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Arriving in two weeks (August 2018) looking for top tips

Lanzarote
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Arriving in two weeks (August 2018) looking for top tips

eeek we are so excited to have booked this trip! We live in the Canary Islands Spain and we are travelling via Madrid to Miami.

We have 3 nights in Miami (first time) and then Flamingo Air to Staniel Cay where we are staying at the Embrace Resort (we know its not on the beach and is close to the airport we don't mind)

We are two adults and a 14 year old daughter. We have booked a golf cart and an all day tour of the islands to see the iguanas, pigs, grotto etc. That goes the very next morning after we arrive.

We intend to pack super light and just have super casual clothes, swimwear, cover ups and flip flops. Taking plenty of sun cream, mosquito spray and american dollars.

Please can you let us know any top tips that may not be so obvious? Are we okay with normal size luggage on flamingo air? (and American airlines from Miami to Nassau?)

Should we take any pig food (is it allowed even to take carrots for example from Miami to Bahamas?) or should we ask Embrace to do us some shopping before we arrive?

We intend to snorkel and maybe try and get someone to take us to the plane wreck. We want to disconnect and just take it all in. Exploring the island, taking photos, eating nice food, early nights. No partying or sunbathing and no being on our phones for work or social media much (we do enough of that on our own island!)

Are we missing anything? Any top tips on what to take? Pack? do? Thanks so much

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Staniel Cay
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10 replies to this topic
Tallahassee, Florida
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1. Re: Arriving in two weeks (August 2018) looking for top tips

Read my trip report on this forum. We covered the Island head to toe. Have fun!

Nassau, New...
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2. Re: Arriving in two weeks (August 2018) looking for top tips

You'll love it! Yes, normal luggage on Flamingo -- up to 40 pounds per passenger. Or are you on Watermaker Air from Fort Lauderdale? Flamingo only flies to Staniel from Nassau. If Flamingo, then you'll need to collect your luggage on arrival in Nassau, clear customs, then walk to the domestic terminal (2 minutes) and recheck luggage and go back through security (allow at least 2 hours between flights)

No fruits or vegetables are allowed to be brought from the US to the Bahamas, so plan to buy food in Staniel Cay. Generally, the tour company will provide food for the pigs, so no need to do so.

On the way back, will you be staying in Nassau? If not, then plan to allow at least 3 hours between flights, as you will be clearing US Customs and Immigration in Nassau prior to your departure to the US. Make sure you have a multiple entry US visa, or an ETSA to transit back through the US.

And, whatever you do, no matter how enticing, please don't swim with the sharks off the Staniel Cay Yacht Club docks -- they can be aggressive as fisherman clean fish in the area. A woman got bitten a month or so back. There are better ways to enjoy our beauty and the wildlife than taking silly risks!

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Staniel Cay
Lanzarote
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3. Re: Arriving in two weeks (August 2018) looking for top tips

Hi Bythesea12- have now read! thank you for the trip report

Lanzarote
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4. Re: Arriving in two weeks (August 2018) looking for top tips

Hi Dusty-Traveller - thanks so much!

We are on Flamingo! Thanks for the info

Re the pig food I'm going to ask embrace if they will do a big of veg shopping just in case

We have ESTA's and 4 hours between flights on the way back - thankfully - I didn't expect it would take as long as 3 hours, I panicked when I read your note about that and was relieved that we have that gap!

Okay about the sharks, Arabella, our daughter aged 14 definitely will want to swim with the sharks but this bite thing is worrying - are there other places to swim with them or is that the only place, I have to admit I think its too risky

Tallahassee, Florida
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5. Re: Arriving in two weeks (August 2018) looking for top tips

Compass Cay is a better place to swim with the sharks than Staniel Cay. It is set up for that. At least I think it is. We did it no problem. Loved it.

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Compass Cay
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Staniel Cay
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hobe sound,fl
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6. Re: Arriving in two weeks (August 2018) looking for top tips

Veggies are a commodity, shop for your personal use. The pigs are happy wit the scraps. :)

Pembroke Pines
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7. Re: Arriving in two weeks (August 2018) looking for top tips

We are leaving from Ft Lauderdale this Sunday for Staniel Cay Yacht Club via Watermakers Air..Also excited..Just one thing about swimming with the sharks..If you do need emergency care where will you get it?..Just something to think about.

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Fort Lauderdale
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Mobile, Alabama
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8. Re: Arriving in two weeks (August 2018) looking for top tips

As "bythesea" said, in addition to dusty's very helpful and Important advice, hopefully, whatever tour you take to see the cays will take you to Compass Cay (ASK ahead of time) where the somewhat tame nurse sharks are very accustomed to tourists sitting or standing on the platform on their dock where the sharks can come up and "sit in your lap" , let you pet them, etc.

You most definitely, as Dusty warns, do not want to get into the water off the docks at SCYC because those sharks show up every day by the fish cleaning station where the fishermen clean their catch and throw the debris to the sharks so it is a feeding situation with sharks that are not used to human contact and not at all safe for people to interact with them in the water!

The pigs on Big Major are used to table scraps that the SCYC kitchen bags up for guest to feed to them. I think these days they are probably drastically overfed so I would not purchase anything special to take with you to visit them. Remember that they are still heavy hogs and can seriously hurt you if they step on your foot- frankly, I don't understand why anyone would want to get into the water with them anyway! The novelty is seeing them swim so stay in your boat and let them come out to you to be fed (throw food in the water).

KathieF:

Emergency care? Hmm.. I think they would airlift you back to Nassau at a great cost!

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Nassau
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New Providence Island
New Haven, Indiana...
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9. Re: Arriving in two weeks (August 2018) looking for top tips

There is a small medical clinic at Staniel that is equipped to deal minor emergencies. They are very nice and inexpensive. I believe major emergencies are transported to Nassau.

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10. Re: Arriving in two weeks (August 2018) looking for top tips

I would suggest that anyone traveling to the Out Islands purchase travel insurance that includes medical evacuation. We have purchased it for all of our trips to the islands and it is only about $250. Several years ago one of the guys traveling with us had to use it. The medical evac back to FLL would have cost him in excess of 25,000

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