1st cruise. Nassau excursion or stay onboard?

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by baleeve, May 17, 2013.

  1. baleeve

    baleeve "I want adventure in the great wide somewhere -- I

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    After doing a lot of reading on here its confusing as to whether to stay on board in Nassau or book a port adventure through Disney for me and two boys ages 10 and 8.I was thinking of either the Blue Lagoon adventure to hang out on the beach or maybe springing for the sea lion excursion.

    After reading about the elevated and recent violence in Nassau is it just better to stay on board? Or are Disney port adventures safe? Nassau is obviously a bit different these days than in recent past.

    Mexico was safe at one time to but now its very dangerous. So I would rather hear opinions based on current Nassau and not how it was 6 months to a year ago.
     
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  3. momtomattclare

    momtomattclare Mouseketeer

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    I can't comment on current safety in Nassau as I have never been. However, I took my first cruise in March for Spring Break. It was just me and my kids, age 5 and age 9 at the time. DH is a police officer and said he wasn't comfortable with us getting off there without him. I was initially a little disappointed. However, it was really absolutely for the best. We were only on a four day, and we definitely did not have time to do everything. Nassau port was our first full day. Given that we were still learning the ship, it was great to have a chance to explore with a little bit less people on board. Also pool was less crowded and Aquaduck line was shorter. This was very important to my 9 year old DS. Having now been once, for our family the ship is really what we enjoyed and why we have booked 3 more! Even on our CC day, my kids wanted to go back to the ship. Granted I think that may have been different if it had been warmer, but our CC day was quite cool (high 60s). I'm sure you will get varying opinions, but our experience was that four days was not enough time to try out everything on the ship so I have no regrets about skipping Nassau. Enjoy your trip!
     
  4. TinkBell10

    TinkBell10 DIS Veteran

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    I prefer to stay on the ship while in Nassau. But, not so much because of safety issues....more because we are "ship people" and would rather maximize our time on the ship than go ashore. While in port, the ship clears out significantly (in our experience, anyway). So, you have less lines for AquaDuck and fewer people in the pools. Other activities will have less people, too. So, you'll get more personalized attention.
     
  5. Cgracia30

    Cgracia30 Earning My Ears

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    We were there 2 weeks ago. I also felt very unsure. We ended up booking the glass bottom boat tour. We felt safe walking from boat, in group, to where the boat was. We didn't see anything strange or unusual. The tour itself was just mediocre. We saw some beautiful homes and got some nice pictures Of us on the boat. My 3 year old liked when e was given pieces of bread to grow to the fish.
    After the tour, we walked around a little and ended up at seƱor frogs for lunch. It was so busy and loud.
    We walked around the straw market. Yes, vendors tried to have us check out heir wares, but it wasn't anything over the top or too pushy.
    My son was getting tired so we browsed around and then headed back to ship. We didn't venture too deep in it - but it wasn't because we got a "bad vibe" or anything.
    I would say give it a shot and have an open mind. I don't remember which excursions you were doing, but have fun!

    Sent from my iPad using DISBoards
     
  6. NY Disney fan

    NY Disney fan DIS Veteran

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    This will be my first trip to Nassau and I am definitely getting off the ship. I booked a short excursion (chocholate factory) which is only 2 hours. Then we can get back on the boat. I want my daughter to see the world and experience things that she cannot see at home. They advise us not to bring bags on the excusion so I will wear one of those under the shirt security pouches (imagine a really flat waist pack).
     
  7. EPCOTatNight

    EPCOTatNight I am the Polynesian Parking guy and the Original D

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    I would never go anywhere and not get off the boat if I hadn't been before. Even if I just walked around the port, I would get off.

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  8. NokOnHarts

    NokOnHarts Mouseketeer

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    "Or are Disney port adventures safe?"

    As discussed at length in the other thread, there is reason for concern but what I wanted to point out is your question above. Are Disney port adventures possibly safer than going on your own? Probably but that is not a guarantee of safety, unfortunately. Cruise passengers who were on a ship port adventure have been robbed too. I believe this incident happened a few years ago but I think it's important to be alert no matter what you're doing, not just assume you're "with Disney" so you're free of risk. Here is an article on that incident. http://www.cruiselawnews.com/2009/1...ruise-ships-robbed-by-shotgun-in-the-bahamas/

    The point is that everyone is comfortable with a different level of risk. Is there risk? Yes, but I think it depends on what you're comfortable with and who the party is that you are traveling with. For me personally, if it was just my DH and me I would be more likely to get off the ship. As I will be traveling with two small children, I will choose to stay on board. That is my comfort level with the risk involved - everyone is different. Do what you feel comfortable with. Be smart, stay alert and if you feel unsure, change course. In the end, it's about having fun! I don't want to think about those things on vacation (that's why we do Disney... to escape all that! ;) ) So I'd rather just have fun on the ship, but that isn't for everyone.
     
  9. TwinPrincessMermaids

    TwinPrincessMermaids DIS Veteran

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    You've seen my pics, you know I love Sea Lion excursion. It's a delight the entire time for the family. The rest of the day on the beach is paradise. It is less magical though if you skip an animal encounter. Disney collects you at the theater, you all travel together, out to the pier you follow your Disney character sign for that tour, and they load you right on the ferry. You don't even have to go into the building if you don't want to. You can see the security right there. Its an escort and no public area from the pier to the Ferry. Once on the Ferry, it's only fellow tourists and staff and same with the island. (We kept an eye on our bags somewhat just from other tourists.) It was a great day for us as a family and takes you right away from the city.

    You will be getting a beach day at Castaway, so my recommendation would be to see the Sea Lions to make it magical. Otherwise, if you want two nice boat rides in the fancy channel (where all the $$$$ houses are), want to see where the sea lions and dolphins hang out and swim, want to swim in the lagoon or possibly snorkel (my thoughts are to wait for Castaway on that one) and sit in hammocks etc, than you will love it. There are also water trampolines and kayaks etc that cost like $10 or $15 to play on if you want.

    We loved our sea lion day. I think next time if our ship goes to Nassau, we will book the dolphins. They are both amazing. (However, Nassau is the only place I remember seeing Sea Lions offered and dolphins are offered in other places, that's why we did the Sea Lions this time. And because my sis absolutely LOVES SEALS! they are her favorite. It was a great day.)

    Bye bye sea lions!
    [​IMG]

    :wave2:
     
  10. Fantasiesabound

    Fantasiesabound Mouseketeer

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    I don't know personally for you, but I can tell you that you can see a LOT of the island from the ship. You will have a great view of beaches and Paradise Island and be able to see downtown too.

    I really would hate to be somewhere I have never been and not check it out - I don't think I could do that. I am too adventurous and love traveling all over the world.

    BUT I am worried now and think that because I have been to Nassau and been able to see Atlantis, which was a goal of mine from back when it was built, that now I am thinking long and hard about just staying on the ship to vote for added security with my wallet and try to pressure the Bahamian government, which seems too busy spying on people's facebook pages lately per their news, to care about adding security to the port.
     
  11. Kendal

    Kendal DIS Veteran

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    All of this stuff is not recent it has been happening for awhil you just need to take precaution... Stay in areas with a lot of people... It's no different than any big city just be aware of ur surroundings... Listin to your gut if u feel uneasy there's prolly a reason
     
  12. Fantasiesabound

    Fantasiesabound Mouseketeer

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    it's actually extremely recent - I said the same thing until after I was reading the same thread the OP refers to and went off to do my own research on the matter and became very disturbed by what I found within the last two months.
     
  13. baleeve

    baleeve "I want adventure in the great wide somewhere -- I

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    How it appears to me is that, like Mexico, Nassau violence has escalated due to lack of enforcement and therefore has gotten much more brazen. Meaning, before you had to be in the wrong place, clueless, not aware of your surroundings. NOW, you can simply be in a well-traveled and popular area and find a gun to your head.

    After the innocent bystander who tried to help someone during a robbery was killed, many would think twice before coming to your rescue.

    I guess I was trying to get a feel for how much safer DCL adventures were and twinprincess touched on that.

    Listen, I'm not a pansy. I am a Navy girl, lived in New Orleans, brought my boys into the city; we went to NYC last month and toured around. BUT, its different when you are in your own city where the laws are enforced (for the most part).

    But let me tell you something, I live in Boston and after 4 people were killed and over 100 people SEVERELY injured by simply attending a marathon...I have begun to question my surroundings MUCH more. There next target was Times Square.

    I am not going to climb under a rock and shield my boys - I'm a female solo traveler who took 10 days and toured the state of CA by myself. If I had thought about all the variables that could have happened during that trip- chances are I wouldn't have gone. And I would have missed out on some amazing experiences. BUT....

    But we not talking what if's here.....we are taking recent fact with clear examples.

    So I thought I'd get a feel for if- in the last few months - did you feel safe in Nassau - and if you took a DCL adventure - did you feel it had more security and you felt you were better protected.
     
  14. Fantasiesabound

    Fantasiesabound Mouseketeer

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    I hope some more people can answer this also because I feel the exact same way after knowing so many who are now forever scarred.

    I really want to feel safe doing the DCL excursions if I choose to do this. But I can't ignore that we have this coming from the consulate:

    http://nassau.usembassy.gov/msg-011613.html
    I was in WDW for the bombings and I was so comforted by the security forces that were suddenly so visible in WDW and the dogs scouring the monorail as we were trying to reach everyone back home.

    Maybe this is what is making me so cautious this upcoming trip to Nassau too.
     
  15. TwinPrincessMermaids

    TwinPrincessMermaids DIS Veteran

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    Just an FYI, when you take a Ferry or a Catamaran, they pick you UP with an escort right at the cruise ship pier. No problems, no public.

    However, the DROP OFF is different. They drop you off right in front of the straw market which was fine for us because we had some shopping to do, but it is NOT escorted. You can walk along the 'boardwalk' or whatever it is and get right on the ship if you want. There are many of crowds here, and its not night time or anything, but you are on your own to get back to the ship. This even included the final 4pm ferry from BL that day.

    Just wanted you to be mindful of that. You will have an escort by security getting ON, but you will NOT have one getting off.

    It wasn't a problem for us, but we kept an eye on our surroundings, only went to the 2 shops, went no where NEAR Senor Frogs and got right back on board.

    If the idea of getting back to the ship on your own concerns you, than you may want to do it really early in the day (before 4) or stay on board the ship.

    I just want you to have the whole clear picture and not think "Hey we had security when we got on to the ferry, but now they are dropping us off here" and being unprepared for that. It's still very much in clear visibility for the cruise ship, no more than 5-10 min walk.

    Just FYI my lovelies!
     
  16. EPCOTatNight

    EPCOTatNight I am the Polynesian Parking guy and the Original D

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    Where did you live when you lived in New Orleans. I ask because I am typing this from Federal City, formerly known as Naval Support Activity.

    Sent from my iPad using DISBoards
     
  17. Kendal

    Kendal DIS Veteran

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    There are some things that are recent but they habe been warning of criminal activity for awhile this stuff happens all over the place... And if u feel uncomfortable then best bet is to leave... For the most part I agree with everyone else lack of police.... Know one would get robbed in front of a officer .... Bottom line is no matter where you are... United States or traveling abroad just pay attention to your surroundings... When we go ashore we leave all valuables in the safe just use common sense... And pray for the family from Chicago that lost a loves one trying to help another !
     
  18. chandlermolly

    chandlermolly Earning My Ears

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    My family was in Nassau for another cruise in October, and we did not do a shore excursion. We chose to go out on our own. We are doing a Disney Cruise in July, and I will either do an organized excursion or stay on the ship. There were times where we did not know where we were going, and it made me feel a bit nervous. We did not have an incidents, though. The straw market is very high pressure and was uncomfortable for my young children. I think we will probably skip that this time, also.
     

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