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Meg Jun 24th, 1998 01:56 PM

Freeport Bahamas for Labor Day
We are going to Freeport for a long week-end mainly for lying on the beach and snorkeling. Is the water calm and clear at that time? We recently went to Phuket in Southeast Asia and found that monsoon season makes the water too rough and cloudy for snorkeling - just wondering if hurricane season does the same. We are staying in a cottage near Deadman's Reef. Any restaurant recommendations? Any info would be most appreciated. Thanks.

Jean E. Bowers Jun 25th, 1998 06:42 AM

You are there in the hurricane season so its anybodys guess. I spent two weeks on Grand Bahama and it rained 10 out of the 14 days. For dining there is the Brass Helmit at Port Lucaya for reasonably priced standard fare. Giovanni's which is also in Port Lucaya. For lunch they have Bahamian selections and dinner Italian. The restaur ant is owned by a husband wife team. Genny who is from the Bahamas and Giovanni who is from Italy. The food is wonderful,and reasonable. Pussers also in the area has good food, rather high in price, but you have the whole of the market place and marina to look out on. Downtown you might like the Pub on the Mall. At the International Bazar there is Cafe Michaels and several very good Chinese restaurants. If you are doing meals at the cottage, there are several good grocery stores with a good selection of food from the U.S., but at very high prices. For example a box of cereal here might be $2.00-$3.50 there might be from $4.00-$6.00. Travlers checks are cashed most inexpensively at a bank and there is one near the grocery stores. If you take one to the store the office will OK it before you get in the check out line. Take as much as you can in your suitcases. I have seen a can of Pringles as high as $5.00 in the islands. Look if you buy milk that it is not reconstituted, or out dated. Both are common.

Deb M. Jul 28th, 1998 05:21 PM

<BR> <BR>Meg: <BR> <BR>I hate to be a spoilsport, but please don't go to Freeport. My family and I went a few years ago and had a terrible time. Food and beverage prices are TWICE the U.S. cost (i.e. a 12" Subway Club is $9.00+, a 12-pack of beer is $18.00 U.S.). <BR> <BR>Also, there is begging on the streets AND in the restaurants (Burger King). These people come up to you while you're eating and sit down at the table - no fear at all! <BR> <BR>Also, there is garbage all over in the forests - don't try to hike it. The hotel we stayed at (Bahama Grand Hotel - not at the beach), had Concertina wire (circular barbed wire) all around the hotel, due to two female vacationers being RAPED on the premisis. The hotel was in very poor shape, and evidence of cockroaches (in the light fixtures) too. <BR> <BR>A bright spot though was the duty free shopping - British goods are especially reasonable. <BR> <BR>All in all, please DO NOT GO! We left early, short $400, but felt lucky to leave at all. If you must go, I would recommed it as a DAYTRIP only - the shopping is good, but the sights are no where near the quality of what you will find in Florida, and Florida is much cheaper! <BR> <BR>Best wishes, whatever your choice.

Meg Jul 30th, 1998 11:14 AM

Deb, <BR> <BR>Thanks for the warning, but we are going. We plan to take most of our own food - as we usually do for island trips - we know how expensive things are and generally pack picnics and cook out. <BR> <BR>Begging is something we have encountered from home to Thailand - I tend to be sympathetic rather than bothered or scared. Just think how the people begging must feel.... <BR> <BR>We have no intention of hiking - we are going to snorkle and play on the beach. Shopping is not my idea of a beach vacation. We have a secluded cottage outside of Freeport and are looking forward to some peace and quiet. <BR> <BR>I'm sorry your trip turned out badly. I've heard two extremes - people either love Freeport or they hate it. We can't say we haven't been warned. I'll let you know how it turns out. Thanks.

Alex Aug 1st, 1998 10:47 AM

My family will also be taking a trip to Freeport for the Labor Day weekend. I hear that rain can be expected, but that it only lasts for a couple of hours. Reading the other responses, I can see that opinions on Freeport are mixed. It's unfortunate that many people go to other countries expecting the same amenities and lifestyles that we enjoy in the States. An open mind, safety awareness, and a positive attitude should allow for a good time. Last year, we stopped in Nassau for a day during a cruise. We loved the beautiful beaches, as well as the casual friendliness of the locals. We wanted to enjoy a longer stay in the Bahamas, but Nassau is way overpriced. We chose Freeport because it is reasonable, and we have heard good things about it. <BR>Barring a hurricane, I think everything will be great. See you there!

Kathleen Aug 2nd, 1998 05:52 AM

My family just went to Freeport in June and had a good time. If you go with a positive attitude and do not expect US standards you will enjoy yourself. The snorkeling near Deadman's Reef is very calm , best in mid-afternoon when the water gets deeper. We liked the Princess restaurants, Guiliahania's ? buffet at the Country Club and the Italian restaurant at the Tower. Take food with you if you can it is very expensive in the grocery stores. They advised us to go to the grocery on Saturday because it is best stocked then and they are only open Sunday 7-9a.m. We also went on the Bahama Mama party boat one day. They take you out to open water to snorkle. It was very choppy and not much to see, we were disappointed since this is billed as the #1 attraction. Expect short, late afternoon, heavy downpours of rain. It feels great to have cool rain beating down on you while standing in the very warm ocean water. Over 2 weeks it showered 5 times, only once for longer than an hour or two. You will be in an isolated area of the island, have transportation and exercise caution and you will have a relaxing trip.

jan Sep 14th, 1998 09:18 PM

We went to Freeport last Nov., and while <BR>I did not "love" it, we had a good time. <BR>We didn't have anyone bother us, if you don't want to feel pressured, all you have to do is stay away from the street vendors. My son snorkeled in Port Lucaya <BR>with UNEXSO and loved it. They even taped it on VHS, and great souviner for him. The water is gorgeous, teal green. I waited and snorkeled when we got back to the Florida Keys, and which I would have done it in The Bahama's, warmer water, more colorful fish. You'll have a good time, things are expensive, especially a trip to the grocery store, but where aren't they. Have fun!

Meg Sep 15th, 1998 08:34 AM

Our trip was a few weeks ago, and I posted that it was a success, but since this message has come back to the top, I'll highlight it again for those who answered my original post. We thoroughly enjoyed the trip, but can certainly understand why people don't like the island. I think what made our trip such a success was that we stayed on the West End - far away from the touristy stuff in Freeport. Paradise Cove was wonderful. The beach is two feet outside your front door and the snorkeling was fantastic. The Smith's who run Paradise Cove couldn't have been nicer and are concerned about safety for the snorkelers and protecting the reef. We only had one bad experience with a rude guy trying to sell us a conch shell at the Int'l. Bazaar. We liked the Port Lucaya Market Place, but weren't impressed with the Int'l. Bazaar and the Princess Casino complex - it had no island appeal whatsoever. We ate at Pier One, Fatman's Nephew and the Pub at Port Lucaya (formerly Pusser's). The food was high every where, but we came prepared with some groceries of our own for breakfast, lunch and snacks. Brad's Rental Cars gave us a $40 a day rate. A car is a necessity if staying so far out, but we wouldn't stay any where else. We plan on going back with our kids next spring. Paradise Cove is a great place to take kids - it's never crowded (they only have 3 cottages) and bring in snorkel tours during the day. A grill serving hotdogs, hamburgers and grilled conch operates during the day but closes at 6.

dave Sep 29th, 1998 04:34 PM

my wife and I have been to freeport a few times and loved it. just say no or keep walking when in the market!!! <BR> anyway glad u's liked it, we r going back in march 99. <BR> see ya on the beach!!!!!!!

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