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Irieman

In defense of Nassau!?!

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So there it was... our 4 day Cuba cruise now changed to Key West and Nassau morphed again into a cruise to Nassau and we stay docked until 6pm the next day. As we stared at the paper announcement on our stateroom bed, it was just 100% disbelief.

Granted we were only at Nassau once before and went straight to Segway around Blue Lagoon but Nassau is the place that people stay on board, complain about, and generally avoid. 

What transpired was a terrific two days there. First off we had already decided to take a tour bus exploration excursion to get an overview and some history. It was fast paced and covered a lot ground but most of all we noted places we wanted to visit in the afternoon. 

After lunch back at the windjammer, we walked to the Balcony House. It's the oldest wooden structure on the island. The tour was informative and free. From there we walked around that neighborhood reading history markers and slowly walking back down to the ship. A stop for ice cream on a second floor deck overlooking the harbor completed day one. Well, actually we ventured back out around 8 at night but most everything was surprisingly closed down. 

At no time did we feel unsafe or hassled beyond the typical vendors trying to get us into their stores on the main drag. 

Day two brought great weather so off to the local bus stop to grab the 10 or 12b bus that runs along the North shore of Nassau.  The goal was to find a beach far enough away from the tourists and the beach peddlers. Mission accomplished with a half hour ride shared with locals going to work. Found a beach that started with just us there and topped off at about 12 other RC toting towel folks. It was 100% what we had wanted. The small bar had 5 dollar beach chairs, food and refreshments. It was more island charm than resort which fit us fine!

Nassau wound up being a very pleasant surprise. Friendly locals, easy walking to historical sites, and an accesable public bus system to get you to the beach with some local flair! If we stop in Nassau again, which is a cruise ship given, we will no longer moan but look forward to creating an adventure.

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3 hours ago, WesKinetic said:

Nice. Do you by chance know the name of the beach? I'll be in Nassau in a couple months and hadn't planned on doing any excursions, so that might be right up our alley. 

It's Love Beach. Found it researching the top beaches in Nassau on the internet. As far as I know there are two different types of places that give you access. There appear to be day passes at a full resort at the start of the beach. Not sure of the name but you could look it up. 

We went to Nirvana where a couple dogs roam , the chairs are cheap and on the old side, and the bar area is either relaxed or run down depending on your perspective.

Same as getting there. Wait a bit and take the bus for $2.50 each way or grab a taxi for $25. 

As mentioned, we went for the "authentic" 😆 version but that's just us. 

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When we visited we thought it was a dangerous place as well. Turns out it was the best port we visited. We took the aquarium tour and our bus driver said the island used to be where people came to do banking. It used to be the number one industry. Then it changed to tourism, so now any local resident "messing" (as the bus driver put it.) with tourists gets 15 years in jail. Not sure if that's true. But while we walked around the tourist areas any time we were approached by someone selling something a simple "no thank you" ended anymore attempt to sell us anything. I've encountered more aggressive street vendors in the States. 

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Glad to hear you enjoyed yourself!  I’ve been twice but didn’t have as great a time. Some very aggressive vendors at the straw market, a pickpocket attempt (someone opened my backpack as we were walking, nothing in it). We are not very adventurous, and I am antisocial, so I’m not the best example for others.  Second time we went, we went ashore for a quick purchase of a shirt and sunscreen, then spent the day enjoying the ship.

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Just avoid the straw market area. It will make your trip much more pleasant and enjoyable The rest of Nassau was fine, in my opinion. We originally has concerns about the island after our swimming with dolphins excursion was cancelled last year on our Spring Break Symphony of the Seas cruise, at the last minute when wind was too strong to take us to Paradise Island for our excursion, so we just walked around the main drag and went to Senior Frogs and bought a few shirts at the shops and presents. Overall, not a bad day. No one really bothered us, but if they did,  a quick no was all it took. 

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We have been there several times with the last in May 2019.  We usually walk the shops and then get back on the ship.  We have never had any problems or felt harassed.  I did have to argue with the jewelers to get the stupid free charm or coin because they insisted that they had to show me something so we played a little game of words.  Other than that it wasn't bad.  We have been harassed far worse in Jamaica (which we hate) and Cozumel (guys doing show on the poles I looked up at while standing at the entrance to a store while LO was shopping and he came over and told me I had to pay to watch....not to mention the entire "looks are free" crap at every store).  We walked through the very tight straw market in Nassau and did get a little uneasy feeling but we walked quick to the whole reason we went in....the bathrooms!!!!  The people weren't too bad but I usually walk on the side of the vendors to fend them off from LO since I have no problems telling people "no" and whatever I need to so they go away.  We have found they are less aggressive when they can't have direct/close access to LO without going through me.

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Never been there but something I may look into for my next visit. Been to Nassau many times..usually wander and hit Junkanoo Beach.....but ready to try something different next time.

 

Glad you enjoyed it and shared..looks like our kinda place for sure!

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