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“All-inclusive disaster”

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Grand Lucayan, Bahamas
Ranked #4 of 14 Hotels in Freeport
North Billerica, Massachusetts
1 review
“All-inclusive disaster”
Reviewed 16 August 2010

I'm used to being treated as royalty when I pay in advance for all of my meals and drinks with an all-inclusive package. Our Lucaya Reef Village makes it very clear that the all-inclusive customers are second class.

When I travelled to Mexico all-inclusive, I had tacos off site once. When I was in Jamaica, I never ate off the resort. At Our Lucaya Reef Village, at least half of my meals were paid for elsewhere.

There are good restaurants on location, but with the "all-inclusive" package you are only allowed one free meal for every 3 days spent at these places. At all restaurants, even the crappy pool bar, bar, there is a 4-page menu for regular people, and a 1 page limited selection for all-inclusive people.

If you are on the all-inclusive package and you want to drink alcohol, your selection is equally limited. Sorry, Jack Daniels is "top shelf" and you'll have to drink Jim Beam with your diet coke. No limes most days. Beer is limited to a brand from Freeport and a brand from Nassau. Bud Light and Miller Lite are FIVE BUCKS A CAN.

I understand the concept of "Caribbean Time" but when you order beers, the bartender will walk away from the jockey box, come back 10 minutes later, pull out your beers, and then make you wait 10 more minutes while they go print a receipt that you must sign EVERY SINGLE ROUND. There is no such thing as running a bar tab on the all-inclusive package, as it seems they're doing their best to make you hate the program.

The Wi-Fi Internet is crap. There are at least 3 different networks, and the only place I found to get a reliable signal is the main lobby which is usually filled with people not even staying at the resort because cruise ships drop off tons of people every day. A lot of the staff seems extremely grumpy, and based on the rules of the place, I feel sorry that they're stuck in the middle of this battle between management and customers. The few smiling people there will give you advice on things to check out in town like the International Marketplace. Silly me for listening, 75% of the stores were abandoned and boarded up. Totally depressing.

If you're on a cruise ship that dumps you off there for a day, you'll probably have fun, but if you stay on site for more than a day or two, and especially if you go all-inclusive, you are wasting your money and vacation time. Go somewhere else. Anywhere else.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank joepaisan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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West Palm Beach, FL
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 August 2010

Usually I travel with my girlfriend, but given her work schedule, I thought I might do something I never do...take a few days away (three nights) by myself. Discovery Cruise Lines was offering a nice deal, and even though I still had to pay for double occupancy, it seemed like a good idea. It was.

Lucaya Reef was beautiful in every way. Check in was no problem and I was offered a very nice upgrade...beautiful room with a balcony and nice view of the beach. The room (Fifth Floor) itself was large and comfortable. Everything worked perfectly...air conditioning, TV, Internet access (free), the fridge, the safe, bathroom...all was ideal. The cleaning staff was very polite and always there should you need anything, including an ashtray for the balcony. On the last day I requested a late checkout and without question was given another four hours.

The entire facility was clean and tidy. They do a big turnaround and I was more than impressed at how well they handled the flow. Since it was just before school began, there were a number of children but nothing annoying. The pool was very nice. The beach was also nice and swept each morning. The water was beautiful although a bit choppy. If you like to snorkle, book a day trip...I had my flippers on most of the time and enjoyed it, but if you want an on-site reef, go to Wyhndam Fortuna. Sea-shells were not to be found either, but I did enjoy jogging up and down the beach.

I did not do the all-inclusive deal and am somewhat glad I did not. Actually, I never ate on the grounds. While I wandered around the main property next door, most things were closed being off-season. The Prop-Club was always there beachside to offer general food at what I consided to be reasonable prices. Another restaurant was within the building but did not seem to be well attended. In the Lobby there is a stand to find coffee, danish, sandwiches or beer throughout the day. A general shop is also there to grab whatever you might have forgotten, including snacks, soda and the like. Generally, while I have read otherwise, the prices seemed fair in regard to the setting. Golf course right next door.

One of the big draws was the Port Lucaya Market just across the street. Mostly comprised of shops, it also had a slew of restaurants/bars. Prices were perhaps a bit high depending upon what you are used to, but nothing to complain about if you are only there for a few days. Yes, they do have a Subway, a Quiznos and a Dominos if you simply wish to take something back to your room. I would usually go by each day and grab a few beers (not cheap) at one of the three liquor stores and bring them back to my fridge. But thats just me. There are also two straw markets on either side of the Market and given what I have seen elsewhere, the vendors were not overly aggressive.

If you like to gamble, you can stumble right out the door and into a clean Casino. I was only there twice and played $5 Blackjack tables with so-so results. The tables themselves do not open till about 6PM but the slots are open all day. Ask at the hotel deak for (if you haven't already gotten one) a coupon for a $10 Slot match-play you can get by simply signing up the the free Player's Club.

Travel to and from the hotel is about 10 minutes from the port, and I believe about the same from the airport. Taxis run $10-15. I got transfers so I cannot say for certain.

Overall my experience there was active yet relaxing. It would have been even better with someone else, but I cannot say how much I was impressed with the staff and the facility. If you get a good deal, grab it. I am thinking about going back next week!

Any questions, please let me know. Enjoy!

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Twenty6to2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
lakeland
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 August 2010

The Reef Village was a great deal. We were a little worried after reading some of the reviews, but we all had a great time. Our only complaint was the food. Between the resort and the marketplace, we did not find any really good food, in fact had a hard time finding good food. The best food was the hamburger my son got at Billy Joe's.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank jackie3641
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ottawa
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 August 2010

I took the Discovery Cruise n' Stay from Fort Lauderdale and stayed here for 3-nights - I couldn't have picked a nicer place.

Rooms were great - they're quite large. The beds were nice and comfy, big fluffy pillows. The bathroom is large as well and has tons of counter-space. Balcony's were nice too - even the ones overlooking the market and tennis courts.

The location is superb! You're right on the beach of course, and it's well maintained and spacious so you don't feel crowded. There are lots of beach chairs both on the beach and around the pool, so you don't have to worry about that. There's a large pool, but I didn't see anyone use it while I was there... but who needs a pool when you have the crystal blue ocean at your finger tips?

The restaurants on the resort are pricey enough - I'd recommend heading across the street to the market instead. (Agave and Zorba's are both good bets). If you eat on the resort, the China Grill has good snacks and cocktails, and the Prop Grill (I think it was called? It's at the west-end of the beach) has nice fish dishes and beer.

Being across from the market was nice - it's fun to wander through. It's very much aimed at tourists, so if you're not big on souvenir shops and such, you might want to stay away from that part of the market. If you walk along the outside there are tons of stalls with souvenirs - you will be stopped often enough by vendors, but they aren't pushy about it. Everyone's very friendly, so just politely decline and they let you be.

Only complaint was check-in took FOREVER. But I think that was because a whole bunch of us from the cruise arrived all at once... I imagine the rest of the day it would run smoothly.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank jewels89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Miami
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 2 August 2010

Initial rate was $139/night which seemed great and were warned about significant taxes. What we weren't warned about was the $7/person resort fee (which is standard now but still annoying) and an $8/person service fee in addition to 18% taxes. And don't forget to turn in your pool card of $25 will be charged to your account. Staff was fine until we saw at checkout that we were being charged for 3 people in room instead of 2 of us that stayed there. Front desk clerkwas extremely rude, curt, and basically called me a liar. Regrettably, nice stay was ruined by this and now being disputted with credit card company. For the overall $225/night, there are better places to take my tourism dollars.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank gzanni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 July 2010

I recommend that you get a room with a ocean view...its 100% worth it!

Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank WesleyH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Connecticut
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 July 2010

Was somewhat skeptical about the property after reading reviews. Boy were they WRONG. This place was well maintained and the staff was great (espically the bartenders) We did an all inclusive 4 night package for 9 people ages 14-45 and everyone had a great time. Beach was magnificent, water was clean and warm. You can bargain the price of excursions shop around. Only negative - that you could only eat in certain restauraunts on certain days. Top tier restaurants were fantastic. Market across the street also that has entertainment and several other places to eat. Casino in on premise which is added entertainment. Transportation from airport to hotel by cab is only $23 USD. Trip hint: Tip generously and you will be taken care of. No waiting for drinks at bar, preferred seating, extra towels etc. My recommendation is that you book this place if going to Freeport.

  • Stayed July 2010
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Been2beautifulbeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Grand Lucayan, Bahamas

Property: Grand Lucayan, Bahamas
Address: 1 Sea Horse Lane | Lucaya, Freeport, Grand Bahama Island
Region: Caribbean > Bahamas > Grand Bahama Island > Freeport
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Freeport
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Freeport
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Lucayan, Bahamas 4*
Number of rooms: 542
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Grand Lucayan Bahamas is an elegant resort set on 7.5 tropical acres of sandy coastline and spectacular oceanfront. This 542-room hotel delivers the ambiance of the islands with all of the style and amenities you expect in a resort destination. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Lucayan, Bahamas Hotel Freeport
Sheraton Grand Bahama Island Our Lucaya Resort
Radisson Freeport
Lucaya Sheraton
Sheraton Our Lucaya
Sheraton Bahamas
Grand Lucayan, Bahamas Freeport, Grand Bahama Island

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