Freeport Bahamas holds hidden treasures of its own and is one of our favorite Bohemian islands; even over Nassau. Things are cheaper, it’s slightly less touristy and the city is just beautiful.
We arrived in Freeport through a Carnival cruise line. We had done so much this trip I had Brian and the girls take a snorkeling excursion while the boys and I relaxed and did some shopping at the stores near the port’s dock.
Shopping is a major industry in Freeport. Many of these native islanders’ livelihood depends on shopping brought by tourists. About 15 minutes inland lies among the most popular and busiest complexes for Freeport- Port Lucaya Marketplace. There, you will find shopping, restaurants, and live entertainment. The cruise port terminal area also has a reputable selection for tourists of all ages and tastes in design or culture. Personally, I found the prices to be slightly cheaper than Nassau. On the other hand, they were a little more “persuasive” in Freeport when it came to selling their goods and services. Don’t let me underestimate the “persuasiveness” of the vendors. As long as you know this you’ll have a great time shopping and haggling with the prices. Rebecca always wanted to have a hair weave in her hair. I’ve heard stories about people doing a bait-and-switch and charging you more for hair weaves (or not stopping) but Rebecca had a great experience at the market and Brian said the prices were much better than in Nassau.
The kids love to swim and, if given the chance, will swim all day long. However, snorkeling with the kids is sometimes hit and miss. Sometimes the younger ones like it and others they don’t. They prefer snorkeling from the beach out into water that they’re comfortable in. Freeport has some great beaches but Brian wanted to venture out to some coral reefs. He took the girls on Pat and Diane Tours. Check their website for more information on their packages: www.snorkelingbahamas.com.
The waters are crystal clear and the exotic marine life is intoxicating. The water is great, even in winter but it doesn’t hurt to have a nice warm towel when you are on the boat. We highly recommend rash guards in the water (even in the summer b/c of the sun).
Freeport’s coral reefs are beautiful but they have seen better days. While the wildlife is pretty extreme, the coral hasn’t been protected until recent years. There are portions of the reef that are dead and re-growing. Don’t let this stop you from enjoying a fantastic adventure underwater.
Brian enjoyed the 15 minute bus ride form the port to the dock where Pat and Diane Tours departed. After snorkeling for several hours Brian and the girls were dropped off at Port Lucaya Marketplace where they shopped for trinkets. Busses departed back to the cruise terminal every 15 minutes. When they were done shopping they caught the next bus and met the boys and me for more shopping at the straw market next to the terminal.
For more information on what to do in Freeport, take a look at www.tripadvisor.com, or for a more comprehensive look into its tourist attractions, visit their online wikitravel at www.wikitravel.org/en/Freeport_(Bahamas).