Chad is an avid traveler who loves to share his tips and experiences to help others get the most out of their travels.
Our ship, the Norwegian Sky, docked at Freeport Harbour on Grand Bahama Island. It was one of three ports we were visiting in the Bahamas. The others were Nassau and a private island called Great Stirrup Cay. When cruisers disembark their ships at Freeport Harbor, they arrive in the middle of a colorful marketplace full of palm trees. Local vendors sell t-shirts, souvenirs, food, and drinks.
From the harbor, it's easy to catch a cab to anywhere on the island. There is no actual "downtown" in Freeport. There are separate residential, shopping, and beach areas scattered around the island. We paid $10 each for a round-trip fare to Port Lucaya, a marketplace with a beach nearby. It was a 10-mile ride that took about 20 minutes. Our cab driver was friendly and seemed to genuinely enjoy answering our questions. We also learned about our cabbie's former life as a computer programmer in Baltimore, Maryland.
Port Lucaya Marketplace
The Port Lucaya Marketplace is a popular stop for people visiting Freeport while cruising. It's a brightly colored marketplace consisting of buildings and tents chocked full of souvenirs such as clothing, jewelry, liquor, and trinkets. Multiple places offer food and drinks. Things can be expensive, but there is some room for negotiation at the straw market.
Sometimes the salespeople can be a little annoying. They are eager to make a sale, but for the most part a simple "no thank you" while moving along will be enough to dissuade further pushy sales tactics. If you're traveling on to Nassau, you'll probably want to wait to get souvenirs there, as things seem to be cheaper at that destination.
We got to the Port Lucaya Marketplace early when there wasn't much of a crowd. We walked around the market, took a stroll by the nearby marina, did a little souvenir shopping, and watched people and lizards.
My girlfriend enjoyed the souvenir shopping. I must admit that my favorite part of visiting the Port Lucaya Marketplace was watching the little lizards dart over the brick floor. Time flew as I tried to snap pictures of them while they momentarily stood still before ruining the shot and scampering off.
What's a cruise to the Bahamas without a beach break? After meandering around the market for a while, we decided to find a beach. A quick look at Google maps showed a beach just to the south of us.
After a five-minute walk, we arrived at Lucaya Beach. If you have trouble finding it, ask for directions to Billy Joe's Restaurant. It's a popular spot for conch and beer on the beach.
Lucaya Beach is the quintessential Bahamas beach. It has crystal clear turquoise water, clean white sand, and plenty of palm trees. You can rent paddleboards and jet skis, have a beer at Billy Joe's, or just relax and take in the sights and sounds of the beautiful beach scene.
More to Do on Grand Bahama Island
There's much more to do during a cruise to Freeport then what I've listed. I only included descriptions of places that I actually had time to check out for myself. There are glass-bottom boat tours, horseback rides, scuba dives, and snorkeling adventures.
Gamblers will be happy to know that there are several casinos on Grand Bahama Island. We didn't do any gambling, but we did duck into one casino to ask for some information. Anyone who's been to a casino in the US will find the sights and sounds of Freeport casinos familiar.
There's no doubt that you can find something fun to do in Freeport. Have you been to Freeport? Was it a cruise destination? What did you do while on Grand Bahama Island?
© 2020 Chad Claeyssen
Liz Westwood from UK on May 28, 2020:
This sounds like a great cruise itinerary. It's good to know that there's an accessible beach nearby.