Ship: Carnival Elation
Port: Freeport Bahamas
As a musician working aboard cruise ships for 5 years now, I've found myself in the Bahamas more than any other port due to its proximity to Florida. Especially Nassau. Nassau is an easy port since the ship is docked next to town and is an easy walk to Bay Street.
Freeport Bahamas is a bit more of a challenge since the port area really has very little for tourists. There are some shops selling touristy shirts and trinkets, some small food stands and a couple of bars - Señor Frogs and Fat Tuesday. If you want to explore outside of this small port area, you'll need to take a taxi to town. The price is $10 round trip per person and is a 15-20 ride to the Lucaya area.
Grand Bahama Island was hit hard during Hurricane Matthew in October 2016. The Lucaya beach area was once a vibrant beach scene sporting a beach bar grilling up fresh food, coconut stands and good swimming. I recently walked over to the beach, which you can access for free by walking a short distance. Sadly, this once decent beach is now deserted. The beach bar is gone and what is left is an empty stretch of sand with no facilities.
The Lucaya marketplace is across the street and has many of the same touristy shops that the port offers. A nice marina adds some charm. The real jewel is a coffee and chocolate cafe called Bootleg Cafe, which opened in October. Although its a bit pricey, $6 for a large mocha, it offers strong WiFi and a waterside setting in a charming maritime atmosphere.