Taino Beach Resort & Clubs
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Travel Blogs from Freeport
Shark mating season is over and they are coming back to be fed at Pier 1 Restaurant here in Freeport, Grand Bahama.
Yes it is, time to be more careful when swimming the waters around the island especially where fish feeding and shark feedings are being held. Sharks are fish, if its splashing and moving maybe it is a food... they bite, they taste if they like, they come back to make another bite or worse, for the ...
First day at sea...all I can say is chair hogs...yes I will be one on the next day at sea!!!! All good a relaxing day...of course I had the drink of the Day...Blue Monday!!! Walked around the ship and of course got lost...pool was a little chilly so we settled for the hot tub. Today was first formal night we all ...
... also felt a bit sad and disoriented that our wonderful trip was finally over. I had heard from many travelers coming home from long trip experiences have a bigger shock on their return home that when they first went abroad. I wondered how hard it will be to return to "normal" life or if I wanted to return at all! I know that the time, money and effort we spent on exploring this wonderful world was worth more than I ever thought possible and we would do ...
... guide told us stories of when he was a child he played in this area and had no idea there were caves. He would come to get water and to gather native plants to use for medicinal purposes.
After that, we walked over to the kayak launch area. I was the only solo person on the tour and since the kayaks were 2 man kayaks, I was paired with one of the boys from Utah, Philip, who was a member of his high school crew team. He is going to be attending UCSD in the fall on ...
Just few more seconds of swimming, I spotted a shark attempting to surface, just followed the shark however, it seems like she's pursuing her surfacing....next thing here is Chris ordering us to go back to the boat. It seems like the shark is defending her territory, we got the signal.
We then continued to fish, we caught 2 porgy fishand a yellowtail snapper.. We were entertained by the fact ...
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Historical Traveler Reviews Taino Beach Resort & Clubs Freeport
Lovely Resort - But Don't Expect Any Kind Of Service
My boyfriend and i have just returned from two weeks at the Ritz Beach Resort, Grand Bahama. What can I say - the swimming pool was wonderful, but as for everything else! Here are the problems we encountered: We were booked to have a 3rd floor Studio Room, with full kitchen, plunge pool and balcony. After travelling for nearly 17 hours we arrived at the Resort. We asked the taxi driver where the Reception was, he pointed in a general direction so off we went. We walked for a bit but came to realise that we must have missed the Reception as we were at the back of the hotel and next to the sand. We walked back, and saw a door at the end of a corridor. We didnt think this was the Reception area, as there were no signs to indicate that it was. However, when we got there, we found out that it was the Reception area. Once wed checked-in, the Receptionist gave me the room key for 3306 and gave me directions. When we got to what we thought was 3306 the key wouldnt fit as the door had a card key. I went back to Reception, and was told that I hadnt gone far enough, and that our room was in the next block along. She asked a man who was with her if he could show us to our room, to which he just stared at her and shrugged his shoulders, so she said shed do it. When we got to room 3306, the key to the outer door fit, but wouldnt open. She said that the room couldnt be ready or that the people who were in the room before must have done something, I found this most strange, as check-in was 4:00pm, and by this time it was 9:00pm, so obviously 5 hours isnt enough time for them to clean a room. The Receptionist then said that she could let us have room 4209 for the night, and that the next morning once the problem with our room had been fixed, we could see the other room, and decide where we wanted to stay. When we got to room 4209, we found it to have a partial kitchen, a Jacuzzi bath, but no balcony or plunge pool. The woman told us that there really wasnt much difference between the room we were in, and 3306 which we should have been in, only that the kitchen was bigger, and that it didnt have a plunge pool which wasnt working anyway. The next morning we decided to stay where we were, as it was a nice room, wed already started unpacking, and according to the Receptionist there wasnt much difference anyway. We were accosted as we were leaving our room by Mona-Lisa (our rep), who asked if wed like to have a welcome breakfast/lunch with her so she could tell us about the resort, we said ok, and had to give her $20 which we were told wed get back when we showed up at the meeting, which I think wed arranged for Tuesday at 12:30pm. When we arrived at the meeting place on Tuesday at 12:30pm, we were told that Mona Lisas had to pop out, can you come back in an hour. We said that we couldnt as we were going out for the day, and that wed meet with her on Friday at 12:00pm instead. On the Friday we decided that we were going to go out for the day, so we called and asked if we could move our appointment to 10:00am. I was told that Mona-Lisa was only coming in for our appointment, so I asked if someone else could do it instead as we werent going to waste our day. I was told to go to the Welcome Centre where someone else would see us. We had our meeting which lasted approximately 30 minutes, collected our $20 and left. A week after we'd arrived, I got a call from Aldo, advising that shed just spoken to me (which she hadnt) and wanted to arrange our Welcome Meeting as she was our Rep. I told her that wed been at the resort for a week already, we did not need another meeting, but she could help me with my request for an iron and two pillows. She said that this wasnt a problem, and that someone would bring them up to the room. As there was no sign of the pillows the following day, I went down to Reception and asked them, they said that theyd organise it, but surprise surprise no pillows arrived. The following day I had to go back to Reception yet again, only to be told to come back in 30 minutes, when I did go back, the pillows and Iron where there, but why it took three days, numerous phone calls, and for ME to have to collect them I dont know. After about 8 days, our Air Conditioning unit wasnt working properly, it was blowing out hot air, and the temperature in our room was 86 degrees. The next evening my boyfriend and I were outside on the walkway in front of our apartment when we saw the same woman who had checked us in. I asked her what was wrong with the air conditioning; she looked bemused, wasnt even aware that there was a problem, but said that she could move us to an economy unit for the night, so she brought us the key to room 3305 which we stayed in that night. The next morning we went back to our room which was still at 86 degrees, we were having breakfast with the door open, when one of the staff walked past, I asked her when the air conditioning would be fixed as we couldnt sleep or stay in a room which was that hot. She agreed, said that it was totally unacceptable, wrote our room number down, and said that as soon as she got downstairs shes see what she could do. Needless to say, we never saw or heard from her again. I went back to Reception the following day and asked which room we were going to be moved into, the woman stared blankly at the computer screen, and told me that she wouldnt know until after 3:30pm as the rooms were still being cleaned obviously she had no idea of which rooms were occupied and which were vacant. When I got back to room 3305 (the Economy unit wed stayed in the previous night), the connecting door was ajar, so I opened it, and found that the door on the other side, which was also ajar, was room 3306, the room which we were meant to have had from our arrival, but the outer door was sticking. I opened the door and found that no-one was in, so went back to Reception and told them that we would be moving our things into there, as this was the room we should have been in from the start. The woman told me this wasnt the case, but after explaining it to her twice, she finally understood and said ok so I collected the keys, and we moved our luggage. What we found quite astonishing, was that the apartment was nearly three times the size of the room wed been placed in, it had a full kitchen, ample seating area, a dinner table, plus the plunge pool on the balcony, but according to the person who checked us in theres not much difference, only the kitchen obviously this woman needs her eyesight tested !!!! The problem with the first door lock for our apartment hadnt been fixed, the door wouldnt open from the outside, but would from the inside, so we had to resort to putting a note on the door saying do not close or lock this door We had hoped that the plunge pool on the balcony would be working (as it was now nine days after we arrived and been told they were being cleaned), but when we went onto the balcony, we found stagnant water in the pool which by now had a film across the top of it, along with various dead insects floating in it. When we checked-out, the plunge pool still hadnt been emptied, cleaned or re-filled, and remained filled with dirty, stagnant water, which was surely a health hazard. I realised that as we had been in a unit with a partial kitchen, we were due $20 back from our Utility/Maintenance fee (which incidentally the woman who checked us in didnt really know what it covered) as we had paid for a unit with a full kitchen. Needless to say, this took two days for me to finally get, being told to get to places where someone could help, only for me to get there and the people to have no idea about why Id been sent there. I eventually had a woman at Taino Beach sort it out for me, why Id been directed there Ill never know. After a lengthy phone call, she told me to go back to the Reception where I could collect my $20.00. I went back to Reception, was greeted by a woman with a vacant look and who appeared to have no speech, so I asked her if she had some money for me, to which she replied sign here, and gave me a hand-written note to sign acknowledging that Id been given the $20.00. By this time it was the second Tuesday of the holiday, and we had given our car back to the hire company. We looked on the Welcome To Ritz Beach Resortsheet wed been given when we checked in, which stated that a grocery run Dixie would take place on Tuesdays at 3:00pm. I phoned the Reception to confirm this, and was told there is no run today, only Sunday and Monday. I told her what I had on the sheet, only for her to repeat what she had said in her monotone voice, of course offering no apology for giving us the wrong information when we arrived. This same day, our toilet became blocked and started to flood, we phoned Reception, were assured that someone would be up to look at it, but no-one came. We phoned again the following day, were told that someone would be along, but yet again no-one came, so for the three remaining days of our holiday, we had to use the public toilet on the ground floor. During our stay we also phoned numerous times about our TV, as during some severe weather some of the channels had disappeared. Yet again, we had no joy with any of the staff. When we finally came to check out on the Saturday, we asked if there was a room where we could leave our luggage and get changed, we were told to leave our luggage on the patio beside Reception, that there were two two-seater sofas there, but that there was no-where to change or have a shower. Fortunately the day was overcast so we didnt use the swimming pool and therefore didnt need wash facilities. Its a shame that a resort and holiday on such a lovely island as Grand Bahama, was spoilt by the laziness and unhelpfulness of the staff. Obviously no staff training takes place, and customer-care is something theyve never heard of. On numerous occasions the towels werent changed, we frequently had the same wet towels for 2/3 days, and as we were in a unit with no balcony we had no-where to dry them. I had to ask one of the maids on one occasion for toilet paper as we didnt have any, the floor was never swept, and on occasions I made the bed up loosely before we went out for the day, only to find when we got back that it hadnt been done properly by the maid. I also found traces of blood stains on the sheets in room 3306, and on our first night in room 4209, I found hairs in the bed. Before we booked our holiday, I looked at various Internet holiday sites and read differing reviews about the Ritz, most of which were positive about the resort and particularly the swimming pool, but not so complimentary about the staff. One my holiday information it stated that the Check-Out time was 11:00am, but on the Welcome to Ritz Beach Resort sheet it states that Check-Out is 10:00am. I phoned Reception at 10:30am to clarify what the correct check-out time was, and was told that Check-Out was at 10:00am. I told them what was on the Exchange Confirmation, but it didnt make any difference to them. She said that she could let us stay in the room until 11:00am if we needed it, but as my boyfriend had seen a sign saying that if you were late checking out of your room you would have to pay for another days rental, we decided against it. So, there you have it, some of the "customer service" you might be fortunate enough to experience. I know that in the Caribbean things and people are more "laid back", but there's "laid back" and then there's "lazy and unhelfpul".
Good Value for your money-and the best pool!
October 2003, we stayed at the Sheraton Our Lucaya, and took the tour of the Ritz Beach Resort. We bought the trial 7 year timeshare. The prices of the drinks were much better than the hotels at Our Lucaya, and the food at the restaurant was more moderately priced (although the least expensive food was in the Port Lucaya marketplace across from Sheraton) there are several restaruants there where you can buy $5 burgers, Dominoes , Subway, and expensive more upscale restaurants also. They have a happy hour at the Ritz 2 for 1 off the already good prices, and they had a "farewell party" free horsderves and Bahama Mamas. The rooms are newly remodeled (although they kind of remind me of the Flintstones-with everything all concrete like...) . The service is not up to par with the Sheraton, but these are condos not a "hotel" . They are still remodeling, and I think when they are finished the entire resort will look very nice. The restaurant dining area definitely could use some new furniture and updating, and the lobby.
There is a water ferry you can take for $25 per person for the week (unlimited) from The Ritz to Port Lucaya for shopping and dining at the restaurants there, this is the fastest and cheapest transportation. A regular taxi is $5 per person per trip. Public buses are only $1 per person, but they do not move until the bus is full. I found the staff there was very friendly, the service in the restaurant was terribly slow (over an hour wait for a burger and only one other table of patrons), but hey-you are on vacation-whats the rush? If you are in a rush, take the water taxi to Port Lucaya, although I think the pace is much slower everywhere in Freeport than the states. The Sheraton offers no specials on drinks or food-and burgers & fries are $12, a hot dog and fries are $9-compared to the Ritz burger & fries $6.50. The pool is awesome! Waterslide for the kids, Don't get me wrong the Sheraton is beautiful, including the pools and the service was outstanding but you certainly pay every penny for it. Hope this helps anyone trying to decide.
It was great!!!!
Me and my husband just returned yesterday from 4 days at the Ritz beach resort. I was very worried because of someof the other reviews that I had read. But never fear. We had a wounderful time the people they were very nice and did anything that was needed to make sure we were taken care of. The pool was the best it is very very nice with a swim up bar. How ever nothing is cheap on the entire island. The rooms were very nice and had a complete kitchen with everything needed if you wanted to save some money and cook your self in which we need. I would recommend this resort to everyone who is looking at travling to the bahamas. The only things is that it is not right in the main part of the town you need to take the ferry to the market place which leaves every hour and the hotel gives you passes with your stay so that you don't have to pay. We had a great time and look forward to going again. IF you have any question please send me a e-mail I will be glad to answer them.
I've stayed in worse places, but....
My husband and I spent a week at the Ritz 2 Coral Suites in early September and were wary after reading all of the bad reviews. We weren't expecting much and that's about what we got. I've stayed in worse places before and it's definitely not horrible, but if you haven't booked it yet, go to Our Lucaya and stay at the Sheraton or the Westin. At the very least, go to the Crowne Plaza or Holiday Inn at Royal Oasis. Some of the problems we had: neither our stove nor microwave worked, we only had four cable channels and they seemed to change every other day, the pool had dead flies in it and the parking is horrible. Oh, and our iron didn't work. The maid had to give us a new one. We were able to avoid any timeshare spiels even though someone knocked on our door the first morning practically demanding that we meet her downstairs. I just told her emphatically that we weren't interested. We didn't hear another peep after that. The absolute WORST part of the Ritz, though, is that the bellboy offered my husband drugs when he was taking our bags upstairs! He offered to sell him marijuana. Even though my husband firmly declined, the guy came back to our room two days later asking for him. I told him to take a hike. If you already have reservations here, don't despair. It's not horrible. It's bearable if you know what to expect. Just make sure you rent a car. My husband and I basically used the Ritz just to sleep. We'd leave every day for the restaurants, casino and beaches at Our Lucaya and Royal Oasis. They have several major rental car companies at the airport. It takes concentration to drive on the left-hand side of the road, but after a few days, it's a breeze. Be aware that gas prices are outrageous, though! $3.05/gallon when we were filling up! And none of the gas stations take credit cards so make sure you have plenty of cash on hand. It cost us almost $30 to fill up a Nissan Sentra.Some of the Ritz's good points: the maids were very friendly and helpful. They cleaned our room daily and we had an abundance of new towels. The pool is pretty cool (if they'd clean out the few dead flies we saw). There's a swim-up bar and hammocks available. They let us check in early. The air conditioning was cranking! We were very comfortable in 90-degree heat. Beds are comfortable. I slept very soundly every night.All in all, if you spend most of your time at Our Lucaya and use the Ritz just to sleep and shower, then the trip will be worth it.
The ritz-was cool
My husband and I stayed at the Ritz last week for a week. Our ages are 21 and 23-yes a young-yet happy couple. I've heard horrible stories, but mine isnt. When we arrived around 12pm-(check in isnt til 4pm), they make you pay a utilities fee of $88-100, depending on your unit. Then they have you meet with a representative who will basically tell you all of the activities that will be going on during the week and which one you'd like to participate in. While most people were there for a while, we stayed five minutes-said no thanks to everything and checked into our room.(theygive you free bahamas mamas while they're talking to you) Our room was wonderful. It had marble tile floors, a jucuzzi, and a kitchen. I didnt expect all of this since we only had a hotel unit. Everything was clean and we never had a bug problem,never. On your second or 3rd morning there, they treat you to lunch or breakfast while trying to sell you a timeshare. We ate the lunch and then said no thanks to the timeshare. But i suppose you could just say no to hearing about the timeshares. They also tried to make us take a tour of the facilities another day, but we said we already did, and they left us alone. There is so much to do or you can just relax. We went snorkling and jet skiing. Its a nice place to go for honey mooners or anniversaries. The location is perfect because its 5 minutes away from everything happening on the island-such as port lucuya and international bazzar. ALl in all,we'd probably return again.
When we arrived at the hotel we were alittle concerned. There is renovation going on so it looks pretty scruffy. We thought there would be more restaurants to eat at but there is only one on the sight and after you eat there once it is enough. We had to practicly beg for towells and wash cloths, the laundry service was very slow. The pool and pool bar both closed at 6:00. There was no entertainment on sight so you had to go over to Port Lacaya to do pretty much everything. Next trip there we will definatly stay on that side. And take as many groceries as you can to eat in your room, the groceries are very expensive. When you do eat out you must include Ruby Swiss by the Bazaar, it is wonderful. But beware of the drinks. They are VERY strong. There is alot of fun to be had there. We met up with a wonderful couple and had a great time with them all week. Just remember, you get what you pay for so shop around.
The ritz was a hit!
we just returned from a visit to the ritz, 2 days ago, on july 26,
2003. we went with little expectations, because of what we had read
about it. however, we were going anyway, because of the price that we
had gotten on skyauction.
we actually flew into fort lauderdale, and took the discovery cruise over to the island. we would not reccomend this to anyone. it was not good! we rented a car for the week, from brads car rental at the airport area. it was 300.00 for the week. we got a jeep cherokee. they will meet any competitors price, so go there! they were wonderful, and everything with the car was great. driving on the left side was tricky, bit go slow, and get used to it. we arrived at the ritx, at about 2:30, and we had to wait until 4:00 for our room. alot of people were angry about having to wait, but the idea is to expect this and just go hang out at the pool or beach. they will try to get you asap, to listen to sale pitches about tours, excursions, and time share. we simply said no thankyou, and went about our business. the reason we did not sign up for anything, is because we were going to explore on our own since we had a car. plus, all of things were a bit expensive for us at the time. they were really nice, and we were served bahama mamas while we talked.(free!). we then were told that our room was ready. upon arriving, we did request the third floor, because we did not want to be low. they gave us the third floor, and it overlooked the beautiful pool area. we got a studio unit, since it was just us, and we did not bring the kids. the room was very adequate. a full kitchen with everything you need. dishwasher, toaster, coffee maker, blender, stove, microwave, also oven,all dishes, and utencils. the bathroom has a gigantic shower, no tub, and very roomy. the bed is a queen, they do not have kings there. they had a big table, a couch area, and the patio/balcont was enormous!!! with a table and chairs. you also have a private little " pool " on your balcony. it isnt really a pool to necessarilly swim in, bit people were, so we just chose not too. a bit rough, and stuff. now, a tour of the facilities... the pool was absolutely beautiful! huge... a water slide, tubes for floating around the enormouse perimeter, a swim up bar in a huge cove, ( happy hour from 3-5, buy 1 get 1 free), 3 seperate caves for privacy, a huge hot tub, a nice little water fall, a huge wading area for little ones, a couple of hammocks, bathrooms, etc... very nice. we visited a number of other hotels and resorts, and this was by far the best pool area. the beach... very private!!!! trully remarkable!! totally white powdery sand, crystal clear bluish emerald water, plenty of huts and chairs. right next to a water sports hut. you could bananna boat, jet ski, and all, but it is pricey, just like anywhere. we snorkeled right off the beach there, and over by the rocks. i suggest bringing your own snorkel stuff, if this is something that you like to do. that way, you can stop, and snorkel anywhere! we had no problems all week with our room. dont expect a super-dooper air conditioning system. this was my only dissapointment. it worked, but we like it practically freezing, and it wasnt that! we had no ants, no bugs, or anything of that nature in our room. on the island however, there are fire ants, and horse flys! we did not have the maid come in all week, except to give her the trash, and replace towels, and we had her exchange our sheets once. she liked that idea, and i believe that that is why we always had no problem with lots of towels, and stuff. it is so....true, that if you treat them kindly, and give a little extra, you will find them very helpful and courteous!!! we did not eat out, so i cannot help you in that area...we cooked in our room. there are only winn dixie grocery stores. the prices are phenominal!!! very expensive, so be prepared. however, we found that if you do have a car, go to the couple stores, that are farther out. they are cheaper and cleaner. there is one main store that everyone goes to, and that all the buses take you to...if you can avoid that one, do!!! a gallon of milk is like, 7.00, a loaf of bread is like 3-4 dollars. a 24-case of any kind of beer, is 42.00$. yes, you read right!!!! bring all of your medicines, toiletries, etc... that you may even think that you may use!!!! we explored from one end of the island tthe other. the place called paradise cove, is a must. just to hang out, or most importantly to snorkel. it is the best place on the island for snorkrling. they have big reefs, and all, and it was fun. if you have your own gear, it costs 3.00 each to use the area. they do rent everything if you dont have it. we purchased a small cooler, before we left for this trip to the bahamas, and packed it with us, and it sure served its purpose. just a really small one. therefore, we would fill it with a couple sodas, and beer, and pack a couple of sandwiches, to always have with us, while we drove around exploring, or at the beach, or pool. we didnt have to buy stuff throughout the day this way. this is ofcouse, if you are like us, and always trying to save a dollar!!!! we want to tell you about a place that you must see, if nothing else!! it is a place called pelican pont. we just happened to drive back into it, when we were exploring. it is listed on the maps that you need to pick up somewhere. it was totally deserted, and the most beautiful beach!!!! trully undescribable!!!!! go there!!!!! the shopping on the island is typical of other islands, huts and areas with people having everything . the two main shopping areas are port lucaya, and international bazzar. they do close early, like around6-7, so go early to shop. the casino, is okay, no wins! every wednesday, there is an island fish fry. and every thursday, throught certain months, there is an island festival, that is alot of fun. so, thats all i can write right now, i would be happy to help you in any way, about the resorts, or the island if i can. feel free to e-mail me.
My boyfriend and I just returned from our trip to the Bahamas. We stayed at the Ritz 2 Coral Suites, in a studio unit facing the parking lot. All in all we had a decent time. Here are some of the highlights / lowlights of the trip:
We were on the second floor of the new section and yet still had problems with sugar ants. An exterminator was called in and the problem was resolved the next afternoon. (Key phrase - Island Time -- these people are in no hurry) However, be prepared for the Fire Ants on the property -- both at the pool and the beach. We got bit several times over the course of the week. Either stay in the water or bring some insect bite cream.
The beach is great -- beautiful white sand - and not crowded. Beach chairs are there for you. The pool was wonderful. Beach chairs are provided, as well as a couple of hammocks. The lazy river is great, the swim up bar in the cave under the water slide is nice. The pool bar opens at 10 AM closes at 6 PM. Happy hour is from 3 - 5 daily, but make sure you ask for the happy hour size drinks. Be prepared to pay an extra 4% if using a credit card at the resort, and not being able to charge items to the room. They do accept soggy dollars at the pool bar (both Bahamian and U.S.) it's just a little tricky trying to keep money in a swimsuit : )
We were able to dodge the timeshare talk and fended off the resort staff trying to book excursions. We found the front desk to rarely be open or accessible by phone, and frankly not very helpful. We found the staff at the pool bar to be the most helpful with information on places to go and things to do.
If you're just going to Port Lucaya to shop and hang out, the water taxi is workable, but you're on someone else's schedule. Taxis are expensive! It's a good idea to ask the driver how much the fare will be (round trip if necessary) before being taken for a ride. If they have a meter in the cab, make sure they use it. You may figure that renting a car / dune buggy or taking advantage of the bus is more workable for your wallet.
We had a relaxing time, however I think that we would spend more money to go elsewhere on our next trip.
We just got back from the Bahamas and stayed a week at the Ritz Beach Resort. We stayed in the newer section and the rooms were nice. I would not recommend the first level (a few people had problems with bugs). We stayed there through RCI, so the cost was only $350 for the week -- which was a great price for what we got! The staff was very nice and very helpful. The pool was fantastic! I loved the big area for little ones (since I have a 2 year old) and the water slide and in-pool jacuzzi's were great! The beach is beautiful and they have a nice sitting area under a pavillion were you can escape from the sun and watch the ocean and feel the cool breeze. Bottom line, it depends on whether you plan to spend a lot of time in the room. If so, you might opt for Our Lucaya, but if you are more interested in the pool, beach, going places, the Ritz is great.
We went snorkeling at Paradise Cove -- loved it! We also did the dolphin encounter and thought it was great! The food/restauants are expensive. I liked Pisces and Shenanigans in Port Lucaya (but be prepared to spend more for a meal in the Bahamas -- for 3 of us the bill was usually around $80). You can save quite a bit of money by cooking in if you don't mind cooking while on vacation...ha!
We rented a car, and although it was kind of expensive and weird driving on the left, it was nice to be able to drive anywhere we wanted to go. The marketplace at Port Lucaya is really nice in the evening, they usually have live music or a DJ playing and there are plenty of bars and restaurants open. Most of the shops only stay open to 7pm, so if you want to go shopping, go early.
I read lots of reviews about this property, mostly on the bahamas bulletin board and we were pretty worried about the place (as it is a timeshare), but we ended up having a great time. When we got to the Resort, Andrea told us that they didn't have any rooms available yet (this was at 12:30, check-in is at 3:00), but to check back at 2:00. At 2:15, I came back and we went to our room. Before we got to go to our room though, they wanted us to go to this little timeshare or activity meeting. Well, I sent the boyfriend back to the pool and I went. Being a woman, they weren't much interested in me and I said no to all the activities they charge extra for at the resort (like the buffet with bonfire ($50 per person) and tours, etc). I was in and outta there in 2 minutes, while most people sat there around 30 mins. or so. Anyhow, we ended up staying in the newer portion of the resort (Ritz 2) and we had a lovely room facing the beautiful pool. We even had a plunge pool on our balcony. But the pool was simply wonderful. The pool is probably the highlight of the property. There are several jacuzzi's in a "cave like" setting as well as a swim up bar. The pool has a great current and takes you around in what they call, the "lazy river". Anyhow, since we wanted to relax, this was fabulous.We ended up getting a pass for the ferry that takes you into town ($25 per person for the week), but next time we are just going to rent a dune buggy (Bahama buggies), because we found that waiting for the ferry was a pain in the butt and we enjoyed the freedom that a vehicle provided us. We went from one end of the island to the other and had a blast. If you do end up getting a vehicle, make sure that you go to Paradise Cove (Deadman's Reef), which is beautiful...and while your at the West End, make sure you go to a hole in the wall joint called the "Chicken Nest". They have the most wonderfully flavored conch fritters that I have ever had. Also try to go to the Lucayan National Park. There is hat is truly spectacular when the tide is out. There is a 1/2 mile difference of beach when the tide is out...ya have to see it to believe it. We also checked the bats out in Ben's Cavern - pretty cool.Oh, about the food....we didn't eat out that much, but we did go to a couple restaurants. We went to The Pier (they have shark feedings in the evenings - don't eat there if you don't have to, or if you do, don't get the cracked conch. The stone crab is good though), The Stoned Crab (really good food, especially the Stone Crab - duh) and Giovanni's near Count Basie's Square and the marina at the strawmarket. Giovanni's was wonderful and the owner's wife Jennie was so sweet. The pasta and lobster w/cream sauce was to die for as well as thier bread. One night we even bought some fresh red snapper from some guys on the dock (where you catch the ferry). I got back to the resort, cleaned them up and fried them. Best snapper I've had in a long time...or maybe just the freshest??Anyhow, back to the resort. We heard alot of people complain, but we had none. We are pretty self-sufficient people and care take care of ourselves, so it was no problem. I guess, if I wanted to complain, these simple things would be it: one time the maid didn't leave us with any large towels, but I called housekeeping and they brought some right up. And our airconditioner went out once, but they had someone fix it that day. So, if you want complaints, there ya have it!If you are not going to eat out the entire time you are there, you may want to bring some groceries with you because the groceries are pretty darn high there. I brought cereal, a box of muffins (had to bake them), and dry goods and chips and dips and snack foods. It paid off. Chips are pretty expensive and Coke products are about $4.00 a 6-pack at the local Winn-Dixie. Anyhow, we had a fabulous trip and we will be going back.