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Harbour Island DayAway Package

Old Jun 16th, 2005, 10:39 AM
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Harbour Island DayAway Package

My sister and I will be taking our sons ages 9 and 10 to the Raddison Cable Beach the last week in August. I am looking for things to do, in particular, I would really like to visit one of the Out Islands. The fast ferries have a day trip package to Harbour Island. They offer an authentic Bahamian lunch, tour of the old town, and pink sand beach experience (whatever that means). I am concerned about the lunch for our sons, as my sister and I would try just about anything, but I know the boys would probably not eat what is offered (I guess I could always pack lunch for them). Has anyone taken this trip? Is it worth it for the $159/adult, $99/kid? Thanks!!!
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Old Jun 16th, 2005, 07:22 PM
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You really don't need the "package deal" you can take the ferry over on your own, and get Reggie to take you on a tour of the island, have lunch at Tingum Village (for the BEST hamburgers you will ever have) or Harbour Lounge or Angela's Starfish Cafe or Miss Mae's Tea House, or walk over to Coral Sands and have lunch on their deck overlooking the ocean.

The island is small enough that actually you can walk everywhere, and enjoy seeing the community. Everyone you meet will say hello and wave.

One of the oldest churchs in the carribean is on Harbour Island and most of the homes date back to the 1800's some even earlier, and lots of gingerbread.

When you get off the ferry at Government Dock there will be several taxis waiting to take people to their hotels, ask for Reggie or Jenna and ask if they can take you on a short tour of the island.

Have a wonderful time and enjoy the island. If you have any other questions, please let me know.
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Old Jun 17th, 2005, 06:13 AM
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Thanks, Wantsomesun!! My sister and her son have never been to the Bahamas or the caribbean so I really want to make this trip special for them. I know I will definitely have some questions for you the more I plan the trip. Thanks again. Have a great weekend!
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Old Jun 17th, 2005, 07:37 AM
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You might want to try and spend a nite or two on island and there are some very nice places to stay right on the beach like Coral Sands. There will be lots of kids there, so your little ones will probably be able to make some friends.

If you are looking for something a bit more quiet, try Romora Bay, not right on the beach, on the Harbour side of the island, with a very nice pool deck area overlooking the water.

You might try some of the websites for the island to get more info as well...

www.myharbourisland.com
www.coralsands.com
www.romorabay.com
www.rockhousebahamas.com

The Raddison is very nice and the beach there is wide and very clean. The rooms at the Raddison were recently redone. The hotel was just purchased from the Government and is slated to be turned into a larger complex, which will include a water park.

There is also alot to see and do in Nassau. The kids would probably enjoy the Pirate Museum and the Ardastra Zoo and Gardens, lots of interesting animals there. Bring lots of quarters, so the kids can buy feed for the birds. They will eat right out of your hand.

Please let me know if I can be of any more help.
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Old Jun 17th, 2005, 08:07 AM
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To wantsomesun...

Just a note to thank you for your kind and thoughtful contributions to this board and to the US board.

You take the time to answer many questions that have been asked over and over. Yet you do it with grace and style !

The tone here lately has made me sad...thinking that we are losing the focus of helping others.

Then you remind me of why I continue to read here.

Your suggestions to Squiggy were so thoughtful...and I know appreciated.

Thanks for the smiles you give to all of us !

Marion
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Old Jun 17th, 2005, 10:38 AM
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I second that, Marion!! And thanks again Wantsomesun for the great info and suggestions - we will definitely try to fit in all the places you suggested during our trip!! You're the best!

Squiggy
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Old Jun 17th, 2005, 10:41 AM
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Harbour island is awesome!! Don't miss the trip! It's a whole other world from Paradise Island, and one of the nicest beaches in the world.
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Old Jun 17th, 2005, 11:06 AM
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That was so nice of you to say. Thank you. I enjoy the time I spend on the board, and it's nice to be able to help people coming to NYC.

Paul often gets annoyed with me, because I stop and ask people who look confused if they need help or directions. It's so easy to get lost in NYC. My favorite is to help people looking for the Empire State Building who are standing right IN FRONT of the building, I just point up!

About Harbour Island I started going there in 1986, and find it to be a home away from home. The people who live there are warm and friendly and there is virtually no crime of any kind on island, maybe once in a while from an off islander, but I have walked around the island all times of day and night and feel very safe. I've also taken alot of friends and my chorus down on 3 concert tours of the Bahamas and everyone had a great time.

I know you will enjoy your time on island and I know friends of mine there will make you feel just that much more welcome.
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Old Jun 17th, 2005, 12:38 PM
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I am getting really excited about our trip. I just emailed Coral Sands to find out about availability. I hope to be able to spend 2 nites on the island. I'm not going to tell my sister about our side trip, it will be a surprise. Thanks again!
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Old Jun 17th, 2005, 02:44 PM
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Coral Sands would be a perfect spot for you, and honestly you will wish you had spent the entire time there.

You might think about taking the ferry in one direction and Bahamas Air the other for the amazing view. The cost round trip is just about the same.

Also the ferry stops at Spanish Wells so you get to see another outisland, with some amazing history. It was settled by Dutch settlers coming to the Bahamas and the locals there have the most interesting accent. I met a couple here in NYC, and knew IMMEDIATELY they were from Spanish Wells and they were shocked too to know someone so far away would recognize their accent, lol.

Coral Sands has very nice rooms that were recently redone. See if you can get an ocean view room. There is also a nice deck/pool area and a terrific restaurant.

The kids will probably like Angela's restaurant the best, good local food, lots of conch fritters, and get the conch salad.

Arthur's Cafe is fun for breakfast and they make the best bread. I buy a loaf of coconut bread there, and that's what I have for lunch and.

The kids will also like the Junkanoo Punch sold at the Piggly Wiggly, so get a couple of 6 packs for your room.

When you get closer to your trip I will give you lots of names of people to look up and tell them you know me.

One more thing, when you get off the ferry, there is a straw market right at the end of the dock, please buy something from Miss Sarah, she, bless her soul is late 80's and still runs the straw stand, it is her only income. She usually has lovely straw hats, baskets, tee shirts, and things the kids will love.

Guess that's about all I can think of right now, I am going to overload you with info, lol.

Again, let me know if you have any other questions, and I would suggest calling Coral Sands, instead of just emailing. They are busy over the summer months.

Take care.
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Old Jun 17th, 2005, 03:21 PM
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Wantsomesun:

I have also noticed that your posts are very helpful, especially with respect to the Harbour Island questions.

My husband and I really like the looks of the island, and I think I asked you some questions about Coral Sands in particular when we were considering visiting there for vacation last month (we ended up going to TCI b/c we got a really good rate). I've read that the Coral Sands' rooms have recently been redone; are they as nice as they look in the pictures on their website?

Also, when do you think the best month to travel to Harbour Island would be? We try to travel in the beginning of the summer (May) to get off season rates (and also, to try to minimize the amount of children that would be on vacation).

In an interesting side note, I read that Colin Ferrell stayed at the Coral Sands a couple of months ago!
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Old Jun 17th, 2005, 03:41 PM
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I have been on island just about every month of the year over the last few years, and other than a hurricane or a cold spell the weather there is usually nice. The Bahamas has the same weather generally as S. Florida.

That said, we are there in the Spring through the end of August. Probably the nicest time of year is April through the end of May. The water is bath water warm the later in the season.

Yes the rooms at Coral Sands are as nice as they look in the pictures. The hotel was purchased not long ago and every room was completely redone as well as all the common areas and the deck/beach bar/pool.

The island has been discovered, but it's still very laid back. I met Ed Bradly on island (CBS 60 Minutes) and alot of celebs are staying on island, so celeb siting is very possible, again with a laid back flair.

There are a few new shops that have opened and a few new restaurants, and with the ferry stopping twice a day there is more traffic on island.

I have pictures of the beach, and even during high season you can find stretches of beach deserted.

A fun day trip would be to take a water taxi to an outisland, so you have an entire island all to yourselves for the day. Yes it's happened that a water taxi has forgotten to pick someone up, but since the island is so small you would be missed and a water taxi would be sent out for you, lol.

Believe me I have been all over the carribean, and I go back to Harbour Island.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2006, 04:33 PM
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I, too, am interested in a day trip to Harbour Island, will be leaving next week for Nassau/Paradise Island. We don't need the tour, etc.; just plan to get RT ferry tickets (don't care for paper planes). Is the island really small enough that we can walk around a bit, eat (name of good restaurant??), hang out at the beach the rest of day, then walk back to ferry dock, or will we need a golf cart? How is snorkeling over there? Thanks.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2006, 06:45 AM
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Yes the island is only half a mile wide by 3 miles long and all the resorts and restaurants are within walking distance.

You would probably enjoy several restaurants on island, like Harbour Lounge or The Landing which are both right as you get off the ferry overlooking the bayside of the island.

If you want a nice view of the water, try the beach bar/restaurat at Coral Sands or the one next door at Pink Sands.

There is a bit of shopping and 2 art galleries.

The beach is 3 miles long and one of the best in the world, and even in high season you will find long stretches all to yourselves.

When you get off the ferry look for Reggie (cab driver, and tell him HI) and ask for a tour of the island, noone knows the island better than Reg.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2006, 09:48 AM
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I forgot to mention a few other places for a bite to eat, like Angela's Starfish for GREAT conch anything, expecially the conch salad, and tell Angela HELLO for me.

Also Ma Ruby's cheeseburgers are the burgers of legend, located at Tingum Village, which is close to Romora Bay, another EXCELLENT restaurant.

"Downtown" Harbour Island, (Dunsmore Town) is also Arthur's Bakery (and ask for a loaf of coconut bread), Miss Mae's Tea House, the Pizza Shope, The Deli and for some cute islandy clothing Androsia, (clothing actually made in the Bahamas) say HI there for me too!!!

When you get to the ferry dock, look for Reggie, and ask him for a tour of the island, it won't take long and on one on island knows it as well as Reg.

Please give him love from me. Have a GREAT trip and enjoy the Bahamas.

Gail
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Old Apr 3rd, 2006, 07:18 PM
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Thanks so much. If we make it over there, I'll send your regards.
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Old Apr 5th, 2006, 01:59 AM
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To Mah--

I'm with everyone who says thanks to Wantsomesun. She was incredibly helpful (and accurate!) as I was planning a getaway to Harbour Island last November. My husband and I loved the island--it truly IS "the home of friendly people"--and look forward to going back someday.

We stayed at Coral Sands so I thought I would answer your question about the rooms. We very much liked the Coral Sands and our rooms. They look as they do on the website except they oceanfront rooms in the Caribe building are not very large. There is no dresser (though there is a walk in closet) and the bathroom is just big enough to fit a tub/shower, single sink and toilet. We thought the bathrooms could have been improved (in the junior suite, it would have been nice to have a double vanity, for example). You should go to tripadvisor.com to read others' reviews of the rooms. You'll see that the reviews go up and down. Seems the management is not the friendliest (but many of the staff we met were).

I would still go back to Coral Sands as the rates are good, the common areas are lovely, the beach restaurant is terrific and the beach is to die for. Might try Runaway Hill (wantsomesun's favorite) but think that Coral Sands would be best with kids.

Just some thoughts.
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