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Nassau/Junkanoo Beach opinions?


chelsea
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I am going on my first cruise this September on Mariner of the Seas and we're going to CocoCay and Nassau. We are going to do the jet ski & snorkeling in CocoCay but I am on the fence about Nassau. I've read mixed reviewed about Junkanoo beach & that you get hassled by locals selling souvenirs, excursions, and hair braiding and that it's a dirty beach. Trying to figure out if what I'm reading is true or being blown out of proportion. Are the other islands worth spending the additional money to go to Pearl Island or Blue Lagoon or should we just enjoy the culture that is Nassau...  what's been everyone's experience with Nassau? 

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Hello Chelsea,

Welcome aboard! Feel free to ask away with any questions you may have. There is a wealth of free knowledge here from many, many seasoned Royal Caribbean cruisers.

This past April we did Pearl Island. Very nice, clean beaches, clear water and no hassles. Nice lunch was included with the price of the Royal excursion. If you do this one, I recommend you bypass the free photo shoot they take of you and your group and head straight for the beach area on the sidewalk. That way you can get lounge chairs and a prime location. The first beach you come to has a walk down to the beach and a ladder. If you pass this beach and stay on the sidewalk further down you will end up at a chain link fence. Walk down the incline and there is a nicer beach. Nice reefs to snorkel (you have to pay extra) as long as the water is not to rough. Beer was $5.00 and mixed drinks varied from $10-$15. The return to port will drop you off and you walk back to the boat through the straw market area. :27_sunglasses:

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Junkanoo beach is an ok beach if you are looking to be able to walk to a beach from the dock. Did it with my family and it was ok at best. Read the reviews on TripAdvisor for a nice overview. Personally I would do the British Colonial beach all inclusive. I used to just take the #10 bus up to Cable beach but I am not sure of access thru the hotels there anymore. Used to be that as long as you bought a few drinks they would allow you access to the beach and even the pool. 

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Nine of us including 5 kids walked with no issue from port to Junkaroo. It suited us fine for a few hour visit. The folks selling beer and rum punch can be negotiated with. I believe an umbrella and 2 loungers was $30 for the day (we probably could have paid less). I don't remember having anyone approach us trying to sell us anything. I've been hassles much more on public beaches elsewhere.

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I walked to Junkaroo last April. At the beach they will ask if you want to rent chairs, umbrellas, or have some food. They accepted “ no thank you”, right away. I would not call it dirty, and many people spent the day there. It was fine for a free, short beach stay. If I wanted a full day beach stay I would most likely go somewhere else.

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We visited Junkanoo beach in June.  I found it litter filled.  Went about 50 yards past the tiki bar.  Service and drink selection was bad that far away from the tiki bar service area.  But litter was everywhere.  Maybe we were too far down the beach but there was very little vendors selling.  

 I like to think I don’t need much for a beach day but This was a big disappointment. I will stay on the ship or pay for an beach excursion if we ever cruise there again.  

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We went last May and had a great day. The main bar had activities all day that kept our kids engaged and my daughter won the hula hoop contest and they gave her a fish back pack. It’s certainly not the nicest beach in the Caribbean but we still had fun. 3 beers for $10 is a good deal anywhere you go. We also did Pearl island 2 years ago which was a nicer beach but thought it was a bit overpriced for what we got. 

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When I've been to Nassau, I like to walk to the Queen's Staircase and back through town stopping at places like Greycliff Chocolatier, and some of the shops and restaurants a block or two off of Bay Street. If you want a nice beach experience there is an all inclusive type experience at Baha Mar, a short cab or bus ride away that is cheaper than Atlantis. I have also heard of people getting a boat and going around to the other side of Paradise Island and being dropped off at the beach there.

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6 hours ago, DunkelBierJay said:

When I've been to Nassau, I like to walk to the Queen's Staircase and back through town stopping at places like Greycliff Chocolatier, and some of the shops and restaurants a block or two off of Bay Street. If you want a nice beach experience there is an all inclusive type experience at Baha Mar, a short cab or bus ride away that is cheaper than Atlantis. I have also heard of people getting a boat and going around to the other side of Paradise Island and being dropped off at the beach there.

I think that's what I would like to do when we go.  Walk around and take it in, maybe hit the rum factory, and I'd love to find a really good lunch.

Then probably back on the ship for some lazing around.

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  • 4 years later...

Hi
I returned from my cruise today and went to  Junkanoo Beach as it was in Walking distance from the port but you can take a taxi for $6. My experience was not great. It’s by 2 hotels and they charge a resort fee to use the beach chairs, $10 or you can put your towel down. There were empty food wrappers, bottles, and empty coconuts discarded on the sand they never picked up, but they wanted to charge for a beach chair.  
it wasn’t a great experience, I left after 10 min

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8 hours ago, Sheen said:

Hi
I returned from my cruise today and went to  Junkanoo Beach as it was in Walking distance from the port but you can take a taxi for $6. My experience was not great. It’s by 2 hotels and they charge a resort fee to use the beach chairs, $10 or you can put your towel down. There were empty food wrappers, bottles, and empty coconuts discarded on the sand they never picked up, but they wanted to charge for a beach chair.  
it wasn’t a great experience, I left after 10 min

Good info.  The $10 charge is reasonable for the chairs - but obviously they are not cleaning the beach,

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On 8/26/2022 at 11:52 AM, Sheen said:

Hi
I returned from my cruise today and went to  Junkanoo Beach as it was in Walking distance from the port but you can take a taxi for $6. My experience was not great. It’s by 2 hotels and they charge a resort fee to use the beach chairs, $10 or you can put your towel down. There were empty food wrappers, bottles, and empty coconuts discarded on the sand they never picked up, but they wanted to charge for a beach chair.  
it wasn’t a great experience, I left after 10 min

I see not much has changed.  Hard to believe that it's not kept up.  It could be so beautiful.  So many locals would be making so much money if they kept it nicer.  

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