Bahamas - info request

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by ffitalia, Dec 20, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. ffitalia

    ffitalia Silver Member

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    Hello, with my wife, we are planning to take a trip (two week) to the bahamas.. so i have some questions.
    1: what is the best time to go there?
    2: you know some hotels?
    3: we live in north Italy, the flight (with Delta or other SkyTeam partner) should be Milan - Miami (never visited, it's worth stopping a few days?) or New York - Nassau - some island (???)...
    You have other suggestions?

    Thank's

    Sorry .. maybe it was better to put this thread under "Destination Travel", if some admin move it .... thanks :cool:
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2013
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  2. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    There are several islands in the Bahamas, and I can only tell you about Nassau (New Providence Island). I would recommend staying at Atlantis on Paradise Island. I personally would recommend going in January or February. Miami is certainly worth stopping for a few days. If you are not set on the Bahamas, I think there are many Caribbean destinations that are immensely better than the Bahamas. It is probably my least favorite destination in the Caribbean, and we have been to many different islands there. If you can tell us what you are looking for on your vacation, you will probably find many here who can give you excellent recommendations.
     
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  3. ffitalia

    ffitalia Silver Member

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    Thanks, is first time for me in Caribbean. My idea is 15 days travel, and at least 10 by the sea, sun:cool:, snorkeling and a beer :rolleyes:.
    In this period, the traditional destination for us Europeans are the Maldives but do not convince us and then we are evaluating different destinations. The bahamas we were advised by a friend, but accept any advice / idea
     
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  4. viguera
    Original Member

    viguera Gold Member

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    +1 for Atlantis but only because it's really the best property to go if you want to enjoy a little bit of everything. The thing is basically a waterpark now, incredibly sprawled out and has a casino, aquarium, etc.

    I swore off the Bahamas after my last trip though, mostly because I think it's becoming too touristy. The cruise ships sell day passes to Atlantis too, so depending on when you go you might run into large crowds.

    Keep in mind that Paradise Island is a good distance from downtown Nassau and the airport, and the whole area is so crowded that traffic is a serious concern. It could take you 15-20 minutes to get there, or it can take you an hour. Taxis are generally on a fixed rate, although you might run into the occasional one trying to rip you off. There is a pretty good public transit system using minibuses, but that usually requires a hike to flag them down since I don't think they're allowed past the front gate.

    If you're doing 15 days you might as well fly into Miami or Puerto Rico and take a cruise. You can do an Eastern or Western Caribbean cruise that will stop at 5-6 different islands, then you can get a feel for the ones that you want to actually visit and come back later for a proper vacation.

    I would not spend 10 days in the Bahamas myself, as it's probably one of my least favorite islands as well. Same goes for Bermuda, although I'm probably just jaded and want something with fewer tourists. I just came back from Turks & Caicos earlier this year and I think it's far, FAR nicer than either one of those, although it's pricey and there's not much to do other than bum by the sea (which is not really a bad thing :) ).

    You could do Grand Cayman or the US / British Virgin Islands and you'd probably find them better than the Bahamas.
     
  5. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    If you want beauty, St. Lucia is magnificent. It can be a bit slow there, but the beauty is fantastic. If you want fantastic diving in very warm and clear water, Grand Cayman is quite nice and has a good restaurant selection on the island. It is by no means a beautiful island. We were in St Kitts a few months ago for the first time and I really enjoyed it there. We stayed at the Marriott and the water was excellent, there were some unbelievably good restaurants expensive and inexpensive. Some of the views we experienced while driving there were absolutely beautiful, and seeing so many monkeys running around was a lot of fun. St. Maarten is quite nice and St. Barts was fantastic, but it was quite pricey. We were in Cuba a few years back and that was very enjoyable. The people were lovely and the hotels which are mostly European owned were magnificent. It is very reasonable to go there now, and will probably be much more expensive when Castro is gone. It was really cool to see all the old 50's cars still driving around Havana. Veradero Beach was a fun place to spend some time. The Dominican Republic also had some very nice beaches and was not expensive. There are some very nice all inclusives there and Casa De Campo is great if you want your own villa there. We've been to many other islands there and I'll be happy to give you information on any place that you might be interested in. I see that you also posted about Aruba. Aruba is fantastic for the water and the food, but it is not a beautiful island. It is actually somewhat ugly in terms of islands, but I would not let that stop you from going. I've been there twice and really enjoyed it both times. There is a great beach called baby beach where you can go out about 300 meters in the water and still be only waist high in nice warm water. If it is a choice between Bahamas and Aruba, forget Bahamas.
     
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  6. anileze

    anileze Gold Member

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    Nearly all the caribbean islands have great beaches. Most of the islands have a range of accommodations that range from super luxurious to basic hotels with many minor problems that are noted by many of us; but are acceptable to backpackers.

    The Bahamas: Nassau and nearby Paradise Island are chockfull of luxurious resorts managed by named international hospitality brands. However, Bahamas consists of over 700 islands, cays and islets. Other major island in the Bahamas is the Grand Bahamas. These are famous because there are many direct flights from the US, and tour operators sell packaged tours.There are some other lesser known islands in the Bhamas like Cat Island, San Salvador, Eluethera, Exuma and Rum Cay. The costs per day vary, and they do vary by a vast margin.

    If you want beaches and beer or rum, there are many other Island nations:

    Antigua & Barbuda: Their marketing buzz is 365 beaches. I did not count, but there are plenty of them beaches. And many All Inclusive resorts where you can drink unlimited cheap draft beer and watered down alcoholic fruit punches.

    St. Lucia: This is a rather diverse island, and has some over exposed/marketed beaches and some really hidden gems. This island has mountains, bio diverse rainforests, simmering volcanic activity to boot. Famous of home made spicy rums, and home of Derek Wolcott and Arthur Lewis, the Nobel Prize winners. It is good for snorkeling, hiking and of course beaches.

    Puerto Rico: Two spanish speaking islands very popular with people from US. One, is a US territory with modern creature comforts and beaches. It also has a rain forest; music and BBQ :) Then there is Culebra Island off the coast where many puerto ricans do during the weekend for beach parties.

    Dominican Republic: This island is very popular with European Charter tour groups and has the most number of international airports for an island nation in the caribbean. DR, the first island where Christopher Columbus landed, has high density of All inclusive resorts as well an underbelly of crime, drugs and more..But if you choose your AI Resort carefully, you will never leave the premise and all your creature comforts will be catered to - From Airport pickup to drop off.

    Jamaica: Another popular destination, which gained notoriety in the 70s and 80s for ganja, music, and hedonism !! It has its own distinct cuisine and culture, plus currently the land of the fast man on earth and a once great cricketing nation. Montego Bay airport is where 90% of beach goes land. Negril is the spot for a couple of clothing optional resorts, some naughty some not. Jerk Chicken, Curry Goat Roti and Rum punch !

    ABC: Aruba, Bonaire and Curaco are the three island of the former Dutch colonies. These are popular with US and Venezulean tourists. It is also one of the popular destination of island weddings by the beach. (For Aruba check an active and ongoing discussion in another thread)

    Cayman Islands: Another popular destination of beaches, overseas bank accounts, and formerly HQ for zillion hedge funds, and now only a few billion mailbox hedge funds remain. It has famous 7 mile beach dotted with all famous brand name hotels. You can snorkel with the Stingrays, or go swimming in the quieter Rum Point. One third of the population of this island consists of expats. There is the other island Little Cayman where life is slow and laid back and infrastructure a bit wanting.

    Barbados: A cricketing island, a former british colony it has both the hidden beaches and grand resorts. You have some good places to surf, or snorkel and dive.

    Trinidad & Tobago: One of the more resource rich country, it's tourist beaches are mainly in Tobago, the smaller island. Trinidad has bio diversity, calypso and chutney music and steel bands plus the Indo-caribbean influence in its cuisine, temperament and politics. It has an underbelly of crime in its major city Port of Spain. Yet another cricketing island ;)

    St. Martin/Sint. Maarten: The French/Dutch island with beaches, european flavor to its town and beach resorts. A very good do-nothing but chill in the beach island with great dining. Many European carriers fly directly from Europe; KLM, AF amongst others.

    There is St. Kitts, St. Vincent & Grenadines, Turks & Caicos, Dominica, The US Virgin Islands of St. John et. al. Bermuda, Guadaloupe, and the grand daddy of the islands - Cuba.

    Some of these islands are on the winter-spring cruise circuit, which means lots of day-tripping tourists.

    Many of these islands depend on tourism as their main source of income, and hence very friendly; but some...<CCL:Couldnt Care Less>
     
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  7. jbcarioca
    Original Member

    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    First, since you ask about the Bahamas specifically and mention sea, sun, snorkelling and a beer. The heavily touristy and commercial part is New Providence (Nassau) and that is essentially interchangeable with any otehr touristy island destination. Some people love it. In two decades owning property in the Bahamas I went to Nassau fewer than five times, and then only to do business.
    Eleuthera, the Exumas (a chain that has hundreds of islands running form just South of Nassau to about 170 km south. I owned an island there for a couple of decades. Great Exuma is fairly unspoiled and has all the attributes you mention, is quite cheap and not too busy. If you like diving and/or snorkelling Great Exuma (Georgetown Harbour) is home to one of the largest coral reefs in the world. That is quite unspoiled and few people know about it.
    Eleuthera is similar. There are many fairly modest hotels in those two places and decent commuter flights from Miami and Nassau. I recommend staying somewhere on Miami Beach for a few days at the beginning or end if you'd like to see a more urban style beach life.

    If you want much more detail I have lots of it available as probably do others here, for both Miami and the various parts of the Bahamas.
     
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  8. ffitalia

    ffitalia Silver Member

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    thanks to all, now I relax for a few days skiing in the Alps, then we will plan the tour to the Caribbean
     
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