Look, the cost of living down there is outrageous. Everyone who goes complains about the costs involved. Problem is they don't do their research. There is not tax in the bahamas but you do have to pay duty. Talk to the bahamians about buying a car! They drive the same things we do but they pay 85% more. When it is cheaper to eat fastfood like Wendy's, Macdonald's or KFC (they don't pay duty on their food coming in) than it is to cook at home you know you have a real problem. A gallon of milk is about $8 for them all the time, they have to buy water because they can't drink the water, they have found a way to live using about half the income that the US would call poverty and they could never dream of going on a vacation anywhere because just eating a box of hamburger helper will cost about $15 for the pound of hamburger alone. They don't have Walmart, Costco or Sam's. So, here is what I am hearing. I AM GOING ON VACATION but you want me to pay for it? How is that fair? What you should be saying is, wow, look at the prices that these people have to pay, maybe I could leave a nice tip and they can go home half an hour early today. Seriously people, you complain about paying $10 for a taxi because you are too lazy to walk (the whole island is only 7 miles by 21 miles) but it costs $6/gal for them to get around and if you have ever driven there there is no such thing as good gas milage. The straw market complaint I can understand. It sucks that you can't get anything from the bahamas in the bahamas. Problem with this complaint is that nobody bought the other stuff so they had to find what people would buy i.e. FAKE GUCCI. So, quit complaining and enjoy your vacation! At least you get one!!!
Unique Suggestions: Walk through the aquariums and the casinos at Atlantis Resort but go after 8 and there is no charge.
Fun Alternatives: Going to the straw market is like going to the local dollar general but fake. Don't ever pay over half of their asking price for anything! If you want to enjoy a fun alternative go over the hill and have some fun walking the mall or the sidewalk shops.
Honestly I would say -- Stay away. Its just one of the only places that I regret going to.. 4$ for a small bottle of water. 7 US$ for a slice of Pizza. Easily 75$+ for a formal sit down meal.
The rooms are exhorbitant.. the hidden service change and taxes are over bearing. The constant pitches to buy a time share is horrible. Lousy customer service everywhere from the front desk to the towel handlers etc,etc.
Absolutely no culture or local flavor... absolutely no character to anyhting including the food. maybe it is elsewhere in the Bahamas and not in Paradise Isle/ Nassau.
Bottom line -- Save your money DO NOT GO
Unique Suggestions: Here are some things that you can do to save yourself.
1. Stay at the comfort suites its at lease a 100US$ saving.
2. Book thru expedia/travelocity they will give you a round trip airport transfer for free.
3. Take a ferry in and out of town as its the cheapest transport beween Nasau & paradise isle
4. Eat at Senior frogs/Zigilo's, if you can stomach it then try the fish fry stalls for food.
5. Buy soda/water and store in your refrigrator its 3 $saving everytime you do not have to buy from Atlantis.
6. If you can take the marketing crap sit thru a 90 minutes of pep talk so that you can get a 75$ voucher to do your souviner shopping.
7. Take the local bus to travel around the island it.s only a $
Fun Alternatives: I will not be suprised if they next start to collect money for breathing.
The Straw Market has become a flea market, which sells a bunch of fake Gucci's, Fendi's and Louis Vuitton's.. Very disappointing.
The shops in town also are extremely overpriced. Most people from the area go to the mall which has better prices and goods. You can ride the bus (jitney) there for $1(US) and also get a great tour of the "real Nassau" where the natives live.
The entire island. Pretty much avoid this whole country. Everything is a rip off. Just getting in a taxi costs $10, even if you are going down the street. All of the food is total rip off, $50 per head minimum. Even Subway was $7 per sub! I paid $975 a night for my room, that anywhere else would have been $450. After losing $5,000 at blackjack, they comped me two dinners for a lousy $150, it was ridiculous. Vegas would have given me my entire room. If you want a nice romantic getaway, try Las Ventanas in Cabo or Four Seasons in Nevis. You will get more luxury and service for half the price. This entire country is a rip off.
Okay, I got caught in a tourist trap, I'll admit it.
The entire vacation on the Bahamas was a bit of a trap for us. My friend and I had gotten a bit too excited about the idea of spending Christmans on the beach, that we didn't realize that the Bahamas could be quite pricey....especially when you were opting for a somewhat of a budget vacation.
After all, isn't this the nr. 1 stopover for huge cruise ships?
So, don't be fooled by the low costs for an airline ticket. The real costs will become obvious once you arrive on the Bahamas!
However, we did enjoy our one-week stay a lot! We just ended up having some trouble budget-wise ;-)