Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by smilie, Mar 1, 2010.
Tell me about your Nassau excursion experiences. Anything and everything!
Nassau is pretty run down and dirty.... that being said, we did Atlantis(via renting a room at Comfort Suites) and we absolutely LOVED our day at Atlantis.... so much that, I really didn't fall in love with the disney cruise(shhh... don't blast me on that one).... but my kids did like it and they have convinced me to do the Dream next year. At first I said no, but then they said, we can do Atlantis again.... and that changed my mind. They have a great kid pool area too as I see your cutie pie in your post there. (although we went there last as I would never have seen the rest of the resort had we gone their first, they would not have wanted to leave).
No can do. Nassau is pretty much a pit, and the only thing I enjoyed there was the Segway tour, which, as far as I know, is not offered any more.
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Enjoy the Bahamas for "what it is". Most Americans don't travel to foreign countries much (if ever), and there are hundreds of posts on these very DISBoards sharing dismay over how Nassau is so "<insert derogatory adjective here>". The Bahamas is indeed a foreign country.. and a poorer Caribbean nation at that... so expect things to be different from your local yuppie-approved shopping mall. I'd recommend avoiding the tourist traps and enjoying what the Bahamas is best known for -- a simple relaxing day at the beach, doing nothing but soaking up sun, digging your toes in the sand, and drinking your favorite drink. Your day in Nassau will be much better experienced (and remembered) if you don't expect it to be pre-packaged and "picture perfect" like Disney World.
That being said -- we have had lots of beach fun at Cabbage Beach, the free public beach down the road from Atlantis. My review is here: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2279215
We didn't pay for any excursions. We've been there twice and enjoyed it very much both times.
The first time on our honeymoon, we just walked around had a couple beers at local places, checked out the market and went to the beach.
Second time, we had kids so we just did the beach.
We prefer Cabbage Beach. It is free. Locals sell (or try to sell) you stuff but once you have said no thanks once or twice-they leave you alone.
Guys make very strong rum drinks, very cheap served up in a coconut.
To us, enjoying a more local vibe was more appealing than shelling out money for the touristy stuff.
We didn't pay to do anything and just toured it on our own. We got off the ship early, saw what we wanted, and enjoyed the rest of our time on the ship by the pool while everyone else was on their excursions. We are taking the kids in Dec. on the Wonder for 4 days (first family cruise on DCL) and we have decided to just stay on the ship as we know all the kids are going to want to do is swim. Heck they pick our WDW resort based on the pool.
If you need to be sold on Nassau, don't bother...just stay on the ship.
I've been there countless times and don't bother to disembark anymore although it's always good to check out a new place, even briefly, so you can say that you did. Ironically, we loved the Segway tour and were going to do it again until the robbery...now we only get off to pick up rum tea for a friend of mine and hightail it back on board.
Sorry no selling from me either!! When we went in August we did the Atlantis through Comfort Suites and enjoyed it so I can recommend that. When we went this past January we walked around the shops from port & let me tell you, my whole family couldn't wait to get back on ship!! From the moment we got off being bothered walking to the shops to walking in the shops & getting stared at in such an uncomfortable way. We were disappointed that the Dream was going to Nassau but since we wanted to get on the ship had no choice so we will not be getting off.
A new version of the Segway tour is offered along the beach. We are signed up to do it on our 4/25 cruise. I booked it direct, not through Disney.
The first time we went to Nassau we did the dolphin swim at Blue Lagoon and liked that. The second time we visited the pirate museum and then walked around the shops and had lunch. That was fine, too.
When we went to Nassau, we did the Frommer's Walking Tour (google it). We really enjoyed walking through the town and seeing the same highlights you would see if you were on the city tour. I was very glad the girls went into the library...certainly nothing like any library we have in our area. The Queen's staircase was impressive as was Fort Fincastle. There was even a flea market outside of Fort Fincastle where I bought old license plates for our garden. After completing the walking tour near the straw market, we walked around a bit and made our way back to the ship.
We always try to do something different than we've done before so next time we might do the beaches or Atlantis. We had a good time for the amount of time we spent there.
We were just in Nassau via the Wonder (first trip to Bahamas). Didn't book an excursion, and was glad for it as the weather wasn't great (rainy, but warm). We got off early, walked through town a few blocks to visit the Pirates of Nassau Museum (highly recommend--it was informative and fun!) and then stopped at Tortuga Rum Company for rum cakes before heading back to the ship. We were back in time to grab an early-ish lunch. For us the rain precluded a trip to the beach.
We had friends who cruised with us, who had booked the 'swim with dolphins' excursion. They highly recommended it--and said that the light rain was no bother for that excursion. Our tablemates did the Atlantis package, and highly recommended that, even with the rain.
My kids are old enough that I wanted them to see that not everywhere looks/feels/sounds like our little corner of SE Michigan. We were mindful of our surroundings, but I never felt threatened or unsafe (and it was just me and my kids, DH wasn't cruising with us). I've lived in rough parts of West Baltimore--it didn't feel any dirtier or less safe than that to me. Personally I'd recommend getting off the boat for at least a little bit, especially if you've never been there before.
Just my 2 cents though--ymmv.
I can't sell you on Nassau. While Atlantis is awesome ( we honeymooned there) I think it is way overpriced, especially for one day. The straw market is an excellent chance for locals to bombard you with hair wrap offers and driving services. I like an adventure...but...
However, last time we did a 3 stop snorkel trip through Shoretrips that was amazing...and works with Disney's port hours (doesn't work with all cruises). The third snorkel was above Caribbean reef sharks! We took our three oldest kids (15, 10 and 10) and left the youngest onboard (age 4). It was such a great excursion and very affordable!
On our first cruise our youngest was 10 and we chose to walk around to really get the feel of it.
We never felt threatened either, uncomfortable yes BUT that was what we wanted to show him. That "we were not in Maine (Kansas) anymore". It was eye opening.
To us part of travel is seeing how ohters live, not just the touristy areas. Of course to each their own though.
I agree with the others who say that they get off the boat to go to Nassau to allow their families that this is how people live in other places in the world. I have never been to Nassau, but I have been to plenty of countries in Europe, the Caribbean and Africa. This, however, will be my two DSs first trip outside the US. Nassau is a good first trip for them.
Our plan is to shun touristy stuff and walk the streets. I've noticed that robbers look for touristy places to rob, but a single, small group that walks around in well-lit, heavily populated areas without big bags can sometimes avoid being a target for robbers. (You can't help some things like the quality of your clothes and shoes, though.)
And here's a good thing about people: Most people aren't looking to rob you. Most times, if you are friendly, they are friendly.
We are really looking forward to Nassau. It sounds like we can have some fun there.
Just wanted to add, the 2 times I've went to Nassau I NEVER felt UNsafe. The last time we went, I walked around by myself (hubby and kids went back to the ship). I was never approached by anyone on the streets or anything that made me uncomfortable. I have walked much scarier streets in the states
Agreed. For our first trip, we did the dolphin excursion at Blue Lagoon and I would recommend that as well.
Another vote for the Blue Lagoon excursions. We booked 3 dolphin encounters for me and DDs 7 and 9, and 2 "watchers" (DH and DS5). My girls and I LOVED the dolphin encounter. We all loved the beach. After we finished the encounter (book the earliest slots available), we lounged on the beach until the last tender left at 4 pm. My kids did not want to leave. It was quiet and relaxing and the water was fantastic. The place that rented the aqua bikes lent sand toys to my kids for free. Another excursion (maybe the beach day?) included lunch, ours did not. If you decide to go to Blue Lagoon and lunch is not included, be sure to bring food with you. The selections at the snack bar and extremely limited.
Nassau is what you make of it. The 1st time we went, we shopped on the main drag and went to the straw market to say we have been there. We also took a cab to Atlantis and went to the casino and saw the aquarium. Another time we booked the forts and Junk-a-noo tour with DCL. We loved that tour, great frun at the Junk-a-noo place. Next time will be the Blue lagoon.
Any other snorkeling recommendations? This is something I'd like my kids to experience but maybe not the 3 stop trip listed earlier in the thread.
We went once and never again! DD reminded me of our upcoming cruise that we have TWO "at sea" days!! Every step of the way was creepy and weird.
Saw a man throw food at an old woman right outside of the Starbucks area, and saw (and smelled) people smoking weed right around us! We were totally uncomfortable the entire walk with our dd's. But we only have ourselves to blame-it's a THIRD WORLD COUNTRY. Yeah, we can say "we went there", but it was never worth the risk we felt while there.
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