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I will be "cruising" on the Discovery Sun (Discovery Cruise Line) in July as part of an office function. Now I realize this is not a real cruise in the traditional sense but the advertising hype does make it seem to offer many of the things that makes a cruise fun, all packaged into one long day.
I would be interested in hearing from those of you out there that have sailed on this ship before and tell me what you think. We're doing the round trip in one day; is there actually enough time in Freeport to get off the ship and do something? Thanks.
Last edited by KINGBOBOFTHENORTH; May 27th, 2006 at 01:45 PM.
There was no response to my inquiry about Discovery Cruise Lines so apparently I will be the first to input a review about this cruise line. Discovery Cruise Lines operates daily cruises from Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades Terminal 4) to Freeport, Bahamas. The ship DISCOVERY SUN (formerly Scandinavian Sun, Caribe and other names) departs daily at 8am and arrives Freeport at 1pm. She then departs Freeport at 5pm and arrives back in Florida at 10pm. The ship was built in 1968 and can hold up to 1400 passengers. The big question going in to this journey was "Can a 1 day cruise to the Bahamas be any good?" I had low expectations. But the answer is a resounding YES.....very good!
First of all most of the passengers were not traveling roundtrip in one day. While you must buy a roundtrip ticket, you can return on a different date either by purchasing a hotel package through the cruise line or by booking a hotel on your own. Thus, many of the passengers we had coming back were not the same ones we traveled over with. The disadvantage of traveling back in forth in one day is that your stay on Grand Bahama Island is only 4-hours and with formalities and needing to be back on board a half-hour before deprture, really only 3-hours. For us that was plenty of tiime to take a taxi to the Port Lucaya marketplace and visit the many shops as well as tour the Our Lucaya Resort which includes a Westin and Sheraton as well as the beautiful pool and beach areas. Since that is about a 20-25 minute taxi ride from the port you also get a decent tour of the populated areas of the island along the way. One advantage of doing this as a daytrip is that you are given a wristband to wear and are allowed off the ship first both in Freeport and back in Florida. Other comments:
FOOD: Breakfast and Lunch buffets are served on the journey over to the Bahamas and a Dinner buffet is served on the journey home. Everyone in my group complimented the food. It was very good and there was a large number of selections to choose from including salads, fruits and desserts. And it was delicious. Lunch included a carving station for ham and dinner included the largest steamship round of beef I've ever seen. In between there is a snack bar where you can purchase hot dogs, burgers, wings, ribs etc. for a very reasonable $2.75-$3.25.
ENTERTAINMENT: The ship has a band in the Tropical Lounge, bingo and entertainment in the Starlight Showroom and deck games in the outdoor, awning-covered Bar & Grill. The latter consists of entertainment staff led diversions that you might see out by the pool on regular cruise ships in which passengers volunteer to participate in various wacky activities. Let me tell you, the comedian putting on the evening show was the funniest guy I've ever seen at sea.....well, second funniest as we did watch Russ Merlin once....and this was my 29th cruise! There is also a disco/game room that was populated by the teens and kids.
CASINO: The Lucaya casino has lots of slots, 1 Roulette table and one mini-craps table. It was not very crowded. There was also blackjack.
R&R: There is a small pool and there were plenty of deck chairs scattered around the ship, especially on the top Sun Deck.
CABINS: Prices do not include a cabin and these run $55-75 extra roundtrip. Cabins can include 1-2 bunks which is great to get away from everyone and rest. All include private bathroom which has toilet, sink, shower, towels and soap. The cabins are very basic and the bathrooms appear to not have been renovated since the ship was built. But this is a recommended option if you're taking this trip. For those traveling without a cabin there are locker rooms as well as bathrooms scattered around the ship.
Prices begin at $99 roundtrip depending on season but there are taxes and security fees as well as a current fuel-surcharge of $10.
This cruise won't (and can't) compare to a cruise on the major lines but I give it a thumbs-up all the way. If you're coming to Florida for a vacation and would like to include the Bahamas in your journey, this is a great way to do it. But you'll need to remember your passport (or birth certificate + photo ID through the end of this year).
Glad to hear you enjoyed your day trip to Grand Bahama and were pleased with the facilities aboard Discovery. It has received poor reviews on the Grand Bahama Newsgroup - I suggested you tried there for information when you first posted here with your query in April 2005!
I'm sure the folk on that board would very much enjoy your 'trip report', - http://www.geographia.com/cgi-bin2/g...news/discus.pl
- especially since flights to the island have been cut and prices of those remaining have increased. For those that lived on the island, it remains a very special place in our hearts.
I thoroughly enjoy the reviews here, although to date am not a 'cruiser', (apart from Ireland/UK/France ships) but travel in general interests me. I enjoy looking at ship web cams too.
It is a ferry - not a cruise...and it is old, smelly, dirty, moldy, and just not worth the money. Food is horrible. We were grateful to see Wendy's at 12:15 am after getting off the boat in Ft Lauderdale. Teen Lounge had many out of service arcade games. Staff has hands out EVERYWHERE for tips (including in the Duty Free shop - I never saw this before). Cabins are old with science project comforters with only room for 4 not 6 as advertised. Getting on in FLA was organized with the mazed approach - no one was friendly at all in the terminal checking us in....but the BAHAMA check in was a free for all. And again not friendly at all...where was Julie McCoy to train these folks! NOT worth any money. I recommend staying away!