Nassau is a popular port of call on Caribbean cruises and happened to be one of ours on the Grandeur of the Seas Thanksgiving cruise. I have been to Nassau a couple of times, and each time I try to do something different. There are several types of activities for everyone.
There are many of the typical port tourist trap activities consisting mostly of souvenir hawkers and hair braiding stations. There are also excursions for snorkeling, booze cruises, Atlantis Resort (with water slides, an aquarium and beach) – to name a few. But like any port, getting just a few blocks away from the dock yields much more. On past cruises, we walked or took a taxi to nearby beaches to splash and relax, finding a place to get a local snack like conch fritters along the way. My daughter greatly enjoyed the carriage ride we took through town on our last trip here. I like to find a beach chair and read while my husband likes to find a cold local beer, take in the sun and help our daughter build sand sculptures.
On this trip, we decided our daughter (5) was old enough to actually remember her experiences, so we spent the money to take a dolphin encounter trip – it was worth every penny. (It usually costs $149 per person but there was a $99 special). We took a ferry to Balmoral Island, about 25 mimutes from Nassau. There, we were in the first of several groups to wade into the water, led by a guide, to get up close with a dolphin. Our group of about 12 people all lined up side by side facing the trainer. She took charge of Pigeon, a 5 year old female dolphin, and led a great interactive session. We were worried we may only get a few minutes for our money, but we were in the water for about 30 minutes. We fed her, touched her teeth and body several times and in the end held her in a family photo.
The last part was a kiss on the cheek (and even lips) for each person. My husband was last and she stuck her tongue out and “laughed”. It was priceless and they captured it on photo.
After the fantastic experience we were invited to peruse the photos and video that were taken during the dolphin interaction. They don’t allow personal photography or videography of any kind so you are kind of stuck purchasing theirs – but if you are going to spend that much on tickets you may as well buy the photos. Now we have priceless memories to share that our daughter might actually remember!
Immediately following the encounter or before your encounter, you are free to relax on their beach, swim in the pool or ocean or even dance to the DJ. (I thought the music was a bit too loud but the variety of music was great). They also have a bar and food available (both overpriced but the only option unless bring your own).
So whatever your budget or personal taste – there’s a little something for everyone in Nassau. If you’re in need of relaxation – just stay on the ship – there are much fewer people to fight over pool chairs!
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