I was lured by the GroupOn promotion, and we nearly bailed out because of all the dreadful earlier reviews. We did the round-trip on the last Monday in May, and encountered NONE of the bad experiences cited in most of the earlier TA reviews. Port entry and parking were a breeze. Check-in and TSA screening took only minutes, and we were seated in the waiting area in no time. Boarding was orderly and efficient and every employee and staff at every point of the process as well as on board was friendly and helpful. We departed on time, arrived early. We bought the Lucayan shuttle and day pass package on board since we didn't know what to expect at the Freeport end, fully expecting to be price gouged, but this was not at all the case. Only a few dollars gratuity was added to the price had we done it all a la carte, and this convenience fee was a bargain. The day at the shopping village and at the resort was really quite a snooze though. We live in Florida near the beach, so travel to a smaller beach resort was a bit of a let down, but this had nothing to do with Bahamas Express. They delivered on their promise. Return check-in boarding was even faster, so much so that we departed nearly 30 minutes early. The seas were smooth both ways. Most people slept. The crew was friendly and helpful. The on-board food offered for purchase had a lot of room for improvement: (burgers, fries, pizza and such.) - enough to address any hunger pangs, but far short of a treat. As other reviewers noted, expect a lengthy delay when arriving back at Port Everglades, but again this had nothing to do with Bahamas Express. Customs and Border Control arrived late, were understaffed, and in no hurry to move the crowd. The de-boarding by category was orderly and clearly explained. The staff advised us to remain seated until our category was called, to avoid crowding and any frustration for matters out of their control. I think our nearly perfect experience (and thus this glowing review) were attributed to three factors: 1)The seas were calm under a moonlight sky, so no sea sickness noticed, 2) The ferry was only about 25-35% full each way, so the resources were not at all taxed or stressed, and 3) It seemed to us that the Bahamas Express operators read all the negative reviews on Trip Advisor and addressed every concern and complaint cited. I hope this ferry service attracts enough passengers on a sustained basis to stay in business and perhaps even expands to other Bahamas destinations. The whole experience sure beat the hassles of airport and airline travel hands down.
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