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Return ferry from Bimini question/advice


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We are looking to change our trip to R/T Bimini instead of Nassau (airfare from Orlando to Nassau is absolutely ridiculous for a 1 hour flight).  Looking at the ferry schedule back home to FLL on Sundays, it seems like the ferry doesn't depart until 7:30pm and arrives in FLL at 9:30pm.  Does anyone have any recommendations about what to do in Bimini all day?  I think there may be a day resort there that Crystal passengers can use.  Is anyone else in the same boat (no pun intended)?  Also, is everyone booking the ferry directly or is there an option to have Crystal do it?  I want to be sure that if there is an issue with the ferry we are covered under the travel insurance. 

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As a resident of neighboring Brevard county, I asked the same question on these boards but did not get a response.  Crystal offers a transfer on the ferry as part of their pre- and post-cruise hotel packages, but I did not see it offered on its own.  My adviser at Crystal initially said Crystal would be doing a charter to cut out the lengthy stay before and after the cruise, but I'm not sure they ever did.  There is also the issue of luggage with the ferry--they charge $25 per bag each way and what do you do with it all day after you disembark the ship.  We eventually decided driving to Miami, booking a hotel offering long-term parking, and flying from MIA to Nassau would be the way to go.  And then we completely changed course and booked the R/T out of Antigua--same travel plan to and from the ship and the flight cost was not much more considering it is a longer flight.  Also hope for slightly better luck with sailing conditions in the Caribbean Sea during hurricane season than in the Atlantic for the Bahamas.

 

Bottom line--I think you will need to call Crystal and see if they are chartering the ferry to offer transfers outside of those included in the hotel packages.  

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I looked at it from Fort Lauderdale. Leaves at 9:30 am, and return I believe was at 7:30. Too early to arrive and too late to leave. Also, it was expensive.  Decided to fly. 

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I never did the Bimini ferry but took the Discovery Sun Pt. Everglades to Freeport many times, wow were the passengers upset when the waves would kick up on the way over and seasickness kicked in. One time the waves were crashing over the ferry, people were swearing, praying and rolling on the floor. The pursor was passed out behind the counter. 

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On 5/8/2021 at 7:54 AM, loriva said:

As a resident of neighboring Brevard county, I asked the same question on these boards but did not get a response.  Crystal offers a transfer on the ferry as part of their pre- and post-cruise hotel packages, but I did not see it offered on its own.  My adviser at Crystal initially said Crystal would be doing a charter to cut out the lengthy stay before and after the cruise, but I'm not sure they ever did.  There is also the issue of luggage with the ferry--they charge $25 per bag each way and what do you do with it all day after you disembark the ship.  We eventually decided driving to Miami, booking a hotel offering long-term parking, and flying from MIA to Nassau would be the way to go.  And then we completely changed course and booked the R/T out of Antigua--same travel plan to and from the ship and the flight cost was not much more considering it is a longer flight.  Also hope for slightly better luck with sailing conditions in the Caribbean Sea during hurricane season than in the Atlantic for the Bahamas.

 

Bottom line--I think you will need to call Crystal and see if they are chartering the ferry to offer transfers outside of those included in the hotel packages.  

Hmmm interesting.  If Crystal was doing a charter ferry I would do that in a heart-beat.  After reading some reviews of the ferry I am quite worried that it is not reliable.  I have not changed our cruise yet which is right now leaving from Nassau on October 16th.  The ferry just seems way too risky at this point, especially if really has nothing to do with Crystal.  Has anyone else heard about a Crystal charter? 

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