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viclef

Freeport

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Going to Freeport Feb 19 on MSC Divina. I was looking at excursions and booked a kayak tour for myself and my roomy in the Lucayan National Park.  We are also a group of 6 women traveling so when the remaining 4 tried to book, the excursion didn't show up (I'm assuming sold out). So I tried to find an equivalent tour we can all go on without using MSC. I found one that looked very similar. When I called the company the man I spoke with told me no tours are operating in Freeport right now because of the destruction from Hurricane Dorian. If that was the case, I'm not sure why MSC would accept our reservation (and take the money for the excursion out of bank account) or if this man gave me false information.  Has anyone been to Freeport recently and is anything operating?

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On 1/6/2020 at 8:37 AM, viclef said:

Going to Freeport Feb 19 on MSC Divina. ... I'm not sure why MSC would accept our reservation (and take the money for the excursion out of bank account) 


We are in the same boat, so to speak. MSC is selling excursions to a park that is currently closed. I bought the kayak tour as well for Divina January 28 sailing. We'll see whether they cancel once on board, or if they do an "exciting change to your shore excursion". See also 

 

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On 1/6/2020 at 8:37 AM, viclef said:

Going to Freeport Feb 19 on MSC Divina. I was looking at excursions and booked a kayak tour for myself and my roomy in the Lucayan National Park.  

 

I can't answer your Freeport questions but it looks like we're on the same cruise!  We just booked last night so I came on here to see what's operating in Freeport now.

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Hopefully those going before me will get back on here and let me know the scoop. 🙂

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On 1/17/2020 at 11:55 AM, viclef said:

Hopefully those going before me will get back on here and let me know the scoop. 🙂

 

Yes, please come back and report what is open.  I'm at a loss about what to do in Freeport.

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I was just on the MSC Divina Jan. 28th sailing too. Lucayan National Park is still closed. It looks like MSC is making a substitution on those tours without admitting it in advance - that's my guess.

 

I saw a group of kayakers just touring around in the channel from where I was at the Lighthouse Point Beach Resort, after taking a shuttle to the Lucayan Marketplace. I'm wondering if this is where the excursion is taking them for now (?).

 

The same thing just happened to us in Cozumel in Nov. ** A private tour company took our money w/a promise to take us to 3 reefs that they knew were closed to the public. No choices or alternatives once we were there. It was a bummer.

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5 hours ago, NeedToVacation said:

I was just on the MSC Divina Jan. 28th sailing too. Lucayan National Park is still closed. It looks like MSC is making a substitution on those tours without admitting it in advance - that's my guess.

 

I saw a group of kayakers just touring around in the channel from where I was at the Lighthouse Point Beach Resort, after taking a shuttle to the Lucayan Marketplace. I'm wondering if this is where the excursion is taking them for now (?).

 

The same thing just happened to us in Cozumel in Nov. ** A private tour company took our money w/a promise to take us to 3 reefs that they knew were closed to the public. No choices or alternatives once we were there. It was a bummer.

 

Thanks so much for the update!  Is the Lucayan Marketplace open?  I keep reading mixed answers.  Thinking about just taking the shuttle there and having a Bahamian lunch but I don't want to get there and find it closed.

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I only went to the Freeport port area on MSC last week because most places are listed as closed.  Talking to shuttle drivers, places were only theoretically open enough to collect excursion fees.  Attendees of the national park tour reported a literal one minute view of the caves for their money.  Shuttle drives wanted $35 for a city tour.

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5 hours ago, CruisinCrow said:

 

Thanks so much for the update!  Is the Lucayan Marketplace open?  I keep reading mixed answers.  Thinking about just taking the shuttle there and having a Bahamian lunch but I don't want to get there and find it closed.

I'm not sure which parts are still open. Where the shuttle ($6 pp each way) dropped us off was just a straw market, with local ladies selling souvenirs and t-shirts. I didn't look around too much, so not sure if there are restaurants open nearby. 

 

What I did is walked down the block to get to Lighthouse Pointe where I had booked the resort day pass for $25. Others had paid more for the all-inclusive package which includes lunch and drinks at their poolside restaurant. I just ended up ordering ala carte off the menu and paid an extra $15 for my lunch & a soda. That might be an option for you, just to get out and walk the beach and have lunch. (?)

 

My other suggestion / recommendation for a great local lunch is Cleveland's Beach Club. There is a recent review on trip advisor, says they visited in Dec 2019. My Mom & I ate here about 4 years ago. The local couple that owns it are wonderful! He goes fishing early every morning for the seafood they will cook at the restaurant. Beautiful beach right in front. Just bring cash as I don't think they can take credit cards.

 

I included pictures of the beach, and infinity pool / restaurant area at Lighthouse Pointe. As you can see, there are NO people around anywhere! 

 

IMG_5397.JPG

IMG_5406.JPG

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Thank you, NeedToVacation!  How did you book your day pass?

Edited by CruisinCrow

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5 hours ago, NeedToVacation said:

I'm not sure which parts are still open. Where the shuttle ($6 pp each way) dropped us off was just a straw market, with local ladies selling souvenirs and t-shirts. I didn't look around too much, so not sure if there are restaurants open nearby. 

 

What I did is walked down the block to get to Lighthouse Pointe where I had booked the resort day pass for $25. Others had paid more for the all-inclusive package which includes lunch and drinks at their poolside restaurant. I just ended up ordering ala carte off the menu and paid an extra $15 for my lunch & a soda. That might be an option for you, just to get out and walk the beach and have lunch. (?)

 

My other suggestion / recommendation for a great local lunch is Cleveland's Beach Club. There is a recent review on trip advisor, says they visited in Dec 2019. My Mom & I ate here about 4 years ago. The local couple that owns it are wonderful! He goes fishing early every morning for the seafood they will cook at the restaurant. Beautiful beach right in front. Just bring cash as I don't think they can take credit cards.

 

I included pictures of the beach, and infinity pool / restaurant area at Lighthouse Pointe. As you can see, there are NO people around anywhere! 

 

IMG_5397.JPG

IMG_5406.JPG

Hi NeedToVacation, is Clevelands beach club walkable from the cruise port? This is our first time to Freeport and this place sounds very interesting for us. Also if not, how would one get there from the cruise port? thanks

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3 hours ago, CruisinCrow said:

Thank you, NeedToVacation!  How did you book your day pass?

 

I booked mine through shoreexcursioneer, and that is just for the resort day pass. 

The all-inclusive one with food and drinks (alcohol too) is through resortforaday. I think it's about $80 - $90 per person.

 

  ** Just make sure to print out your receipt and bring it to show at the resort. **  Some girls were trying to bring theirs up on their phones, and they were having problems for about 35 - 40 minutes to get checked in.

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Hi Thruhiker48, 

 

Cleveland's is not within walking distance. It's probably at least 10 - 12 miles away. 

When we went, it was at the end of a private tour we had booked for ourselves, and our guide knew Cleveland personally.

 

So, I would just ask a cab driver at the cruise port. (Not sure how much they will charge) If you look up on Tripadvisor, Cleveland's is about #6 on the list of restaurants in Freeport. It will show you it's location on the map. I would ask one of the shuttle vans / taxi drivers if they have a group going out to Garden of the Groves, or even the Banana Bay area. Cleveland's is just on the way to (before) those two places. Maybe they would let you share a ride to split the cost. {Or it's just past Taino Beach, which many drivers will be taking people}

 

 -- Or even try to make a deal with a taxi driver to be your "guide" for a couple hours. (?)

 

Hope that helps. Good luck! Have fun!

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Posted (edited)

We visited Freeport on February 26, 2020. It was our first visit back to Freeport since 2019’s Hurricane Dorian, and we were pleased to see that there was still plenty to see and do during our day on Grand Bahama Island from our cruise ship.  We visited both the Port Lucaya Marketplace, and the Lucaya Beach.

 After disembarking the ship, we walked through the Freeport Port Market where are we found a uniformed taxi dispatcher and requested a taxi van ride for the 20-minute trip to Port Lucaya Marketplace.  We paid $12 USD roundtrip per person in cash on arrival to the taxi drop off location in the Port Lucaya Marketplace, and received a voucher for our return trip to the port. 

 We went to the beach first, by walking right on Sea Horse Road, toward the new Wendy’s restaurant, then across the street to the aqua blue and white Police Station, then turning left at the sign that said Beach Access (Sea Horse Lane), by the World Central Kitchen sign. We walked down the Public Beach Access sidewalk and entered the beach area. There were independent vendors renting beach chairs and selling beverages there, and farther to the left. We walked to the left, past the beach in front of the still-closed resorts including the Grand Lucayan Resort, and went as far as the jetty by the Lighthouse Pointe section of the Grand Lucayan Resort.  

Some of the people in our taxi van went directly to the Lighthouse Pointe Resort for a day pass, and seemed to enjoy having access to their beach chairs, pool, snack bar, etc. (The LIghthouse Pointe website has an email address to inquire about day passes.) But we brought our own towels and drinks, and enjoyed a no-frills windy day exploring the beautiful, groomed white sand beach.

 When we were done on the beach, we walked back to the Marketplace via the Public Beach Access sidewalk and walked around the Port Lucayan Marina and lagoon (Bell Channel Bay), and visited the Visitor Center and the market shops.  The Marketplace appears about 70% occupied, with lots of cute bars, restaurants and shops, music in the Count Basie Square bandstand, and several sets of free restrooms. Back at the taxi stand, we showed our voucher to a uniformed taxi dispatcher and were directed to a taxi van for our ride back to the Port. 

All in all, it was a fun, active ~ 5-mile walking day that allowed us to see more attractions at our own pace and a lower price than the ship’s shore excursion.

Edited by Arkansas cruisers

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Thanks Arkansas cruisers for your in depth directions to Lucaya Beach.  We are cruising next week (mid March) & are looking for something low key.  Good to know that its easy to walk around.  was the water warm enough to swim in?  

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On 3/9/2020 at 1:53 PM, 4spring said:

Thanks Arkansas cruisers for your in depth directions to Lucaya Beach.  We are cruising next week (mid March) & are looking for something low key.  Good to know that its easy to walk around.  was the water warm enough to swim in?  

On February 26, the water was rough and not warm enough to swim in, although there was one brave guy body surfing, wearing  a rash guard.

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Arkansas Cruisers - we are also from Arkansas!  We are planning on going to the Lighthouse Pointe when we travel in December.  But we are trying to decide if we want to just get a day pass or the all inclusive.  As someone mentioned already, the price difference is $26 for the day pass and $78 for the AI.  I can't seem to find a menu with prices to determine which would be best.  I did see someone posted that drinks are probably $7.50 each.  And that lunch with a soda was $15.  Any input on menu prices and offerings? 

 

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