Bahamas

Excursion Focus: British Colonial Hilton in Nassau, Bahamas

In:
03Apr2017

Odds are if you take a Royal Caribbean cruise to somewhere in the Caribbean, there is a good chance you will stop in Nassau, Bahamas.  Nassau is one of the busiest cruise ports in the region, and offers quite a variety of shore excursions to consider.

On a recent stop in Nassau while on Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas, we decided to check out a well-respected resort just steps away from the port that offers a day pass for guests to enjoy their facilities without breaking our budget.  

Description

Located a short walk from the cruise terminal in Nassau, the British Colonial Hilton resort faces the entrance to Nassau harbor, and offers guests full access to the resort's pristine beach and pool. Guests that want to enjoy pool and beach time will find a convenient option on lovely grounds. The resort underwent an extensive refurbishment in 2009.

We reserved our spot at the British Colonial Hilton through a third-party website, ResortForADay.com.  The site will reserve each person a place at the resort, which only sells a limited amount of day passes. The day pass includes

  • $40 food and beverage credit per paid adult
  • $20 food and beverage credit per paid child
  • Beach access
  • Beachfront swimming pool
  • Towels, pool chairs and lounges
  • Beach chairs and lounges, umbrellas
  • Non-motorized water sports: kayaks, snorkeling gear

Transportation to and from the resort is not provided, but considering the location of the British Colonial Hilton to the cruise port, it is largely unnecessary if a leisurely 10 minute walk is not out of the question. If you need to take a cab, the price is $9.00 based on two and $3.00 for each additional person. The cab ride is also 10 minutes away from the hotel.

Arriving at the resort, you will enter the cavernous lobby to check-in.  The day pass is good from 9am until sunset. The bar takes the last food orders at 4.30pm with the bar closing at 5pm. Guest are welcome to stay in outdoor pool / beach area until sunset, however the lifeguard leaves at 5:00.

Following check-in, guests receive a special wristband and can then head to the pool and/or beach.

The pool area is located just outside the lobby, past the lush garden. It is a good sized pool, with a shallow and deep end, suitable for anyone that is comfortable to swim.

There are also lots of lounge chairs surrounding the pool, but shaded spots are quite limited.  In fact, at the pool the only shad provided comes from trees, so if shade is important to you, be sure to arrive early in the morning to grab a spot.  If all else fails, there is shade under the bar.

The beach area is quite large, and offers a great view of Nassau harbor.  In fact, it is a fantastic spot to watch cruise ships arriving or leaving, provided you happen to be there when such an event occurs.

Your day pass admission also includes a food and beverage credit, which is enough money to cover a lunch entree and cocktail.  The patio bar food and drink pricing is on the expensive side. Most entrees are around $20 and a cocktail will set you back about $15.  Keep in mind that your food and beverage credit does not cover gratuity or taxes.

Comments

When we considered the British Colonial Hilton, we wanted to spend our day in Nassau with the option of spending our time in the ocean of pool without spending a ton.  We travel with two young children (ages six and two), so trying to predict if the pool or beach will be to their liking is always tough, and the British Colonial Hilton seemed to fit our group needs.

For the price, I felt like we got exactly what we wanted from our day at the Hilton.  While other resort day pass excursions may have offered more to do than the British Colonial Hilton, we felt like the resort offered a great experience at a reasonable price. The resort grounds are immaculately well-kept, and our kids had a blast swimming for nearly the entire day in the pool.

The most obvious alternative we considered was a day pass to the nearby Atlantis resort, but the price difference was massive.  Certainly Atlantis offers quite a bit more to do in an even more luxurious backdrop, however, the price for us was too much to consider.

The two negatives that I noticed from my time at the British Colonial Hilton were the lack of shade at the pool, and the very high price for food and drink.  We were lucky to have arrived before most of the other day pass guests, because we snagged shade under one of the few trees by the pool.  The food and drink prices are something to be aware of, and I would advise only indulging enough to use up your credits.  The cocktail prices make Royal Caribbean's drink prices look like a bargain, so your best bet is to skip the binge drinking for somewhere else.

Overall, we really enjoyed our time at the British Colonial Hilton because it was exactly what we were looking for: a relaxing spot for pool and beach time that would suit our family's needs. 

Cost: $65 per adult, $30 per child (ages 6-12. Children 5 and under are free).

Royal Caribbean International CEO meets with The Bahamas Governor General

In:
Category: 
20Sep2016

Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley met with the Governor General of The Bahamas on Monday in a formal visit.

BIS Photo/Letisha Henderson

The Bahamas Weekly reports that Bayley, along with other Royal Caribbean executives, met in Nassau with senior executives of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, paid a courtesy call upon Her Excellency Dame Marguerite Pindling, Governor General on September 19, 2016.

Michael Bayley is aboard Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas as part of the President's Cruise, in which Crown and Anchor Society members have been invited to cruise with Royal Caribbean CEO Michael Bayley.

Royal Caribbean releases 2014-2015 Short Caribbean and Bahamas Cruise Schedule

In:
Category: 
29Apr2013

Royal Caribbean announced its three- to five-night Caribbean and Bahamas cruises throughout 2014-15 that depart from Tampa, Port Canaveral, Port Everglades and Miami.  Nearly all of the ships offering these cruises have recently been refurbished to include up to 10 onboard dining options, more onboard amenities and better entertainment.

From Port Canaveral and Miami respectively, Enchantment of the Seas and Majesty of the Seas will continue year-round three- and four-night Bahamas cruises, calling at Nassau and CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s private island paradise in The Bahamas. On Majesty of the Seas’ four-night sailing, guests also call at Key West, Fla. At CocoCay, guests enjoy a private island with many watersports options; plenty of beautiful beaches to soak up the sun, sip refreshing cocktails, and enjoy a seaside barbeque lunch; and shopping at a colorful craft market.

Throughout the summer 2014 season, vacationers also can choose a Caribbean getaway from Port Everglades aboard Vision of the Seas. A four-night itinerary takes guests to Cozumel, Mexico, and two five-night itineraries take guests to Cozumel and Roatan, Honduras, on one, and another to Key West, Fla., and Grand Cayman. Guests also will delight in the high-flying, acrobatic musical production overhead in the four-deck high Centrum, while guests enjoy a cocktail at the new retro-chic R-Bar below.

Also from Port Everglades, Liberty of the Seas will sail four- and five-night Western Caribbean cruises for the winter 2014-15 season, offering the broadest range of innovative and popular amenities and entertainment that were introduced aboard the world-acclaimed Oasis-class and Freedom-class ships on a short cruise. Guests enjoy the FlowRider surf simulator, the four-bedroom, four-bathroom Presidential Family Suite – which can accommodate up to 14, as well as the exclusive DreamWorks Experience, featuring DreamWorks Animations’ lovable ogres Shrek and Fiona, Po the Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar’s Alex the Lion and Gloria the Hippo, a 3-D movie theater showing some of the latest DreamWorks Animation films, Broadway-musical Saturday Night Fever, and more. Liberty of the Seas’ four-night cruise calls at Cozumel, Mexico, and its two five-night itinerary calls at Cozumel and Belize City, Belize, on one, while another at Ocho Rios, Jamaica, and Labadee, Royal Caribbean’s private beach destination.

From Tampa, Brilliance of the Seas also will offer four-night cruises to Cozumel, and two five-night Cozumel itineraries, which will additionally call at Key West on one, and at Grand Cayman on another.

Bahamas approves Royal Caribbeans new emissions plan

In:
23Sep2012

The Bahamas Maritime Authority approved a new plan by Royal Caribbean to use an alternate way of calculating its compliance with new air pollution rules.

Royal Caribbean had asked to start a fleet-wide sulfur averaging and banking plan to comply with new restrictions on sulfur emissions that took effect on August 1. Those rules limit the sulfur content of marine fuel to 1%, to curb emissions of sulfur dioxide. 

Low-sulfur fuel is more expensive than heavy fuel oil, which can potentially raise the price of a cruise by $15 to $18 per day.

The new pollution calculations allow some Royal Caribbean ships exceed sulfur emission rules if other Royal Caribbean ships can run a surplus under the standard, or a single ship to balance the use of high and low sulfur fuel so that when averaged it meets the new requirement. 

It also provides credits for using shore power, exhaust scrubbers and liquid natural gas.

The U.S. Coast Guard and Canadian regulators have signed off on the plan, which has also been submitted to Malta, where other Royal Carubbean ships are flagged.

Royal Caribbean will be able to use the method for five years and can reapply after that.  

Bahamas tried to convince Royal Caribbean to build cruise port on Great Inagua

In:
26Jul2011

According to a Wikileaks message released by the site, the Bahamas government attempted to convince Royal Caribbean to build a cruise port on the island of Great Inagua, exploiting that island's 50,000 pink flamingos.

The message from February 23, 2004 indicates former Bahemian Prime Minister Perry Christie met with United States Ambassador Robert Witajewski and discussed the plans.  Christie was hoping Inagua's flamingo population would give the island a competitive advantage in attracting cruise ship passengers.

Witajewski's report to Washington also mentioned, "The Prime Minister also revealed that he was in negotiations to conclude an agreement with Royal Caribbean Cruise Line to build a deep water port at Great Inagua".

The report continued, "Though the island is currently barren, it is home to more than 50,000 pink flamingos, a huge Morton Salt plant and at least one nice beach. He was hoping that the flamingo national park would provide cruise ship passengers with an interesting diversion to the normal Caribbean port of call.

"Christie took on board charge's suggestion that costs of constructing a base on Great Inagua could effectively be reduced if any Royal Caribbean construction were to be made part of the Government of the Bahamas' plans."

That refers to plans also unveiled by Prime Minister Christie to construct a strategic Defence Force base at Inagua, in an attempt to combat drug and illegal immigrant trafficking, plus fisheries poaching.