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Help! Weekend Getaway on Navigator vs resort


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Hello all! I’m having a bit of a dilemma, so I wanted everyone’s input. I’m surprising my partner with a little weekend getaway to the Bahamas in August. Currently I have everything booked at Baha Mar with flights Friday am and back Sunday pm to Miami. However, I can still cancel and have been considering the Friday-Monday Nassau/CocoCay cruise on Navigator OTS. Thoughts please to help me make my decision! Here are some details:

 

1) I’ve been to Atlantis many times, but never Baha Mar nor CocoCay. He’s never been to the Bahamas.

2) I’ve only been on one RCI cruise (see my sig), and I’ve never done a quick weekend cruise.  He’s never been on a cruise and wants to, but is apprehensive.

3) I thought this might be a good way to ease him in, but...he likes nicer things, which is why I booked BahaMar. I’m not sure what the crowds are like on these quick weekend cruises.

4) They are about the same price, give or take a few dollars. I’d have to add the beverage package on the cruise, but also would have to pay for food/drink at Baha Mar.

5) Baha Mar gives us almost three full days in the Bahamas even though it’s two nights, whereas the cruise gives us two days even though it’s three nights.

6) I live in downtown Miami, so I’m 5min to the port and 15min to MIA with a 50min flight to NAS.

 

If you’ve been on Navigator or to Baha Mar (or both!), even better! I know this is CuiseCritic, so I have a feeling which way comments will lean, but I appreciate all your input! Thanks in advance!

 

Happy Cruising! 😎

 

~Zack

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I was going to say Baha Mar for sure.  It looks great from what I’ve read about it.  But then realized your traveling in August. Prime Hurricane time. The ship can usual get away and find blue skies, the resort cannot. So I say if all else is equal, then

My 2 cents are the cruise 

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I am not a big believer in the the theory that a short cruise is a good way to break someone in to see if they would really like cruising. For me it takes a day or two to settle into ship board life and wind down from every day life. I think it would seem like the cruise would be over before I knew it started. I am also not sure checking in and out at the same time as 3500 other guests along with the short time on the ship gives a newly a true idea of what cruising is about.

 

I would probably choose the resort vacation.

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10 minutes ago, Ocean Boy said:

I am not a big believer in the the theory that a short cruise is a good way to break someone in to see if they would really like cruising. ...

 

I totally agree.  A 3 or 4 day cruise wastes too much of the total cruise time arriving, checking-in, unpacking, muster, packing, disembarking. 

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Never been to Baha Mar specifically..but vacationed in the Bahamas frequently and have cruised pretty often too. If “visiting/seeing the Bahamas” is the goal, I would do the resort. Especially if you want to have more relaxation time. We are going on Navigator in September but the short cruise is more about exploring the ship that happens to go to an island in the Bahamas, rather than actually visiting the bahamas. Not sure if that makes sense, just my 2 cents 🙂

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I am a fan of navigator been on her three times, great ship with ice show etc. no nothing of the resort but we do like upscale all inclusive resorts like sandals. Ships normally have much better entertainment than resorts. 

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52 minutes ago, Ocean Boy said:

I am not a big believer in the the theory that a short cruise is a good way to break someone in to see if they would really like cruising. For me it takes a day or two to settle into ship board life and wind down from every day life. I think it would seem like the cruise would be over before I knew it started. I am also not sure checking in and out at the same time as 3500 other guests along with the short time on the ship gives a newly a true idea of what cruising is about.

 

I would probably choose the resort vacation.

This all makes a lot of sense.

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Royal recently announced somewhere around 40% of short market cruisers are first time cruisers, they've never sailed with any cruise line before.  Most people use short cruises to test the waters and see if they like it without committing to something longer. 

 

Experienced cruisers that you'll find here tend to agree that short cruises are too short.  That's easy for us to say because we know we love it and we seek longer cruises.  I'm going on Navigator again soon but I'm doing a back to back, staying on the ship for two cruises because 3 nights is too short for me so I'll stay on for two in a row.  

 

If you are both into nicer things a Junior Suite or better on Navigator would give you more of a hotel like accommodation so build that into your price comparison.  Ships cabins and bathroom are not as generous as you'll find at Baha Mar.

 

Baha Mar will give you more space to enjoy while there will be times the ship is going to feel more crowded.  At the same time though that can make night life more fun because you are more likely to find a lot of participants.  

 

I'm not huge on Nassau as a destination unless spending the day at a resort like Baha Mar.  So in that sense you've got that covered by staying at Baha Mar.  CocoCay is great but only if you are into pools, beach and activities like water slides (extra cost).  If you are not beach people or you don't like to hang around at a pool all day, CocoCay may not be your thing.

 

What is he apprehensive about?  Only you can judge if those apprehensions are real enough that your partner will fear the cruise which itself is no way to look forward to a vacation - being stressed about it in the days leading up to it.  

 

Baha Mar is probably the sure thing while a cruise could be a big hit or possibly not so much.

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Thanks all for your input! I tend to agree about the short cruises...if you're going to go through all the boarding/embarkation/debarkation processes, might as well be on for a week. That's why I've only done week-long or longer. I think I'll stick with the resort and take my chances with hurricane season...I've (for the most part save for once) had good luck. We're looking into a Celebrity Edge cruise for January, so I'll just let that be his first! Have a great day, y'all!

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I've stayed at Baha Mar several times, including right when it opened. It's an outstanding resort. You have done Atlantis so you understand the high food and drink prices and all that. Baha Mar has less to do than Atlantis but is much cleaner, nicer, and more upscale.  If drinks, pool, beach, casino is your thing, then Baha Mar. 

 

But I'm also torn.  Talk of embarkation eating up the cruise, I mean, what about the airport, flight, taxi to resort, check-in, going back to the airport, flying home, etc.  Cruise would actually have far, far less disruption than that.  We do both. And I would totally go either or. There is no obvious decision.  More time on the cruise plus the all inclusive aspect with drink package and dining is a nice way to go. 

 

There is no right answer. Both are excellent decisions. It just the difference between cruising and land based.  We like both and do both.  It would just be a difference of mood that would have me decide either way. Nothing more. 

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