Back in Miami we heard about the opportunity to go for 2 day trip to Bahamas, this really sound tempting to us. As we had three full days left, we decided to go for it.
We woke up very early - 5:30AM and drove to the harbor. There was a very good atmosphere in the harbor, musicians played and sang, our temper was in a very positive mode until … During check-in procedures it came out that Estonians need a visa to go to Bahamas. When we bought a trip from an agent, he did not know about, although we especially asked about that. Happily there is a Bahama’s embassy in Miami and happily we had one excessive day. The embassy opened at 9, but visa office a bit later. We were very tired and some of us even slept in the embassy. Finally we got visas and next morning we were in harbor again.
The cruise ship was great; we sunbathed by the pool during the cruise. The cruise took us to Freeport in Grand Bahama Island. Grand Bahama is one of the northernmost of the islands of the Bahamas, lying just 55 miles (90 km) of the coast of Florida, USA. The Island gets its name from the Spanish "gran bajamar" - meaning "great shallows" - for its many flats and shoals in the waters off the island. Grand Bahama is now the second most populous island in the Bahamas, and its major city Freeport is regarded as the nation’s second city.
It is amazing how the environment can be different with less than 100 km distance. In Bahamas we felt more relaxed atmosphere, nobody hurried. At the same time the road condition was worse, and poverty was also seen. But it did not disturb anybody, people seemed very happy.
One reason Americans come to Bahamas is shopping. So, we tried this out also. The two shopping, dining and entertainment villages at International Bazaar and Port Lucaya Marketplace are both filled with tourists day and night, but that’s only half the story on this multi-faceted island. What to buy - jewelry seemed inexpensive, here one can buy Cuba’ cigars, which are not allowed in US, also here you can buy many fake brand product, for example we bought a shirt - Hard Rock Café Bahamas, although there is no such thing. In the evening we had delightful local dinner with local Kalik beer in the harbor open-air restaurant. We also enjoyed the show of the locals.
Next morning we tried out the snorkeling opportunities, we bought the trip from the hotel. The snorkeling was great again, the Caribbean is just a great diving and snorkeling place with rich and colorful sea life. After this trip we spent some leisure time at pool until the time local bus took us to the harbor in order to cruise back to Miami. The cruise back from Freeport to Miami was full of shows.
We were pleased with this two days cruise to Bahamas and also very pleased with our first trip to America.