Here is my complete review:
1. The Good
We took the ferry on a weds.
The ride from Fort Lauderdale to Bimini was super smooth! We got at check-in 2 hours before around 7:15am and boarded the boat around 8:30amish. It was actually fine! Very smooth and customer service was friendly. Bring just carry ons if you can for a much faster experience for customs and boarding. Once on the boat, personnel were friendly and it was an exact 2 hour ride to the island. Sea weather was good, boat was very stable. We were about 30 min behind schedule but wasn’t bad. Towards the end of the trip they let you book excursions like getting a golf cart etc. We stayed for 3 days at the Hilton to we rented a golf cart at the island. We recommend getting a golf card in back of Fisherman’s Village by Sue and Joys convenience store, reliable cart and the folks who sell it aren’t as aggressive as the guys when the team drops you off. Hilton hotel was great, food was better than we expected and was clean! We loved the beach club! As a heads up if they tell you it’s closed it’s still open, you can still go but there wouldn’t be towel service /many cabana cars open. However, the beach restaurant would be open at least in our experience. Overall if you asked me at this point I would recommend Balearia.
2. The Bad
We left on a Friday night. It is a bit confusing about where to go to catch the ferry and when. The boat was aimed to leave at 8pm. Hilton said that a Tram would get you at 7pm from the lobby. I got anxious bc my directions said last call for boarding at 7. So we walked down with our Carry ons to fisherman’s village (takes like 10 min) to check in at the Baleria office at 6pm to be safe, some others were there. We checked in and waited there. That was true apparently, Tram did pick folks up at 7 from hotel and brought to fisherman’s village like they said, so I guess you don’t have to check in 2-3 hours early there. Then at 8pm when we were supposed to start getting picked up, tram guy said boat is not leaving at 8:55pm and we have to wait another hour. We all are just sitting around and 8:55 passes, we wait another 35 min to like 9:30pmish when we actually leave for the ferry. No explanation why it was late and it seemed like no hotel or Baleria staff knew where the boat even was. So now we are about a little over 1.5 hrs behind.
So here’s where things get ugly. The weather called for north windy conditions of like 30 mph which is the worst if you are going to ft lauderdale. This called for rough seas but not too rough where the boat is in danger bc of its size. As soon as we left 5 min later the boat started to rock back and force and bob up and down pretty intensely. I ride a lot of boats bc my bf fishes a lot so not scary for me, but bc you’re mostly indoors the sea sickness strikes bad. It was like this the entire ride back for 2 hours…and bc it’s dark outside with bright fluorescent lights in the boat, is a recipe for disaster. Bc it’s disorienting. Everyone was vomiting and sick including myself for these 2 hours… staff was trying their best to attend to everyone with sick bags. At the end of the trip there were vomit piles on the outside deck…even with my four doses of Dramaine within 25 24 hrs it couldn’t help for those two hours.
So tbh the experience really depends on ocean and weather conditions. Bc of this I won’t risk it again and will fly