The Bahamas are a popular destination for American college students on Spring Break. It should be noted that while the Bahamas are generally safe for tourists, like any other foreign country, there are things you should know because "you ain't in Kansas anymore."
One would be well advised to first note that you are subject to the law of the land in such country as you are visiting. Your constitutional rights as an American mean nothing outside of this country. It is not uncommon for Americans to be severely beaten by foreign police and this is usually due to the American in question thinking they can get away with the same things in a foreign land that they can get away with when they're stateside. This usually results in a swift and painful lesson to the contrary. Understand, you are a visitor in their land and subject to their laws and regulations before you disembark on foreign soil and behave accordingly.
When traveling to the Caribbean area, particularly for Spring Break, the two biggest opportunities for legal trouble that American college students have to contend with are alcohol and narcotics related activities. The Bahamian government takes all narcotics related offenses VERY seriously, including marijuana. While modern American college students are typically pro-legalization and many use the substance anyway, a foreign police officer is far more likely to answer your "But it should be legal..." by slapping the taste out of your mouth than carefully explaining that "Should be legal doesn't mean it is legal..." as an American police officer would. Possession of any narcotic is a very serious offense in the Bahamas and will most likely result in an expensive adjudication process and a lengthy jail sentence, even for small amounts of narcotics. Plainclothes law enforcement in the Bahamas are known to routinely proposition tourists about purchasing marijuana. Those who conduct the transaction are arrested. Because the islands are used as a trans-shipment point by many drug cartels, there is a large amount of narcotics on the islands. Consequently, where there's a large amount of narcotics, particularly if cartels are involved, there are a large number or heavily armed criminals that don't want witnesses around. Many cartel "sicarios" don't care that their organization made money off you because you bought dope... all they care about is that you saw them make their drop and this could be very hazardous to your health. Drug traffickers, from street level nickel and dime bag dealers to the cartel "Jefe," are all particularly dangerous people that one should avoid contact with. Even if you are the type that sees nothing wrong with marijuana use and choose to do so (highly advised against it due to the significant legal burden such drug use can bring upon you) it is strongly advised that narcotics be avoided in foreign lands. Jails in the United States with all of your Constitutional Rights are bad enough... in a foreign land, lockup really is that much worse.
Alcohol related offenses are the bane of law enforcement everywhere. If you got a patrol officer from every jurisdiction in the world together and asked "What's the dumbest call you've ever got?" every single officer in the room would start their story with "One night we got a call about this damn drunk...." Drunk people tend to make cops mad on sight. In the United States that means more likely to get a ticket or get locked up. In a foreign land, that means "Very likely to spit your own teeth out." The potential for injury or alcohol poisoning bring up a few medical issues that will be discussed later as well. If you're going to drink, do so responsibly. That means NOT driving, NOT acting a fool, and NOT drinking to the point of intoxication. Don't be a drunken boor. Despite what your frat friends tell you, you're not doing anything but pissing people off. Remember all them cartel guys from the last paragraph? Yeah you do... Are you sure you want to piss them off? I'll answer for you... No you don't. What "drink responsibly" also means is staying in a group who will look out for you. At least one person in that group should be stone cold sober. May they can talk that cop out of beating you down for your boorish behavior.... Maybe they notice that guy talking to one of the girls in the group slipping something in her drink... You're in a foreign country and a slip of situational awareness may very well have immediate and long lasting consequences. Impairing substances, such as alcohol or drugs, degrade this so if you're going to get intoxicated, do so in a group and at least one person needs to remain completely sober. Intoxicated young women are targeted for sexual assault or kidnapping worldwide almost as a matter of routine so especially watch the women in your group and you may very well have to be "that asshole" who cuts them off and makes them go back to their accommodations for the night. This also means you now get to pull guard duty, one to make sure they stay in their rooms and two to make sure that no one unauthorized tries to get into those rooms. While this may sound harsh, would you rather have your female friends mad at you because you made them quit drinking and then ran off the guy they wanted to have sex with (same could apply to a female making a male go back to his room and running off the skank he was trying to put it to that night... I speak from the primary perspective of a man looking out for a woman because I'm a man who was raised to protect women at all costs) or would you prefer explaining to her friends and family that she was raped or kidnapped because you didn't have the stones, wherewithal, or both to look after her? I know which choice I'd make.
Going further with alcohol and drugs, don't do risky things if you're going to imbibe. This includes swimming or using excessive amounts of alcohol or drugs. Your American insurance policy will not be accepted by Bahamian doctors who routinely require foreigners to pay cash in full up front before they perform medical services. While I recommend getting traveler's insurance for sure, I also recommend preventing likely mechanisms of injury and illness. If you do get hurt badly, medical evacuation to the United States typically costs around $15,000 per the US State Department.
Avoid scooter and jet ski rental businesses. While many are legitimate, a large number of them have been linked to assaults, kidnappings, and sexual assaults including against US citizens. If you do choose to use these establishments, never allow yourself to be alone with the operator or an employee if at all possible. DO NOT operate anything with a motor while intoxicated.
Exercise good personal security practices. Just because you're on vacation doesn't mean the criminals are..... quite the contrary in fact. Avoid traveling alone. Avoid dimly lit areas. Pay particular attention to what's going on around you and who is around you. If someone seems to be around more often than not and you don't know them, begin escape and evasion procedures starting with a Surveillance Detection Route (if you need to make a right at this upcoming street, go up one more block and make a left, then a left on the next street taking you back to the one you needed to be on in the first place and turn left on that.) to determine if they're actually following you or not. If they appear to be following you, immediately go to the first well lit public place you can find and call the nearest Consulate or Embassy and have them contact law enforcement for you. Avoid secluded beaches. That pretty thing you want to do bad things to in that secluded cove may be working with someone else who is already there waiting for you... That attractive man of your dreams may be walking you to his kidnapper buddy because you're worth a lot of money at auction to them. If a person offers you a package, reject it unless you can verify what's in it. It may very well be a gift they want to give you but it may also be a couple of kilos of coke they think you can get into the United States for them too... and if you're not the wiser, they don't have to pay your for one, two you can't snitch them out, and three if you get caught they have total deniability.
As with traveling anywhere, good common sense, good situational awareness, and a little bit of thinking before acting will keep you safe in the Bahamas. Use your head, keep your wits about you, and have a good trip.
-CASG Intelligence Analyst