Freeport, Bahamas

Beach Options (Listed by distance to the cruise port)

Xanadu Beach - Closest beach to the cruise port.  The nearby Xanadu Beach Resort from which the beach gets its name is closed.  The top floor of this hotel is where Howard Hughes once lived (look for the blacked out windows).  There really is not much going on at this beach and in the surrounding area but it has soft sand and clear water.  Good spot to go if you want a quiet and relaxing day but you need to bring everything you need because the area is relatively deserted.  Somewhat more protected from the wind and waves than Taino Beach or Lucaya Beach. The water is shallow quite a ways out, especially at high tide, so it's a good place to take small children who can't swim. You can go snorkeling on a small coral reef out near the end of the breakwater. 

Paradise Cove Beach -- Paradise Cove Beach is out towards the less traveled west end of the island and has relatively quiet and secluded beaches.  It is actually located at the Paradise Cove Beach Resort which provides transportation to and from the cruise port and has many activities that you can purchase including a snorkeling package, a kayaking package or a combo package for both.  Meals can be included as well if you desire.  If you would rather just relax on the beach you can just pay a $3.00 resort fee, $3.00 to rent a lounge chair, rent snorkel gear or a kayak if you like and partake of their very reasonably price food and drink at The Red Bar.  Just be sure to make a reservation with them ahead of time so they will be at the port when you arrive to provide you with the complimentary transportation to and from Paradise Cove.

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Lucaya Beach - You can walk on to the beach near the Port Lucayan Marketplace via one of the public accesses between the resorts.  The only issue is that there are no public restrooms, beach chairs or other amenities.  To get this you have to either buy a day pass, be a restaurant customer or rent the amenities from the resort.  There are various other watersport rentals available on the beach as well.  Coral beach is a walk to the west.

Grand Lucayan Resort  (formerly The Westin and The Radisson Our Lucaya) Beach- Resort on Lucaya Beach which offers a day pass for $15-20 for adults, $7-10 for kids but you get to use their facilities (restrooms, lounge chairs, umbrellas, 6 pools, hot tubs, hammocks, beautiful beach, locker room facilities, free wi-fi, and restaurant).  Across the street from Port Lucayan Marketplace. They don't furnish you towels so make sure and bring your beach towel from the ship.  You can purchase a day when you arrive there at the entrance to the resort.  You will get a wristband to wear for the duration of your time at the resort.

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Taino Beach  - This beach is east of Lucaya across Bell Channel Bay.  There are two ways to get to Taino Beach.  You can take a taxi or van there from the cruise port or take a ferry back and forth from the Port Lucaya Marketplace to Taino Beach.  The ferry is $3 per person per trip and leaves hourly at 10 minutes past the hour.  Junkanoo Beach Club is here.  There is a park with a small playground.  There are several restaurants in the area including The Stoned Crab, Kaptain Kenny's Bay Watch and Toni Macaroni's Beach Experience.

Fortune Beach - A quiet beach, five miles from Port Lucaya Marketplace. The beach got its name from a shipwreck worth $2 million which was discovered by treasure hunters in 1965. Banana Bay restaurant is located here which has good food and is a great place. You will need your own transportation to get there, or you can purchase a tour that visits this beach.

Gold Rock Beach - Secluded beach at Lucayan National Park.  It is about a one hour drive from the cruise port. Considered the best beach on Grand Bahama Island at low tide when the sand is exposed.  This is where Disney filmed Pirates of the Caribbean II and III.  It requires a $3.00 per person fee when entering the Lucayan National Park and there are no available amenities like restrooms, restaurants or shopping anywhere nearby.  Snorkeling is not good from the beach due to the sand, but you can see a few starfish, stingrays, sand dollars, sea biscuits, and the like.  As with all national parks in the Bahamas, taking any shells or artifacts of any kind from the water, beach, or park is strictly prohibited and strongly enforced.  At high tide the beach is much different and not really worth the 1-hour trip out from the port.  It is probably best to arrive about 2 hours before low tide and stay 2 hours after.