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Cruising at the end of February on the Sky and wondering about the ports. I'm familiar with Key West and Nassau, but for Great Stirrup Cay and Grand Bahama...if we decide to not to any excursions but do want to get off the ship, what might our options be for activities or relaxing on a beach? Are they easily accessible from port, or must we purchase a beach excursion to enjoy? Thank you for the advice!

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Great Stirrup is easy if you're wanting to relax on the beach. Just take the tender over and find a beach chair, then hang out all day.

 

Grand Bahama is Freeport, and it's more industrial. It's been a couple years since I've been there, but IIRC, you'll have to take a taxi or plan an excursion to get to a beach or to anything else on the island.

 

I really like the Sky! Enjoy your cruise!

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Thank you for the information! Glad to hear you like the Sky! Any other tips?

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Sometimes the private island is skipped due to weather but if this happens you get your port charges ($35?) back. Love the Sky! There's a Mojito bar in the lobby you must try - I totally missed it the first time I was on her! I'm assuming you have the open bar included, it also goes for the private island. There's a made to order crepe station at night in the buffet, they're wonderful.

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Tip: start at the top of the mojito menu, work your way down, then start over. 

 

If you go to GSC, get a clam shell to shelter from the sun. GSC is a private island. No shore ex requires. A beach day with picnic buffet lunch provided. Your free drinks are valid on the island. Enjoy. 

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Sounds great! I certainly hope we don't have to miss anything due to weather. And yes, we have the open bar included. Unfortunately I will be partaking only in diet sodas due to my diabetes.

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GSC was great. We grabbed a table at the bacardi bar (to the left when you enter) and sat there all day. Close enough to the water, where we had schools of fish swimming around us. Plus the drinks were freeee! 

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Sorry for the delayed reply. We were on the Sky in September of 2018 and way back in 2001 (when she sailed to Alaska).

 

Some tips: The bar/observation salon at the front of the ship is very nice. It is quiet and the drinks are of excellent quality. They close it off sometimes for special events (like the Captain meet and greet).

 

For GSC- we were the only ship there on our day, so it was not crowded at all. We actually really enjoyed the jet ski excursion- we basically "followed the leader" and went full throttle. We had a little time to hop off the jet skis and we found a huge starfish, so that was fun. The rest of the day I really enjoyed renting a yellow float and just floating on the ocean. If you bring swim goggles, you could lay on your stomach and look down at the sea below. There were stingrays and some fish.

 

We mostly ate in Cagney's, as I had upgraded us to a suite and we really got to know the host/wait staff (because it is the venue for breakfast and lunch for suite guests). We ate in one of the main dining rooms on one of our other days and also found the food there to be pretty good. A lot of people seemed to never venture from the buffet- which I do not understand.

 

The ship should be newly refurbished for you- so hopefully the fresh ship will be a nice treat for you!

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If you decide to venture out on Grand Bahama, just ask a taxi to take you to Xanadu beach. There will also be shared cabs going to Lucaya beach, which is also nice, it is right across the street from shopping and little restaurants. We don't mind that there aren't services at Xanadu, so we prefer that.

 

Oh! And enjoy the Sky. We've been on her twice and loved her! The "kids" pool area forward is a great place to find a few loungers with a view. Just down the steps port side is a shower on deck when you need to cool down.

Edited by senoragilbert

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I've been on the Sky twice now. I love the smaller ship setup, but she is in desperate need of a refurb. It should be redone by the time you go on your cruise though! The mojito bar in the atrium is amazing. The food in both MDRs is good. However, in my experience recently service in Palace is much slower than the aft MDR. The piano bar next to the photo gallery is so fun at night. 

 

Grand Bahama Island/Freeport is a great area. It is a lot more laid back than Nassau. I feel like people are more friendly and less pushy to sell you something.

 

There isn't anything to do right near port. You will need to take a taxi over to Lucaya. There is the marketplace over there, and nice beaches. Sabor at Pelican Bay Hotel has good food, however, service is really slow. You are definately on "island time" there. I reccomend the fried conch. 

 

There is a ferry right next to Sabor that takes you over to Taino Beach ($3 each way) that leaves once an hour. The beach is accessible to everyone.

 

GSC is an amazing beach day. You really don't have to purchase anything there if you don't want. However, the sun can get HOT so I do recommend renting a clamshell. Lunch at the buffet and at the taco place are free on GSC, and the free open bar also extends there.

 

Enjoy your cruise!

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Thank you for the updated posts with information and suggestions, everyone! We surely do appreciate all of the advice we can get! Thank you for sharing your experience with the less experienced...aka me! 🙂

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2 hours ago, Smokey596 said:

Thank you for the updated posts with information and suggestions, everyone! We surely do appreciate all of the advice we can get! Thank you for sharing your experience with the less experienced...aka me! 🙂

We are going on the Sky on Wednesday for the exact same cruise, so will post a new thread with photos and info when I get back.  Return MLK day.

 

Stay tuned...

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Just off the Sky:

 

Regarding Freeport (Grand Bahamas) - if you don't do an excursion here, there is not much else to do...  the so-called downtown area is like a little tent city... there is nothing really there but some limited shopping.

 

50 percent chance that Wind will keep you out of Great Stirrup Cay this time of year...  we couldn't make it this trip.

No big deal cuz they make a great sea day with special previously unscheduled events...

 

You will be one of the first on the ship after dry dock, so it should be very fresh.

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16 hours ago, limeyalchemist said:

We are going on the Sky on Wednesday for the exact same cruise, so will post a new thread with photos and info when I get back.  Return MLK day.

 

Stay tuned...

Awesome! Can't wait to hear your report! Have a great time!

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29 minutes ago, cliffd64 said:

Just off the Sky:

 

 

50 percent chance that Wind will keep you out of Great Stirrup Cay this time of year...  we couldn't make it this trip.

No big deal cuz they make a great sea day with special previously unscheduled events...

.

I sure hope we get to go to GSC. But it helps to know in advance that it might not be possible...helps us keep our expectations low so maybe we'll be happily surprised! 🙂 

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I've been 3/3 on GSC. Maybe just gotten lucky? I have always gone in early winter or right before hurricane season picks up. Maybe that has something to do with it, not sure. 

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1 hour ago, tokidoki said:

thx for your review!   Did u c any shows in the  Stardust?

 

You're welcome!

 

We did not attend any shows.  We were so beat by the end of the day's activities & drinks, we did the "old people" thing and went to bed early.  😉

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