We will be on the 4 night Bahamas cruise next week and I cannot decide whether to stay on the ship on our Nassau day or spend some time in town. Various internet sites have conflicting advice and assessments, so I thought I would try to experts. Any experience or wisdom to share?
I’ve never done a Disney cruise but have done others which have stopped in Nassau over the years. I find the area of the cruise port to be dirty and sketchy. We don’t get off the ship anymore. I wish the cruise lines would remove this stop from the itins, but on the other hand it’s nice to have the ship “to ourselves” for the day while there.
There has been a pretty strong travel advisory recently - although this is really not new. I was there in April and my ship stayed overnight. The first day we walked to the public beach- Junkanoo
We had to walk past hundreds of people wanting to sell us goods, or private taxi rides, but we never felt unsafe.
The next day we went on a walking beer/brewery tour. A local led the tour and he just told everyone to leave us alone- and no one tried to sell us anything!
Thanks very much. I think we will stay on the ship!
We are going on a 4 nighter in April with a stop in Nassau. We plan to get off the boat, if only for 30 minutes or so, so that my kids can say the’ve been in another country. Yes, I know Castaway Cay is another country, but we want them to see some of the local flavor, as we want them to appreciate life in the U.S. The hope is to get off the boat, maybe walk around for 30-45 minutes and then head back and enjoy the ship. We thought about Atlantis. I’ve been there without the family, but I don’t think the prices are anywhere near worth it. It’s as much or more than a day at WDW and that’s not even a close comparison. And I wasn’t THAT impressed with it when I stayed there back in 2015 for a track meet.
I can say that at least DCL ships are NOT empty on Nassau Day. They’re not quite as busy as a sea day, but MANY people stay on board. Just so you’re prepared that the ship is not “empty” like you’ll see people say.
We did an eco-tour excursion to Blue Lagoon Island and it was an awesome day!
Our guide Ashley took us around the island, pointing out new plants and telling us about the “bush medicine” they use it for. Did you know the Bahamas has their own version of “poison ivy” and like poison ivy, you’ll find the antidote tree nearby? It’s called Jumbo Limbo. We climbed to the top of an old lookout tower and had a spectacular view over the turquoise water.
After the tour we went out and snorkeled on the north side of the island. There were huge waves coming in and I had to keep swimming the whole time. We saw a lot of fish and it felt like a great adventure!
After that we went to the calm, lagoon side of the island and rented a kayak. It was a little to small to enjoy kayaking through, but the shallow, calm water was good for kids to play in.
They also have dolphin and sting-ray encounters at Blue Lagoon and paddle boat rentals.
Lunch was great there, too. We didn’t get the buffet, we bought fish tacos and they were so good.
We took the 2pm water shuttle back to Nassau and wanted to walk around and see the city and try some food or drink to learn about the culture there. However we were disappointed that it was mostly tourist shops. I thought for sure I could find a fruity tropical smoothie or something but I indignantly had to settle for a lemonade from Wetzel’s Pretzels! I couldn’t believe it.
So, I wouldn’t go if you’re just planning to walk around town. Unless you do more research and find some places worth visiting. But for the Blue Lagoon island day, it’s worth it!
thanks very much to all for the great feedback! we are on the DCL bus to Canaveral now and very happy with our plan to stay on the ship tomorrow!!!
This is where I want to go on our next Nassau port day.
We had a fine time at Junkanoo Beach in 2014 and also took in the Pirates museum.
So thought I would close the loop to thank you all once again and report that in the end, DH said he really felt like he needed to get off the ship and see at least the nearby area. So at 1pm we got off, I walked him around a bit, took him to see the Straw Market – fending sellers off at all points, and after 45 minutes he said “OK, that’s good, let’s get back on the ship.”
I do think that I might in future do one of the excursions to a secluded beach, but otherwise Nassau is best experienced from Deck 11 of the Dream…