This is my first review of any sorts on TripAdvisor. I decided to write because I check reviews constantly (especially for this one) and I felt I had I justify this ferry boat considering all the reviews against it. I bought the Groupon for the Balearia Express- it was $59 a person for a day trip. My husband has a very busy schedule with work, and we have 2 dogs, so this was the perfect day getaway we could have. I read the horror stories on tripadvisor the night before we were suppose to leave, and started second guessing taking it. It was late and I debated buying some food/snacks for us- but couldn't find anywhere on site or information if we could take them, and didn't want to buy food to go in the garbage if we couldn't. We ended up going, which I am glad we did.
We arrived at 8:00 am (which was suggested) and we went through check in process within 10 minutes. It wasn't a full ship, so maybe that's why we got through so easily and quickly... but the hour and half wait to board the ship seemed to take forever. This wasn't anybody's fault- we got there early, and if it had been busy it would probably would have been necessary. Side note- the ladies that checked us in were super friendly, funny, and you could tell they like didn't hate their jobs.
Boarded ship, and it left right on time. We ordered food, and it was overpriced and not good. I expected this. I saw that people brought their own food, and wanted to kick myself. Yes, you can.. and Yes, you should.
Boat ride was a little uneasy. We sat in the back and it still didn't help. My husband was very sea sick and a worker noticed and offered help. He let him go outside and gave him a breath of fresh air. That's all he needed. The workers were so nice and helpful to us. We arrived right on time to the Bahamas.
Took a taxi to Port Lucaya, spent a couple hours walking around, went to beach. Ate at a some sort of deck sports bar restaurant- way overpriced and terrible food/service. Bought pretzels, crackers and protein bar at a little drug store in the plaza. Wish we would have gotten the Dominos Pizza we were laughing about.
Taxi back to port, got back early and watched the sunset on the rocks. Went through check in/boarding process that took maybe a half hour. A more calm ride back. They keep the boat a little colder on the ride home, and we didn't have a blanket- nor could we buy one anywhere on the ship. One of the nice guys that helped us earlier lent us his personal one- which was one of the most kindest gestures I've seen. I would say that all the seats were incredibly uncomfortable if you are trying to catch a nap. We thought about asking how much it would be to upgrade to the first class seats on the ride home- any amount would have been worth it for how tired we both were. We did encounter one rude worker--- we were trying to return the workers blanket and we couldnt find him, so we asked the lady working at the reception desk if she could put it aside from him. She couldn't understand what we were talking about, and was snapping back rudely to us, so we just said "nevermind" and asked another worker who gladly helped us and took it to give back to him.
The boat left on time, and arrived at 10. We were hanging around the door by the time the boat docked, so we were out, through customs, and at our car by 10:07pm.
This was a fantastic day (besides my husband getting seasick) and we really enjoyed ourselves. For the price we paid, we felt like we get our money's worth- and then some. I know this boat does run inexpensive specials and deals, so it's ideal for people on a budget. So with that in my mind, we walked in thinking that it would be the bare minimum, and didn't expect anything more than that. Both my husband and I work in customer service industry and so we have patience and understanding when it comes to people doing their jobs. We treated the employees like humans, not workers, and in return- we had some of the best service we have ever received. I think if people came on this boat with the realization of what they paid to get on it, and treated workers with respect (not like they or the company owe them things) they would feel like they got their money's worth too. Like I said, we didn't take a plane, or an expensive cruise ship over here- we went on a deal, and it was well worth it.
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