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CDC says travel for fully vaccinated people has "low risk"

By: Matt Hochberg

Could this be a major step towards getting cruise ships sailing again?

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued new guidance on Friday that people that are fully vaccinated can safely travel at "low risk".

The new advice comes after months of the CDC urging all Americans to avoid any kind of non-essential travel.

The CDC’s new guidance says fully vaccinated people do not need Covid-19 tests before international travel unless it is required by the international destination and vaccinated people returning from foreign travel do not need to self-quarantine after returning to the United States, unless required by state or local authorities.

Grandparents that have been fully vaccinated can fly to visit grandkids without getting a Covid-19 test or self-quarantining as long as they follow CDC advice for traveling safely.

Specifically, the CDC provided the following guidance:

  • Fully vaccinated people can travel internationally without getting a COVID-19 test before travel unless it is required by the international destination.
  • Fully vaccinated people do not need to self-quarantine after returning to the United States, unless required by a state or local jurisdiction.
  • Fully vaccinated people should still have a negative COVID-19 test result before they board a flight to the United States and get a COVID-19 test 3 to 5 days after returning from international travel.
  • Fully vaccinated people should continue to take COVID-19 precautions while traveling internationally.

Why the change? Studies show the "real-world'' effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines.

There is no change on guidance for people that are not fully vaccinated. The CDC discourages non-essential domestic travel by those who are not fully vaccinated.

This announcement comes on the heels that the CDC will be issuing new guidance to cruise lines very soon so that they can resume service.

Apart from cruise lines, no other sector of travel has been subject to actually adhering to the CDC's guidance. Airlines, theme parks, casinos and hotels have all been able to do whatever they want in regard to their operations.

Meanwhile, the cruise industry remains shutdown in the United States due to CDC regulations.

Cruise lines have already committed themselves to 100% testing for all passengers and crewenhanced HVAC and air circulation, and a multi-faceted approach to mitigate the risk of spread on a cruise ship.

Report: CDC will issue new guidance for cruise ships "shortly"

By: Matt Hochberg

Believe it or not, it looks like perhaps the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) may be giving cruise lines instructions on how to resume sailings.

Miami-Dade mayor Daniella Levine Cava posted on social media that she had a conversation with the CDC Director, who informed her the agency will be providing cruise lines "shortly" with new guidance.

"We are excited that the CDC will shortly be issuing new guidelines for a restart of cruising," Mayor Cava said in a statement.

It does not appear the CDC will go as far as to scrap the Framework for Conditional Sail Order(CSO) all together, as the cruise industry as hoped. Rather, guidance for the next phases, including how Covid-19 vaccines will be accounted for, will be issued in the next few days.

"We are excited that the CDC will shortly be issuing new guidelines for a restart to cruising, taking into consideration the advancements made possible by the vaccine, and we are eager to work with the CDC and cruise industry as a positive partner and a resource. Some may want to sue, but we want to sail, and we are ready to collaborate to make sure the Cruise Capital of the World can lead the way to rebuild this critical industry. "

More than a week ago, Mayor Cava sent a letter to the CDC in order to get an answer about when cruises might restart

Her letter, along with a flurry of statements and letters from other politicians and cruise industry officials, have been a vocal show of support for cruise lines that remain shutdown for well over a year due to CDC regulation.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava

The issue many, including Mayor Cava, have pointed out is the fact cruise lines were given a four phase plan to restart cruises in October 2020, and are still stuck in phase one.

Cruise industry organization Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has been leading the charge lately to get cruise ships going again by imploring the public to reach out to elected officials to compel the CDC to open things up.

CLIA's goal was to get the CSO lifted so that cruises could resume in July.

Update: The CDC has updated the Conditional Sail Order with new instructions

Cautious optimism

Mayor Cava's statement is refreshing, but cruise lines are far from able to announce a restart of sailings from the U.S. yet.

Ever since the CDC replaced the No Sail Order with the CSO in October, there have been many points along the way that seemed to indicate cruise ships might get the green light, only for those hopes to be dashed when nothing happened.

A very public example of this was back in February 2021 when Royal Caribbean President and CEO Michael Bayley told investors he was expecting technical instructions from the CDC for the next phase of operations "any day".

"We're literally expecting the technical specifications any day soon," Mr. Bayley told investors.

While Mayor Cava's statement is encouraging, there has been no official statement by the CDC regarding anything related to cruise ships.

Royal Caribbean trademarks "America's Cruise Line"

By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean wants to be your hometown cruise line.

The cruise giant registered a new trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for the phrase "America's Cruise Line".

The new registration was created on March 27, 2021, and contains a description that seems to indicate it is related to computer software.

Computer software for use with travel, namely, for searching databases of entertainment information, and organizing, planning and scheduling of entertainment activities, containing information about casinos, restaurants, bars and hotels, for making reservations and bookings for restaurants, transportation and entertainment events and activities, for viewing available entertainment activities and planning and scheduling of entertainment activities, for viewing and tracking details of travel charges and purchases, containing maps and location information and providing directions thereto, to authenticate users of online chat rooms for social networking; Downloadable software for use with travel, namely, software for obtaining boarding passes, for searching databases of entertainment information, and organizing, planning and scheduling of entertainment activities, containing information about casinos, restaurants, bars and hotels, for making reservations and bookings for restaurants, transportation, spa, excursions, and entertainment events and activities, for viewing available entertainment activities and planning and scheduling of activities, for viewing and tracking details of travel charges and purchases, containing maps and location information and providing directions thereto, and to authenticate users of online chat rooms, for social networking

If the description does not provide a great deal of insight into what the intended use of this trademark is, you should not be surprised.

Update: In a twist, it appears Carnival recently used this phrase and perhaps Royal Caribbean jumped at the opportunity to coin the term.

Last week, Carnival Cruise Line CEO Christine Duffy said in a video, "I've always said Carnival Cruise Line is America's cruise line."

Other companies that have famously referred to themselves as America's favorite include:

  • "America's Team" - Dallas Cowboys
  • “America's Airline to the World” - Pan American Airlines
  • "America's Hometown" - Plymouth, Massachusetts
  • "America Runs on Dunkin" - Dunkin Donuts

Quite often Royal Caribbean trademarks words and phrases with little to no detail on how it may or may not be used.

In fact, it is common for a trademark to be filed but never actually reach the consumer for many reasons.

Ship names, new products, and concepts related to cruising are just some of the use cases for a new trademark.

In April 2020, Royal Caribbean registered a name for its own brand of face mask, as well as "make ship happen" slogan.  Thus far, none of these have been used.

However, they did trademark other names that ended up being used, such as the tracelet and emuster.

Royal Caribbean CEO calls next-gen Icon Class cruise ships a "game changer"

By: Matt Hochberg

With Royal Caribbean taking delivery of its final Quantum Class cruise ship, the cruise line is starting to look to the future with its next new class of ships.

Following the delivery of another Oasis Class ship next year, Royal Caribbean is poised to welcome the first of its Icon Class ships in 2023.

During a webinar with travel agents on Wednesday, Royal Caribbean International President and CEO talked a little bit about the Icon Class, calling it "a real game changer".

"We have the brand new Icon class coming, which is going to be a real game changer."

Mr. Bayley compared the Icon Class to the impact on the industry the Oasis Class had.

"We're not at the point where we're going to say anything about Icon, but we've been designing, concepting, and working on Icon Class now for ...three to four years."

"When you think about what a game changer Oasis class was and is, Icon is the next generation the evolution of Oasis."

When Royal Caribbean released its earnings statements to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in December 2020, an updated delivery schedule indicates the Icon Class is scheduled to debut:

  • Unnamed first Icon class ship delivery in 3rd Quarter 2023
  • Unnamed second Icon class ship delivery in 2nd Quarter 2025
  • Unnamed third Icon class ship delivery in 2nd Quarter 2026

Mr. Bayley spoke of the basis on which the Icon Class ships are planned around, "It is based upon the three kind of design principles of our ships, which is tradition, evolution and revolution."

"We are very respectful of all of the elements of the experience that our guests truly love, and we don't mess with certain things."

"And then we know that many things need to evolve because of changing customer needs and wants and desires. And then we always have to add elements to the completely revolutionary, and Icon will deliver on all three of those."

What we know so far about Icon Class

Few details are publicly known about the Icon Class, but it is the name of the next new class of cruise ships Royal Caribbean has in store.

The ship will be built in Finland (Meyer Turku shipyard). Each ship will be powered by a combination of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and fuel cell technology.

At 200,000 tons, the as-yet-unnamed vessels will be bigger than Royal Caribbean's Quantum class ships but not as big as the Oasis class ships.

In addition, Royal Caribbean filed a trademark for Icon of the Seas, which could be the name of the first ship.

Royal Caribbean extends Quantum of the Seas Singapore season

By: Matt Hochberg

Quantum of the Seas is doing so well in Singapore that she will stay there even longer.

Royal Caribbean announced on Thursday Quantum of the Seas will remain in Singapore through October 2021, marking 11 months sailing from her homeport.

This is the second time Royal Caribbean has extended her cruise season from Singapore, which was slated to end in June 2021.

In partnership with the Singaporean government, Quantum of the Seas has been allowed to cruise through a series of strict protocols and safety requirements.

Exemplifying the hard work and effective protocols is the fact Quantum has had over 50,000 guests sail onboard with zero positive Covid-19 cases to date.

Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley is extremely proud of how safe and successful these sailings have been, "Royal Caribbean’s 30-plus sailings in Singapore offer a real-life, validated model of how cruising can be a unique, safe vacation beyond what many other travel options can offer."

"I'm confident we'll continue to see how successful cruising can be through a combination of our proven, healthy and safe practices, which are informed by the Healthy Sail Panel’s 74 recommendations, and the rollout of vaccines around the world."

Read moreHow cruising changed on Royal Caribbean's first cruise back

The new sailings will include 2-, 3- and 4-night cruises to nowhere, where the ship makes no port stops along the way.

These new sailings will be available to Singapore residents and open to book on April 13, 2021.

The layered approach to health of crew members and guests will continue, such as COVID-19 testing, reduced sailing capacity, physical distancing measures, enhanced cleaning and sanitizing processes, and industry-leading contact tracing.

Read moreCDC asks Royal Caribbean to share covid safety technology from its cruise ships

Quantum has been a shining light for Royal Caribbean while the rest of the fleet remains dormant.

In the meantime, the sailings from Singapore have been an invaluable source to demonstrate proof of concept approaches for safe sailing.

Angie Stephen, vice president and managing director, Asia-Pacific, Royal Caribbean International, added that with the new protocols in place, guest satisfaction actually went up, "We have seen guest satisfaction ratings jump since we started sailing this past December."

Thanks in part to the success of Quantum of the Seas in Singapore, Royal Caribbean is planning to restart other ships around the world, including Adventure of the Seas from Nassau and Anthem of the Seas from Southampton.

Royal Caribbean CEO "worried" CDC will give "pretty outdated" instructions for cruise ship restart

By: Matt Hochberg

The entire cruise industry has been on the offensive over the last few weeks to compel the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to lift its ban on cruise ships, perhaps to avoid belaboring new requirements.

During a webinar with travel agents, Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley urged travel agents to tell their government representatives to allow cruise ships to sail again because he fears what may come next.

Mr. Bayley used the word, "worried" to describe what the CDC may tell cruise lines to do if they actually provided any kind of guidance.

"We're worried that the guidance that we're going to get is going to be pretty outdated."

He noted that it has been, "many, many months since we've had any guidance", and added "we're kind of concerned".

This concern has compelled Royal Caribbean and other cruise lines to ask U.S. citizens to write to their elected officials to ask them to call on the CDC to allow cruise ships to sail again.

Through the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), there is an easy form anyone can use to email, call, and/or tweet elected officials with a short message to voice their support for getting ships to sail again.

"Just put in a little bit of information and then it automatically populate your local representative, elected officials basically saying, come on, let's get this cruise restarted."

Mr. Bayley's words follow months of inaction by the CDC to provide any kind of information to cruise lines that would allow them to resume cruises.

Cruise ships have been shutdown in the United States since March 2020, when the cruise industry volunteered to stop cruising in the early days of the global health crisis.  Since then, the CDC instituted a ban on cruise ships.

The hope is a write-in program that CLIA has set up will allow cruise ships to sail again from the United States as early as July.

CLIA President and CEO Kelly Craighead believes strict health protocols and the rapid pace of vaccination are what is needed for cruise ships to safely return to service, " the successful resumption of cruising in other parts of the world demonstrates that a return to cruising can and should occur here as well."

Lifting the CSO

The Framework for Conditional Sailing Order (CSO) is the policy instituted by the CDC that prevents cruise ships from sailing in U.S. waters at this time.

By lifting the CSO, cruise lines would not have to conduct test sailings, or any of the other requirements outlined by the CSO. Instead, cruise lines would implement new health protocols and rule changes aimed at making ships as safe as possible.

By keeping cruise lines shutdown, CLIA claims it has cost jobs and revenue to the U.S. economy.

CLIA estimates restarting cruises as part of the broader travel industry will provide a much-needed boost to the U.S. economy—with the cruise industry supporting nearly 450,000 American jobs and contributing over $55.5 billion annually, prior to the pandemic.  

First look photos around newly delivered Odyssey of the Seas

By: Matt Hochberg

Odyssey of the Seas was delivered today to Royal Caribbean, and we have our first look at some areas around the ship.

The 25th ship in the fleet, Odyssey was handed over today during a virtual ceremony.

Royal Caribbean Group Chairman and CEO Richard D. Fain, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International Michael Bayley, and Master of Odyssey of the Seas Captain Per Kristoffersen received the new ship from Meyer Werft Yard’s Managing Partner Bernard Meyer and Managing Director Jan Meyer in the customary handover ceremony with a virtual twist.

The new ship weighs 169,000 gross tons and measures 1,138 feet (347 meters) long and 135 feet (41 meters).

Sneak peek around Odyssey

Royal Caribbean will celebrate the delivery a bit later today, but the excitement has already started with new photos from onboard.

Royal Caribbean and Meyer Werft shipyard shared a sneak peek at a few areas of the ship.

First up is North Star, the observational pod on Odyssey of the Seas that lifts guests 300-feet above the ocean.

Guests board an all-glass observation capsule that takes them for a short ride up in the air to enjoy some incredible views.

One noticeable difference on Odyssey of the Seas compared to other ships is the color of North Star's Arm.  On Odyssey it is white and lime green, whereas other ships have a white and navy blue motif.

North Star on Quantum of the Seas

North Star is a complimentary activity, and can be booked onboard the ship or prior to the cruise via the Cruise Planner.

Your best bet is to book North Star before your cruise, because reservations go quickly due to high demand.

Next, is a look at Royal Caribbean’s first Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar.

Royal Caribbean has reimagined its classic Italian specialty restaurant, which will debut on Odyssey of the Seas. The photo shared has a look at the pizza menu.

According to Royal Caribbean, the new restaurant will serve up " rustic Italian dishes and a contemporary flair."

No Royal Caribbean cruise ship is complete without a rock-climbing wall.

Ever since rock-climbing walls first debuted on Voyager of the Seas in 1999, all ships have featured this signature activity.

Guests can choose to climb up different paths based on their difficulty, with the goal of reaching the top and ringing a bell.

Last, but not least, we have a look at the Sky Pad.

Another complimentary activity, the Sky Pad is a virtual reality, bungee trampoline adventure. Guests put on a VR headset, and then get strapped into a bungee harness that allow them to easily jump on trampolines while traversing a virtual world only they can see.

Another signature venue of any Royal Caribbean ship is the Schooner Bar.

Featuring a nautical theme, the Schooner Bar is where you can go to enjoy live music, cocktails, and many events throughout the day

Delivery today

Royal Caribbean will celebrate the delivery of Odyssey of the Seas with a special online event for cruise fans on March 31, 2021.

Meyer Werft Executive Director Jan Meyer celebrated the launch of the last Quantum class ship, "We have now successfully delivered the third cruise ship from Papenburg to our customers during the pandemic. This is an important sign of the strength of our yard and the entire industry."

You can tune into the live feed via Royal Caribbean's Facebook page beginning at 5:00 p.m. EDT.

The event will feature Odyssey of the Seas' ship's blessing, and a performance from onboard the show in Two70.

Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas will sail from UK in Summer 2021

By: Matt Hochberg

Count Royal Caribbean in among the cruise lines that will offer cruises from the UK this summer.

Royal Caribbean announced Anthem of the Seas will begin sailing from Southampton beginning July 7, 2021.

Anthem will offer a combination of 4-night cruises to nowhere in early July and 5- to 8-night British Isles cruises, starting 15th July, that feature visits to destinations such as Liverpool, England, Kirkwall in Scotland and Belfast, Northern Ireland. 

The new Anthem of the Seas sailings will go on sale April 7th.

All crew members onboard will be fully vaccinated, and at this time, the cruises are only available to be booked by UK residents above the age of 18 who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and those under the age of 18 with negative test results.

The cruise line says current health and safety measures, like others, may evolve as they are evaluated on an ongoing basis.

Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley celebrated the news of Anthem sailing from the UK this summer, "The UK is a place we hold near and dear to our heart at Royal Caribbean. We miss our UK guests and are as eager as they are to get back to cruising from Southampton."

"We are delighted with the UK government’s recent announcements regarding cruising and excited to set sail again with a phenomenal ship and favorite such as Anthem of the Seas. After a tough year, we all need a holiday, but no one more so than the emergency services, NHS, social care sector and armed forces who will have the long-awaited opportunity to get away and relax with total peace of mind."

Details on the health and safety measures to be implemented for the summer cruises in the UK will be announced at a later date.

With Anthem of the Seas restart, it becomes the 6th ship that will be able to restart cruises this year, following a number of ships Royal Caribbean has announced plans for new sailings this summer.

  • Adventure of the Seas from Nassau, Bahamas
  • Vision of the Seas from Bermuda
  • Jewel of the Seas from Cyprus
  • Odyssey of the Seas from Haifa, Israel
  • Grandeur of the Seas from Barbados

Announcements like this have been the slow and methodical means Royal Caribbean has been able to resume cruises while the United States maintains its ban on cruise ships.

Thank you giveaway

In addition to announcing the new sailings, Royal Caribbean said it will also offer 999 staterooms to the UK's first responders.

As a way of saying thank you to the people who have worked so hard during the global health crisis, Royal Caribbean will offer 999 free staterooms on its first Ocean Getaways to those UK residents in these professions:

  • Emergency services
  • National Health Service (NHS)
  • Social care sector
  • Armed forces

To be eligible for one of the free sailings, UK residents must be able to show proof of an official Blue Light Card, which is available to those working in the emergency services, NHS, social care sector and armed forces. 

 Pre-registration for guests eligible for one of the 999 free staterooms open on 13th April, and final names will be drawn from a ballot by the end of April.

Pre-registrations will be entered into a ballot to be drawn by the end of April. F

Royal Caribbean moves back and shortens Odyssey of the Seas inaugural cruise from USA

By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean has informed guests booked on the first sailing of Odyssey of the Seas from the United States that the inaugural sailing has been moved and shortened.

An email going out to guests on Tuesday informed them that the first scheduled sailing of Odyssey of the Seas from Fort Lauderdale, Florida on November 11 has changed.

Royal Caribbean says the impetus for changing the sailing is a result of welcome events scheduled for the ship.

"Odyssey will host a series of welcome events and as a result, we've had to make some modifications to our itinerary planning. Regrettably, this means your clients' cruise has been cancelled."

Odyssey of the Seas will still offer its first sailing from Fort Lauderdale, Florida - just departing on a different day with a modified itinerary. 

If guests booked on the November 11 sailing do nothing, they will automatically be moved to the new first sailing on November 15, 2021. The automatic move will begin on April 14, 2021.

The original stateroom category price will either be protected at their original cruise fare rate or reduced to the current cruise fare rate (whichever is lower). This excludes taxes, fees, gratuities, and other non-cruise fare items.

As a way of saying sorry, Royal Caribbean will offer $100 USD onboard credit for Interior, Ocean View, and Balcony staterooms and $200 onboard credit USD for Suites.

The cruise line will also reimburse non-refundable airline charges with receipts (up to $200 USD per guest for Domestic flights or up to $400 USD per guest for International flights).

If the new sailing does not work, guests can be moved to another 8-Night Southern Caribbean itineraries onboard Odyssey of the Seas.

Guests moving to a different sailing will also qualify for the $100 or $200 onboard credit offer, along with reimbursement for flights.

The other option is to move a different ship and sailing, or a full refund.

When Odyssey arrives in North America to begin her cruise season in November, she will offer 6- to 8-night itineraries from Fort Lauderdale to the Caribbean.

What you need to know about visiting Nassau on a cruise ship

By: Matt Hochberg

Nassau is the capital of The Bahamas and home to Adventure of the Seas in summer 2021.

With a lot of people about to visit Nassau to enjoy one of these new sailings, getting to know what Nassau is known for and offers is even more important.

Whether you are doing a pre- or post-cruise stay in The Bahamas, or coming for a few hours, there is a lot to consider when visiting.

While Nassau has the usual cruise port fare most people skip over, there are some really intriguing places to visit and lovely accommodations that might interest you.

If you have a cruise booked from Nassau, here is what you need to know about visiting the island and what to expect.

Getting to Nassau

It is a safe bet you will need to fly to get to your cruise ship sailing from Nassau.

You have the choice of booking airfare on your own, or taking advantage of extra seats on flights that Royal Caribbean offers through its Air2Sea program.

When Royal Caribbean announced cruises from Nassau, they knew demand for flights would be strong and possibly even outpace supply.  So they worked with select airlines to not only secure seats but actually subsidize prices.

To book a flight to Nassau through Air2Sea, you can can contact the Royal Caribbean call center at 844-278-9745 or book through your travel agent.

Interestingly, Royal Caribbean pushed back the departure time for sailings from Nassau until 9pm, so that there is more time for people to fly in for their cruise.

Read moreWhy you shouldn't fly to your cruise the same day it begins

You should be aware of the health travel visa requirement for international travelers coming to The Bahamas and take care of those requirements as well.

Arriving in Nassau

Lynden Pindling International Airport is the major airport of Nassau and largest in the country.

It is about 10-12 miles from the airport to the cruise terminal, but with traffic the trip may take around a half hour.

Taxis are plentiful at the airport.

Where to stay in Nassau

There are many great hotels and resorts you can book all around New Providence island and Paradise Island.

Royal Caribbean says guests are able to do a pre- or post-cruise stay,  but are responsible for ensuring full compliance with required health measures to enter or exit The Bahamas, as well as the necessary boarding requirements when embarking the cruise.

There is a good mix of value, luxury, and prices to match most needs. Depending on your needs, there are a lot of good choices.  Like any destination, book early to secure a room and check back often for price drops or new deals.

Based on other traveler recommendations, here are some good places to consider researching:

What to do in Nassau

Nassau is known for its beaches, tourist attractions, and rich history, and you will find plenty of things to do besides hanging at your resort pool.

Like so much of The Bahamas, Nassau blends European influences with Bahamian lifestyle.

Going in the summer means you will find very warm temperatures and high humidity, along with a passing thunderstorm more than likely. The weather may change throughout the day, but do not let rain in the forecast stop you from getting out and trying something new.

White sand beaches

What is the best beach in Nassau? That is debatable, but Cable Beach is almost always among the top contenders.

A 10-minute taxi ride from the airport, you will find powder-fine white sand, see-through blue-green water, and plenty of space to put down a beach blanket.

Cable Beach is hardly a secret, but it remains one of the most scenic spots you can go to to enjoy beach time.

Honorable mention to Cabbage Beach if you prefer something a bit further away from the crowds (and everyone at the Baha Mar).

John Watling’s Distillery

How about a little history combined with a refreshing cocktail?

John Watling’s is where you want to go to get a Bahama Mama or exquisite rum to sample.

You can even take a complimentary tour of the historic Buena Vista Estate, which includes antiques and exhibits dating back more than 300 years. You will also be able to see where the rum is stored among the white oak barrels.

Fish fry

If you want to sample local cuisine, a traditional fish fry is just what you need.

Locals call it The Fish Fry (or, da Fish Fry) where you will find outdoor seating and your choice of fritters, snapper, shrimp and cole slaw. 

At Arawak Cay you will find plenty of local dining choices, including the King Restaurant and Bar.  There's also Goldie's and Twin Brothers, which are good choices as well.

Queen's Staircase

Nassau has plenty of history you can visit, and the best attraction to take in is the Queen's staircase

A walkway of 65 steps, it was carved out of solid limestone rock by 600 slaves between 1793 and 1794.  The purpose was to create an escape route from nearby Fort Fincastle (which you can also tour).

It is an equally impressive engineering feat, as well as a testament to the slaves who built it.

Ardastra Gardens

Nature is hard to miss in Nassau, but the best place to understand its connection to The Bahamas is Ardastra Gardens & Wildlife Conservation Centre.

The main appeal of these gardens are the freely walking birds, including flamingos, peacocks and parrots (cages hold trumpeter hornbills and other more exotic creatures). 

Atlantis Water park

I would be remiss if I did not mention there is a very popular water park you can go to at the Atlantis Resort.

Aquaventure is a 141-acre water park that features over twenty million gallons of water, magnificent Atlantean-themed towers housing high-speed water slides, a mile-long river ride with rolling rapids and wave surges, 20 swimming areas, a spectacular kids water-play fort and 11 refreshing swimming pools.

If you happen to be staying at Atlantis, you can access the park. Day passes used to be offered, but it appears are not sold during the global health crisis.