Review Detail

Great trip to Bimini on the Superfast

December 2014 I was staying with some friends.

The Superfast recently got new management and changed its schedule. Now the cruises leave Miami in the evening, arriving in Bimini around 9 p.m., then leaving two days later. This gives you a full day on the island and the chance to see and do (almost) everything it has to offer.

Don't expect a full service cruise, as this isn't Carnival or Norwegian etc. The Superfast and the resort were a great combination for a short and inexpensive weekend getaway.

We had been planning to do this trip for a while and we finally went online and made our reservations about a month beforehand. Very easy. We paid $40 extra each to stay in the 2 bedroom villa which turned out to be a good choice (see below). A few days later I see on Facebook that they are running a Black Friday deal that was significantly cheaper than what we paid for. However, I emailed the people at RW Bimini and received a a call 45 minutes later that they had credited my card with the difference. So kudos to them for great customer service even before the trip started.

Boarding begins at 3 p.m. for the 6 p.m. departure. It supposedly closes at 5 p.m. We arrived at Port Miami at 2:50 p.m., parked our car five minutes away in the garage ($20 a night). It was a little crowded when we walked into the terminal but they have a ton of employees checking in the guests and immediately we were asked if we were staying on the ship or in the villa. Note that if you are staying the villa you are escorted to a "VIP" line which is much shorter than if you have a cabin on the ship. They give you your villa keys in Miami so you can just go straight to your room when you get to Bimini. Then you go through the metal detector. The whole process took about 15 mins tops.

Once you board the ship there are a bunch of smiling and friendly employees and island music to get you in the mood for vacation. All the bars/ restaurants are open so you can immediately start eating and drinking. The Casino doesn't open until you go further offshore. If you are staying in a villa and have only a small carry-on do not bother checking your bag – they will keep it behind the concierge desk for you at no charge and you pick it up when you get off. That was helpful. They offer "snacks" consisting of hamburgers, hot dogs and fries when you first get on and many people believe this is the included meal. However, one the ship begins to move there is a great, FREE, buffet with fish, chicken, salad and dessert on the top deck. Most people just didn't know about it, so definitely don't stuff yourself with "snacks" or you will be disappointed.

The muster drill took a little longer than expected because one passenger to was missing, but around 6:30 p.m. the ship began to move and the normal cruise experience resumed. We went up to the top deck for the free dinner, watched a basketball game and played at the casino. The minimums are lower on the ship than on the resort, so we did most of our gambling there. Although the website advertises a Sportsbook, it recently closed, but there is one on the island. There was also Bingo and a live band, but we didn't take advantage of that.

We arrived in Bimini around 9:30 p.m. and breezed through customs. The new pier that opened a few months ago means that you don't have to deal with the offshore tenders and you walk right onto trams that take you anywhere in the resort. Note that if you are staying in a villa there are private golf carts that drive you right to your room. The whole process was a little confusing so don't be afraid to ask one of the many employees to clarify which golf cart/ tram you are supposed to get on.

Our room was located on the third floor overlooking the construction of the new Hilton Hotel, but noise was not an issue. The 2 bedroom villas are huge and can sleep 6-8 people. They come with full kitchens, a living room etc. There is also free and fast wifi throughout the resort which comes in handy for keeping in touch with friends/ family in the states.

You will have one full day on the island. The resort is very safe. I went running in the morning, tons of employees around greeting you with a smile. There were also shuttles to pick you up but I elected for the exercise. Rented a golf cart from Sue and Joys for $85, which seemed like the uniform price for a 24 hour rental. You can just return it the next morning before you get on the ship. Remember to drive on the left. Sue and Joys also has basic provisions such as water, soda and sunscreen.

Went into Alice Town (10 min golf cart or tram ride) and had lunch at C.J.'s Deli, great cracked conch overlooking the beautiful, Radio Beach. Beach has free chaises provided by the locals. Definitely worth a trip. Also went to Sherry's Beach Bar for some drinks. There are a few more restaurants, a liquor store (Bahamian rum/ alternative to expensive drinks on the resort ) and a straw market in town. Looked like the resort tram frequently ran back and forth to the resort.

Back on the property, the best pool by far was the Infinity Pool. Overlooks the Atlantic and has a bar on-site. Great place to watch the sunset. Pools were a bit cold, but an employee said that they had plans to put in heaters. The Marina pool is also nice and has a swim up bar, which was closed for some reason. Ate dinner at RW Hemingways Restaurant in the Casino which has a seating area. High prices but the food is fantastic, especially the Conch Chowder.

Nice casino, the minimums are a little high but they have all of the games and slots. We signed up for the RW Rewards program on the ship which gets you $20 in free play at the slots. Sportsbook is also there. Casino staff is VERY professional. We also went to the Sabor pool party across the street for a bit, but it was not very crowded. Great party complete with music and firedancers, but just not many people around. This is actually a good thing about the resort, there were always other visitors around but it was never overwhelming. Even on the ship, it never seemed like a ton of people were around.

Left Bimini on Saturday morning. We were initially confused about how to get to the pier since it was far, but as soon as we got out to the main resort road a bus pulled up asking if we had to go to the ship. They bring you to the reservations office first to get your boarding card, but if you book a roundtrip cruise, SAVE YOUR BOARDING CARD. You can stay on the shuttle, avoid the check-in lines and walk right onto the boat in two minutes time.

The trip back was quick and still fun. The free breakfast onboard consists of eggs, bacon, sausage hash browns, pancakes, fruit and yogurt. You can go back and get as much as you want, but it closes between 10 and 10:30 a.m. Exceeded expectations just as the free dinner had. Casino was open but we just went out to one of the lounge chairs on the top deck and slept while overlooking the Atlantic. You can get towels to lie down on from the reception desk. They have a welcome back party on the top deck to keep the vacation/ party going and were just as enthusiastic as they were on the way there. We were in Miami in no time.

Took about 45 minutes to get off the ship but that's because customs takes a while.

Great service on the ship and on the resort. There were a few employees who really went above and beyond for us: Valerie at Port Miami check-in, Glenn at the Superfast Club 360 Bar, Harold the cruise director, Kurt at the Aqua Bar and Bernadette at the Bimini casino. Outstanding service and they all looked like they enjoyed their jobs. The Bahamian people are some of the nicest people on earth and interacting with them was a pleasure.

Overall, a great trip that exceeded expectations. RW Bimini is really working hard to make this a destination resort and when the Hilton Hotel opens in 2015, the resort should be even better. Can't wait for another quick trip to Bimini in the near future.

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