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05
February
2009

2006 Cruise to Bahamas

We had been to a cruise to Bahamas in 2006 November during ThanksGiving and I had sent a email to my friends on that trip. This is just a copy-paste of that email.

Flying - You can either fly to Fort Lauderdale or Miami. I booked my flight from www.usa3000.com as they have pretty good rates to Florida, pretty decent flight (more or less like our own Jet Airways in India ). Also check for some online discount coupons for usa3000 flights, by which you would save about $30 per head. With these coupons, my tickets came to abt $185 roundtrip from EWR per person.

Cruise: We had booked in Carnival Fascination, paying $340 per person for a 3 day cruise from Miami to Bahamas.The site from which I booked was vacationstogo.com. There are lots of sites like cruise.com etc and more or less all of these sites quote the same price. Note on Carnival Fascination: This was built in 1993 and was renovated just 3 months ago and hence it looked very very new, especially the cabins and bathrooms. So before booking any cruise, just check when it was built and when was it recently renovated. This wud matter a lot.

Visa: We had got Bahamas visitor Visa paying $55 per person. But later on Carnival told us that as long as you have a valid US Visa stamped, you need not  have any Bahamas Visa as they take care of our stay in Bahamas. In case any of you book a cruise, call the cruise directly and check if you would need a Visa. You never know, you would save $55 per person.

The Trip : Landed in Miami at 11:00 am on 23rd, rented a car and headed towards the resort (NewPort Sea Resort) that I had booked in North Miami.  Not wasting much time there, started driving to Key West, which is about 150+ miles from Miami. Though I could not go see all the 5 keys, I covered 3 keys,which was pretty good. Came back to resort at around 7:00pm and spent time in their very clean private beach.

Checked out of the resort the next day and returned my Dollar rental car in their Miami Port location ( Dollar does not charge anything extra for returning cars in a different locations, though lot other do have a charge for that). Took the dollar shuttle and reached the Miami port at 1:00 pm,finished with embarkation process and was in the cruise at 2:00pm. The first impression is probably the best impression. We were really zapped seeing the inside of cruise. From then on, you dont need any guide as you will learn very fast the life in a cruise. But just make sure that you have read the activities menu that are in your cabins properly for each day as there will be lots of shows, dances and comedy shows in  the cruise.

The next day you reach Bahamas and you have one whole day to spend there. You can either chose to take the cruise sponsored tours or go on your own. Cruise sponsored are pretty expensive and you land up paying almost double the price if you take it on your own. We paid $25 per head and got a 3 hour tour and rest of the day we spent in the beach. Just make sure that you had enough for your stomach before leaving the cruise for sightseeing

Came back to the cruise at around 6:00pm and enjoed the rest time in cruise. That day was a formal dining night and it was really fun! The last day was the day in sea and we just relaxed in the cruise eating,sleeping and partying. By the by you get lots of Pina Coladas and Bahama Mamas to drink  along with the normal drinks. You need to pay extra for all these drinks. You wud also end up loosing (or gaining) money in the beautiful casino on the cruise.

The next day we got out of the cruise in morning and again rented a car as I had my flight in the evening. Went around South Beach area and took our flight back to reach the very depressing NJ at around 11:00 in the night.

Total cost - Abt $1700
Rating - * * * *

P.S : I am writing this as many of you guys showed interst in the Cruise and I dont work parttime for Carnival or usa3000 or dollar car :),

Author: pradeep