Sandy Toes Outing to Rose Island in the Bahamas

Snorkeler and Elkhorn Coral
Stephen Frink / Getty Images

Just a quick boat ride from Nassau will get you away from all the resort action and cruise ships to your own private island escape, where you can spend the day however you please -- lounging on the beach, lying in a hidden hammock, playing games in the sand, sidling up to the beach bar, or snorkeling with tropical fish.

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Pros and Cons of Sandy Toes Outing to Rose Island


  • Offers peace and quiet (and maybe some romance?) away from it all
  • Plenty of activity options -- or choose to do nothing


  • May be a little risky for cruise passengers, since there are strict pick-up and drop-off times

Fast Facts

Review - Sandy Toes Outing to Rose Island in the Bahamas

Take a break from all the resort and cruise ship action with a day trip to the secluded Rose Island through Sandy Toes Adventures. The guides arrange transportation through Majestic Tours to and from your hotel to the Paradise Island Ferry Terminal, ensuring you’ll make it in time for the boat’s 10 a.m. departure.

After boarding the boat, you’ll enjoy a quick harbor tour past Jay-Z and Beyonce’s house and protected wildlife areas, then you’ll see a little island with tall palm trees that might look vaguely familiar: it is the landmass that was used for the opening shot in “Gilligan’s Island.” But that’s not where you’re going. In 20 minutes, you’ll arrive at the Rose Island oasis, where private white sand beaches and snorkeling await. You’ll have until 4 p.m. to pass the time as you please.

The rest is up to you. You can wander the meandering trails to stunning island lookouts, lay in one of the many hidden hammocks in the garden, or even play with the island’s resident potbelly pig, Rosie. But don’t feed her as she clearly needs to go on a diet!

There's plenty of snorkeling gear in all sizes for recreational use ($10 refundable security deposit), and just a short swim offshore provides incredible views of coral reefs where colorful tropical fish swim in their natural habitat.

Of course, many choose to while away the hours soaking up the sun on the beach, but if games and activities appeal to you, guides happily arrange those for groups, too. Later, head back up to the deck and beach bar area, where they’ll cook up a lunch buffet including grouper fingers, hot dogs, peas and rice, salad, chicken pasta salad and fruit -- all included in the price. You’ll also get a welcome beverage upon arrival, including your choice of signature frozen drinks or Bahamian beer. Of course, you can order additional rounds at the bar.

Be sure to bring your swimsuit, towel, sunscreen, and cash or credit card with you, but if you happen to forget a necessity, the gift shop has many items for purchase. The island is also equipped with full bathroom and shower facilities.

By the time 4 p.m. rolls around, you’ll be thinking of ways you can hide out in the palm trees, but nevertheless the boat will return you to the ferry terminal by 4:30 p.m., and back to your hotel by 5 p.m. You may have to say goodbye to paradise for now, but you’ll want to escape to Sandy Toes again.

Sandy Toes full-day trips are available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Sundays, with two half-day excursions available on Fridays. The Sandy Toes boat leaves the Paradise Island Ferry Terminal at 10 a.m. and returns at 4:30 p.m. It’s up to you to make sure you leave yourself enough time to make it back to your cruise ship.

As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary services for review purposes. While it has not influenced this review, believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our Ethics Policy.

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