Floating just 110 miles off the sunny southern coast of Florida, it’s little wonder why the Bahamas makes such a popular choice for sea-loving holidaymakers.
Port Canaveral is Florida’s fastest-growing port and the gateway to the blissful Bahamas. Most cruises that depart from the port are destined for the palm-fringed beaches of the Caribbean and nearly all of these make at least one stop in the Bahamas – usually at Nassau or one of the liner’s idyllic private islands. With such a short distance between the two destinations, it’s possible to leave Florida on a Friday night and wake up on a sun-soaked island 12 hours later. But which to choose? From two-night weekend breaks to 10-night jolly holidays, we’ve selected five of the best cruises from Orland to the Bahamas based on itinerary, value for money and liner facilities and amenities.
2 Nights Bahamas with MSC Cruises
This short and oh-so-sweet Bahamas cruise is the ideal option for travelers looking for a quick hit of tropical sunshine without using up any extra vacation leave. Cruises depart from Port Canaveral on Friday evening and arrive at Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve just in time for breakfast. A full day of beachside massages, watersports and sunset cocktails await before the ship turns back for Orlando. On board the MSC Seashore, you’ll find all the usual high-spec facilities and amenities, as well as a range of rooms from budget bedrooms to suites. From $169 per person.
3 Nights Bahamas with MSC Cruises
This slightly longer Bahamas cruise combines a trip to Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve with a day in Nassau, the colourful capital of the Bahamas. Passengers depart at 6 pm aboard the MSC Seashore and spend a night at sea, arriving in Nassau at midday. After an afternoon exploring the city’s striking colonial architecture, fascinating pirate history and world-class water adventures, it’s onwards to Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve for a full day of beach bliss, before heading back to Port Canaveral the following morning. From $139 per person.
4 night Bahamas with Disney Wish
For a dose of fairytale magic, you’ll be hard-pressed to find better than this Disney cruise. The five-day cruise sails to Nassau, Castaway Cay and back again aboard the Disney Wish, Disney’s newest cruise liner. Onboard, there’s a dizzying calendar of family-friendly events to enjoy, from Broadway shows to nighttime fireworks. It’s even home to the world’s first Frozen-themed theatrical dining experience. Off-board, guests have time to explore the island’s colourful capital, as well as Disney’s private island, which boasts miles of white sandy shoreline and shallow sapphire waters From $1,288 per person.
7 Nights Western Caribbean with MSC Cruises
For those looking to tick off a handful of Caribbean destinations in one go, this eight-day cruise is an excellent option. Passengers can enjoy two full days in Nassau and Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve in the Bahamas, followed by two day trips to the Costa Maya and Cozumel in Mexico. The itinerary includes a full day of cruising to ensure passengers can make the most of the MSC Seashore’s amenities, including an infinity pool, a glass floor bridge, an exclusive yacht club and a spa offering a wide selection of Balinese wellness treatments. As of that wasn’t tempting enough, there’s still space on departures in January for those looking to replace winter blues with a very different type of blue. From $399 per person.
8 Nights Bahamas with Royal Caribbean International
This bargain Bahamas cruise offers eight nights aboard the Mariner of Seas, with two days in the Bahamas and a day trip to Bermuda. A favourite with families, this 3000-plus person vessel offers an ice-skating rink, basketball court, surf simulator, several pools and rock climbing wall, as well as 17 bars and clubs. Offboard adventures are just as thrilling, with a whole day exploring secluded beaches and the 18th-century historic Royal Naval Dockyard in Bermuda, followed by a day out in Nassau. But before you head home, there’s a whole day reserved for fun and frolics in CocoCay, home to the tallest waterslide in North America. From $664 per person.