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Popular with first-time cruisers interested in testing the water, families traveling during school holidays or anyone looking for a break, a 3- or 4-night cruise to the Bahamas is the perfect choice for a quick, close and affordable vacation. For cruisers from the Northeast, some cruise lines are offering 7 night Bahamas cruises from New York.
What can I do on a cruise to the Bahamas?
The Bahamas offers everything you're looking for in an island vacation: beautiful white-sand beaches, warm weather, golf, tax-free shopping, historical sights and casino gaming.
The crystal clear waters surrounding the Bahamas are warm and shallow, making them an ideal location for snorkeling and diving. The majority of the cruise line's shore excursion offerings concentrate on combining watersports with time at the beach. You can also enjoy the Bahamas colonial past from a horse- drawn buggy, a bicycle or on foot, as the flat terrain makes for easy going. Or some hotels like the Atlantis Resort and Casino welcome cruise guest by selling day passes to allow use of the their beach and pool facilities.
Some cruise lines will ensure that you have an entire day with your toes in the sand by taking you to their private island. This way you can feel free to spend a day in town shopping at the Straw Marketing and sightseeing in one of the other ports of call and still get the most out of your short vacation.
Cruise Line Private islands are popular stop for cruisers. These private islands have been impeccably groomed and provide you with everything you need for your idea of the perfect day at the beach. You'll find beach chairs, umbrellas and hammocks, bars, restrooms and showers, volleyball nets, watersports equipment, shops and a dining area where the ship's crew prepares a huge barbeque. Most cruise lines provide kid's activities, and some islands even have massage therapy tents for adults.
Where does a Bahamas cruise go?
There are only two customary ports of call in the Bahamas:
Longer cruises to the Bahamas from New York may also include stops at Port Canaveral, Florida so cruise passengers can visit the Orlando Theme Parks and Kennedy Space Center; as well as a stop in Miami to enjoy the South Beach scene. Most cruise lines who cruise the Bahamas regularly include a day at their Private Islands.
Nassau is both the colonial seat of government and the modern capital of the Bahamas and is a busy city with a large cruise ship port. Next to it and connected by a bridge you'll find the popular resort area and casinos of Paradise Island. Freeport is also primarily a resort area, but with a smaller downtown, and therefore less crowded.
When can I go on a Bahamas Cruise?
The Bahamas is available year-round, but only a handful of cruise lines offer short cruises. Check into Carnival Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean International and Disney Cruise Line. Three-night cruises sail over the weekends, generally departing on Thursdays and Fridays, and four-night cruises sail during the weekdays. However, one or two times per month you'll find a four-night cruise over the weekend.
How do I get there?
You'll find Bahamas cruises will depart from Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Port Canaveral. Nassau is often included as a port of call on 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruises as well. Norwegian Cruise Line and Carnival Cruise Line both offer the Bahamas on unique 7-night itineraries departing from New York.