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Port Focus: Nassau

03 Jun 2010

If you've been on a cruise before, more than likely, you've been to Nassau, Bahamas.  Nassau has become the ubiquitous stop for most cruisers due to it's proximity to the United States eastern shore cruising ports.  Many seem to have a love it or hate it opinion of the port but there's definitely good reason many ships make a stop here.

Nassau Benefits

  • Beaches: Nassau has an assortment of private and public beaches to choose from that are sure to please most beach goers.  While Nassau beaches aren't the absolute prettiest in the world, they do embody that typical Caribbean white sand and blue water motif that many seek on any vacation into the Caribbean.
    • Best private beach: Atlantis Resort
    • Best public beach: Cable Beach
  • Shopping: The downtown area near the dock area is easy to navigate and offers a variety of shopping options.  Nassau isn't known for having the best deal on much, but pricing here can be a bargain when compared to buying the items back in the United States.  Liquor tends to be a good deal, especially the local variety.
  • Historic landmarks: While not renown for its historical significance, there are some rather interesting historical landmarks to see at least once.  These relics from the British colonial era can be fascinating and educational to see.
    • Not to be missed landmarks: Queen's Staircase, Christopher Columbus Statue, Fort Charlotte

Nassau Detractions

  • "Pushy" locals: Nearly all ports in the Caribbean will have their share of locals trying to persuade tourists to get their hair braided or take a taxi cab or some other service.  While the pushiness in Nassau isn't as bad as other islands, it's still existent and can be an issue for those who do not like being approached.
  • Lack of exoticness: Even proponents of Nassau will admit that Nassau and Paradise Island aren't the most exotic of locations.  Other ports in the Caribbean tend to be much more exotic looking and intriguing a destination.

If you choose not to get off the ship at Nassau, be sure to look into deals on board the ship for deals as port days often bring better deals at the spa, among other locations.

Royal Caribbean Ships stopping in Nassau: Explorer of the Seas, Monarch of the Seas, Majesty of the Seas