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“Balearia Bahamas "Express"--Take This Ship And Shove It!” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Discovery Day Cruise to Freeport Bahamas

Discovery Day Cruise to Freeport Bahamas
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: This is a round trip cruise From Fort Lauderdale Cruise Port Everglades to Freeport, Grand Bahama Island, Bahamas and back. $73 plus $48 port charges and taxes equals $121. per person. We always runs super specials.
Level Contributor
42 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Balearia Bahamas "Express"--Take This Ship And Shove It!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 December 2012

If you're thinking of going to Grand Bahama Island and this "convenient" high speed ferry service caught your eye, think again. The company is a complete horror show. They are unprofessional, incompetent and incapable of delivering any modicum of service. We flew to GBI on Bahamasair, another horror story in its own right, and decided to take the ferry back figuring it would be a nice variation. We knew things were bad when our Bahamian taxi drive informed us that he'd rather take the awful prop plane or a cruise ship to Lauderdale. He didn't say why, but it definitely got us thinking. We arrived at the terminal in Freeport, after passing industrial operations and oil tank farms, but hey ports are often located in such places. When we get there we see that the former operator's name is still emblazoned around the terminal. The scene is total chaos, reminiscent of the last train out of Nazi Germany or perhaps the last chopper ride out of the American Embassy in Saigon. Little did we know that things were about to get much worse. We wait on a 30 minute line to get out tickets and passports checked out. The lines are unclearly marked and it becomes every man and woman for themselves. We finally get out through that line and then it's wait around in an overcrowded lobby for 15 more minutes.

Then we start to move and we think we're getting on the ship. Wrong! Instead we are lead up to another lobby, this one a bit more spacious, with zero seating, zero air conditioning where we proceed to wait for another 90 minutes. The reason we're told, they need to load bins for tomorrow's trip back to GBI. Finally, we're allowed to board the ship, where we wait another hour for this insane company to get its act together enough so we can leave. Then the real fun begins. Evidently the catamaran they use is particularly susceptible to the rough waters of the Atlantic and the Gulf stream. I can only imagine what it was like to cross the English Channel before the advent of the Chunnel. But picture that for 2 hours or more and you start to get the picture. This ferry quickly became a vomitorium, where only those with the strongest stomachs survive with their innards in tact. Fortunately I was one of them.

We get to Fort Lauderdale and after waiting for the first class to disembark we're in the most horrible terminal in the US. It's now 12:30am, this ordeal has been going on for 6.5 hours. We clear customs in record time, these guys just want to go home. We get outside and presto, not a taxi cab to be found. Fortunately I see a car 954-777-7777. I call them up and the dispatcher is a breath of fresh air. She swears she'll send some one there immediately. While waiting for the taxi, I received three texts informing me of its progress and arrival at the terminal. Perhaps Bahamas Express could learn a thing or two about service from this cab company, but don't count on it.

To sum it all up, this is a horrible nightmarish experience that you wouldn't wish upon your worst enemy. They run on Bahamian time which means that they leave whenever they're damn well ready and screw the customer. They're unprofessional, incompetent and symbolize everything that government granted monopolies or franchises have come to symbolize. Just like your electric utility probably sucks, your cable company is even worse and lets not even mention the schools and other government delivered service, this ferry service makes them all look like efficient service providers. Travel at your own risk here and bring lots of dramamine.

It might be better in the Bahamas, but if you deal with this shoddy operator, you'll lucky to get their and back with your sanity in tact.

Visited December 2012
15 Thank appeal2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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272 reviews from our community

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English first
Dusseldorf, Germany
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Wish an Ordeal? Fond of loosing your Money?”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 December 2012

If you are looking for an ordeal - go by Bahama Balearia Express, the most terrible ferry service you can get to know. They sell tickets for ferries which usually do not go and then leave you alone in the harbour, no matter whether you need an urgent connecting flight or not. No information about any changes of schedule. And if you claim your damage they don`t react; you get an answer only after calling for a lawyer. And then they tell you lies like poor wheather conditions, although their staff already said, that they printed wrong tickets. No sevice, no solution, no interest in customers. So go on, pay for nothing.

Visited November 2012
4 Thank Irene N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“It is a ferry not a cruise. Easily sea sick due to the small size of the ship.”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 November 2012

If you look the photo I attached, this ship is not a cruise bu a ferry. the ship is so small and it waves a lot on the sea so make half of the people on board sea sick especially on the way back when it is dark. They only kept the restaurant for a couple hours then the rest of time you are just waving. It is good for people who just wants to get drunk with their cheap alcohols, but not for us.

It would be a better idea if we had took an overnight real cruise headed out from Palm Beach and got to Bahamas after a good night sleep and feel fresh. We stayed on Bahamas for 4 days, it was beautiful.

Visited December 2011
5 Thank Cool008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Breda, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
133 reviews
57 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
“Few hours Bahamas were great but much of lost time”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 November 2012

Picked up around 6.45 at the hotel, picked up people at other hotels.
Around an hour to drive to the harbour, waited there for a long time before we went to the customs, 10 o"clock the ship was leaving the harbour and yes it is a 2,5 hr ride.
But it took about one hr before it was laying down and before we could leave the ferry.
Taxi's are waiting outside for a 10 dollar you have a roundtrip to the beach and marketplace, we had a good 4 hr on the island, short but wel worth the trip to get the nice atmosphere and to see if we will come back a next time for a week or so.
Ferry is a bit run down, no outside seating, food menu was terrible and looked awefull, soda and coffee prices were ok.
Restrooms were very run down and dirty.
Duty free shopping was great, 30 Dollar for a carton of Marlboro, 20 for a liter Bacardi 8.
Gambling on the ferry was a big joke.
Entertainment, only a tv :P

Visited October 2012
2 Thank JojoBreda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lower Bavaria, Germany
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Stay at home!!!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 September 2012

Forget this day-trip with ferryexpress.com, Balearia Bahamas Express. Instead of mentioned 2,5 hrs you need at least 3,5 hrs one-way
to go to a small tourist village and a ugly 5 m wide beach.
And they cannot handle the daily procedure with customs etc. faster, were waiting
15 min additionally in the ship, for what? And take food with you, this
tasteless food is a joke a well. Thanks god, they had candy bars to sell.
Waste of time and waste of every cent!
P & G

Visited August 2012
6 Thank Pet M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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