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Old 01-14-2013, 08:33 AM   #1
twinone
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Nassau on your own?

We leave in a week on the Dream and last year we just stayed on the ship in Nassau, I like doing the pools/Aqua Duck but my sister is traveling with us now and wanted to atleast get out for a bit and check out the island. The kids are all semi young (3,7,8,11) so we don't want to do any tours but is there anything to atleast walk to and check out from the ship?
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:40 AM   #2
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we got off and walked to the straw market, and a few little shops. Then we went back to the ship. Oh we did enjoy a local beverage. Our kids were 5 & 12
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:44 AM   #3
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We also just got off and walked around a bit. We went to the straw market and then a few shops nearby. My sister and her older kids went on to one of the older churches to tour (I think that's what it was) and we were back on the ship by lunch. It was perfect for us.

If I were to go to Nassau again I would either stay on the ship or go to the water park. I was not impressed with the straw market.
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:48 AM   #4
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The area just outside the dock isn't really that great a place to explore. Expect to be constantly hounded by vendors trying to get you into their shop or buy their service. IMHO, you're better off staying on board.
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:53 AM   #5
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In Nassau my DH and DD (4) got off the ship to go to get all of our passports stamped. Our daughter immediately declared she wanted to go back to the ship! So at least they got off the boat (we paid a small fortune for the kids to have passports- we were getting them STAMPED!)
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:58 AM   #6
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Taxis rides are only $4/person - we went to Atlantis on our own. There are also water taxis for $4/person and they will drop you off at the beach of your choice. In the taxi area, we saw horse-drawn carriage rides which were available but I didn't see the pricing.
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:10 AM   #7
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From a previous thread regarding the same topic, I responded with the following:

I'm in the minority camp that says you should get off the ship at least for a few hours if you have never been to Nassau. Fort Fincastle and Queen's Staircase are just about a mile walk from the pier, and quite nice to visit. It's not a huge fort, but the views are very pretty. The ladies can shop on the return walk to the ship. Here are a few pics from our recent stop there...

Queen's Staircase area


View from the fort




Also, if you have passports (and especially if the kids have passports) you can have them stamped just off the pier. When you exit the ship and pier, you will leave from Festival Place. Everyone heads right when exiting the building. Go left instead. There is a small building inside a chain link fenced area; this is the Immigration Building. Let the guards at the fence gate know you want to have your passports stamped. They will direct you where in the building to have this done (once you enter, go right down the hallway and it's the last office on the right). The folks here are so incredibly friendly!

If you want to take the kids to a beach, but want to keep costs down, Junkanoo Beach is within walking distance of the pier (or a quick jitney/bus ride).

Enjoy!
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:16 AM   #8
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We got off the ship, jumped in a taxi over to the public-access path by the Riu Hotel (see location here).

You can walk the beach (for free) and even explore some of the back side of Atlantis (again, for free) and visit their shops (only free if your DW decides it to be so).
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Dizney
We got off the ship, jumped in a taxi over to the public-access path by the Riu Hotel (see location here).

You can walk the beach (for free) and even explore some of the back side of Atlantis (again, for free) and visit their shops (only free if your DW decides it to be so).
Thanks for this tip. I'm sailing dream Sunday and wondered if there was free beaches
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinone View Post
We leave in a week on the Dream and last year we just stayed on the ship in Nassau, I like doing the pools/Aqua Duck but my sister is traveling with us now and wanted to atleast get out for a bit and check out the island. The kids are all semi young (3,7,8,11) so we don't want to do any tours but is there anything to atleast walk to and check out from the ship?
Thanks
On our first DCL cruise last April we got off and had a very nice time visiting the shops, checking out the historic sites and having a Kalik or two as we strolled around.

I thought the people we encountered were very friendly without being overly pushy trying to sell us stuff.

My son commented as we saw a few young adults in handcuffs outside the police station "... that this isn't World Showcase". He's right, but it's a real capital city with a nice mix of real history and tourism.

I look forward to my next visit to Nassau.

Mike

PS, attached is an online guide that I found helpful.

http://www.brentjes.com/nassau.html
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MND View Post
On our first DCL cruise last April we got off and had a very nice time visiting the shops, checking out the historic sites and having a Kalik or two as we strolled around.

I thought the people we encountered were very friendly without being overly pushy trying to sell us stuff.

My son commented as we saw a few young adults in handcuffs outside the police station "... that this isn't World Showcase". He's right, but it's a real capital city with a nice mix of real history and tourism.

I look forward to my next visit to Nassau.

Mike

PS, attached is an online guide that I found helpful.

http://www.brentjes.com/nassau.html
Love this! I wonder about how long would it take to do the walking tour. We would like to get off the ship and do the walking tour after lunch...but still be back on the ship by 4PM...would that be possible?

If anything we may just do a couple of the "must do" stops for us...Bacardi Store, Queens Staircase, the Greek Orthodox Church, along with a few historical buildings...
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Old 01-14-2013, 01:00 PM   #12
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Love this! I wonder about how long would it take to do the walking tour. We would like to get off the ship and do the walking tour after lunch...but still be back on the ship by 4PM...would that be possible?

If anything we may just do a couple of the "must do" stops for us...Bacardi Store, Queens Staircase, the Greek Orthodox Church, along with a few historical buildings...
I think you would have plenty of time to do the tour in 4 hours. We visited the Queens Staircase, Fort Fincastle, Parliment Square, one of the churches and stopped outside to have a look at the Pirates Museum in less than 2 hours. We also spent a bit of time walking through the Straw Market and visiting some of the shops that are downtown.

I don't know if anything in downtown Nassau is a "must do", we just enjoyed getting off the ship for a bit and seeing some new things and experiencing a differnt cultural. Our experience was that the people were friendly without being pushy.

Enjoy your cruise!

Mike
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:47 PM   #13
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by MND View Post
I think you would have plenty of time to do the tour in 4 hours. We visited the Queens Staircase, Fort Fincastle, Parliment Square, one of the churches and stopped outside to have a look at the Pirates Museum in less than 2 hours. We also spent a bit of time walking through the Straw Market and visiting some of the shops that are downtown.

I don't know if anything in downtown Nassau is a "must do", we just enjoyed getting off the ship for a bit and seeing some new things and experiencing a differnt cultural. Our experience was that the people were friendly without being pushy.

Enjoy your cruise!

Mike
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:58 PM   #14
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Did Magic stop there this past summer from NYC (self, wife, and two teenage daughters), and we didn't book any excursions. We got off ship after breakfast and hit most of the main stores based on the ship’s “suggested” list…wife wanted to buy a watch…walked through Straw Market on way back to ship. Actually, the worst part of it was the area immediately outside of the main port building with regard to people trying to sell you stuff. Once we left that area, we had no problem walking around town. We went back to ship for lunch, then ventured out again on foot to Junkanoo Beach. Walk wasn’t bad, since you’re passing by some pretty busy places (i.e. Senor Frogs and Colonial Hilton). Beach was fine, no one really bothered us. Set down our stuff (all we brought with us was towels and id’s/$$ which we kept in waterproof beach safes on us), bought a couple of beers, swam, and struck up a nice conversation with a local transplant who had his daughter and granddaughter visiting from Texas. He basically said area isn’t that bad, as long as you’re back to ship before sundown.
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:25 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MND View Post
I think you would have plenty of time to do the tour in 4 hours. We visited the Queens Staircase, Fort Fincastle, Parliment Square, one of the churches and stopped outside to have a look at the Pirates Museum in less than 2 hours. We also spent a bit of time walking through the Straw Market and visiting some of the shops that are downtown.

I don't know if anything in downtown Nassau is a "must do", we just enjoyed getting off the ship for a bit and seeing some new things and experiencing a differnt cultural. Our experience was that the people were friendly without being pushy.

Enjoy your cruise!

Mike
Ditto. I printed off a map from a website and we took our 7&5 yo boys on a walk through the town. There is a fairly steep hill up to Queen's staircase, but it is nice and cool inside the rock cut, and the boys almost ran up the steps. From there Fort Fincastle is literally right next door and costs $1/person to enter. The boys loved looking at the cannons, seeing where they stored the gun powder, how cannons are fired...and on. There is a great view of the ships docked at the port from the castle too. We too went to the pirate museum, at $12/ adult and $6/child it was an expensive way to spend 45 minutes, but the boys really enjoyed it. We walked by the straw market, people asked us to look at their items and were polite, but we just weren't interested. There is basically a strip of shops on the street parallel to the docks aimed at cruisers where we found some t-shirts and such, but that's about it. The nice thing about Nassau is that you can see the ships from almost anywhere you can walk, so you really can't get lost, and we found all the local people very helpful and friendly.
We go to Nassau again on the Dream, almost 2 months after being there on the NCL Jewel, so we plan on staying on the ship. I may make a quick run to the Clinique store to restock, but otherwise we will enjoy the ship!
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