Why wait for your precious holidays to accumulate when you can head on a two-day cruise to the Bahamas from Fort Lauderdale this weekend. The Bahamas makes an excellent choice for a quick getaway or a long weekend without wasting your vacation time. Never before has international tropical travel been this easy and budget-friendly.
What are the best ways to have a 2-day cruise to the Bahamas from Fort Lauderdale?
These are the best two-day cruises from Fort Lauderdale to the Bahamas:
- Balearia Caribbean – Fast Ferry
- Grayline Miami – Fast Ferry
- Celebrity Cruises – Cruise Ship
- 2-Day Cruise Bahamas – Fast Ferry
- Margaritaville At Sea – Cruise Ship
A two-day cruise might seem like a rushed way to experience a tropical getaway, but in fact, it’s like a bonbon; one bite is rich enough to enjoy on its own.
There are a few things you’ll need to know first; how to get there, the best activities to maximize your time and fun, and most importantly, the best two-day cruises available from Fort Lauderdale to Bimini Coco Cay and the Grand Bahamas. Make sure to scroll to the end for a few tips on two-day cruising!
We have checked in with fellow short cruisers who have given honest reviews of their experiences and the companies that currently run the best two-day cruises to round out all your options for your next mini-vacation to the Bahamas.
What To Know About A Two-Day Cruise From Fort Lauderdale To The Bahamas
Why Take A Two-Day Cruise From Fort Lauderdale To The Bahamas
A two-day cruise is a perfectly spontaneous, affordable, and convenient way to get a taste of paradise.
Options for a quick two-day cruise come in two main forms. They range from a no-frills fast ferry that will take you from port to port where you can pick all the best ingredients of your trip, including accommodations, entertainment, and dining, to a more autopilot style of traveling on a cruise ship where accommodation is covered, and less decision making awaits.
There are plenty of cruises to choose from that depart from all over the east coast of Florida, from Palm Beach to Miami. However, one of the most convenient and popular is Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades.
Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale is located just four miles south of the city center and a popular debarkation point for many cruises and fast ferries to the Bahamas and beyond.
There are two main points of entry for a two-day cruise to the Bahamas from Fort Lauderdale; Nassau and Bimini.
Bimini is the quieter choice for a port of entry into the Bahamas. Compared to Grand Bahamas Island, Bimini is more laid back, and the entertainment here revolves around watersports, sport fishing, and its luxury beachfront accommodations.
Coco Cay is Royal Caribbean’s very own private island and cruiser’s paradise. Fully equipped to entertain the youngest to the oldest, it is the ideal Bahamas experience. The island houses its own waterpark, over-water cabanas, and even a helium balloon experience.
Grand Bahama, Freeport is another popular port of entry from Fort Lauderdale. Known as the less glamorous sister to Nassau, the island of Grand Bahama is richer in opportunities for relaxing with less crowded beaches and a laid-back city center. It also boasts excellent water activities, including big game fishing, snorkeling, and world-class scuba diving.
How To Get There
The multiple fast ferries leaving Fort Lauderdale for the Bahamas are a great option to maximize your time on land in either Grand Bahama or Bimini. Unfortunately, there are no direct fast ferry services from Fort Lauderdale to Nassau.
Fort Lauderdale to North Bimini Island takes from 2 to 2.5 hours from port to port. From Fort Lauderdale to Grand Bahamas can take 3-4.5 hours. Taking a fast ferry is an easy, economical, no-frills way to get you to paradise in no time, leaving a lot of downtime on the island itself.
Taking a cruise from Fort Lauderdale to any port in the Bahamas is more about the cruising life and view out to the turquoise sea than life on land. Although the cruise ship itineraries include time on land, it is minimal compared to what you have if you opt for the Fast Ferry and arrange your own island accommodations.
However, the cruise ships offer all one solution combining travel with accommodations and everything you need for entertainment and food options on board.
The Best Two-Day Cruises
Here are some of the best two-day cruise options from Fort Lauderdale to the Bahamas.
To The Bimini Islands, Bahamas
Balearia Caribbean – Fast Ferry
Balearia Caribbean runs a fast ferry catamaran that can hold up to 800 people and over 100 vehicles onboard the roundtrip from Ft Lauderdale to the Biminis.
The Balearia offers day pass add-ons to both the Hilton by Resorts World Bimini and Viva Wyndham All-Inclusive Resort for all-day pool and beach access. It also has bonus amenities on board, including internet, a small cafeteria, and even a bar to enjoy a cocktail on the way to the Bimini Islands.
The fast ferry catamaran departs at 9 am from Ft Lauderdale and arrives at 11 am. The return trip leaves the Bimini Islands at 6 pm arriving back on the mainland at 8 pm.
This cruise leaves every Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.
Taking the fast ferry from Fort Lauderdale to Bimini will mean finding accommodation for the nights you are there. A great option is The Hilton at Resorts World Bimini, located on North Bimini. This resort also offers access to a boutique casino, glass bottom boating, and dolphin watching.
Grayline Miami – Fast Ferry
The Gray Line Miami is a 600-passenger ferry equipped with a gift shop and snack counter. It is a two ride from Ft Lauderdale to the Bimini Islands.
The Grayline Miami offers a day pass to The Hilton Resort World Bimini, where you will have access to the casino, restaurants, and private beach. A roundtrip transfer to the Hilton is included in the price of the ferry ticket.
This ferry departs Ft Lauderdale at 9 am and arrives at 11 am. It disembarks from the Bimini Islands between 6 pm and 730 pm and arrives back between 8 and 930 pm, depending on the season.
This cruise leaves the Ft Lauderdale Port every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
If you are looking for more laid-back accommodation, one of the many boutique hotels on North Bimini will be the spot for you. Once you depart from the Gray Line Fast Ferry, head straight to Illa Bimini, a brand new nature meets Architectural Digest just north of Alice Town with 54 residential waterfront villas.
To Coco Cay, Bahamas
Royal Caribbean – Cruise Ship
Royal Caribbean offers a great “Weekend Cruise ” from Fort Lauderdale to Coco Cay, Bahamas, on board their Mariner of the Seas vessel. This is a great way to unwind where your itinerary is set before departure, and all you have to do is enjoy the ride.
While you won’t get all the Bahamian culture that Bimini and Grand Bahamas might provide, you will undoubtedly get your money’s worth in entertainment on board and on shore at Coco Cay, the cruise line’s private island. Here you’ll find all your tropical heart desires at their private waterpark, over-ocean cabanas, and massive Oasis Lagoon swimming pool.
Onboard the ship, you’ll find a wave simulator, sushi restaurant, and nighttime entertainment, among many other activities.
The ship offers a variety of rooms with different pricing, including Interior, Outside View, Balcony, and Suite options.
To Freeport, Grand Bahamas
2-Day Cruise Bahamas – Cruise Ship
2 Day Cruise Bahamas offers either one-night or two-night cruises.
The Regal Bahama Cruise is a mid-sized cruise ship that leaves from the Port of Palm Beach or Port of Everglades in Fort Lauderdale.
This ship boasts four dining areas, six specialty bars, a casino, a fitness center, and nighttime entertainment. This ship stops at Lucaya Beach, allowing you to step onto Grand Bahama for part of your cruising itinerary. Here you can explore the rich history town of Freeport or lounge beachside before getting back on the ship.
While it is not as glamorous as some of the larger cruise ships, it is a great economical choice to bring the whole family without breaking the bank.
The second day of the two-day itinerary is at the Our Lucaya Golf and Beach Resort, which is a hub for a full day of activities, including the use of the four pools, beach, a lunch buffet, and watersports.
The Regal Bahama’s rooms come in several categories and sizes. The terrace suite is a great choice with full ocean views as you cruise.
Margaritaville At Sea – Cruise Ship
Margaritaville at Sea departs from the Port of Palm Beach, just one hour north of Fort Lauderdale. This two-day cruise heads to Grand Bahama and boasts “two vacations in one” with great amenities on and off the boat. This is a brand new cruise experience, having launched in April of 2022.
This cruise comes from Jimmy Buffet’s “Margaritaville” fame and aims to offer top to bottom entertainment on board, including an original musical written by the man himself. His mark is everywhere with the St. Somewhere Spa and Fins Up Gym as well.
The Margarita At Sea is a mid-sized cruise ship that can hold over 1600 passengers at full capacity. It has ten full floors of staterooms and amenities.
The Margaritaville At Sea offers the most original entertainment value amongst all the two-day cruising choices to the Bahamas, aiming to be a “floating vacation” in and of itself. On board, you’ll find a steakhouse, bespoke coffee and pastry shop, lounges, and a casino.
The spacious staterooms on the Margarita At Sea are treated like private escapes. Each room has a queen-sized bed, airy lounge space, and 24-hour room service. The rooms come in a variety of forms from Interior, Oceanview, and The Luxurious Grand Terrace Suite.
Tips For Short Cruising
Any vacation that is being packed into just a few days requires some planning to maximize your experience. You don’t want to be fumbling through the check-in process at the get-go or, leave feeling like you didn’t get the most out of your experience.
Here are a few tips to take your next two-day cruise from Fort Lauderdale to the Bahamas from good to great.
- Arrive early to the disembarkation port city. If you are not already residing in Florida, consider coming into town the night before, as the departing times often require you to be to the port before 7 am. Cruise ships and fast ferries do not wait on tardy passengers.
- Pack your passport. You are entering into a foreign country, and just like any other, this requires proper documentation. Also, carry a backup copy on a digital device because life happens.
- If you decide on the fast ferry option, book accommodations and transfer in advance.
- Plan shore excursions in advance. Although the cruise ships will offer their own excursions, they can book up quickly.
- Decide before you book whether you would like to spend more time on a Bahamian Island or if the cruise itself is enough to satisfy you for your two-day cruise. Choosing between the two will make the difference on whether you book a fast ferry or accommodations, including the cruise ship option.
- Pack accordingly. The Bahamas sees relatively consistent weather year-round, between 80 to 85 F during the day and down to 70F at night. It is a tropical environment and can see occasional passing rains. Pack a lightweight jacket, beach gear, and of course, sunscreen!
- The currency in the Bahamas is the Bahamian dollar; however, due to near-constant tourism from the United States, the US dollar is widely accepted. If you want to avoid conversion fees and credit card fees from ATMs, carry some cash with you.