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Old 07-01-2020, 16:33   #16
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Re: Thoughts about cruising Bahamas now.....

You’re planned itenerary, with the exception of Grand Bahamas, avoids storm damaged areas. Bahamians are hoping we cruisers will keep coming over. Necessary resources such as water and fuel are available in the areas you will visit. Stick to your plan. Both you and Bahamians will benefit.
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Old 08-01-2020, 15:54   #17
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Re: Thoughts about cruising Bahamas now.....

All comments about Grand Bahama are incorrect. Most damage was east of the waterway. For boaters and especially Sail boaters there are no problems.
Old Bahama Bay Marina at west End and Grand Bahama Yacht Club in Lucaya, are both open with Fuel, Customs/Immigration, bars and restaurants.


Also Abaco is frantically rebuilding and will be more & more operational as the season goes on. It will be a little challenging in some areas, but they will welcome the tourist revenue.


As for the rest of the Bahamas, nothing has changed and it will be just as last year, but a little more crowded with people shying away from the Northern Islands.


glcalahan, go and enjoy your self!
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Old 17-01-2020, 16:50   #18
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Re: Thoughts about cruising Bahamas now.....

Viva Windham resort made an offer we could not refuse. We are flying to Freeport Bahamas tomorrow! Yahoo!
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Old 17-01-2020, 17:32   #19
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Re: Thoughts about cruising Bahamas now.....

Check out the "Sand Bar" just next door.
We go every Sunday evening.
Ask for Ken.
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Old 23-01-2020, 12:07   #20
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Re: Thoughts about cruising Bahamas now.....

I can vouch for Grand Bahama Yacht Club. Fully open for business with docks, fuel, big grocery 2km away. The facility is in good shape, and there are lots of vacancies. The marina is well protected from winds of any direction. Customs has an office on site. Nice pool and restaurant on site. Very friendly and helpful staff. So glad to be here this week January 2020.
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Old 31-01-2020, 10:32   #21
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Re: Thoughts about cruising Bahamas now.....

That's the thing... there will always be some person or people, some event and/or some reason trying to talk you out of going.

Ignore all of them and GO!!!

For the record, thats true in all major life decisions... but in this particular case you may very well just be getting cold feet due to fear (I know it happened to us before taking the leak).

The bahamas is a very big and spread out place. Maybe this year start saying "I'm going to the Exumas" rather than "Im going to the bahamas". These island (some of the best in the bahamas) weren't directly impacted by the storm... so then there's really no more reasons or excuses.

Go, live out that dream and have the time of your life... and somewhere along the way you may decide to keep going and seeing the hundreds of other good reasons even further south!
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Old 31-01-2020, 13:01   #22
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Re: Thoughts about cruising Bahamas now.....

Just go. It will be the best of your life, no matter where you go in the Bahamas.

I keep trying to talk my wife into moving there.
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Old 31-01-2020, 16:34   #23
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Re: Thoughts about cruising Bahamas now.....

We got stuck waiting for parts in Nassau for over a week, rented a car for 24hrs and were stunned how nice New Providence is. Get out of Nassau to the East or especially to the West and is is beautiful. We found great food, high end shopping and friendly people. Now we are considering retiring there in 5 or 6 years. Even Nassau isn’t bad as a place to shop and get things done, it’s only near the water where the cruise ship passengers draw the crime and junky shops that is an issue.
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Old 31-01-2020, 21:51   #24
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Re: Thoughts about cruising Bahamas now.....

I just got back last week from a two month stint. There is nothing in your post that should make you hold back.

But, with the title "Thoughts about cruising Bahamas now..."
I have to say the dang government is really starting to nickle, dime, dollar, and hundred dollar cruisers out of cheese. I had a valid cruising permit that ended in the end of January but when I returned from Florida in December they made me buy a new one for the year - $300. Went back to Florida for a week in January and upon return, they made me buy ANOTHER one for another $300. Customs essentially doesn't recognize a cruising permit as valid to avoid customs anymore when bringing repair parts unless they are a component of the engine. Groceries - always were expensive, now crazy expensive. Beer - $50 per case. Don't buy seltzer water, it makes beer look cheap.

I like sailing the Bahamas because - it's the best I've ever experienced. But the rest, it's just so-so. The whole economy is customs tax based so if you don't bring it with you expect to pay 50% to 100% more than in the States.
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Old 01-02-2020, 06:10   #25
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Re: Thoughts about cruising Bahamas now.....

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Originally Posted by Woodland Hills View Post
We got stuck waiting for parts in Nassau for over a week, rented a car for 24hrs and were stunned how nice New Providence is. Get out of Nassau to the East or especially to the West and is is beautiful. We found great food, high end shopping and friendly people. Now we are considering retiring there in 5 or 6 years. Even Nassau isnít bad as a place to shop and get things done, itís only near the water where the cruise ship passengers draw the crime and junky shops that is an issue.
We always spend time in Nassau, too. The hardest thing, for me, its not eating at the fish fry by the bridge to Atlantis every day! Instead of renting a car in Nassau, one time, five of us got a taxi and negotiated a price to just ride us around and show us the island. One of the funnest days I ever had in the Bahamas.

And, the crime can be a problem, but as a flip side to that, when we were staying at Nassau Yacht Haven one time, I walked over to Lighthouse Marine to buy some stuff. Leaving their parking lot, I dropped my wallet, and didn't notice until I was all the way back to the boat.

Several hundred dollars, all of our credit cards, license, way more stuff than should have been in there. I walked back over, sick to my stomach, and went into Lighthouse Marine and the lady grinned and held up my wallet. I asked her if I had dropped it in the store, and she said, "No, someone walking by found it in the street and left it with us". Not missing a thing.
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Old 03-02-2020, 19:37   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben51 View Post
Check out the "Sand Bar" just next door.
We go every Sunday evening.
Ask for Ken.
Oh shoot. I unplugged for a few weeks and got your tip post-trip. I will remember this for next time. Yes, there will be a next time. We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Freeport.

Dorian hit Grand Bahama harder in the North and East. Freeport being South and West was less affected but still suffered some.

Viva Windham had just re-opened after 3 months of repairs and the only thing they were missing was staff. The food was excellent. Fortuna Beach was in great shape. So was Taino Beach. Took out a Hobie Cat every day. Even got in some dives. Fish and reefs are still there (but the beach at Peterson Cay National Park shrunk). Business as usual.
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Old 09-02-2020, 19:05   #27
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Re: Thoughts about cruising Bahamas now.....

MarkusK -See you next time!


Or anyone else visiting GB, drop in to the Sandy Bar.
Just ask anyone where it is.
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Old 09-02-2020, 19:19   #28
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Re: Thoughts about cruising Bahamas now.....

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Originally Posted by Palarran View Post
I just got back last week from a two month stint. There is nothing in your post that should make you hold back.

But, with the title "Thoughts about cruising Bahamas now..."
I have to say the dang government is really starting to nickle, dime, dollar, and hundred dollar cruisers out of cheese. I had a valid cruising permit that ended in the end of January but when I returned from Florida in December they made me buy a new one for the year - $300. Went back to Florida for a week in January and upon return, they made me buy ANOTHER one for another $300. Customs essentially doesn't recognize a cruising permit as valid to avoid customs anymore when bringing repair parts unless they are a component of the engine.
A component of the engine, also sails and rig parts get exemptions.

We found another way, not assured, but it worked. Don't ship in through customs brokers, rather take a ferry from GB, or Bimini back to MIA or FLL. Pack a large box full of stuff you need. We had fishing gear, boat parts, food, clothes, etc, etc. Be SURE to have all your invoices and paperwork just in case...

When we hauled the box to the front of the customs line at the ferry terminal, we were asked what was inside. "Boat parts," we said, and showed our cruising permit. We were instructed to open the box. When the inspector saw it was full of many, small, miscellaneous things, he just waved us through.

He realized that it would have taken hours to go though everything and calculate a duty for each item, he decided it just wasn't worth it.

No warrantees this approach will work, but it's better than shipping things in where it is someone's job to make sure each shipment gets fully charged.
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Old 09-02-2020, 19:41   #29
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Re: Thoughts about cruising Bahamas now.....

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A component of the engine, also sails and rig parts get exemptions.

We found another way, not assured, but it worked. Don't ship in through customs brokers, rather take a ferry from GB, or Bimini back to MIA or FLL. Pack a large box full of stuff you need. We had fishing gear, boat parts, food, clothes, etc, etc. Be SURE to have all your invoices and paperwork just in case...

When we hauled the box to the front of the customs line at the ferry terminal, we were asked what was inside. "Boat parts," we said, and showed our cruising permit. We were instructed to open the box. When the inspector saw it was full of many, small, miscellaneous things, he just waved us through.

He realized that it would have taken hours to go though everything and calculate a duty for each item, he decided it just wasn't worth it.

No warrantees this approach will work, but it's better than shipping things in where it is someone's job to make sure each shipment gets fully charged.
Itís hit and miss, you got lucky.
Last year I had a bunch shipped me in Goergetown going through the local customs broker, weird odd things are tax free, like cameras, but with the exception of engine parts all other boat parts are taxed, the odd exception was the local Customs lady said watermaker parts arenít taxed, so I got a water pump through.

I had all our mail sent too and our Son had sent my Wife a t-shirt, well I couldnít produce an invoice for that and that sent them into a dither that took days to unravel, that and a Warranty pressure gauge had a zero charge invoice as it was a warranty replacement part, well that sent them into another dither. I had an invoice but it didnít have an amount that they could put a tax value on.

The people are wonderful, the weather is nice, the water great, but in dealing with the customs people just accept that your a cash cow and pay up, even if their regulations say otherwise, just pay up.

Food can also be hit and miss, we shopped at Maxwellís in Marsh Harbor last week, and the stock was much better than last year and I swear lower priced, even looked that they had decent meat too. Marsh Harbor was destroyed, but Maxwellís looked perfect, even the palm trees and plants in the parking lot looked undamaged.
Fuel in Green Turtle was decently priced as well. We rented a golf cart etc and a couple of times we were told by locals thanks for coming.
I believe they want us, and of course our money there. Even the people in Marsh Harbor were nice, and trust me, they got whacked, hard.
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Old 10-02-2020, 08:03   #30
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Re: Thoughts about cruising Bahamas now.....

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Itís hit and miss, you got lucky.
Last year I had a bunch shipped me in Goergetown going through the local customs broker, weird odd things are tax free, like cameras, but with the exception of engine parts all other boat parts are taxed, the odd exception was the local Customs lady said watermaker parts arenít taxed, so I got a water pump through.

If it is needed to move the boat, it is normally not taxed. So a Fish finder would be taxed a Depth sounder would not. BUT it is up to the Customs officer you are dealing with.


Quote:
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Warranty pressure gauge had a zero charge invoice as it was a warranty replacement part, well that sent them into another dither. I had an invoice but it didnít have an amount that they could put a tax value on.

If you have a warranty item, you need to go to Customs with the bad one before you bring in the new one. They will note down the serial number and allow the new replacement/repaired unit in. Your are correct, they don't like $0.00 invoices. Better to have one that say Handling = $1.25



Quote:
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Food can also be hit and miss, we shopped at Maxwellís in Marsh Harbor last week, and the stock was much better than last year and I swear lower priced. Fuel in Green Turtle was decently priced as well.

In Grand Bahama & Abaco the VAT (12%) and Customs Duties have been suspended until June 2020. Not on services (Labor) but on goods. So every thing is a little cheaper than last year.
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