Cruise, The Bahamas
Atlantis...its indescribable just how beautiful the place is. We got off our cruise ship, didn't book an excursion trip with the cruiseline (this was our 3rd cruise and we knew we could get it cheaper through the locals), found a local at the end of the pier and got a city and Atlantis tour for $20 ea. We took a trip around the island, saw the Queens Staircase (a must see...very steep but amazing), a fort (can't remember the name of it, sorry) which you could look out from the top and see Atlantis in the distance (gorgeous view), and a few other stops to shop. Then, off to Atlantis! When you pull up to the entrance, the fountain is breathtaking...golden statues of winged horses. You walk into the hotel and look up at the domed ceiling painted with exquisite detail...unbelieveable! Its defenitely worth the trip if you go to the island! Our ship also docked in Freeport...what a waste! Will never cruise there again! There was a casino, some restaurants, beach, and an open street market....it was dirty, and the only way to get into town was by a taxi which was not worth paying for...we were bored after 30 min of getting there. If I could do it over, I would take a plane trip to Nassau, stay about 3 or 4 days in Atlantis, and leave. Oh! Important tip" in Nassau everything but the bars close down at 6pm!
Fondest memory: Atlantis was the most memorable...there really isn't much to "ooo and ahhh" over...we went snorkeling and it was okay...we've been to the Cayman Islands, Hawaii, and Mexico so it was a little of a disappointment...there are beautiful fish, but the water isn't as clear blue/green as the other places we've snorkeled.
For someone on a cruise that goes to Nassau and wants to take pictures of wildlife and beaches, you might do a bike tour, or a birding tour. Caroline Wardle runs birding, and biking tours out of Coral Harbour.
"Half day on New Providence or Paradise Island, starting at your hotel at 7 am or later until around noon. Included are use of binoculars, spotting scope, field guides and refreshments for the morning. Experts and novices - all welcome"
Nassau does have some sights, such as Fort Charlotte, the Botanical Garden, Government House, the Water Tower, the Queens Staircase and Fort Fincastle, but I think probably the best bet there is to go to Atlantis to "The Dig" which is a huge aquarium. They also have open surface tanks (photo 3), and a shark tunnel. If you would want to take photos of fish, I think that would be a better shot than a glass bottom boat (reflections are your enemy in both cases) and you could also check out the water slides etc. The ship will probably have a tour, or you can get there on your own by ferry or taxi.
Fondest memory: The castle in Freeport is a modern one build by a local man who wanted something different. Grand Bahama has an underwater park (which I've not been to) and the Lucayan National Park. If you want to shop, I'd try to get a jitney bus to Lucaya Marketplace.
Favorite thing: You know that one of my favourite experiences on my first cruise was arriving in Nassau early in the morning. The pilot came aboard and took us in slowly. The shorelights, the peace and tranquility.... worthwhile memories. After many cruises this would rate behind entering the lagoon in Venice and arriving at Ushuaia, South America. It is worth getting up to enjoy this. Sorry the photo is rather poor ---a new camera takes some getting used to!
Favorite thing: Beware if you not a sailor, the waters can be choppy on the way back from the Bahamas. The first time was really bad on the Big Red Boat and I thought with RC it would have better stabilizers to minimize it...not so. Take extra seasickness pills during these times.
Fondest memory: Spending the afternoon at Blue Lagoon Island. We booked a tour through the cruise ship, which worked out great considering our time constraints. It's a tourist trap, but was really quite enjoyable by the whole family. Although there's a restaurant, gift shop, and spots you can pay to swim with dolphins, we just enjoyed laying out on the beautiful beach and renting a aqua-bike for our child to play with in the lagoon. We took a party boat between Nassau and Blue Lagoon Island, which was a lot of fun with their calpyso band and bar.
Find somewhere secluded. Beautiful place to be on the water. Nassau has some interesting local flea market type shopping, but, the rest is too much like the US.
Fondest memory: Went there on a short 3 day cruise simply to check out the local laws about boating over from Florida. Looking forward to making that trek one day.
We arrived to Bahamas, Nassau on the 'Celebrity' cruise ship, one of those ships that you see in this picture.
Just like any other Caribbean islands, it was like a little paradise.