Will we love or hate the Bahamas? Please help!

Apr 27th, 2006, 11:14 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2006
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Will we love or hate the Bahamas? Please help!

My fiance and I (late 20's/early30's) are interested in taking a Caribbean vacation in August. I know that's hurricane season but I have been to Puerto Rico before in August and experienced good weather (aside from high humidity and hot,hot heat! ).

Last year we went to Vieques in May and had a great time.. but don't know what to do this year. What we loved about the Vieques was the off-roading, variety and seclusion of the beaches, and the "not-too-built-up" feeling of the island. However we got bored after dinner and wanted to go out.. but not many places to go.

A friend suggested the Bahamas. Do you think the Bahamas could be for us or we would hate it because some places are overly resort-y?

From another thread I posted, people had suggested St. Kitt and Nevis.. but I worry that I may still find myself turning in early. Should this not be a concern?

I would appreciate your thoughts!

dotska is offline  
Apr 27th, 2006, 11:53 AM
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I would not go to Nassau/Paradise Island if you want to get away from busy tourism. Maybe one of the other Bahama islands but there again - there may not be much nightlife. On Paradise Island, we stayed at the Atlantis & one evening went to a wonderful little restaurant (off the main tourism area) recommended by a local. Best food we had on the island but, there was a guard & rottweiler at the door and when you went in & left, the employee unlocked the door to let you through then locked it again behind you.

Anegada (BVI) is a fun, quirky little island with good snorkeling off the beach & offers a very unique island experience - fun to explore it. We came back with a lot of unusual stories to tell friends. There is little nightlife, however, the thing that makes the nightlife fun is that every night boats dock at the Anegada Reef Hotel & the people hang around the little outdoor bar at the hotel. Everyone talks to each other & you get to meet people from around the world. For the Anegada Reef Hotel, Goto http://www.anegadareef.com/
Apr 27th, 2006, 12:14 PM
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Posts: 1,360
If you liked Vieques, Nassau or Freeport will probably not suit. However, some of the livelier Out Islands of the Bahamas might be a better fit.

Speaking from my own experience, I would say the Abacos might work. Lightly developed, but enough "action" in the settlements in the evening to keep you entertained. A bar here or there, or some live music, but no crowds. Elbow Cay or Green Turtle Cay might work for you (Great Guana Cay might work as well, but there is only one game in town as far as night life goes, and that is Nipper's -- it's great, but not much variety).

I might also suggest the British Virgin Islands. While pretty mellow and beach-y, in my opinion the BVI have the world's greatest concentration of amazing beach bars.
Callaloo is offline  
Apr 27th, 2006, 01:13 PM
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Giving consideration to what you enjoyed in Vieques probably the only Out Islands that would compare are the Abacos and Eleuthera. Remoteness and night life do not 'play well together' under most circimstances. If you avoid Nassau/Paradise Island you should not get overly resorty in the Bahamas ( Four Seasons aside ).

We found the Coral Bay side of St. John to be almost as empty as several Out Islands with more reataurant/night life choices.
RobertoB is offline  
Apr 27th, 2006, 01:16 PM
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dotska....We loved St. Kitts and Nevis, but found that many people seem to turn in early. After a late dinner in St. Kitts, we went to the casino at the Marriott which is always busy, so that's how we spent our nights. The lobby bar seemed to close around 11ish. We were there in the off-season (June/July), so I don't know if this is common. We loved the islands and are returning for a second time this summer. On Nevis, I don't know how late Sunshine's stays open.
iw is offline  
Apr 27th, 2006, 01:20 PM
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Oh, yeah, when I was your age (about 10 years ago) we stayed at the Bahamas Princess. Personally, I would never go back. Not on the beach and the beach is tacky, IMHO. Once we left the "resort"we were bombarded by people and it didn't have a safe feel. It's the only place where we have not "discovered" the island. Again, my opinion and yes, to others, I realize that the people there make a living off the tourists buying their wares. I have heard that the outer islands are a different story. Something to check out!
iw is offline  
Apr 27th, 2006, 03:12 PM
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Take a look at Bonaire or Curacao a thattime of year. Both are desert islands-so not lush, but lots of desert beauty and interesting life below the sea. And...much less risk of hurricanes at that time...
BlueSwimmer is offline  
Apr 28th, 2006, 07:11 AM
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RobertoB - I definitely feel that the insight on remoteness and nightlife not really playing together is very true.. but I guess I was hoping to find a happy medium.

Callaloo - "concentration of amazing beach bars" is exactly the type of thing I'm looking for. Thank you.

I am going to do more research this weekend but thanks everyone for your replies. I guess my idea was to avoid Nassau/Paradise but still wondered if Bermuda was still would still appeal to us.
dotska is offline  
Apr 28th, 2006, 10:02 AM
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Definitly stay out of Nassau and Paradise Island. I've described it before as being filled with loud men demanding chicken fingers for their overweight 10 year olds.

I loved Freeport, but have not been in over 10 years.

What about Jamaica? It is a poor country and it can be unsafe in spots, but it really has its own identity and culture and is a beautiful place to go.
kelliebellie is offline  
Apr 28th, 2006, 01:40 PM
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OH my. OK, where do i start. First. Warning! I called Judy from http://www.bahamasweb.com/ today in a response from an email i received from her. She stated that Joy Burton (the owner of the property i stayed at) had to send a cleaning person over to the apartment, to see if i should get my deposit back. Here is the actual mail i received.

Ms. Burton will get the maid in to clean in the next two days and will then let me know if the deposit can be returned.

Judy McGinty
Bahamas Home Rentals
[email protected]
I was livid. I had met Joy, (the owner) sat in her part of the house, walked her dog, and as per her request, left the apartment, so she could show it to people who wanted to rent it for a few years. We left it clean, with nothing broken.
I will get back to this board, if i do not get my deposit back in a very timely manner. For if i don't. I will go on every travel board there is, and share my disappointment with all fellow travelers.
Since i do not know how this unwarranted situation will resolve itself, i will just get on with the report. < just so you know, i videotaped the place before, and after. We left it with respect. OK OK
Exuma. Wonderful. Beautiful. Adventurous. Deserted.
Getting there. From anywhere in the country, you have to go to ft. Lauderdale, or Miami. From there you can fly into Georgetown. From Miami, it's about an hour.
About Exuma. This is a place for the adventurous. First you have to be fearless on the road. Rental cars are English style, with the steering wheel on the right, and you drive on the left. If you are a nervous driver, this is not for you. I find it easy, but thats just me. We rented from Don's rentacar at the airport. Very nice people to deal with, we were in the car in 10 min. Tips: Drive on the left! Watch out for sandy pot holes on both sides of the street. They jut out, and will bottom out your wheel. A true menace. Go slow, and easy until you get the hang of the backwards car. Anyway we drove to Joy's haven, east of the airport. (Exuma runs roughly east to west) We got to the apartment, and found it conveniently located, and charming. This is not a luxury resort mind you, but a studio appt. that fit our needs. The A/c worked. the bed was ok, and the beach was stunning. Although, the water turned off every night we were there at 1130. It came on about 5am the next morning! Joy told us that the gov. must have been working on the water system. Not that big a deal though. We also lost power, a few times, for a short period. This happens. We are talking about a tiny little place here.
Getting around. Like i said you need a car. Get in it. Drive. Explore any road you see that leaves The queens highway. Many will lead you to the most beautiful deserted white sandy beaches in the world. Details you say? Ok. Drive towards Little Exuma. When you get to the bridge (that goes from Great Exuma to Little Ex) Go approximately 7.5 miles. (from the start of the bridge) On the left hand side of the road you will see a light blue post and a sandy pointy rocky road. About 2 tenths of a mile up the road from the blue post road, you will see a bigger sandy rocky road. Take a left. Go forward, till you see the ocean. You will come to a house that has a stone fence around it with Lion heads on all the high posts. At some point you will have to stop, and get out. In front of you is the most amazing beach, (Tropic of Cancer beach). Walk down to it. Play in the water. Pick up shells. Unparalleled beach. Breath taking. There are roads that go to and fro back here, but mostly you want to go forward and get to the beach. Please be carful to avoid private property. No biggie, just park away from these homes, and walk. We did not encounter a soul. After you are done here, go back the way you came, and get to the main road, and make a left. Drive a few hundred yards, and look for a sign, that says "lonesome Conch" Make a right. Follow to the end, (look to the right as you get on to this desolate road. There on your right will be a place that looks as if it has been nuked. A couple of acres of twisted, bleached out trees, that looks as if it was bombed. Weird. I here it is because the water left, and lots of salt remained, and choked the vegetation.) Continue on and make a right at the end of the road.. A minute or so of driving very slowly, you will see a clearing of sorts, and a washed out post in the ground to your left. Stop the car, and get out. Behind the post i have left a pretty Conch shell. Please look at it, and then replace it for fellow travelers. Now start walking towards the ocean. Where good shoes. You will come across a deserted beach, that will take your breath away. Hike it. Swim it. Hold hands and enjoy this private heaven.
After this, explore on your own. Take rights, and lefts. See where it leads you. Oh my what a wonderful island.
Rent a boat. Even if you have never piloted one. Rent a boat from Minns water sports. About 135 a day including gas. Go to Stocking island. Anchor near the new place that opened. To the right of Peace and Plentys place. You can't miss it. It's the most built up place on the little island, and there are lots of sailing vessel's anchored about. Ok. If your new at boating. <Ask about the tides!!! Watch out for sand bars! If you do not know where you are going, watch out for shallow water, and lots of sand. >
There is a great place where you can dock your whaler. Approach the main buildings, slowly, as you get to there front door, you will see buoys, that steer you into a little shallow beach. But if you stay between the markers you will be ok to throw your anchor or tie your boat up to this little spot. The great thing about this spot is the trail that leads to the other side of Stocking island. Great waves, and lava, and white puffy sand; Oh My. Then as a secrete treat... After you follow the trail, you make a right on the beach. You will see 2 patches of rough lava. The second patch of lava you see, (a little walk) holds a nice surprise. Look to the right here, and see a path, albeit overgrown, (A frizby was nailed to some stumps, showing you the way). Keep looking you will find it. Take this path to the other side of the island and have a wonderful, active, lizard filled walk of your life. It's about 15 20 minutes if you are taking your time. You will not get lost, as the jungle is so thick around you that you have no choice other than to stay on the path. You will come upon a clearing. When i was there, there were yellow tags to guide you when it might confuse. < This is a trail for people who are in shape, nimble, not afraid of numerous reptiles. Bring good shoes, or really good sandals. At the end of this trail is well.... you know.
Where to eat: Both Peach and Plentys were great. !!!Expensive! Double everything. Food, gas, everything. I was told by many not to drink the water if i could help it. So be careful with water. We were a little weary of some of the local joints, as it seemed there were a lot of tough looking men hanging out there.
But all in all this place lives up to its reputation as a Very friendly place, for the active adult. Wonderful, beautiful, friendly. I recommend this place for young honeymooners who seek adventure. And for the very active older folks who want to kick it up a notch. And if your a big wig you could stay at the 4 seasons, and be truly pampered, at big bucks.
Relax here. explore here. Get a car, and rent a boat. If you get confused, ask somebody. Everyone we met was helpful. March April Nov. Dec are good weather months here.
well thats all i got for now. I hope this beautiful trip will not be mared by this deposit business they are playing. Lets face it the owner who was active, and able is 10 seconds from her place to the rental place. a 10 second walk! And she has to wait a few days to hire a cleaning person to go look at it!!! I will definitely let this board, and many others know how this deposit thing is worked out.
Sorry for rambling.
happy travels
Ps everything worked out with the deposit.

caymansreef is offline  
Apr 28th, 2006, 03:32 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 95
What about St Martin? If you like the nightlife, they have lots of it, but it has some beautiful secluded beaches as well. I would suggest renting a car if you want to get around and explore. It has great restaurants on the French side. Been to the Bahamas, but it just one resort after the other and very busy. Mind you I still like going there for their 4 day weekend packages!
jodej is online now  
May 3rd, 2006, 08:46 AM
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Posts: 31
The Bahamas is not just Freeport and Nassau. There are over 700 islands in Bahamas! Try the Out Islands...
AbacoPeach is offline  
May 3rd, 2006, 01:16 PM
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Tortola. Nice beaches and not very built up but some fun nightlife. Also, close proximity to other islands for day trips.
dominick2 is offline  
May 6th, 2006, 10:53 AM
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Every second tourist visiting Nassau and paradise Island is disappointed and would not return. This is a result of a survey published only in the Bahamas.

Rising crime and lack of justice to foreigners has United States rethinking its policy for tourists to the Bahamas. This you ould not read in an US newspaper but is published right in the bahamas. If the level of crime in the Bahamas continues, the US Embassy may have to review its policy on how it advises visitors coming to the country, US Ambassador John Rood told a newspaper in Nassau, Bahamas.
Restaurant robberies were shocking to him and to many Americans.

The fact that people can come into a restaurant and hold up all patrons is truly terrifying and it is a potentially dangerous situation and if it continues it is going to hurt these small businesses, Mr Rood said. He added: "If this country were to evolve like so many countries have evolved, where tourists - come and spend their time in an enclave, in a protected area, it cuts off the economic benefits to many people that otherwise would have enjoyed it if the entire country were crime-free".
bstec1 is offline  
May 7th, 2006, 11:23 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 54
It's hard to say whether you will love or hate the Bahamas...there are so many variables. We stayed in the Royal Towers
at Atlantis and had a magnificent trip,
they gave us 5 star treatment.My husband and I remained inside the beautiful Atlantis Resort so there was no question of safety--they have a world class security staff and are
fully aware that mistreated tourtists
won't come back. However, please understand that you can be robbed in any place, especially when the locals are dirt poor and unemployment is sky high. We were robbed in broad daylight in the center of town in
Charlotte Amalia, St. Thomas by thugs.
The police force was a laughing stock
and they hate us "rich Americans" as
much as the locals seemed to.
People post advice about going to
"secluded beaches" but remember that
you are a perfect target there.
schoong324 is offline  
May 7th, 2006, 11:29 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 54
One last thought--bstec1 writes about
the crime in the Bahamas and people being robbed of money. However, Natalee
Holloway was murdered in Aruba and the
local police could barely be made to
cooperate until the case dragged on and on in the American press.(thank you,Nancy Grace)At the same time,when
anyone on Fodors mentions boycotting
Aruba until security improves they get
slammed by posters screaming in protest.
You can't have it both ways.
schoong324 is offline  
May 7th, 2006, 01:37 PM
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Posts: 9,480
I think what bstec1 says is hard to believe, no offense intended. That means literally 50% of all visitors would not return. Very hard to believe that as well as the "Bahamian only" inside info. In this day and age of global communication such secretiveness is hard to imagine, though certainly possible. However even ultra secretive countries like North Korea have at least some of what they try to hide exposed one way or another and they try VERY hard to suppress suck knowledge so this idea of "Bahamian eyes only" reports is a stretch. JM2C.
jacketwatch is offline  
May 7th, 2006, 01:39 PM
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Its also his one and only post. Hmmmmm.
jacketwatch is offline  
May 7th, 2006, 02:09 PM
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bstec1 actually has bs in his name-coincidence?

PS the Out Islands in the Bahamas are gorgeous, and loved by many.
blamona is offline  
May 7th, 2006, 02:16 PM
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Yes. How apt. -
Actually I want to try going to the out islands. Any recommendations?
jacketwatch is offline  

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