here drive on the left side of the road not the right. The island has generally nice weather; however, it is subject to hurricanes during hurricane season in late summer and early fall. If you are booking during this time, be aware that your plans may be canceled due to bad weather. You do not want to be here when a hurricane is bearing down on the islands. This is a good time to consider travel insurance.
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about warnings or dangers in the Bahamas.
The Junkanoo Parade pays tribute to an important period in Bahamian history. During the days of slavery, slaves were permitted three days off; January 1st, December 25th and December 26th. The Junkanoo Festival would take place on December 26th and January 1st, while the 25th of December was dedicated to exchanging gifts and visiting friends.
Today, the Junkanoo celebration includes a vibrant parade with the accompanying traditional sounds of goombay drums, copper bells and mouth whistles. The parade also features men and women wearing hand-made Junkanoo costumes, competing for cash prizes. If you miss your chance to see this high-spirited parade during the holidays, there is also a Summer Junkanoo Festival. To sample Junkanoo year-round, check out the Junkanoo show at the Port Lucaya Marketplace, every Thursday night.
Port Lucaya Marketplace – Count Basie Square
For a great selection of nightly events and popular Bahamian music, set your sights on the Count Basie Square in Port Lucaya Marketplace. Keep your feet moving to the traditional sounds of Rake ‘N Scrape, the folk music of The Bahamas and explore the deeper meaning of Calypso music. Out with your family? Port Lucaya Marketplace offers tons of fun to visitors of all ages. Try a game of BINGO or Bahamian line dancing.
The Regency Theatre
The Regency Theatre presents a collection of original and classic dramas, musicals, comedies and many other types of live performances, staged by the Freeport Players Guild. This Bahamian performing arts center can entertain a crowd of up to 500 people.
Bahamians love karaoke! While you search for late-night entertainment, you’ll find an abundance of venues and bars hosting karaoke nights. Go ahead – step up to the mic and expand your vocal horizons during your Grand Bahama Island vacation.
Bahamian Culture Show
Every Friday night, you can visit Count Basie Square in Port Lucaya Marketplace for an evening of unforgettable native entertainment featuring fire and limbo dancing, live bands and performances by the Grand Bahama Island’s top performing artists. Show starts at 8pm.
Pink Sands Beach, Harbour Island
The pink sand of Pink Sands Beach, on Harbour Island the Bahamas, comes from Foraminifera, a microscopic marine animal with a bright pink or red shell.
Mount Alvernia, Cat Island
Mount Alvernia, on Cat Island, rises 63 metres in altitude and is the highest peak in the Bahamas.
Underwater cave systems
During the glacial period, the sea level was as low as 250 feet below its present level. During this time, the limestone that forms the islands was eroded by acid rain, which ended up cutting hundreds of systems of vertical and horizontal caves that are now below the islands.
The name “Bahamas”
The name “Bahamas” comes from the Spanish words “baja mar”, meaning shallow water or sea.
The indigenous people
The first people that inhabited the island were called the Tainos.
Dean’s Blue Hole, West of Clarence Town, on Long Island
Plunging 202 metres into the sea, it’s the deepest blue hole in the world.
Lucayan National Park, Grand Bahama Island
The longest (known) underwater cave system in the world can be found in Lucayan National Park, on Grand Bahama Island.
En Bahamas existe una isla llamada Big Major Cay donde hay unos 20 cerdos nadadores que viven allí y sirven de gran atracción turística. Son unos cerdos juguetones y los visitantes los usan para grabar vídeos y posar en fotografías. Los turistas los premian con alimentos. Historiadores aseguran que hubo un naufragio cercano a las costas de la isleta deshabitada y los cerdos nadaron para salvar sus vidas hasta esa tierra. Otras versiones indican que unos marineros los llevaron hasta allá y los dejaron para luego ir a comérselos, pero nunca más regresaron.
Entre el siglo XV y XVIII, Bahamas sirvió de escondite y nido de piratas y bucaneros, por formar un auténtico laberinto insular. Los piratas encendían falsos faros para hacer que encallaran las naves y así asaltarlas. En esta isla operaba el conocido pirata Barbanegra, de origen inglés. Tuvo su cuartel general en Nassau, la capital.
Es es el estado favorito para muchos multimillonarios para invertir.Famosos como Johnny Depp, David Copperfield, Eddie Murphy y hasta Shakira han comprado islas, playas, puertos privados y playas. Muchos de ellos han decidido invertir en turismo, mientras otros lo han hecho sólo para vacacionar.
De las 700 islas que conforma el archipiélago de las Bahamas, sólo 24 están habitadas y su población llega aproximadamente a un poco más de 300 mil personas.
El conch o caracol de Bahamas es conocido como estandarte de la cocina bahamesa. Es un molusco de carne blanca y firme. Se puede comer crudo, pero también frito (conch agrietado). Es muy común pedir hamburguesas de conch.
El atletismo, fútbol americano y el baloncesto son los deportes más populares. El equipo favorito de la mayoría de los bahameses es Delfines de Miami
Entre sus tradiciones musicales se encuentra el baile de Junkanoo, un desfile de carnaval que se hace al ritmo de tambores, campanas y silbatos. También el calypso y el rastrillo o raspado, forman parte de los ritmos musicales conocidos de esta nación.