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interesting questions which were (maybe even repeatedly) asked & answered in forums
Island is better? Compare Bahamas with Jamaica
QA-Source: MoT-Board (not available anymore)
/ Date: Wednesday, December 4, 2002
I've lived in both. Jamaica, the land is way prettier. Mountains, waterfalls, rivers. Bahamas has none of these. As for beaches, I would say Cabbage beach, Pink Sands beach and Treasure Cay Beach, are better than Negril. The Bahamas has a bit clearer water and better diving. Jamaica has a more distinct culture. Bahamas is more Americanized. Jamaica has more of an "island" feeling, whereas Nassau has become somewhat "Disneyworldish". The Bahamas has lots of islands. Jamaica only a few. The Bahamian family islands however are very "islandish". Jamaica has real Rastas, Bahamas has "wannabe" Rastas. Bahamas has the best hotel, Atlantis. Service in the Bahamas can often be somewhat surly however there are many that are extremely nice. Service in Jamaica is a bit more genuine. Bahamas is much more expensive. Boating is way better in the Bahamas. There really is no answer to your question. If I was a tourist, I would go to Bahamas. If I was a traveler, I would go to Jamaica. If I could only pick one, I would pick, Paradise Island, Exuma Cays ...The Bahamas!
A From:Danny / Date: Wednesday, December 4, 2002
Well, we've been to both, although a lot more often to the Bahamas than Jamaica. In my opinion the Bahamas has it all over Jamaica. Much closer and more peaceful. Here's the reason I personally say that. In Jamaica they feel it necessary to wall their own people out of resort areas. Most of the resorts are walled or fenced in and you sometimes feel like your contained yourself. No such thing in the Bahamas unless you want to count Atlantis, which seems to have their own way with anything they want from the government. Bahamian people are among the most friendly I've ever met anywhere. Just one person's opinion.
+++Article 8.9.03 "Lessons from Jamaica" A Bahamian Journalist visits Jamaica Nassau Guardian
Bringing your pet
MoT-Board (not available anymore)
Q from: GET / Date: Friday, May 31, 2002
My wife is concerned about bringing our dogs to the Bahamas. Can anyone give me any feedback - positive or negative? Thanks
A from: scubagirl /Date: Saturday, June 1, 2002
It depends on where you are staying and when. Most tourist hotels/restaurants etc do not allow pets, so I'm assuming you are going to one of the out islands or staying at a private home. As for the weather, the heat is BRUTAL in the summer months, and some breeds of dogs, (as well as some people) can't take the excessive heat. If you are from the North or your dog is not used to this kind of humidity and heat, I'd be somewhat concerned in the summer months. However, if you're from Florida, then you need only get the proper documentation and paperwork through immigration and enjoy your pet.
for 6 months or more QA-Source: MoT-Board (not available
. . . I would like to stay for at least 6 months can someone please
me what the process is and what I need to do in order to stay that
I know that Americans can stay in the islands for up to 8 months but I
need to know who I should check with to stay that long.
A posted by: Scubagirl Date: December 11, 2002 at 15:52:31
Generally speaking... If you are a U.S. citizen, you will need a return ticket dated within 8 months of your arrival as well as your passport/Proper ID for each of you. You will be asked to fill out an immigration card and state the length of your stay. It is up to the discretion of the immigration office to allow your 6 months stay or not. Immigration requires that you prove that you can sustain yourself financially while you are in the Bahamas, and not be a burden on the country. I've only been asked to prove this 3 times in 10 years. (bank statement, proof of income from employer etc. I travel with these just in case). For more information contact the Bahamas Immigration Department, P. O. Box N-831, Nassau. Tel. (242) 322-7530 or the nearest Bahamas embassy or consulate.
Hope this helps! (I've gotten around this by staying only 60days and returning to Miami for 1 day and then back to Nassau, immigration rarely has questioned my travel, quite a few people do this)
Import a car from US to Bahamas
Local prices of pre-owned vehicles Nassau
also very detailed "car section" here
> State Post Report 2002
QA-Source: MoT-Board (not available anymore)
Q From: royDate: 1/28/03 4:38:04 PM
I have shipped two cars over the last 10 years. I used Y-2 shipping(YEOCOMICO) out of the Port of Dania in the Fort Lauderdale area. I did not use a broker but had a friend in Eleuthera meet the shipment and pay the duty. Duty was about 55% and shipping was about $600.00
A From:Cal Date: 1/28/03 9:28:25 AM
We just shipped in a car and boat in May, 2000. It went very smooth. / You will need a shipper. / You will need a clear title to your vehicle. /You will need a Customs Broker to do the customs work in the Bahamas. / Here is who we used. It went well....
Shipper G & G Marine, 760 N.E. 7th Avenue, Dania Beach, FL. 33004, 954.920-9292 ext 222, Manuel
Customs Agent Hunt Import/Export, Phone 242.457-9258, Fax 242.351-2060, Agent Clement Hunt
Bahamas Customs 242.352-8500
QA-Source: http://www.geographia.com/guestbook/gbahama/ (import car and find an apartment)
Q From: Erin Date: 8/7/03 11:18:00 AM
moving to GBI - Hi, I recently was hired as a teacher on the island. I have searched everywhere for an apartment. I have to leave in about a two weeks. Does anyone have any advice about living on the island (ie. shopping, apartments, should I bring my car? Is there a ferry from Florida? etc.)
A From: Jeff Date: 8/8/03 12:25:03 AM
You will definitely want a car and it most likely makes financial sense to ship your car. Shipping will cost about $500 and you will have to pay duty and stamp tax which can add up to quite a bit depending on the appraised value of your car. It still will be less expensive than buying one there and you can sell it when you are ready to leave and make little money. You will want to load your trunk as almost anything you bring from the states will cost less than buying it there. There are a lot of condos for rent in a wide variety of price ranges. Try to find a short term rental, look around and see where you want to live and then go for a long term rental.
Whoever hired you should be able to give you some good advise to get started. It is only a full time vacation for visitors and is quite a different place for residents.
A From: Dianne Date: 8/8/03 7:38:08 AM
Anything you bring in your trunk pertaining to the car (I would bring as many spare tires as you can) is duty free. Anything else is subject to duty (40% or more) if they look. Use a customs broker. Tanja Enterprises is who I used and it was absolutely no hassle and I don't think they even bothered with the trunk. Buffie was my agent and she was super. There are some short/long term rentals at Coral Beach, an oceanfront complex. I can get the number of a real estate agent who handles some. Don't have it in front of me. Feel free to email me directly.
A From: Cal Date: 8/8/03 10:33:32 AM
To take a car is a personal decision. It is pretty easy to get around on the busses. To take a car, you must have a clear title to the car, then you will have to pay about $500 shipping fee and about 52% of the car value as import duty. I wouldn't do this unless you plan to stay for a considerable length of time.
As for an apartment, contact a friend of mine who lives on the island. She knows lots of people with apartments, condos, etc. Her name is Janice Treco. Her E-mail is (janice at coralwave.com). Tell her that Cal gave you her name and said hello.
13.10.03 Cal: Gas is expensive ($3/gallon), but the good news is that it is not like driving in the U.S. The island is 100 miles ling and 10 miles wide. You can drive all week on one tank of gas. We have a car there. We visit for 3 weeks at a time. I fill up when we get ther, and it lasts for the 3 weeks. source: Geographia/GB Board (date not available anymore)
16.6.04 John P. "Petrol Prices UK/GBI" Geographia/GB Board
Working in the Bahamas QA-Source: MoT-Board (not available anymore)
from: Mike Date: Monday,
December 9, 2002
I am looking to move to the Bahamas but would like to know a little more about the job market there. I am a Web Developer and was wondering where the best place a person like me can locate a job in the Bahamas.
A from: Scubagirl Date: Monday, December 9, 2002
Generally speaking, jobs are not available to non-bahamians, unless your employer can not find a suitable Bahamian to fill the post or train for the position. Web Developers and other IT work are easily filled by Bahamians. Even if you could find a post, you must pay a sizeable fee for a work permit and be sponsored by your employer. The fee for most professional positions is around $5000 per yr. Unemployment in the Bahamas is at an all time high. There's more to these rules and regulations, but that's the gist of it. For years, I got around this by working for a US based company and telecommuting from Nassau. You might look into it.
Q from: Sabine Date: Sept 23, 2003
I'am looking for an internship, who can help me // I' am a hardworking spontaneous girl, who is looking for an internship in a business related with tourism, can somebody help me? I can provide research skills, product development, marketing and managing activities! If you know a company who can offer me a placement for 6 months please contact me. thanks!
A from: tamara Date: Sep 23, 2003
By internship, do you mean "no pay"? If so, you should contact the hotels directly, but be aware, that you will still need a work permit / permission from immigration to spend extended time in the bahamas, and you will need to show immigration that you can afford to stay here for up to six months without government help, or an income. If you are looking for a paying job, you're out of luck. Entry Level jobs are not given to foreigners. There are strict rules about these type of jobs going to bahamians only, and a recent crackdown on abusing the law. Here's some interesting reading:
+++Article 22.9.03 "Immigration tightens up on fees, expatriate hiring" Nassau Guardian
Procedures for obtaining a work permit
was obtained from http://www.rumcaybahamas.com/annual_residency_permit.htm
respectively the Bahamas Handbook 2000 Edition, published by Etienne
An inflexible principle of The Bahamas government is that no expatriate may be offered a position that a suitably qualified Bahamian is available to fill. Employers with vacant posts are required to advertise locally and consult The Bahamas Employment Exchange. If unsuccessful in fulfilling their requirements by these methods, they may apply to the Dept. of Immigration for permission to recruit outside The Bahamas.
documentation will then need to be submitted:
an application will not be processed if the prospective employee is
in The Bahamas, having entered as a visitor.
permits have been granted, each employer will be required to identify a
suitable Bahamian to understudy the expatriate so that the Bahamian
will fill the expatriate's position within a reasonable time frame.
Work Permits: If setting up a business in The Bahamas, necessary work permits for key personnel will be granted. Businesses requiring permits for persons other than key personnel are encouraged to discuss these requests with The Bahamas Investment Authority in advance. Source: http://www.durrantharding.com
My partner/husband/wive is
/ is a resident of the Bahamas. How/when do I get a resident / a work
Q From: wooten, 7.6.04
Moving / If I had a working permit to work in the Bahamas for some time, would my girlfriend be allowed to come to Bahamas and live with me legally? I know she would'nt be able to work, but what about just living there with me and maybe do volunteer work?
A From: tamara zoo, 8.6.04
No, she wouldn't be able to stay longer than 8 months at a time if she's a U.S. Citizen, I think it's only 3 months for Canadians. Some get around this by leaving the country for 1 day (flying to Florida, then returning 24 hours later), but this can get tricky. I've done this in the past, and been stopped getting back in the country after spending 8 months in the bahamas. luckily, I still had an apartment in the US, and returned to Nassau 30 days later. If you're married, it's a different story, you're family can live with you, but the work permit is for you alone.
Camping in the Bahamas QA-source:Bahamasguide Forums
07 May 2004 - First let me say hello! Was wandering if anyone had any
on camping on the out islands. I have read some info that says it's ok
other sites say it's against the law. Any info would be helpful, Thanks
A From:tamara zoo. 17 Apr 2003 - Camping is not allowed on public property and there are no campgrounds. SO.. if you know someone who will let you camp on their private property, go for it. But I'd have to warn you that it is unsafe. Camping is not allowed on the beaches. There are several tour groups that include camping on the outislands. Check out http://www.bahamasadventures.com
Food prices QA-Source: http://www.bahamas-on-line.com/bahamasforum.shtml
++Discussions ... some other interesting
on message boards about food prices:
09.06.04 Tracy: "Bahamas on a shoestring" Geographia/GB Board
15.06.04 John P "How expensive can GBI be?" Geographia/GB Board
see also "Bringing
see also "Gas/Petroleum prices"
another possibility: browse through the advertisements in the online-(pdf-)version of The Nassau Guardian
Ed-ore Date: Mon Nov 3, 2003
Freeport area groceries . . . Have been given the impression that food is pricy over there, as in reg. off the shelf fix your self meals that require seasonings and such, is this a fact that one can expect to pay nearly 7$ for a bag of chips or cookies? . . . perhaps you could price out a list regular groceries for me / carton of eggs: 1/2 gal. milk, loaf of bread, garlic powder, rice, 12 oz of sliced cheese ,lb of ground round (burger). . .. gas prices
A From: Jerry Date: Tue Nov 4, 2003
... I will try to give a general answer. Most foods in Freeport are about 15% to 20% higher than a chain supermarket in the US. Staples such as bread, milk, etc aren't much higher than in the US. Some foods are actually cheaper. The prices are about in line with a country store in the US away from metropolitan areas. The biggest difference you will see is that choices are sometimes limited. You may have to take whatever brand is on the shelf. This is especially true with seasonings as the selection is limited at times. A few years ago, you would go every day as one day there would be cereal, the next day the cereal shelf was almost empty, but there was lots of lunch meat, and so on. In those days, the food on the shelf was dependent on what ship docked that day. With the new port, ships arrive daily so empty shelves are fairly rare. If you pay $7 for a bag of chips or cookie, those are definitely gourmet cookies. Snacks are somewhat higher, but not excessively higher. Some people bring some of their own food, but I think that is mainly for choice. The savings in price isn't that much anymore. The best places for food are the Winn-Dixie outside Port Lucaya and Solomons out by the airport. Solomons is a warehouse type store that carries just about anything from hotdogs to car tires. Their food prices are pretty good and they typically have some of the best produce and meats at reasonable prices. They carry a lot of frozen foods, soda, bread, and packaged items like cereal and snacks. Some products have a minimum bulk purchase size, so if you are buying for a few days, the options are sometimes limited. Gas prices are very high, but the island is small enough it is hard to use very much. My wife and I go for a few weeks each year and drive all over the place. We typically only use one tank of gas total.
Bringing Food QA-Source: http://www.geographia.com/guestbook/gbahama/
|Q From: Donna L. WrightDate:
3 weeks to go! Looking at bring food with me. Are there any do's and dont's? Does anyone know the airlines take on this? weight limit? fees?
A From: Cal, Date: 2/26/04
I always take food. You can take in anything except fresh fruits and vegetables. We pack a cardboard box with coffee, tea, packaged pastas, cetreal, canned goods, etc. QWe use the foods and throw the box away. We pack a carry on cooler (no ice allowed) with meats, cream, cheeses, luncheon meats, etc. We freeze the meats and they keep the cheeses, luncheon meats, butter, etc cold. You can take foods in with you (through Bahamian Customs), but you can not bring it(through U.S. customs). You can bring back fish and seafood from the Bahamas. We use the carry on cooler to take in meats and use the same cool to bring back fish/lobster.
A From: Mugsy Date: 2/26/04
Donna, I always bring food with me. The items include cheese, crackers, snacks, bagels, steaks, chicken,cranberry juice, margarita mix and generally stuff that can be packed in a carryon cooler. Fruit and veggies are PROHIBITED.
Bringing Money (how much do I need, ATM-availability, Travellers Checks, fees etc.)
Q From: Nick Date: 1/13/04 I plan on using my Credit Card for most purchases. but had a few questions on cash. How much money is a fair amount to bring with you (200)? How much should you carry on you when walking around? Do the ATMs give you US or Bahama currency? How much do transactions usually run? Are there a lot of ATMs around? Thanks, Nick
A From: Janice Date: 1/13/04 Hi Nick, How much money to bring is a really tough question. Just depends on what you plan on doing on vacation such as tours, activities, shopping etc.I never suggest that people rely solely on credit cards and ATM's when coming to the island. Some of your best deals in restaurants and some tours you would miss out on if you didn't have cash on hand. Even when shopping you'll sometimes get a better deal on items if you pay cash. There are several ATM's on the island..some give out US dollars and others only Bahamian cash. Finding the ATM isn't a problem. Problem could be that sometimes ALL of the ATM's on the island go down at the same time. Seen many a tourists stranded when they couldn't get cash due to a phone problem or bad weather which attributed to the ATM's not working. My advice is to bring some cash, and travellers cheques for emergencies. If you plan on using ATM's then make sure you replenish your cash supply before you're "broke" so to speak. At least if you still have cash on you and the machines go down, you won't be stuck. Another thing to remember: Lots of tour companies and even some resorts and hotels charge a surcharge of 5% when using credit cards so again, if you want the best deals you're better off with cash or travellers cheques. Janice
A From: connie c. Date: 1/13/04 i wouldn't worry about carrying cash. the casino cashes traveler's checks with no fee. other places charge a fee based on the check's value. we charged groceries at solomon's and they added a small surcharge. we bring a mix of cash, checks and cards! don't know how long you go for, but like janice says it depends on what you like to do. i cook in 1/2 the time in the month we are there.HAVE FUN!!!
<>Q Form Lottie 16.12.04 what type of travelers checks do they accept in Nassau
<><>A From Chris 18.12.04 They don't like travellers checks. You will have to find a bank and go through an exhausting identification process, and then pay a commission for the exchange.Bring US dollars or, if you are going just to Nassau, most "tourist" places and many others, will take credit cards
A From Roger 20.12.04 I used American Express checks the last time I was there with no problem. I was staying at the Wyndham and cashed them in the casino. Not sure what it's like at any of the stores or restaurants though
Only 5 days (Nassau) / 7 days (Grand Bahama) in the Bahamas. What to squeeze in?
see also here
tour organizers, shore excursions etc.
see here for snorkel/dive trips
Things to do
Have a look at the whole range of possibilities (Grand Bahama) first, study Carrie's posting about things to do (source: Geographia/GB)
Cruise - only a few hours on Grand Bahama? see here
From: Stefan Date: Thursday, May
for 5 days in Nassau / PI QA-Source:
MoT-Board (not available anymore)
What Clothing to pack? QA-Source: http://www.geographia.com/guestbook/gbahama/default.htm
|Q From: Amy Date: 1/24/03
My Husband and I will be arriving in Freeport on Mon. 1/27/03 (hurray)! We have heard different suggestions about weather and what kind of clothing to pack for this time of year. We will be staying at pelican bay at Lucaya. Time is drawing very near 2- days, any suggestions?
We are first timers. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks
A From: Renee O'B Date: 1/25/03 10:07:33 AM
Hi, Amy. I had this list from years ago, but it's still pretty good for a 5-day trip to Freeport around this time of year. Hope it helps! What I take to Bahamas:
- Wear on plane: Jeans T-shirt Hooded sweatshirt Jean jacket Sneakers & socks
- Small carry-on/purse: toiletries camera makeup $$/passport/travel info book/magazine
- Pack: 2 bathing suits 1 beach shorts/top or coverup 1 pajama/sleepwear 4 shorts 1 pair of khaki pants (maybe also 1 pair of dress pants) 2-3 dresses - 2 long, one short (only 2 if bring dress pants) 2 sleeveless tops 3 short-sleeved shirts 2 long-sleeved shirts (1 for dress pants) 1 shirt/light sweater to wear over dresses if chilly 1 low-heeled sandals 1 higher-heeled sandals 1 extra pair socks 7 sets of undergarments
-Various: jewelry hair clips baseball cap glasses sunglasses perfume CD player, CDs & adapter camera & film washcloth & headband beach bag & towel
! Scubagirl's tips & descriptions - Nassau/PI http://www.bahamas-treasures.com/bahamas/Beaches.html
Frommer's - Nassau/PI & Out Islands http://www.frommers.com/destinations/bahamas/0205020110.html
Expedia's - Nassau/PI http://www.expedia.com/daily/cruise/geo/ports.asp?tiid=2519
Expedia's - Grand Bahama http://www.expedia.com/daily/cruise/geo/ports.asp?tiid=1245&rfrr=-26933&CCheck=1
Royal Oasis - Grand Bahama http://www.theroyaloasis.com/grand_bahama_guide/beaches.html
see here for Beaches for Cruise Passengers
++Discussion re access to beaches Cruise Critics
Public Vs Private Beaches QA-Source: http://www.the-bahamas-islands.com/cgi-bin/eboard30/index.cgi?board=Nassau&frames=no
|Q From: Bahamas visitor, Date
I am planning to visit New Providence/Paradise Islands. Some hotels have private beaches and others (cheaper) are near the beach, which is public. Is there any advantage in paying more for being on a private beach rather than public? If there is, can one use the private beaches of the hotels for a fee, anyone have an idea of the prices for this?
A From scubagirl, Date: 20/9/03
All beaches in the bahamas are PUBLIC. The trick is, getting access to them. For Cabbage Beach (Atlantis) you can access thru the public walkway next to the Sheraton on Paradise Island, for Cable Beach, you can access thru any of the Hotel lobbies and out the back door. Hotels reserve the right to limit lounger use, towel service and pools to guests only, but you can certainly plop down your towel on any beach in the bahamas. Some hotels such as Sandals and Breezes do not allow access thru their property, as well as other private properties, but you can walk along the beach in any direction and not be stopped.
Q From: Hibiscus04, 20.5.04
I've heard that most of the beaches in Nassau are private and you have to pay to access them. Is this the case and if not could someone let me know where some nice public beaches are near East Bay Street where we will be docked. Thanks in advance!! -Sara
A From: Scubagirl, 20.5.04
Actually.. all beaches in the bahamas are PUBLIC.. but accessing them sometimes is a problem. Most hotels (except Atlantis, Sandals and Breezes) allow you to walk thru their lobbies to use their beaches. There are public beaches both east and west of town. West of town is Lighthouse Beach, east is Montegue. Monteque has no amenities, just a stretch of beach. It's about 1/4 mile east of the marinas across from Waterloo.
+++Article 04.05.04 "New Providence horse show huge success" Nassau Guardian
see also Abaco Wild Horses here
Riding in NASSAU/PI:
Happy Trails Stables http://www.bahamasvacationguide.com/happyt.html - http://www.bahamasgo.com/happytrails.htm
|Q From Joanna 17.11.04
Horseback riding? Trikk Pony or Pinetree Stables? Need to make reservations and can not decide????
A From Cal
Pinetree is a larger stable with standard rides and host larger numbers of riders on their rides.
Trik Pony is a smaller stable and specializes in more customized rides and smaller number of riders. Both are good.
A From Janice
As Cal said both are good companies but last time I checked Trik was significantly cheaper and they did smaller groups so you get more personalized service. Also, they had more beach time on their ride. They max out at 3 though so book fast if you want to get on tour with them.
Q From Esther, 8.10.03
|The Bahamas' sub-tropical climate makes
a year round destination. Generally a little cooler in the North
Bahamas, temperatures range from 20°C in the winter to 30°C
the summer. Pronounced chances for rainfall would be during the months
of August, September and October, which also represents the Hurricane
[more about hurricane season here].
The so-called 'peak season' runs from mid-December to mid-April, when
prices are at their highest. source: Barefoot
++Discussion started by Dancingfish on 15.12.04see here for "what if it rains and/or is cold?!" cruise critics
|Hotel season dates may vary slightly from year to year, but usually the high season runs from mid-December to mid-April; low season runs from mid-April to mid-December. Visitor rates reach a peak during the Christmas holidays and again during Spring Break weeks, starting at the end of February and running until mid-April. During these weeks it's a good idea to have advance reservations. Kitfoxes|
Q From: Jessica, 11.11.03
I have just recently gotten engaged and my fiance and I have yet to set a date. we have a few dates picked out but can't decide. Alot has to do with the honeymoon which we plan on taking in the Bahamas. Can someone tell me the best time of year to travel to the Bahamas with the weather and tourists etc.? Thanks!!
A From: tamara zoo, 13.11.03
It depends on what you are looking for and what you want to do. Jan and Feb are still low season, few tourists, but the water can be a bit chilly. March thru Easter week is Spring Break. TONS of teens partying. Late April, May and Early June.. quiet and delightful. Start of the rainy season, but rain last only a few minutes and dries up quickly. My favorite time of year. June, July and August is hot and overrun with families, this is also the rainy season, but the showers burn off quickly. If you are going to a place like Sandals or Breezes, this won't be a problem, I'd choose May or June at Sandals. Sept, and October are calm and the weather is great, but it's off season, and Hurricane Season, so you run the risk of a storm passing thru. It's rare, but it happens. November (also the end of hurricane season) can start to get chilly, and thanksgiving is a heavy family week. December is off season until mid month for the crazy holiday season. Weather can be quite nice, but again, if a cold front comes in, you could be wearing a sweatshirt instead of a bathing suit. For me.. I think April, May and Early June (before schools are out)are the best, but you won't find a ton of tourists and a party atmosphere. Hope this helps!
. . . more opinions about when (not) to go to the Bahamas -
|Lots of regulars (e.g.
who own property in the Bahamas) prefer February / beginning of
They say the weather is just perfect then and go the same time each
Do not underestimate hurricane season; June 1 through November 30, peak mid-August through October. Even if it's rare, there is always a risk of a major storm passing through. Check when you book if the hotel offers a "hurricane insurance" (e.g. Sandals). Don't panick. Stay informed. Watch the weather. If a storm is approaching get/keep in touch with your travel agent, airline, hotel, etc., check message boards. Do the same if a storm has passed through your holiday area just before you go there. If your hotel (or its attractions, landscape, beach) has suffered hurricane damage it might be closed for days or weeks, some attractions in the areas might not be available, clean-up works will be under way. Don't cancel right away, get information, consider reschedule. Source: bahamaslinks
Danny about Dec-Feb on GBI: Temps in December should run into the mid-70s to low-80s on average. You can get cool spells where it won't get that warm but the "average" daily temperature on GBI in December is 71 degrees. Ocean temps should be in the mid-70s. Depending on where you are from that's either cool or fine. Being from New England mid-70s ocean temps are like a sauna. :) Just be aware there are ever-present trade winds from the gulf stream so air temps can seem cooler than they are along the water. My wife always says it's warmer in the ocean than on the beach, and we go in February. Take a light jacket or sweater in case the evenings get cool. Remember this is for normal weather. It may well be warmer, but there is also a chance it will be cooler although December isn't as prone to cool spells as much as January and February. Even than cool spells usually mean low 70s for highs and mid-60s for lows. That's been our experience in 25 years of traveling to the Bahamas, 21 of them to GBI. source: Geographia/GBI
The Bahamas is affected by the
flow generated by an area of high atmospheric pressure covering a large
part of the subtropical North Atlantic, so the climate varies little
the year. The most pleasant time is between December and May,
the temperature averages 70°-75°F (21-24°C). It stands to
that hotel prices during this period are at their highest --
30% higher than during the less popular times. The rest of the year is
hot and humid and prone to tropical storms; the temperature hovers
|Q From: Kayli, 13.11.03
My husband and I are wondering if it is safe to drink the water in Nassua? We have heard conflicting stories. We want to know if it is safe to drink the water, have ice, etc. at out hotel-Sandals and then at the restuarants in town, bars, etc. I know other tropical places they say it is safe to drink water at resort and bars, etc. but no where else. Can anyone help us?
A From: tamara zoo, 14.11.03
It's safe, but not very tasty. Most places make ice with filtered water, so I wouldn't worry about that, I've never had a problem with frozen drinks, ice or water in a restaurant/bar. You can brush your teeth without a problem. For drinking purposes, use bottled water. It's available everywhere.
Q From Matt 11.08.04 QA-source Geographia/GBI
encarta africana, Cornrows: Style & Substance http://www.africana.com/articles/daily/hb20040129cornrow.asp
some discussions about price, precautions,
started by Carmel 10.05.04 cruisecritics
started by littlegoo75 04.05.04 cruisecritics
started by csteck 24.09.04 cruisecritics
started by triptakers 03.05.04 cruise-forums
started by Margareth 08.04.04 aruba board
Fish Fry 1 - in Grand Bahama, Freeport
|Carrie's abundant description
23.05.04 source: Geographia/Grand
The Wednesday Night Fish Fry is located outside of Outriggers Restaurant at Smith's Point, just adjacent to Taino Beach, just east of the Stoned Crab Restaurant. Situated on the top street at Smith's Point, the fish fry is hard to miss. All taxi drivers know where it is. You'll know you're here because it is the "big" one - more people are gathered at this fish fry than the other smaller areas further up. But later in the evening, people do wander to the other stalls further up. The Outrigger's Fish Fry at Smith's Point is run by the Wilson family. The Wednesday Night Outrigger's Fish Fry at Smith's Point fish is not in a restaurant - the Wilson family and their relatives host this OUTDOOR weekly event. Every Wednesday night, from about 6:30pm tourists and locals begin to line up at this locally famous OUTDOOR fish fry for platters of fried or steamed fish, priced at approximately $10-$13 each. At times, they also have fried chicken or fileted fish. I have gone to the fish fry many times and I would highly recommend it as a "Thing to Do". It's like a taste of Bahamian culture - you get to meet lots of Bahamians when you attend this weekly inexpensive fish fry. Locals and tourists hang out in a fun atmosphere. Remember to bring cash ONLY....since you have to pay in cash!! The only problem is that the music is a trifle loud and, if you want to leave earlier, it is sometimes hard to get a taxi. All the taxi drivers, who frequent the fish fry, want to stay on till the end! Ask the price of the taxi ride before entering any taxi, just so that you won't get surprised. The taxi ride for two is about $12 from the Lucaya area (add about $3 for each additional person). It should be noted that the fare for two is more costly at about $16 from the downtown International Bazaar/Crowne Plaza Golf Resort & Casino at Royal Oasis area (add about $3 for each additional person). We were there for about 8:00 p.m. which is a good time. We stayed till about 10pm. It's advisable to get there for about 7:15 pm. since they sometimes run out of food. There is quite a line up after 8:15 pm. Because of the informal setting directly on the beach, dress casually...ladies wear your sandals. The atmosphere is relaxing and everyone has a good time. There are some picnic tables and benches on the sand right next to the booth/hut where you give your order to one of the Wilson women. The picnic tables and benches are just a few feet from the water's edge. So you can eat and wiggle your toes in the sand. There is an outdoor wooden deck with additional eating......you walk up a few steps, and there is a small dance floor, a bar and tables set up on the deck. The overhead deck is next to the little hut where the Wilson women take the orders. Don't ask to see a menu because there isn't one! A wooden booth/hut is used for placing orders. You can get there for about 7:00pm and you will see that a long line has already formed. Sometimes it takes as long as 15-30 minutes to get to the head of the line and place your order. You place your fish order with one of the women. The line to order your fish forms to the right, and once you get to the front of the booth, after ordering, you move to the other side to get the side dishes. It is not all that organized but just follow the line. Once you finish ordering your fish, as I mentioned, you have to go around to the other side where you pay and can order any side orders such as peas and rice, cole slaw, macaroni and cheese, sweet potato bread (mmm...almost like a dessert..soooo good). The dinners usually come with 3 side orders. You can also order conch fritters. The night we were there they had both red snapper and fried chicken. It should be noted that some tourists are not too keen on seeing the fish head when eating fish - you get the whole fish on your plate, including the head!! I just eat everything but the head. Just beware that the smoke, coming out of the hut/booth, is really strong and will sting your eyes when you're standing in line. I find it's easier if you stand to the extreme left of the hut...let one person get the food and the other can go get a seat before the seating gets taken. Sodas cost extra (besides what you pay at the booth/hut for your fish plate and side orders) and have to be purchased from the small overhead deck. We chose the fried red snapper along with peas n' rice (spiced rice with pigeon peas), macaroni n' cheese, and potato bread (approximately $13 per plate) - as mentioned above, the dinner usually comes with three side dishes. Sodas were extra. If you like your fish mildly seasoned, the Wilson family season the fish just enough for tasting. Ask for the special lemon pepper sauce if you prefer your fish on the hot side! Mmmm. Also try the conch fritters - about 4 for about $4. Some people complain of the occasional nuisance of sandflies. I encountered NONE when I went to the fish fry (I was there from about 8pm-10pm). The sandflies can be an all year round pest. Perhaps the sandflies are abundant when it is daylight like at 6:00 pm. It's probably best to wear insect repellant just in case.
Fish Fry 2 - in Nassau
|Q From: Ginny, 10.6.04 - Source:
We are going to be staying at Atlantis and heard about a local "fish fry" under a bridge. Does anyone know about this? If so, what days of the week is it held and at what time? Also, how far is it from Atlantis? Lastly, is the food good?
A From: Paulie, 11.6.04 : The fish market is under the old bridge going to PI. You can get some limited food there and if you can walk over the bridge it is in walking distance. However, the fish market is not the fish fry. The fish fry is a mile west of downtown (Bay Street shopping district) so it really is a cab ride away from Atlantis. On the way in from the airport a few minutes after you pass the Cable Beach casino start looking out the water side windows and you will see a group of colorfully painted shanties and a bunch of Kalik signs. That is the fish fry. The fish fry is really just a bunch of take-out food stands although limited seating can be found and some of the places are more like restaurants than pure take-out stands. I've only been there for lunch and I know it most places are open for lunch at least Mon-Sat. I suspect that most places are also open for early dinner. Understand that this is not the community jump-up fish fry like Smith Point on GBI or Shirley Heights in Antigua. However, if you have the time it is really about the only place where tourists can get out among the people and mingle. The food is very good at most places and inexpensive. For lunch and early dinners it is also absolutely safe. Anyone who is staying for more than a few days should stop in.
Some pictures of the fish fry: http://cruiseclues.com/galaxy/nassau.htm (scroll down to fish fry pictures)
Fish Fry in Nassau: "The
(usually outdoor, impromptu cookouts which grow into permanent events
a Arawak Cay in Nassau, and Club Caribe in Freeport); Conch Salad made
fresh-fresh before your very eyes at th Fish Fry, under the Paradise
Bridge at Potter's Cay and all over the Family Islands; Here are other
events to enjoy, usually associated with the traditional food and
+++Article (Fish Fry in Nassau): 18.03.04 "Fish Fry 'going to pot' " Nassau Guardian
Download pictures off digital camera in local photoshop? QA-Source: http://www.geographia.com/guestbook/gbahama/
|A From: canuck4 Date 21.2.04
I was wondering if there is a photo shop on Grand Bahama where one can download pictures off of their digital camera and get them put on a Cd. I am not sure if I will have enough memory for all the pictures I want to take.
A From: Doug Date 22.2.04
Regarding downloading your camera memory. I just got back from Freeport last week end and wanted to do the same thing. I visited several cyber cafes and got the same answer, no, their computers did not have the ability to do that. They would have been willing to let me hook up to the USB port but I did not bring my cable and it probably would not have done me any good because mine requires a USB 2.0. Here is my recommendation. Take a card reader with you. You could then record to a CD if they can burn them, or you could upload to a web drive like ZDrive.com. The hotel we stayed at had a business center that would let you use the computers and internet for $10.00 a day or about 35 cents a minute.
HELP - afraid of sharks!
|Q From: Wheels, 14.4.04 /
We are going to Lucaya in a couple days and hubby wants to snorkel but I am deathly afraid of sharks (okay - even big fish) Can anyone tell me anything to calm me down? I don't think it would be wise to snorkel on a bottle of xanax :-) Thanks in advance!
A From: Cal, 15.4.04 / It depends on how bad you want to snorkel. The only thing that can help is to understand the odds. My wife and I visit Grand Bahama seven weeks every year, and have for 8 years. We have our own boat there and we snorkel often. In the depth of water we snorkel, I have never seen a shark in 8 years. You might take the snorkel tour at Paradise cove where you can snorkel off the beach. Or, take the Kayak snorkel trip to Petersons Cay. At the cay, where we snorkel, the water is so shallow that we can stand up in the water, but there are thousands of fish to see. If you just can't convince yourself to do it, take the glass bottom boat tour or the semi-submarine tour. Or, take the Fantasea sailing/snorkeling tour with Reef Tours. If you choose not to snorkel, the sailing is fabulous. Snorkeling is a fabulous experience, but it is not worth emotionally ruining your trip for.
Q From Laplante Family 25.11.04
Snorkel Mask & Glasses?QA-Source: BVG-Board
|Q From: Ginny, 14.4.04 / Are there any
mask that can go over prescription glasses? If so, where can I get one?
If not, does anyone know where to get a prescription mask made?
A from: scubagirl, 14.4.04 / You can't wear your mask over your glasses, but if you are near sighted, you can get optical lenses fit for some (not all) masks. Lens cost about $30 each lens (plus the cost of your mask), and you can get them thru places like Paragon Sports or online places like Divers Direct or any Dive shop. They also sell stick on film like lenses at paragon for about $20. You may not even need lenses though, I need 2.0/2.5 lenses, and don't use corrective lenses while snorkeling or diving. The water naturally magnifies your site by 25%.
Snorkel near the ports, off shore (more info about snorkel here)
|QA-source cruisecritics board (message
Q From: Vermonter16, 7.7.04: Hello, does anybody know a decent beach for snorkeling in freeport that might be either near the cruise ship, offered on a private excursion with a company... I'd love to go snorkeling....I don't necessarily want to go through renting a vehicle... Anyone have any suggestions. Your prior experiences or ideas would be great! Thank you.
A From: Cindy, 26.7.04: You can take a cab to Paradise Cove. Cab ride is $16 round trip. Snorkel gear rental is $8. If you have your own gear beach access is $3. Good place to snorkel.
board (message not accessible anymore)
toward marriage in the Bahama Islands Source:
(google) version of a no
more active website
(see also here)
|H. Lowe, Prof. Brownwell, Anthropology
Americans marry for many different reasons, the foremost being love and a desire to be legally bonded for life with another person. This is the typical Western romantic idealism that you might base your unions on, however the vast majority of the population in the Caribbean and West Indies have formed a totally opposing attitude toward marriage.
History and Origins of the Caribbean
This racial mix of white, high-class expatriates, and freed slaves, were challenged by severe demographic constraints, and had to learn to adapt to a more brutal way of life (pp.65). Many of the original settlers died of tropical diseases, and coupled with the harsh conditions of the islands and tropic weather, this lead to fragile family bonds. The British soon rejected their cultural propriety and customs and began to look on marriage unions in a new light. Because of the high mortality within marriage unions, women often re-married (which at the time was a social taboo) to have a husband to support them and their children. And at the same time, the white settlers were asslimilating the customs of the black majority. One such custom was the social acceptance of the common-law marriage, which had come about because slaves were not allowed to legally marry (pp. 72-4). From these diffenet influences and circumstances a new attitude was formed, one that still shapes familly life in th Caribbean region today.
Attitudes toward marriages today
Types of marriage unions found in the
Reasons behind formation of these
The second factor according to Payne and
(pp.719) is the mother-child relationship which formed due to slavery
the economic ensecurity they faced. For many women this is the only
attachment they accept, because the marriage unions are so tenous and
These women see marriage as unnecessary as long as they have their
to support them. Because of this prevalent attitude, women often have
out of wedlock without any worries of stigma that most un-wed Western
might have, and many Bahamian families are based on this sentiment.
Marriages, and peoples' desire to join together in these unions have survived for hundreds of years. Yet while many view marriage through rose-coloured glasses and with romantic idealism, the population of the Bahamas have a different attitude. for many, marriage is an institution or an economic means of survival, not something to base frivolously on love. Today, with the assimilation of western ideas into Caribbean culture things are slowly beginning to change, but these new ideas still have to compete with attitudes that are hundreds of years old.
Life - Favorite Bahamian Foods / Things we do / You know
a native if... / Sip-Sip and local slang
Source: an archived (yahoo) (google) version of a no more active website (see also here)
There's more to being a Bahamian native than simply living here. Not everyone has what it takes to be a true-true, full fledged Bahamian but if you can relate to any of these you're on the right track.
Bahamian dishes and foods
If there's one thing that you MUST do on your vacation to the Bahamas, it's to eat at least one traditional Bahamian dish. Bahamians have strong opinions on the subject of food, mainly that it should be spicy, greasy, and there should be lots of it. The only way I can try to relate this ingrained love for eating and food is to compare it to the Roman god Bacchus' love of wine and good living.
Unfortunately, this love of food leads to...well...stout?rotund? how about chubby people. A common phrase heard here is,"She got peas'n'rice bungy" (i.e. "she's got a sizeable rear due to her love of a Bahamian dish of rice and native peas, which is eaten at practically every meal). Please note however that this isn't meant as an insult, but rather admiration for her obvious love of rich foods. As a result, many Bahamian men have a definate preference towards women with larger proportions. Simply put, "bone is for dog, and meat is for man".
Bahamians love seafood (is that any great surprise?) The sea has provided us with food for hundreds of years, and much of the old industry in the Bahamas stemmed from smack-boat building (a unique Bahamian fishing vessel), sponging, and now; crawfishing. Today crawfishing is an important cash catch (aka. spiny lobster) and is a great delicacy here in the Bahamas.
Conch - Pronounced "konk", the queen conch (Strombus gigas) is one of the most popular and delicious foods here. Bahamians swear that conch is a sure 'bush medicine' cure for impotance, and many Bahamian men will tell you that, "conch does gie' you strong back". Whether you feel you could benefit from this or not, I'd still recommend you try at least one of the conch dishes I've listed below. Any restaurant you go to will have at least one conch dish on its menu.
Conch fritters, Conch salad, Cracked
Things we do
Bahamians have a different attitude towards life in general than the American culture. Simply put, anything which causes undue stress or rush is unnecessary. If you plan on visiting the Bahamas this is an important cultural quirk you need to remember. We're not doing it just to annoy you.
If there's one thing Bahamians do take seriously it's our weekends and free time. Weekends here are devoted to shopping on Saturday, and church-going and beaching/boating on Sundays. Many Bahamians after church service, head to the beach for an afternoon of socializing and eating with friends and family (Please note that if you're from the Bahamas you're usually related to just about everyone else living here). The 'Fish Fry' on Arawak Cay is a popular spot to go most Sundays.
Shopping is another Bahamian cultural pastime, and many Bahamians make an annual pilgramage to the USA (Florida is a favorite) on extensive shopping sprees.
Bahamians will use just about any excuse to have some sort of get-together or party. Socializing, visiting and gossiping are national pastimes (or I sometimes wonder) and much time and energy is invested in speculation and sensationalism. This also applies to weddings (which are usually lavish, and expensive 'events') and funerals (if you don't have a marching band, a limousine train of relatives, and at least one wife or sweet-heart throwing themselves at the coffin as it is lowered, then you weren't a true Bahamian).
Asue - An asue is a sort of money saving
that many 'true-true' Bahamians participate in. The asue is part of the
African heritage of many Bahamians. Participants each 'throw in' a set
sum of money for a certain number of weeks. At the end of each week,
person will get all of the money and this continues until everyone has
recieved their share.
Someone calls you a: Sheep-runner,
a Sigillian, or a Crab (ie. nick-names of people originating from
Sip-Sip and Local Slang
If you are going to be a 'true-true' Bahamian and not just some sunburned tourist wearing a straw hat, you're going to need to know the lingo. First off Bahamians speak English. Americans claim that our accent and vocabulary are British, and the British claim we sound American. It's up to you to figure it out. Accents and slang vary depending on which of the Family Islands [there was a link here which no longer works] you're planning on visiting, these however are just some general ones that should work.
some discussion threads
starting 28.10.04 Abaco board
starting 08.10.04 Geographia/GBI board
starting 28.07.04 Geographia/GBI board
starting 28.07.04 Freeport board
starting 01.07.04 Fodors board
starting 06.05.04 Cruisecritics board
starting 21.08.01 (-Nov 03) Fodors board
Ministry of Tourism about cellular phone use http://www.bahamas.com/bahamas/about/general.aspx?sectionid=23128&level=3
Batelco about cellular phones http://www.btcbahamas.com/main_flash.html > Products & Services > Cellular Phones
Cell phones in the Bahamas:
|Finally info on cell phone use in the Bahamas: Cingular and other cell phones (with the exception of Sprint) should work in Nassau and Grand Bahama, on the country’s new GSM system. Although is still a pricey call, it is a step in the right direction. 10 August, 2004Source: yachtmansguide|
! Very active board. If not sure whether cell phone will work in the Bahamas, might be worth to try and post a question on this board
HowardForums "Your Mobile Phone Community & Resource" http://www.howardforums.com/index.php?s=29d41979aaf7e19f4c7c8044d76200ba - search results for "Bahamas"
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