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“Be on time or get locked out!” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Balearia Bahamas Express

Balearia Bahamas Express
Terminal 1, Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
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Ranked #115 of 165 things to do in Fort Lauderdale
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Owner description: Balearia Bahamas Express offers Scheduled ferry crossings between Fort Lauderdale FL, and Grand Bahama Island onboard our ship; “Pinar del Rio” with a capacity of 455 passengers divided into two classes; economy and 1st Class. Pinar del Rio sails from Fort Lauderdale at 8:00 am and arrives at Grand Bahama Island at 11:00 am (weather permitting), It then sails from Grand Bahama Island at 7:00 pm, and arrives back to Fort Lauderdale at 10:00 pm With such a convenient schedule, Balearia Bahamas Express gives the traveler the opportunity to spend 8 hours in the island on a one day trip, a quick weekend getaway when limited by time, or a grand vacation when staying at one of the many resorts in Grand Bahama Island.Balearia Bahamas Express is proud to be the lowest priced and “funnest” way to travel to the Bahamas
Reno, Nevada
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Be on time or get locked out!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2014

Rough ride and if you are not there an hour prior they will lock the doors!! This is really a cargo type boat that added seats to increase revenue.

Visited December 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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239 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Danish first
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English first
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Terrible, RUDE, disaster! !!!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2013

I always read reviews or personally talk with a person before booking any getaway...my husband doesn't!!!! I'm not happy because he should know better !!!!!! Read, research!!!!! I'm typing this while taking this nauseating trip to GBI and I hate it!!!! Not worth the money for a day trip..ijs:'(:'(:'(:'(

Visited December 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
“Very Bumpy not for those that get sea sick. Too long for a day trip”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2013

First of all this is not a quick ferry ride. You have to ride across the Atlantic ocean for 3 hours in some rough water. The day trip on this ferry will not give you enough time as you have to go through security and customs. Get there about an hour and 10 minutes early as there is nothing to do after you get through security (on the US side). The Bahaman side is much more relaxed.

We took the ferry over and stayed for a few days. Both of my kids puked on the way over and my wife was sick. The ferry is basic-- there is a bar and some slot machines, but it is not a luxury cruise liner. Bring food if you want to eat, but if you get sea sick eat early and pop some nausea medicine

For what it is worth I gave it 3 stars-- average. That is what it is. It is basic transportation that is cheaper than flying-- much cheaper if you have kids. The island of Grand Bahama is awesome and 100% worth is, so if you go into it knowing what to expect it will make the ride a little better.

The worst part of the entire trip: you get back at 10pm and the US customs can take as long as the ferry ride. Get off the boat fast if you can.

The staff at Balearia was awesome and great to work with-- book on the phone and look for specials. There is always some sort of deal.

Visited December 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Delray Beach, Florida
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“You get what you pay for”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2013 via mobile

We wanted a quick weekend getaway and the Fast Ferry fit our schedule. But there are very few creature comforts in Terminal 1 in Ft Lauderdale and the insistence that you arrive 2 hours early leaves you stuck there (with nothing but a vending machine) for 3+ hours. Apparently the ship is often delayed due to cargo being loaded. The rep in the terminal was quite rude. When we finally boarded the ship (at 9:30 am), we were famished. The food stand aboard was slow to open & offers only very low quality food (frozen/microwaved pizzas, wings, something resembling chicken 'nuggets'). The elderly gentleman who is charged with opening the top deck (the only outdoor area where one can have fresh air, see the sights, take pix) was busy playing solitaire on the ship's computer & was very annoyed when several passengers asked him to open the deck doors (we were locked in). He let us out for about 10 minutes and then locked the doors for good. The rest of the staff was very helpful and nice though. The movies mentioned on the website are shown in a large area on small screens. A very boring documentary about the various mating habits of birds and apes was being shown. The seats (similar to airline seats) do not recline. Most of us tried to sleep, but it was very uncomfortable. By making a few adjustments to the cruise, the experience could be much more pleasant (larger screens, better movies, higher quality & more variety in the food selection, and replacing the grumpy old man). Also, by cutting off the time for loading cargo and not delaying the voyage for everyone, this would be a major improvement! If you go, it's one of the least expensive ways to get to GBI. But be prepared (bring your own food and entertainment and possibly a neck pillow if you plan to sleep). Also, if you get seasick at all, take something for this in advance. There are often rough seas, but the ship takes them fine.

Visited December 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
1 review
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Worst Trip Ever!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2013

My boyfriend, daughter and I took a same-day return trip on November 08, 2013 for my daughter's birthday. The boat ride was rocky from the beginning. It began to rain and that's when are nightmare began. The boat is NOT designed to be out on the open seas especially with bad weather looming. The entire crew and passengers were being bounced around like bean bags, people became violently sick including my daughter who stated "THIS WAS THE WORST BIRTHDAY EVER". The crew members spent the entire trip passing out bags to those who were vomiting. I called Customer Service in regards to a refund, their (POOR) response to our disastrous trip was that our experience does not merit a refund. Please be advised the Customer Service Rep. can do nothing on their part and will automatically refer you to an e-mail address..

Visited November 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PabloAviles, Director of Sales at Balearia Bahamas Express, responded to this review, November 20, 2013
Hello Merline and thank you for reviewing.

We would like to clarify to anyone reading this response that our ship is a double hulled, Catamaran style vessel that measures 243 Feet, it has a capacity of 460 passengers and it is very much suited for open sea voyages.

Having stated that, we recommend checking the weather forecast before sailing in order to avoid a rough crossing and enjoy a day of Sun in the Bahamas!

In case of adverse weather conditions, our captain makes a decision whether it is safe to travel or not. should he decide not to sail, we always refund or allow date changes for passengers holding reservations. However, should the weather be safe, yet rough, there are plenty of alternatives for our clients, such sea sickness pills, or wrist pressure-point bands for a drug-free alternative, both available from the on board duty free shop.

Furthermore, we pride ourselves on having an outstanding crew, always on top of our passengers' needs, whether they are serving food, handing out bags, or assisting passengers who become discomforted, our crew shows tremendous professionalism at all times, thank you for exposing that.

Lastly, we would like to point out that there are many components to a day trip to the Bahamas; Price point, check in, embarkation, crossing, debarkation in Freeport, time spent in the Island, check in again, return crossing, and debarkation in Fort Lauderdale.
Yet, you only seemed to have an issue with one, precisely the one that we can't control.

We hope you will someday give us another try and when you do so, please make sure you've checked the weather forecast and enjoy what over 180,000 people have already experienced in the two years that we have been operating our wonderful service.
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