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Old 08-10-2012, 03:28 PM
 
385 posts, read 938,440 times
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Hi,

I am a Tampa resident and I have been thinking of planning a trip to the Bahamas. I think it would be cheaper to either take the ferry from Ft. Lauderdale or to fly out of the Miami airport, since the Miami area is so close to the Bahamas.

Anyone have experience flying or taking the boat?

Thanks.

Last edited by corvidae; 08-10-2012 at 03:48 PM..
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Old 08-10-2012, 09:39 PM
 
Location: Miami/ Washington DC
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Not sure what ferry there is but there are plenty of flights from Ft. Lauderdale, Miami and West Palm Beach airports. Just go online and check out the prices it's a short flight. I would go ahead and see how mich TPA-Freeport is too may just be cheaper doing a connecting flight instead of the cost for the drive/gas etc..
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Old 08-11-2012, 09:27 AM
 
385 posts, read 938,440 times
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Thanks.

I was sort of curious about if anyone had taken the boat. It is from Ft. Lauderdale and it is called "Bahamas Express." I was wondering if that would be a better way to go than flying.
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Old 08-11-2012, 10:09 AM
 
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The ferry takes forever. You have to arrive an hour and half ahead of time, then processing takes another half an hour, then it's three hours on the ferry. Same thing coming back only Bahamian immigration can take even longer. So basically it's five hours to get there on the ferry and five hours to get back.

Airport security, etc. is also a pain and time consuming, but you the flight over is real quick. ( 50 minutes)

The other annoying thing about the ferry is that you have to carry your luggage up and down stairs on your own. If you're just going for the day, no big deal ( no luggage) but if you've got bags, not much fun.

The ferry is about $ 200 round trip if you're leaving and departing on different days- the plane is abut $ 300.

Up to you if the think the $ 100 savings is worth the time and hassle.
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Old 08-11-2012, 02:09 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
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I just checked on their website, and found that "daytrip" tickets start at $142. and regular return tickets run around $193 round trip (there is a sneaky $25 "operational charge" which I factored in). There is a ferry + 2 night hotel package that is $228/pp (taxes included), which seems like a good deal, though it's a double occupancy thing. Travel time is supposed to be 2:30. By comparison, flights seem to start at $370 from TPA with stopover in Miami. Bahamas air flies direct to Orlando also around $385. Flights from MIA start around $300 as mentioned above. Unless you're in Fort Lauderdale anyways and you just want to go to the Bahamnas for a day trip, It sounds like a bit of a hassle to save $100-$150, and it may be worth it just to fly from Tampa or Orlando. OTOH, if you're traveling with a companion the 2 night hotel package seems like a good deal.

When I took the boat, it was still the old Discovery "cruise" ship, which I think took over 4 hours one way and was actually more of a college party atmosphere (you can drink 18+ outside of US waters). Also, you only got like 2-3 hours actually on the island, but with the new boat you get like 7 hours in the Bahamas for a day trip.
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