A few years ago, our cruise on the Carnival Glory diverted from its original planned course due to a hurricane. For the most part, we were stoked about the change – we got to visit Isla Roatan in Honduras instead of Costa Maya. But, we traded Nassau for Freeport.
With little time to plan for Freeport ahead of time, we picked a beach excursion through the onboard shore excursion desk. It was OK, but I left Freeport feeling unimpressed with a desire to never return to this Bahamian island.
Flash forward about 6 years and I’ve booked a cruise that happens to visit Freeport. Sailing on the Carnival Sunshine from New Orleans, we visited Freeport, Nassau and Key West. This time, I planned ahead. Typically, I like doing active things – snorkeling, swimming and biking – but since we were visiting in February, I was worried the water might be too cold. And this needed to be a relaxing stop since we spent the day biking around Key West.
The perfect solution: The Grand Lucayan Resort. I’d seen comments and threads about this resort on different cruise message boards. It seemed like an ideal solution – a relaxing option that could provide a better opinion of Freeport.
It was easy enough to get there; we grabbed a taxi right from the cruise port. Cab fare is typically $10 each for a round trip journey to the resort. Along the way, we actually convinced some fellow cruise passengers to check out the resort and join us for the day. On a humorous note, our taxi driver wasn’t thrilled we wanted to go to the Grand Lucayan. He kept suggesting we just visit the local “free” beach, where we would have had to pay for chairs and any other amenity.
It was about a 25 minute ride over to the resort. The taxi dropped us off in front of the casino – well played – but we immediately headed over to the resort to get our day passes. For $15 per person, we had access to the resort’s amenities:
Pools. Four pools and you have access to all of them. The pools snake around the resort, all of them right next to the white sand beaches with stunning resort and ocean views. Every pool has plenty of chairs, umbrellas and tables for you to use. Some of the pools have volleyball nets strung across them. My favorite part of the pools – they have tons of lounging floats for you to use in the pool and a swim-up pool bar.
Beaches. The resort sits on 7.5 acres of white sand beach. The water was a little bit chilly for my tastes, so I only walked on the beach during my visit. I can imagine this would be an ideal way to spend a day in port during the warmer summer months. The resort also has water based activities like snorkeling, windsurfing, boogie-boarding and kayaking.
Restaurants and bars. While they have 9 different restaurants, the only one I took advantage of was the one that delivered to my pool chair. They have waitresses who bring you drinks and food all day. That’s pretty much how I picture paradise anyway, so I loved this. But if you’re up for more of a dining experience, they have Bahamian, Asian and American themed places to chow down at.
Free Wi-Fi. Picture perfect beaches. Frosty drink. Great company. And what I was most excited about? Yeah, the free Wi-Fi! The day we were in town – my town was having an ice/snow storm. You’d better believe I was posting some pictures and doing a little bit of gloating. But my gloating aside, this is a great feature of the resort.
As far as towels go, you can rent towels from the resort – for a $25 deposit. When you get your day pass, you’ll receive a towel card that enables you to do this at the towel stands on the resort. Of course, you can also bring your cruise ship towel along with you as well!
So, you might be wondering, do I have a better view of Freeport? Yes, I do. I left the resort feeling relaxed and recharged. And I would absolutely visit this resort again – when it’s warmer so I can enjoy more of it! You definitely need to venture out to explore the island part the pretty boring port and you’ll find a whole new side of the island.
For more information on the Grand Lucayan Resort in Freeport, Bahamas visit their website: https://www.grandlucayan.com.
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