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Nassau and Key West


Jeff
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Hey everyone,

 

Mom, Dad and I are getting pretty excited for our upcoming February cruise. As the header supplies, we will be stopping in Nassau and Key West. We are extremely curious for advice on what excursions to do while in each Port of Call, and would like to ask all you for suggestions, and personal reviews.

 

For Nassau, we want to see Atlantis. Mom and Dad have never cruised before, and have never been outside the USA. I'd love to show them some of the historic parts of Nassau. I was there before, about 10 years ago. We saw the excursion Discover Atlantis. Is it worth it? I've checked cruise critic, but I don't know these people, and trust this community more. We were also interested in the Discover Nassau Land and Sea excursion, a little history AND a stop in Atlantis. Again, any personal insight would be appreciated. We'll be docked until midnight.

 

When we get to Key West, we want to try the Hop on, Hop off conch train tour. It reads as fun. Any insights?

 

I want to end this by saying, you are all the greatest. I value this community, and the vast opinions of everyone on it.

 

Jeff

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We did the Conch train when we got to Key West, we thought it was worth it.  Key West is pretty easy to do on your own.  On Nassau we did the Charm and Beauty tour, not a bad tour.  Honestly if we ever go back to Nassau we probably won't get off the ship, it was OK but the sell pressure was high. 

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Thanks blawmtih,

 

if I was going solo, or with people that have been to Nassau before, I would probably skip it too. My parents have never been, so getting off ship is important to them.  I'll check out the charm and beauty tour, thanks for the tip

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Its just the first few hundred feet or so to get by in Nassau with the really pushy ppl. After that once out on the street its not as bad. I just ignore them and walk straight out. After that, I don't find it worse than any other Caribbean country I have visited so far.

 

But yes, they are pretty in your face till you get out of the dock area.

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The worst place for being pushy is the straw market, they out right BEG you to buy. Even getting mad at us for ignoring them. Funny thing was they all sell the same stuff.

 

When we were in Nassau we took a cab tour for cheap, they will give a high quote but can be talked down easily.

He took us to a few nice areas but for us the highlight was the poor areas. I know that sounds bad but it was very eye opening.

These people were in a real bad spot, garbage piled many feet high on the street, people with buckets lining up to get water from a dribbling tap.

The driver explained in detail how the people get nothing from the government. Garbage collection very rarely, very low hourly rate with expensive gas and milk.

The things he said in the ways people get the shaft was amazing, especially considering the wealth of city. They make massive amounts of money off of cruise ships and tourism (home base for Royal) without giving essential services to their people... Paradise island looks nice though.

After that tour I can totally understand why sellers are so pushy. If I were in their position watching happy rich people on vacation, I may resort to begging to buy aswell.

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I have vacationed in Key West countless times, and the best way to see the hotspots on the island is either to rent a bike from nearly anywhere (for about $15/pp) or what is way more fun are scooters...you can see the Truman White House, Ernest Hemingway house and the Southernmost Point. Ft Zachary Taylor has the nicest beach, admission is $1....or you can walk. There is nothing unsafe about the place. Lots of great dining....Louie's Backyard on the water if you want a fine (and expensive) meal....spending money on a tour is worthless...its a walk able city and everyone is friendly.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I agree with David. I also have been to Key West numerous times and bikes or scooters are the way to go. It is also very easy walking around and yes the people are so friendly. There are also numerous pedi-cabs so if you do get tired of walking flag one down and they will give you a nice ride to wherever you are headed next.

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We did the "Discover Nassau Land and Sea excursion" this past February. We were all crammed in a small bus, could not understand a word the narrator was saying (he held his microphone right on his mouth and it was loud), not impressed by what we saw of Nassau by land. When we got to Atlantis, the driver parked away from the main entrance and the narrator told us that we could walk around for 45 minutes, but do not ask any questions, like where's the aquarium. Atlantis is for the paying guests, not tourists (like us). All we had time to see was the casino and bathroom. As we were about out of time, I asked one of the employees, "how do we get to the aquarium"? She then wanted to know what room we were staying in and we should really ask the front desk for directions and a map. We headed back to the bus. The sea portion was not very exciting neither. Very weak fruity rum punch, we could understand this narrator and all we saw were the homes of the rich and famous actors/actresses on Paradise Island.

For the money, not worth it!

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In Key West I have done the HOHO twice and the Conch Train once and gone off on my own one time. I love the HOHO. What I did was ride the full circuit and wrote down where I wanted to get off at and rode it again and got off at three stops to see the Truman White House and two other things. KEY WEST is one of my favorite ports.

 

In Nassau I always go to Atlantis because I gamble. I don't find the port people pushy, and I have been four times, yes, they sell and sell hard, but I have never been hassled to buy. The last time I was in Nassau, August 2016, there were six ships in port and the port was a zoo. I do like that Nassau offers a free shuttle almost from where you get off the ship to the port, so not a lot of walking. Getting through the port is where there is a lot of walking. There are a million taxis and the prices are regulated. Atlantis is always a $4 taxi ride and the driver will tell you to give them $5 because they live on their tips. Right, they make that ride about 20 to 30 times a day or more with 12 people in their van and if they get $1 from each person that rides, they should be millionaires in a few years.

 

I did the Beauty and Charm of Nassau excursion and really like it, it was a good 3 hours of learning about Nassau.

 

Candie

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