Nassau is basically an incredibly expensive *** hole. It's tourist hell number 1 of the whole Caribbean. Hordes of the lowest class of cruise customer swaggering around being ripped off by every stallholder, shop and restaurant. I ate two of the worst meals of my entire life in Nassau and paid a fortune for them.
Oh, and the service is LOUSY everywhere. I've never seen so many overweight, lazy, rude employees not giving a *** about any of their customers.
Unique Suggestions: Don't do it – please, please, please. Save your money and your sanity and go somewhere else. ANYWHERE else.
Fun Alternatives: Caymans – for instance – are WAY better.
We went to Blackbeard's Island and had a great time. While there you can also pay extra (maybe $20pp?) to swim with some sea rays. We were sitting on the beach, watching the people play with the sea rays in a cordoned off area of the beach and I told my wife that it would be funny if some sea rays swam up to the public area of the beach. Sure enough, about 10 minutes later a school of them swam up! I think our area had more rays than the area where they were fenced in.
Unique Suggestions: I'd just do it if I had children with me.
Fun Alternatives: Sit on the beach and wait for the rays to come to you as opposed to paying extra to go to them.
This isnt really a trap, they earn their money doing this little trade in the streets as soon as you get off your boat. I just felt some were a bit pushy. We even felt that some were just plain rude. This isnt a trap, its just a bit frustrating.
Unique Suggestions: Just be polite and travel on, you will get hounded, but this the way they earn a living.
If you're into piracy take a visit to The Pirates Museum where tour guides are dressed like pirates and the displays and exhibits try to look real. What attracted me to this museum is that I knew nothing about real pirates and their ventures. I did learn sosmething but I've forgotten it. Lots of pirate history as it pertains to the Bahamas. An interesting museum but not a must. You might want to spend the $12.00 admission on beer or something.
This trap is one my sister and I experienced. We were at the Straw Market and decided buy "2" Beach towels. The towels were hanging up. After He took the 2 towels down she wanted , She PAID for them. With the towels still in his hands, He said ,“Oh let me find you a bag.” They seemed to be looking for a bag. THEN the next thing you know He was 5 rows over and thought they had dumped She and I. He didn’t know my husband followed him (looked like the womens son who ran the booth) and he told the guy “Forget the bag and give me the towels. He seemed pretty surprised. He handed over the towels with a “OK you got me look”.
Unique Suggestions: Don't hand over your money unless you have what you want in your hand.
Fun Alternatives: If you have been taken Let EVERYONE around there know. The other people who work there don't want to have a bad name..There are some good people there too.
If your on a cruise and want to rent a jet ski or other water toy wait untill you get to the farther islands. The rental fee was almost twice on the Nassau beaches. Look around, play in the sun, but save your money for the cheaper islands. (which is all of them)
Fun Alternatives: Just walk around a enjoy the beaches. Not a whole lot on the hotel side of the island other than the hotel.
There are a group of merchants at the bottom of the hill next to the parking area for Fort Charlotte. Their wares are very expensive, and they DO NOT take no for an answer. They are like telemarketers! Also, they act so disappointed when you don't want what they are selling, that you may feel inclined to buy what they sell just to make them happy. At least I did, they just seemed so hungry...
Unique Suggestions: If you do have to go through the group of merchants, just bone up on your haggling skills. Now THAT might actually make it worth your while. Just tell them you have hardly any cash on you, cause they only take cash.
Fun Alternatives: You may want to go to the stores in downtown instead, they don't act so desperate there.
We came back with WAY more souvineers than we ever needed. With so much stuff available in the straw markets, and with the ability to negotiate price, it is easy to overspend. The vendors will hound you too, so be prepared for that! Oh and t-shirts shrink, A LOT.
Unique Suggestions: Buy some one of a kind jewelry and some hand carved wooden items.
On one side of the bus and taxi area near Fort Charlotte you'll find half-a-dozen or so stalls selling the normal tourist paraphernalia. If you're into this kind of thing then stop and take a look, otherwise keep walking by.
So one day at my hotel I almost got trapped into going to one of these "vacation/time share' seminar. Of course, before they tell you it's a seminar, they will get you with trying to give you $50 in casino money, free lunch, etc. I declined the one offered at my hotel, but coming back from our day trip to Paradise Island, this gentleman lured us in. He sold us on the idea (or rather my husband lol). He told us we would get $50 US to spend however we wanted, plus free breakfast and a 3 day 2 night stay at one of their hotels anywhere in the US. So, my husband and I figured, what the heck, free food, free money, free stay somewhere in the U.S. We decided to go on a day that was rainy. First, they called to confirm that they would pick us up at our hotel at around 9:30 a.m. We waited for 45 mins. and no car. So we called them and some how the van driver forgot to pick us up. They told us to take a taxi and that they would pay for it once we arrived (which they did). Once inside this hotel/time share place, we had to fill out some paperwork. This lovely youngman then called us in and first we had breakfast. He proceeded to start telling us about this "vacation share" in lots of detail. All sounded very good. We proceeded to see one of the apartments on the premises and he continues to sell us on this vacation share. Well the time came for him to reallllllllllly try to seal the deal. When all was said and done, I wasn't enthused with the fact that I have to give a yes or no answer to something that I have yet to do my research. I mean, more power to those that like to fly by the seat of their pants and just go with the flow. My husband and I are of the mindset if it's too good to be true then don't do it lol. So the moral of this longgggg story is, if you're walking around Nassau, Bahamas and someone is trying to get you to a "vacation/time share" seminar, don't do it! Spend your time on the beach, pool, casino, etc.
Unique Suggestions: Ask around first before committing to anything.
Yep, that's what you'll pay for a 6-pack of regular old Budweiser in Nassau.
Unique Suggestions: I recommend if you are going to pay anyway you might as well go for the local brew Kalik. Don't forget the lime
Fun Alternatives: Better yet, just go have a few beers at Senor Frogs.
At the market square as you get off the ship, there are many locals there wanting to braid your hair. Be warned..they don't clean the combs so you run the risk of lice..Also, they charge per braid so it can get very costly..
Women watch out: be prepared to be approached A LOT about getting your hair braided. Women from everywhere will swarm around you and touch your hair. Just say "no" politely and keep walking. I never had someone who was rude to me when I said no, just don't expect not to get hassled.
Unique Suggestions: Wearing a hat might help. Just be polite, these people are very friendly.
Make room for an absolutely hideous day if you go on this. They bill themselves as having an early pickup from your hotel with a long leisurely day on their private island. They show up an hour late, then leave you on a pier, baking in the sun and inhaling the odor of rotting garbage while one by one you pay. Hours later, after you finally get out of the broiling heat and underway, you ask for 8 oz of water DING! That will be $2 please. They say they offer all you can eat and all you can drink, but the only drink they offer is some kind of chemical-derived fruit punch that is so sweet its undrinkable. Lunch comes in two flavors, exta-salty, and extra-spicy DING! "Something more to drink, Sir?" They play like one song on the boatride, over and over and over again. Once you finally get to their stupid island, hours overdue, everyone likes to pretend they are the only ones there. Its hot DING! Water! Snorkel and want to rinse your mouth out? Ding! Water! They even have the nerve to ask for tips.
Unique Suggestions: On the windward side of the island, away from the crowded beach, is a place called Cave Point. Its a short walk though the shrubs and there you can have some peace in a nice hammock. Its not as hot and its kind of shady even, more what you want from the Bahamas and, if you go there, you can be what everyone else on the island is pretending to be, alone and in peace.
Fun Alternatives: Pay someone twice what this company asks for ($60) NOT to have to go. You'll come out ahead with the dings. If someone forces you to go, at least bring several liters of water. DING!
My luggage got lost for 1-1/2 days and I had to buy clothes, the first shopping area we came to was like Park avenue only Gucci and Armani and the like. When I explained my problem to the sales girl and inquired about just buying some beach clothes she told me that this was all I would find in the resort so $125. for a pair of trunks and $75. for a shirt and I was on my way. Of course 10 minutes later we came across a souveneir shop and bought 2 shirts 2shorts and assorted souveneirs for $120. I now attempted to return the other clothes to be pointed by the same sales girl to a tiny sign saying no returns only exchanges or store credit !!
Unique Suggestions: Shop in the Atlantis logo stores if you must.
Fun Alternatives: For a $10. (negotiable) cab ride you can go into Nassau where you can buy most anything you need for a fair price.