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Old 04-19-2013, 01:04 PM   #1
skullsplitter
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Nassau without excusrions

So what sort of things are there to do in Nassau if we choose not to book an excursion?
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Old 04-19-2013, 01:12 PM   #2
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So what sort of things are there to do in Nassau if we choose not to book an excursion?
Stay on board, lol.
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Old 04-19-2013, 01:17 PM   #3
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Concur with above. Plenty to do on the ship if you don't plan to see anything in Nassau...

Once you get off the pier, many tour guides will try to sell you a city tour. I don't find it fun to drive around and see Bahama cities but some find their history interesting I guess. There is also a famous straw market with lots of baskets and cool indiginous homemade items that they can personalize. But it's high pressure shopping and be prepared to dicker back and forth...

We had an excursion booked, but my husband didn't want to spend the dough. Decided to go with our bro and law and do their own thing. So they wandered around I guess and tried to rent a moped, but there was a problem with either our credit card or their reader, so he wasn't able to (didn't have enough cash or something I guess, I wasn't with him) and the Nassau day ended up being sort of a bust for him.

I think if he had to do it over, he would have come with us to Blue Lagoon instead. This time he decided not to, that the two guys would pal around... and didn't end up doing much of anything but hitting a shop or two and wearing out his flip flops so that he literally just threw his flip flops away after Nassau...

Again, you can go to the public beach there not far from the ship, Junkanoo I think. My friends had a good time there. You won't see any fish though, but drinking and volleyball is probably certain.

We did Blue Lagoon this last time and it was the best money I ever spent because we got in with the Sea Lions. Even if I didn't do that, I still liked cruising for an hour on the water to get out to the island, eating the conch fritters, swimming in the natural reef, and the friendly staff and hammacks there.

But in Feb, we did a SeaHorse sail and snorkel for $56 off of priceline excursions (shoreexcursions.com i think) and we had a great ride and saw lots of fish and the rum punch was definitely flowing freely...

Seems to me the people who don't plan much to do at Nassau think that the port is just ok or even crappy. If you don't book something, make sure you are organized. There is a lot of offer there and depending on what you want to do, it might be a bit of a waste to get to the bahamas and do nothing like my husband did...who decided after the fact that next time, he'll just pay for both him and the bro in law and go where the fun is...
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Old 04-19-2013, 01:20 PM   #4
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We will be there in a week. We printed out a walking tour from the Frommers website, we are also going to go by the pirate museum, eat at the fish fry, and stop at Junkanoo beach on the way back to the boat. We are pretty much going to wing it and see what happens

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Old 04-19-2013, 01:43 PM   #5
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We also used the Nassau days to mostly stay on board. It was nice having the ship less crowded, especially the pool areas. DH did go in search of Kalik and rum to bring back aboard.
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Old 04-19-2013, 01:54 PM   #6
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Don't forget the Tortuga shop conveniently located by the ship. Has amazing rum cakes and delish liqueur that is sipping quality...
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Old 04-19-2013, 02:52 PM   #7
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We got our passports stamped and then walked to the pirate museum and then we went back to the ship to ride the aqua duck while the ship was not as crowded. We enjoyed lunch at cabanas and some time on the deck. It was a good day. I would say though that Nassau is nasty and when we go again I probably won't get off the ship. The pirate museum was surprisingly well done and for the $12.00 entry fee it was well worth it and a lot of fun.
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Old 04-19-2013, 02:55 PM   #8
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What is "nasty" about Nassau? I've never been. Is is dirty? Litter strewn everywhere? Does it smell bad? Are the people gross, dirty, rude, what? What makes it "nasty"?
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Old 04-19-2013, 02:57 PM   #9
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We got our passports stamped and then walked to the pirate museum and then we went back to the ship to ride the aqua duck while the ship was not as crowded. We enjoyed lunch at cabanas and some time on the deck. It was a good day. I would say though that Nassau is nasty and when we go again I probably won't get off the ship. The pirate museum was surprisingly well done and for the $12.00 entry fee it was well worth it and a lot of fun.
This is something I hear often when people don't do anything specialized while in Nassau. If you need a ship day, you can stay on board, of course that is your choice. But if you don't take advantage of the amazing things Nassau has to offer, you will probably conclude that it is nasty too... (most ports right next to the ship are iffy...or you could take a ferry or a catamaran and see paradise...)

I have been to Nassau twice in 2 months...I would go back tomorrow...
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Old 04-19-2013, 03:09 PM   #10
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If you have never been to Nassau i suggest you go. If it is a nice day you will have a good time walking around the shops. This can get boring so i think the best thing you can do is get off the ship early and go to the pirate museum. It is very fun and interesting. Then walk around for maybe a half an hour to an hour because there really isn't anything else very interesting. Then get back on the ship where you can have some real fun!!
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Old 04-19-2013, 03:17 PM   #11
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What is "nasty" about Nassau? I've never been. Is is dirty? Litter strewn everywhere? Does it smell bad? Are the people gross, dirty, rude, what? What makes it "nasty"?
I didn't consider it nasty, but I didn't enjoy the time we spent there. We printed off a map and tried to do a walking tour, but the stress started just walking into the port area, as guide after guide wanted us to listen to his spiel. I don't like just blowing them off, it feels rude, though of course it's more rude to waste their time when you have NO intention of taking their tour. DS didn't like having us approached by everyone. I didn't know where I was going; is the building you are shunted into the straw market? I have NO idea. I didn't know where I was supposed to exit.

When we did exit, it was more "take my tour" stuff.

Then we ran into the problem of "what street am I on?" Once we got out of the area with the Starbucks, the street signs were missing on half of the streets.

We abandoned the walking tour when I could not, for the life of me, figure out where Elizabeth street was. We could still see the ship, and we were, basically, lost.


I would take a proper tour, or I would take the walking tour with a larger group of people who had done it before. If neither of those were something I could get/find/take part in, I would stay on the ship.

Though I will probably try again to get my passport stamped; I know I saw the building shown on the walking tour site (brentjes?), but it looked utterly abandoned and forbidding, and I just didn't feel brave enough to approach it.



Back to the description....I could only compare it to the New Orleans I visited in the later 90s (things might have changed post-Katrina). One area is pretty, then a block over it's just rundown and abandoned-feeling. Except that in NO I could use my "single female in the city" spidey sense to feel where I should turn back around...either it was interfered with b/c hubby was there (though he was more nervous than I was, and DS was beyond nervous) or just because I've never been to the Bahamas and didn't know if, for instance, no sidewalks meant "relaxed island style" or "abject poverty" or "even the government doesn't care about this area enough to make a sidewalk"....regardless I couldn't get a sense of if the area was OK to be in.

So that's all I can compare it to, only without the beignets and chicory coffee to make it feel happy. (rum cakes don't do it for me, and I didn't even see any rum cakes, LOL)

We did manage to see the pink parliament buildings and the library...they were just so small I didn't realize what we had seen until I got home and looked at my pictures! Seriously, we had NO idea that those were some of the buildings we were supposed to be looking for.
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Old 04-19-2013, 04:41 PM   #12
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If you've never been, then go just to walk around the port area and straw market. I prefer Nassau on a land trip and not as a quick port stop, but I've been many times. I usually get off, grab some lunch and head back.
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Old 04-19-2013, 04:53 PM   #13
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Walk around and stop at Señor Frogs for a few cocktails
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Old 04-19-2013, 04:54 PM   #14
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In 2009 my DW & I were on a Carnival cruise that stayed overnight in Nassau, and wanted to spend time on the beach and not use any of the resort facilities. So paying so sit on the beach in front of Atlantis would have been a waste of money.
There is public beach access on Paradise Island, we took a water taxi ($3) that is adjacent to the cruise terminal. The water taxi staff provided commentary (as well as directions to the beach) on Nassau during the short trip. We were dropped us off on Paradise Is. under the Atlantis bridge, it is a 10-15 minute walk to the path public path access beside the RIU resort. There were about a dozen of the water taxi passengers who were walking to the beach, so we had safety in numbers.

DW & I ducked into Atlantis and bought some souvenirs from the shops inside the resort, also to take a shortcut to avoid walking around the large complex.
Once on the beach beside the RIU, you can rent beach chairs and there is a beach bar to quench your thirst.

As other posters wrote you can take a taxi which will drop you off at the same path, for DW & I we got to stretch our legs and do a little 'Atlantis' resort shopping.
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Old 04-19-2013, 09:04 PM   #15
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Last time in Nassau we did the walking tour and really enjoyed it - http://www.frommers.com/destinations...251010008.html. Climb the Queen's Staircase and go to the fort at the top. The churches were really nice as well. You'll pass by the Pirate's Museum towards the end of the tour if you want to stop in. We didn't feel harassed by anyone and had little problems getting around using the map. If you aren't sure which way to go just....ASK someone!

On previous trips we got a day pass for the Hilton Hotel (walking distance from the ship). Spent a little time at the beach, more time at the pool, and had a nice lunch while looking out at the ships. If you have older kids or are traveling without kids, I'd recommend a day pass at the Sheraton.
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