The Carnival Sunshine does a variety of itineraries and cruise lengths, with a five night minimum. My media sampler cruise was only two nights, but I did get to visit Freeport, which was a totally new destination for me. I've been to Nassau more times than I can count, but Freeport's an island I've always passed on my way to somewhere else.
When you go to a new destination on a cruise ship, the best way to experience it is by booking a shore excursion. You can set up something on your own if you know the port very well. Otherwise, I recommend leaving it to the cruise line because that gives you several advantages.
First, the cruise lines vet the vendors they use for their shore excursions. They don't want their guests to be unhappy, so they won't send you off for a bad experience.
Second, if a ship-sponsored excursion is late getting back to the ship, it will wait for you. If you do an activity on your own, you'd better be back in time for sail away. Otherwise, you'll be standing on the dock watching the ship pull away.
Carnival kindly allowed me to try out their new Freeport beach excursion. The photos will give you some idea of what it's all about.
Heading Off to the Excursion
When you book a shore excursion through Carnival, you have a designated meeting place on the ship You disembark with the group and head off to your pre-arranged transportation.
The beach has shops set up in the front where you can buy various Bahamian souvenirs. It's nice to shop at the end of the excursion, just before you head back to the bus.
These cushy beach chairs recline for the ultimate in relaxation. The only thing I'd like to see added would be umbrellas. The Bahamian sun is brutal, so shade would be a welcome addition.
There's lots of beach area for wading and swimming, as well as a floating island that the kids will love. Even some of the adults were clamoring aboard.
You can buy drinks at the beach ala carte or book an all inclusive excursion that includes your alcoholic beverages. They go down smooth on a hot, sunny day.
You can buy fresh conch salad or get a buffet lunch. The food can be purchased ala carte or as part of an all inclusive ticket for this excursion.
There are nice, clean restroom facilities near the beach. I'm not a fan of Porta-Potties, but these are trailers with real toilets and sinks.
The Freeport beach excursion is perfect for families with kids of all ages. There's a cute little playground for the younger set if they get tired of swimming and building sand castles.
You can rent kayaks and snorkel equipment, and there are also banana boat rides and jet ski rentals nearby if you want to enhance your experience with a little speed.
Relaxing Beach Time
Ahhhh, this is the life! There's nothing like a tranquil beach to top off your Bahamian vacation. The clear blue water and powdery white sand is a little slice of paradise.