Eight Rookie Mistakes To Avoid In The Bahamas
The Bahamas offers an idyllic getaway with beautiful beaches, crystal clear water and a slew of relaxing activities. Its no surprise, then, that this is one of the Caribbeans most popular vacation destinations.
However, just like any other country, there is a list of first-timer mistakes you should avoid while visiting.
Here are eight tips on how to stay safe and make the most of your time in the Bahamas.
1. TRAVELLING DURING HURRICANE SEASON IN THE BAHAMAS
This is a tough one because there can be some great prices, low crowds and potentially fantastic weather in the off-season. That being said, June through November is the official hurricane season in the Bahamas, so youll likely want to avoid this time of year, if possible.
If youre going to take your chances and visit during the storm season, monitor local reports and check with your airline to ensure your travel plans wont experience any delays. Travellers should also get insurance during these months to protect their trip investment. Travel insurance provides reimbursement for pre-paid, non-refundable expenses, if you need to cancel a trip for a covered reason, such as damage to your resort from a recent hurricane.
2. RIDING IN UNMARKED TAXIS IN THE BAHAMAS
3. TAKING A CRUISE TO THE BAHAMAS
4. STICKING TO THE ATLANTIS IN THE BAHAMAS
5. EXPECTING PUNCTUALITY ON THE ISLAND
6. TRANSACTING WITH BEACH VENDORS IN THE BAHAMAS
Best Time To Cruise To Bermuda: June
Bermuda cruises sail from April through mid-November, mostly during Bermuda’s beach season. Most people travel during the summer months , making those voyages pricier, but you’ll find deals on spring and fall departures .
The Bermuda hurricane season lasts from June through November, as it does for the Caribbean and U.S. East Coast. But the island is generally far less likely to be struck than either of those regions, and a strike is most common between late August and October. October also tends to be the rainiest month in Bermuda.
May in Bermuda is your best bet for shoulder season travel if you’re after discounts and the highest likelihood for sunny skies and warm temperatures. Even so, you can expect temperate weather year-round, and far less humidity than islands farther south. If it’s too chilly for the beach in the shoulder season, you can always try out the island’s many golf courses and spas.
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Resources For Gulf Stream Passages
There are many excellent resources for Gulf Stream conditions, position and forecasts. The stream can be spotted with Sea Surface Temperatures in satellite photos, and youâll see your own SST sensor spike when you enter it.
A few samples include:
Commercial routing and other Gulf Stream forecasts are available from several sources for a fee.
William has been sailing and owning boats for over twenty years. Since 2012 heâs been cruising the world with his wife and living aboard full time.
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Hi, Iâm Shawn, and when I was 2 years old, I was sailing on the English Channel during a proper storm . Since then Iâve enjoyed sailing very much â and Iâve never been afraid of the water again.
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Getting To The Bahamas
Getting to the Bahamas isn’t a long trip from Florida, and you can spend months exploring once you’re there. But getting out there takes planning. You can’t pick a date to leave a month or two in advance and expect to leave that day. You might get close to it, but the weather may not cooperate.
So you plan, you pack, and you watch the weather. It’s a short trip, but not one to try on a tight schedule.
Cheapest Time To Visit The Bahamas
Between August and December is the most reasonable time to visit the Bahamas. You can find low-season flights, hotels, and accommodations that further stretch your budget. Besides, you can still enjoy many beach days during the rainy season.
The months of August and September are the busiest for storms in the Bahamas. While youd be fine, remember that August is still a wet season even if theres no hurricane in the Atlantic.
Additionally, September is known as the most stormy month in the Bahamas. So, visitors should remember to watch the weather forecast. While you can always find bright sunny days at any time of the year in the Bahamas, the month of September is especially risky.
Prices are also lower in September. So its an excellent opportunity to get a villa or indulge in luxury. Prices dont start to soar until mid-December the start of the high season.
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Cruising The Caribbean April Through May
April and May are also wonderful months to cruise if you are looking for a great deal on a Caribbean cruise. You’ll discover plenty of bargains from mid-April until the end of May. Another plus is the fact that fewer crowds exist during these months.
The weather is also still great during the months of both April and May. Highs tend to be in the 80s to low 90s, which means that the water temperature is ideal for activities such as snorkeling, kayaking, and swimming. Nature lovers will also enjoy cruising to The Caribbean during April and May. You’ll find abundant opportunities to see tropical fish, flamingoes, and turtles during this time of year.
What To Pack For A Bahamas Cruise In October
With added humidity, it is likely to feel like it is in the 90s or low-100s. Summer attire will be your daily staplesshorts, tanks, and swimwear. Since it will be exceedingly warm, packing more than 2 swimsuits is suggested. It is always a good idea to pack at least one pair of casual pants and one super lightweight cover-upa long sleeved shirt or pashmina will do.
Dont forget to pack excursion-specific attire and attire for the dining room dress code. Feel free to repeat your dining attire. Make sure you have an outfit that can be worn to the semi-formal onboard activities. For example, if you want to go to the art exhibit or English Tea time, a sundress would be okbut not your swimsuit and shorts.
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Best And Worst Times To Cruise The Caribbean
The best time to cruise to the Caribbean depends on personal preferences for weather, prices and crowds.
But some months are better than others, especially spring to early summer when temperatures are warm and the risk of rain is low.
But for the most part, the best time to cruise the Caribbean is January through April during the dry season, especially in April when temperatures are warmer. The worst time is September and October during the peak months of the Caribbean hurricane season.
May is a brief rainy season for some destinations. June through August are popular with families on summer break. June is the best time to cruise the Caribbean in the summer because it has a lower risk of rain than July or August.
The weather is a major factor because rainfall is often quite heavy in the Caribbean during certain times of the year.
It is especially true during the Caribbean hurricane season, which lasts from the beginning of June to the end of November. During that period, total rainfall rises until it reaches a high point in September and October. As a result, both months are the least popular times of the year to vacation in the Caribbean.
Temperatures also are a factor to consider. People who love beaches may find that winter in the Caribbean brings cooler seawater, especially in more northern destinations.
During the summer, people who dont like humidity and temperatures higher than 90 degrees Fahrenheit will find some destinations uncomfortably hot.
Some Businesses May Be Closed For The Easter Holidays In April
Shoulder season begins in earnest in April. Grand Bahama sees the largest influx of spring breakers, while more secluded islands like Cat Island, Long Island and Eleuthera offer a break from the largest crowds. Be aware that Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday are national holidays in the Bahamas, and many businesses may be closed.Key events: Bahamas Family Island Regata, Bahamas Billfish Championship.
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Best Time For A Mediterranean Cruise: April
Peak season for Western Mediterranean cruises runs from April through November, with stops generally in Spain, France, Italy and Malta. The Canary Islands and the warmer Eastern Mediterranean welcome cruises between April and December, with a sprinkling of winter cruises from select lines.
If you’re after a cheap Mediterranean cruise that doesn’t sacrifice beautiful weather, May or September are the best times for Western Mediterranean cruises. You’ll avoid school holidays, which means less kids on board your cruise. Temperatures will still be warm to hot, and skies are mostly dry. In the Eastern Mediterranean, you can add April and October to the best time to cruise.
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When Is The Best Time To Go To The Bahamas
The best time to visit The Bahamas, an archipelago of more than 700 islands that stretches 760 miles across the western Atlantic Ocean, is winter or spring.
On Grand Bahama, New Providence, where Nassau is situated, and other northwestern islands, expect comfortable but cooler winter temperatures.
From mid-December through February, temperatures are pleasant, and rainfall remains relatively low. Even though temperatures and rainfall increase slightly in March and April, those months are also good times to visit The Bahamas.
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If You Want To Save Money The Best Month Is
If looking to take an inexpensive cruise to the Bahamas, again look to off-season times late April, early May, September, October and early November since many people are back to work and school and since rates are generally lower. If money is an issue, be sure to avoid holiday cruises and high-season cruises from December through February these cost more.
Another way to save money on a Bahamas cruise is to find out if theres a home port close enough to drive to rather than fly. For example, Carnival Cruises offers four-, five- and six-night Bahamas cruises year-round from Charleston, South Carolina Celebrity Cruises offers longer Bahamas cruises from Baltimore, Maryland.
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Are There Hurricanes In The Bahamas
The official hurricane season in the Bahamas is June thru November, but hurricanes are infrequent. In fact, the mainland has far more hurricanes than the Bahamas.
Crowds will be greatly reduced during the off-season and excursions much easier to book. In fact, you may find that you are able to access the best prices on hotel, cruises, excursions, and all travel packages during the off-season.
- DISCOUNT TOURS & ACTIVITIES some package-tour fares are as much as 20% lower, and individual excursion fares may be reduced from 5% to 10%.
- NO CROWDS no busy beaches or packed pools, you may even enjoy the beach to yourself
- OFF- SEASON SALES resort boutiques often feature summer sales to keep afloat during slower months
- SEE MORE WITH LESS gift yourself a bonus activity from the off season savings
- MEETING LOCALS traveling off-season is a better way to meet the locals and experience the island life as they do
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The Best Time Based On Weather
Though I found several blogs promoting January as the best month to cruise to the Bahamas, I personally have experienced chilly weather in the Bahamas in both December and January. Remember, the Bahamas are located in the Atlantic Ocean, not the Caribbean. Theyre not truly tropical islands, and most are at more northern latitudes than Key West. Winter temperatures arent always balmy.
I’ve had two stops at private islands canceled due to strong winds and temperatures in the 50s and 60s. One ship I was on made an alternate stop at Freeport, which was still chilly, but at least it could dock. It was a wasted day for those hoping to enjoy water sports or the beach. Only the shoppers weren’t deterred by the chill in the air.
Don’t get me wrong, January is usually a wonderful time to cruise to the Bahamas, as long as you are prepared for the relatively rare cold front that blows that far south.
The months some cruisers tell you to avoid cruising to the Bahamas are during the peak of Atlantic hurricane season, which is August to October. But here’s the thing about that the cruise line isn’t going to put you or their ship in harm’s way.
The best month to cruise the Bahamas, weather-wise, depends on your travel style. Are you stressed by the possibility of cancellations due to hurricanes or by port changes from unexpected cold fronts? Skip January, December, August, September and maybe even October.
Expect Some Rain If You Visit In June
Pick a June day in the Bahamas, and theres a fair chance youll see at least some rain and at least partial cloud cover. Visitors in June have a 30% chance of rain and a 65% chance of cloudy conditions however, warm water and warm temperatures combine with lower prices to make June a viable travel option for many.Key events: Pineapple Festival, Bahamas Summer Boating Flotilla.
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Is My Cell Phone Still Usable In The Bahamas
Its recommended to buy a Cybercell Bahamas Prepaid SIM card through the Bahamas Telecommunications Company .
It can be used with a tri-band unlocked GSM phone to let you have a working cell phone number anywhere in the Bahamas while only paying the local rate without the roaming fees and other service contracts.
If your U.S. cell phone isnt unlocked, many stores will do it for you on the go for a minimal cost. Several shops that carry the Cybercell logo allow you to recharge your phone conveniently. Just inquire about Rockit airtime coupons at these locations, including the post office, gas stations, and small shops.
May Is Good For Budget Travel
Occupancy rates begin to drop in May as the final holdovers from spring and winter make their way out. While average high temperatures in May creep towards the mid-80ºFs, this sweet spot after spring break but before hurricane season offers an underrated opportunity for travelers who arent ready for the full heat of summer but are looking for a hotel discount.Key events: Carnival, Long Island Regatta.
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Verdict: The Best Month To Cruise To The Bahamas Is January
Rain is fleeting in the Bahamas, and the sun shines more than 80 percent of the year. While you might want to exercise additional caution during the months of hurricane season , the Bahamas is a great destination to cruise year-round.
Given seasonality, rainfall and price, the month of January gets our vote for the best month to go to the Bahamas on a cruise.
Top Sights And Shore Excursions
Nassau is a surprisingly diverse port. Beach lovers and travelers who enjoy water sports, diving or snorkeling will find a wide variety of excursions and activities to suit their tastes. Nassau is also filled with historic sites and shopping opportunities. Yet visitors are missing out on genuine colonial-era history if they dont also spend time exploring the historic architecture and attractions located steps from the cruise pier. You can book excursions through your cruise line or independently. And, dont forget that the Chase travel portal offers excursions bookable with cash or Ultimate Rewards points.
Here are some favorite pastimes for cruisers visiting Nassau.
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Overview Of Caribbean Cruises
The Caribbean Sea covers over a million square miles. Thats a lot of cruising fun and adventure. The major cruise lines offer a wide selection of regional itineraries that run throughout the year. The major categories include:
- The Bahamas – Many short itineraries leave from Florida, sailing to the Bahamas, including its famous capital, Nassau. In addition, many cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line and MSC Cruises all have private islands located in this 700-island archipelago, each offering something different!
- Eastern Caribbean cruises often include port stops in St. Thomas , St. Marteen, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic.
- Western Caribbean cruises venture to Grand Cayman, Jamaica, Costa Maya, and Cozumel in Mexico, Roatan, Honduras and Belize.
- Southern itineraries are often longer, and journey to less visited ports in the leeward and windward islands such as Grenada, St. Lucia, and Martinique. The ABC Islands, that comprise Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao, are the farthest south in the Caribbean, just off the northern coast of South America.
How Do You Get Around The Bahamas
The major islands of the Bahamas, including Nassau and the Grand Bahama, have public transport called jitneys. These jitneys usually run early, starting 6:30 am up to 7:00 pm.
Furthermore, taxis are readily available at airports and most hotels if you prefer convenience. You can always hail a cab or get one on the street in the major islands. The rates are metered and varied by island. However, they are fair and legal. Surcharges for over two people and excess luggage are applied frequently.
Additionally, you can also avail yourself of car, scooter, and bike rentals on major islands. Golf carts are also available for rent, and they are a popular means of transport on the smaller islands.
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