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View Full Version : Nassau - See it or skip it


yanners
01-21-2009, 05:06 PM
Hi All,

We are cruising for 4 nights in Aug 2010 and I've read that a lot of people skip Nassau and stay on the boat because nothing there was really worth getting off for.

Did anyone see anything that they felt was worth seeing or was a waste of time?

austin77
01-21-2009, 05:20 PM
When we went on our cruise the whole family went to Nassau, There is shopping, and sites to see...But out of everything there, i found just the culture was worth getting off the ship for... It is a totaly diffrent place then what im use to being in. :) Everyone of us had a great time just walking the town!

TiggerTails57
01-21-2009, 05:24 PM
In the morning we did the rasul, pool and couples massage, we got off the ship in the afternoon and walked around Nassau, I was glad we did.

This time we are staying on the ship and taking the g-kids to the pool while our kids do the walk about.

We might do Atlantis one trip, we've heard that is nice but $$$$.

heavenleigh412
01-21-2009, 05:26 PM
I think that what you do really depends on what kind of family you are...
There are plenty of different excursions offered by Disney, or you can do some research and find something interesting on your own.
Does your family enjoy history, swimming, animals,shopping?

Remember that Nassau is not what you are used to... the people there have little money and therefore are kind of pushy when you are shopping.
Plus there are some areas, that you probably wouldn't want to go into...
But I for one have been to Nassau many times... and Paradise Island even more times (Paradise Island is where Atlantis is) and I have never been robbed, killed , over-harassed, or felt threatened in any way.
It's the islands... either your family enjoys that or they don't... I wouldn't let someone else affect your decision.

epcotrulz
01-21-2009, 06:16 PM
I got off once on another cruise line, and did not like it. Very pushy sales people, I felt that the island was dirty -- was offered drugs on several occasions walking around.

Since we've been back twice on DCL we like to enjoy the relative quiet on the ship and don't blow money on excursions or shopping.

frdeb1999
01-21-2009, 06:25 PM
Honestly unless your really into shopping or want to do an excursion I would'nt waste my time. We were off long enough to hit the shops we wanted and then got back on board. And had a fabulous time with relatively few people on board. :)

Kim&Chris
01-21-2009, 07:24 PM
The first time we docked in Nassau, we got off just to see what it was like. We wandered over to the British Colonial Hilton, then walked back. That was enough. We re-boarded the ship and had a fantastic time on the half-empty Wonder. On our next cruise, we may venture over to Atlantis, but we'll see.

JMHO, but a day on the Wonder is better than a day in Nassau ;)

esbrick
01-21-2009, 08:02 PM
When we left last year we did the Atlantis Beach day excursion. Now have to tel you it was cool and the weather wasn't to nice. We were there for about an hour when DD asked if we could go back to the ship. We desided to stay for another hour and went exploring and DH went to the casino. We saw the under ground aquarium (SP?) then went to an outdoor shopping area after a 20 min rain storm. All and all we spent about 3 - 3.5 hours and didn't have that much fun. We said that when we went this year we wouldn't go to Nassau but we are going to go to the Dolphin Excursions.:goodvibes Then back to the ship. :boat: :thumbsup2

Jeanne B
01-21-2009, 08:18 PM
It's unfortunate that downtown (the port area) isn't cleaner because so many people get off the ship, walk around town and that's their only experience, so their impression is that Nassau is run down and dirty looking, plus you have the peddlers outside the terminal building which can be annoying but we just always keep walking and say no thank-you (although we've never had one continue to badger us for a tour once we say no).

We've been to Nassau three times, and other than a little shopping we always get out of downtown, twice to Atlantis and the other time we did a snorkeling excursion on the other side of the island and we had a great experience all three times. One of those times was a 2-night/3-day mini vacation and during that trip I discovered how friendly the locals are, more so than other Caribbean islands we've been to. Everyone in the Paradise Island area (which is where we stayed) greeted us with a hello and a smile when we passed them, the store and restaurant employees we dealt with were friendly and our taxi driver to/from the airport was great, and like the others, very friendly. We just found it interesting the difference between being in Nassau for just a limited number of hours during a cruise stop vs spending a few days there.

jaurban
01-21-2009, 09:35 PM
We are sailing on a 3 night in April 2010 and will have daughters age 7 and 16 months. I am hoping the baby can stay in Flounders and we will ask the older one whether she wants to walk around or be in the kid's club. Then we will likely walk around a bit as we have not been to Nassau before. But, the kids are too young for the more active excursions and DD7 probably won't be tall enough or would not go on the big water slides. So, a few hours in town then the rest on the ship I think is what we will do.

wdwcrazy
01-21-2009, 11:36 PM
I found Nassau to be depressing and not worth the visit unless you like to be harassed by pushy people on the streets and want to shop in depressing stores. My husband's luggage went missing on one trip and we were forced to go out in quest of clothes after 2 hours of searching we decided it was easier and less of a hassel to have clothes shipped overnight from home.

The Atlantis is a beautiful resort worth a visit but unless you stay there you cannot access most of the resort itself. There are some areas they allow you to walk around but very little. They do this so that people will book their resort for the next trip which is exactly what we wound up doing.

The only thing worth while around is the Dolphin Experience which is incredible. It is far less costly than other dolpin experiences we have done such as Discovery Cove. I couldn't particpate for health reasons but my husband had the time of his life and swam with the dolphins for more than 45 minutes. We paid twice as much at Discovery Cove and his personal interaction with the dolphins lasted only 3 minutes. The photos we have from this are priceless and were easily taken. Discovery Cove won't let you anywhere near the lagoon with a camera as they want you to buy their photos.

Happy Sailing!

Anal Annie
01-22-2009, 06:34 AM
It's unfortunate that downtown (the port area) isn't cleaner because so many people get off the ship, walk around town and that's their only experience, so their impression is that Nassau is run down and dirty looking, plus you have the peddlers outside the terminal building which can be annoying but we just always keep walking and say no thank-you (although we've never had one continue to badger us for a tour once we say no).

We've been to Nassau three times, and other than a little shopping we always get out of downtown, twice to Atlantis and the other time we did a snorkeling excursion on the other side of the island and we had a great experience all three times. One of those times was a 2-night/3-day mini vacation and during that trip I discovered how friendly the locals are, more so than other Caribbean islands we've been to. Everyone in the Paradise Island area (which is where we stayed) greeted us with a hello and a smile when we passed them, the store and restaurant employees we dealt with were friendly and our taxi driver to/from the airport was great, and like the others, very friendly. We just found it interesting the difference between being in Nassau for just a limited number of hours during a cruise stop vs spending a few days there.

ITA...the immediate area around the port in Nassau is really sceevy and dirty and full of nasty shops just waiting to rip you off. Then again, MOST port areas are NOT the nicest area of town. As with any port you visit, you should attempt to get away from that immediate area to really see what the true destination is like. The nicer areas are not going to be within walking distance of the port. All you will find at the ports is an industrial side and a flea market of some sort. You will need to arrange an excursion or tour or take a taxi somewhere to find the real beauty and unique qualities of the island.

There are plenty of celebrities and rich & famous people who own homes in the Bahamas or who vacation there for it's beauty...but you won't run into them in the port. You need to venture further out to enjoy it. I firmly believe anybody who says "don't get off the ship" has not made a good attempt to really see the Bahamas. They tried to just walk around the port for whatever reason and not try to really see the area and then of course they developed this nasty impression that all of Nassau is disgusting.

I can't imagine booking a cruise to a port / destination that I don't want to visit. I just would not go there, period. For us, that is part of cruising - having the chance to explore a new place for a day. We took NO pictures at the port but a few here & there away from the port in Nassau...

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b8d636b3127ccec4b68eb8bc1b00000040O08Qbs27Ju5cA9 vPgQ/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b8d636b3127ccec4b79de45daa00000040O08Qbs27Ju5cA9 vPgQ/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b8d636b3127ccec4b7b8d79c2300000040O08Qbs27Ju5cA9 vPgQ/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b8d636b3127ccec4b654b03d4e00000040O08Qbs27Ju5cA9 vPgQ/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b8d636b3127ccec4b778c19c5500000040O08Qbs27Ju5cA9 vPgQ/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b8d636b3127ccec4b74ce81d5600000040O08Qbs27Ju5cA9 vPgQ/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

nzdisneymom
01-22-2009, 06:52 AM
My personal opinion is that if you've never been to Nassau, you should get off the ship, even for just an hour, so you can see it first hand. When I sailed with my SIL on Carnival, we did an island tour by taxicab that was offered by one of the vendors at the end of the pier - and it was a good way to see the island. When we sailed with my family on DCL, we booked through DCL because I wanted to compare a cruise-booked excursion vs one offered off the pier. They were pretty much the same only the vehicle for the DCL one was a bit nicer, but we didn't go to as many places (the pier one took us to Atlantis for part of the day to look around - and the guy who did it explained to us what we would or wouldn't be able to do at Atlantis before we agreed to go). I honestly think it is worth doing one of the island-discovery / history excursions either on your own (someone has posted a fabulous walking-tour that they've done, but if you have little ones, I think the 2-hour through the cruise line or on your own is better). I think it is important for my children to have at least a glimpse of how people live in other parts of the world than our own backyard... so it's a great way to expose them.

But each family has to make their own decisions. Since we've been to Nassau already as a family, if we were to return, we would likely just get off long enough to get a new t-shirt from Del Sol and then enjoy the ship's amenities for the day (and hope for a great port-day special in the spa).

FWIW, my boys were 11 and 10 when we were in Nassau.

pouncingpluto
01-22-2009, 07:01 AM
If nothing else, you can book a little beach excursion. Since we've been to Nassau so many times that we thought about staying on the boat during our (hopefully) November 3-night (there's no sea day, so we'd be making our own), but if we have rain the next day for Castaway Cay, I would be really bummed not to have gotten a day at the beach out of the whole trip.

crafty91
01-22-2009, 08:53 AM
Having been to Nassau I'd stay on board, I've seen and done Atlantis and for the money that isn't worth it. You've got a great ship you've already paid for so enjoy it, MOSTLY EMPTY!:thumbsup2

If you do get off, go to Gray Cliff for wine and a cigar if anyone in the family enjoys either. It the old governors house that is redone very nicely for a 5 star restaurant. Might want to check to see if you could have lunch there.::yes::

jlowejd5
01-22-2009, 09:08 AM
If you haven't been before, then I'd definitely get off and walk around a little. My wife and I (when we don't want to be bothered by hair braiders, etc) just pretend to be German (or pick a nationality) and therefore don't know what they're saying. Soothes the conscience a bit.

Atlantis is gorgeous, but we're suckers for a good aquarium. We've also done a glass-bottom boat tour, which was actually kind of neat (say, "Ya, mon!"). Heck, last time we were there, my friend Michael and I got offered a romantic horse-drawn carriage ride. awww...

This time, we're just hanging on the boat, because the next cruise is a "no planning at all, just show up" vacation.

TheWog
01-22-2009, 09:13 AM
I would have to agree with those that said at least get off and try it. You are there and in a foreign country. Just see if it is for you, you may just like it. We had a great time in Nassau, but we stayed for a week (Paradise Island) and are planning on going back.

lisaradz
01-22-2009, 11:16 AM
If you haven't been, it's interesting to see. The spa offers Port day specials, so we shopped for about an hour, then got back on the ship. DH took the boys to the pool, which was pretty empty, they got to go down the slide a trillion times and I enjoyed a facial/massage! It was an awesome day and I saved some bucks on the treatment! :thumbsup2

IMHO in 4 days you just don't get enough ship time.

disneychic
01-22-2009, 11:20 AM
Play it by ear. There may be an activity to do, or a movie that you want to see on the ship that day. If you decide to get off the ship and explore, you'll do it that one time, and probably never again. Believe me, the shopping isn't that great (over priced jewelry), and there isn't all that much to see anyway. pirate:

Jeanne B
01-22-2009, 11:22 AM
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b8d636b3127ccec4b74ce81d5600000040O08Qbs27Ju5cA9 vPgQ/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

Out of curiosity, where was this picture taken? Wherever it is, it looks like a place we'd want to go if and when we're in the Bahamas again.:) Is it Blue Lagoon?

My wife and I (when we don't want to be bothered by hair braiders, etc) just pretend to be German (or pick a nationality) and therefore don't know what they're saying. Soothes the conscience a bit.

That's funny!!:laughing:

mrp4352
01-22-2009, 11:53 AM
I agree, you should probably get off the ship if you haven't been before. There's a nice walking tour of Nassau that you can pick up on board the ship. It takes you beyond the couple of blocks right around the ship, and into some of the prettier parts.

yanners
01-22-2009, 01:02 PM
You guys are great! Thanks!:beach:

disneynewbee
01-22-2009, 01:13 PM
I found Nassau to be depressing and not worth the visit unless you like to be harassed by pushy people on the streets and want to shop in depressing stores. My husband's luggage went missing on one trip and we were forced to go out in quest of clothes after 2 hours of searching we decided it was easier and less of a hassel to have clothes shipped overnight from home.

The Atlantis is a beautiful resort worth a visit but unless you stay there you cannot access most of the resort itself. There are some areas they allow you to walk around but very little. They do this so that people will book their resort for the next trip which is exactly what we wound up doing.

The only thing worth while around is the Dolphin Experience which is incredible. It is far less costly than other dolpin experiences we have done such as Discovery Cove. I couldn't particpate for health reasons but my husband had the time of his life and swam with the dolphins for more than 45 minutes. We paid twice as much at Discovery Cove and his personal interaction with the dolphins lasted only 3 minutes. The photos we have from this are priceless and were easily taken. Discovery Cove won't let you anywhere near the lagoon with a camera as they want you to buy their photos.

Happy Sailing!

Are these excursions you did on your own? The only one I'm showing for Nassau is Blue Lagoon at $125. The only dolphin involvement I'm showing for Atlantis is trainer for the day which is insane at four hundred and some dollars. We want to do a dolphin encounter and $125 isn't bad at all but I'm wondering if Blue Lagoon is a good experience. Thanks.

justmestace
01-22-2009, 05:09 PM
We really enjoyed Blue Lagoon years ago, on our first DCL cruise, when our kids were younger (11 & 8). The next time, we had a large group with us, so we did a Catamaran Snorkel excursion that didn't even get us out of the port area, and it stunk.
Going back this summer for the 3rd time, and I think we'll book our own snorkel boat/beach excursion through a private company that will get us away from the port area and to the beautiful waters I know the Bahamas are famous for.
I would definitely get off the boat, though. It seems such a shame to go that far, spend that much money, and not at least set foot on foreign soil.

Anal Annie
01-22-2009, 06:49 PM
Out of curiosity, where was this picture taken? Wherever it is, it looks like a place we'd want to go if and when we're in the Bahamas again.:) Is it Blue Lagoon?

YES! Isn't it pretty? It's by where the ferry docks there...we thought it was a gorgeous little island. Went there for the dolphin swim last summer (booked direct). LOVED it there! Pricey but worth it! So-o glad we chose to do the swim over the encounter!:thumbsup2 The trainers there are awesome and the dolphins incredible. They ran a first rate excursion.

DisneyDDS
01-22-2009, 07:56 PM
I am usually pretty positive about anything that has to do with disney and DCL, but we did not enjoy Nassau when we were there last Friday on our 3 night cruise. We should have taken an excursion and gone to the Atlantis aquarium, but we decided to see the city on our own on foot.

The problem was that the Wonder was one of 5 ships in port that day....there were 3 huge carnival ships and one Holland America. There must have been at least 12,000 people entering the port. The cruise terminal is very small and they only had 2 entrance doors open. There were very long lines to get in and once we were through the cruise terminal there were many very persistent tour operators/taxi drivers yelling at us to be their next customers.

We walked up to the Parliment building and the surrounding neighborhood and then we went back to the ship and sat by the pool. I know we did not give Nassau much of a chance. I think it would have been much better to have taken a disney excursion and avoided the crazy throng of people getting off the 3 carnival ships.

pouncingpluto
01-22-2009, 08:03 PM
Yeah... I feel like the city part of Nassau isn't that great or interesting (especially if you've been similar places before)... but the beaches can be beautiful. And beach day excursions can be relatively inexpensive.