The Bahamas was actually a spontaneous day trip. Haha yes, I do actually mean spontaneously unplanned and I truly mean ONE day lol!! So, I was actually heading down to Florida to fly out of Ft. Lauderdale to go to Haiti on a missions trip - flights were much cheaper and I wanted to visit several other friends in FL anyway. When I got back, a friend and I spontaneously decided to check out this $75 ferry boat ride to the Bahamas he had heard about through Balearia. He had been anxiously waiting for someone to finally go with him... and of course, HOW COULD I POSSIBLY SAY NO TO A $75 TRIP!? Now unfortunately, it wasn't actually $75, it was $90 base fare plus taxes and other hidden costs. Keep reading though for more details because it was still an unbelievable deal!
But before I go into details, watch this video compilation I made recapping all the fun we had!
- Ticket: $91 base fare
- Taxes: $30
- Excursion package w/ transportation: ≈ $45
- Additional food: ≈ $10
- Total: ≈ $176
- Round-trip ferry ticket from Fort Lauderdale to the Freeport
- Travel by boat to the Bahamas while enjoying views from the water
- Get about five hours of free time to spend on the island at your own leisure
- A current valid passport, US birth certificate, or US resident card is required
WHAT TO EXPECT:
First and foremost, make sure you have your passport! Meet at the Port Everglades cruise terminal in Fort Lauderdale at 6 am - you will have to pay for parking. Because of security reasons, the terminal doors close prior to your departure, so you need to arrive about two hours before your 8 am departure time. This is to give you enough time to get through all of the check-in and pre-boarding inspection requirements. Now, the ride is about 3.5-hours over to the Bahamas and it can get kind of cold, so I would advise bringing a small blanket. Food, beverages, and duty-free goods are available for additional purchase on the ride over.
Once you arrive at the Freeport Harbour, you'll have about five hours of free time to spend however you choose within the purchased excursion package. This excursion package is a requirement in addition to your round-trip ticket - that is, if you actually want to leave the Harbour (which of course, there is absolutely nothing to do at the Harbour lol). You can choose between a couple different fun-filled activities such as snorkeling, sunbathing, and banana boat tours, or take a trip to the open-air markets, casinos, and restaurants. Transportation to these places is usually included within the excursion package. Then finally, after your free-time period, you will return back to the port to board the Balearia Caribbean for your 3.5-hour return ride to Fort Lauderdale.
So overall, it was a really fun trip! However, I have heard from my others friends though that Freeport is not the top choice if you have the means to go to a different part of the Bahamas. But if you're just looking for a quick, affordable trip and are already in the Ft. Lauderdale area, I highly recommend the Balearia ferry.