Good old Nassau, Bahamas! Can you believe that such a small city can be so popular?
Most of us know how hot an escape the Bahamas islands are. Many people head there for land vacations and thousands of cruise passengers visit annually.
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My Family Arriving In Nassau Aboard Monarch of the Seas
My family has taken eight (8) all inclusive Caribbean cruises to date and 3 of them have made a stop in the Bahamas' tourist capital city.
Interestingly, our third family Caribbean cruise was with Norwegian Cruise Line to the Eastern Caribbean and was not scheduled to stop on that island.
In fact, the cruise itinerary included the Great Stirrup Cay, which is Norwegian's private Bahamas island.
As it turned out, however, the sea was somewhat turbulent which made it dangerous for us to ride tenders to the shore of the Great Stirrup Cay. (There is no pier at Great Stirrup Cay, so the cruise ship anchors away from shore and we sail in smaller boats called "tenders" to shore. This is also true for several Caribbean ports of call.)
Well, since we could not visit the beach stop on Norwegian's private island, our ship was re-routed to... - you guessed it - Nassau, Bahamas!
Although we were somewhat disappointed for missing out on the cruise adventures of a new place (we've never visited Great Stirrup Cay), we appreciated the stop.
1. The cruise ship is able to pull right up into the harbor. For several ports of call, the cruise ship is unable to pull up to a pier because the water is too shallow or there is not much of a pier to accommodate a huge cruise ship.
This is not so in Nassau. In fact, at any one time you will see several Caribbean cruise ships docked in the harbor.
2. There is easy and inexpensive access to the beaches. Generally, for the times we have docked in Nassau, we have taken a taxi from the pier to Paradise Island and to a beach near the Hotel Riu Palace. The cost has always been US$4 per person one way.
It does not get better than that!
3. Docking in Nassau means an easy and quick escape to the world-renowned Atlantis Resort. Yes, each time we dock in Nassau we visit the Atlantis.
While we have not seen the full length of their famous aquarium, we have milled around upstairs in the lobby area and have gotten a sneak peak.
Some people also mill around in the casinos.
4. Shopping is a wonderful adventure in Nassau. You will find many vendors right at the harbor. In fact, you must pass through the "marketplace" to get to and from your cruise ship.
Here is something to note about shopping in the Bahamian cruise capital - you will find better prices away from Nassau Harbour. Get on one of the many available tour buses or taxis and let them take you away from the hustle and bustle of downtown.
You will get more for your money!
One other great thing to remember about shopping in Nassau is that there is no duty on several popular items.
Your cruise ship will offer many shore excursions for your stop in Nassau. Generally, my family visits the beach, does some shopping and visits Atlantis.
We even chartered our own tour bus for sight-seeing on two of our stops.
However, there are many other things to do in Nassau. Many of these shore excursions are best booked onboard your cruise ship.
Shore Excursions in Nassau, Bahamas - What to do in Nassau?
The island's clear blue water, white sandy beaches and rich marine life offer many exciting and unforgettable options for shore excursions. Before you set sail, research which companies offer shore excursions and at what price.
Remember, your Caribbean cruise line contracts with several tour companies to offer you shore excursions.
However, it is recommended that you find reputable companies which offer the same excursions and compare the prices.
You may save some cash that your family can spend on other things, if you book your own shore excursions prior to boarding your cruise ship.
What to do in Nassau? Here is a list of some exciting shore excursions from which to choose:
1. Hilton Resort Day Pass
You and your family may spend the day at The Bahamas' most famous hotel and enjoy an atmosphere of relaxation, with great food and amenities such as a white sandy beach, a beautiful pool and beverage options.
2. Blackbeard's Cay Stingray & Snorkeling Tour
Visit the Pirate Paradise of Blackbeard's Cay and interact with the guardians of Blackbeard's treasure - the Atlantic Southern Stingrays. Snorkel in the beautifully clear waters of The Bahamas. This is great for people of all ages.
3. Shark Scuba Diving Adventure
Do you dare get close to a shark? This excursion is only for certified divers. Experience the thrill of getting close to sharks!
4. Discover Scuba Diving
Have you always wanted to scuba dive? Well, here is a golden opportunity to learn scuba diving in a safe and professional environment.
5. Siteseeing Tour
See how and where the natives live. Check out Nassau's historic sites such as the Fort Fincastle and the Queen's Staircase. Your siteseeing tour will include a stop at the famous Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island.
6. Exuma Powerboat Adventure $$$
This is a great offering of riding a high-speed powerboat to the Exumas. Enjoy the feel of your own private island, snorkeling, fishing, a full bar and lunch.
Note that this tour is somewhat expensive, so plan wisely.
7. Rose Island Day Cruise
Get away to the private and remote hideaway of Rose Island. Enjoy a day of snorkeling and swimming in clear, blue waters and just relax for fun.
8. Day at Paradise Island Resort
Spend your day lounging away at a beautiful Paradise Island resort. Enjoy the rich native food, music and superb amenities.
Be careful not to miss your ship!
There are several other shore excursion opportunities from which to choose.
Do your homework and compare prices before you go.
Whatever you do, your all inclusive family Caribbean cruise that includes the Bahamas will be fun for all!
Get to it and book your Bahama fun getaway right here!