Meraviglia in Nassau

Nassau is the largest city in the Bahamas and also the capital. There are over 700 islands in the Bahamas, but only about 30 are inhabited by people. The majority of those live in Nassau, which is located on New Providence Island. It is not the biggest island, actually coming in at only 12th in size. Summers are generally warm and wet with temperatures in the 80’s to 90’s Fahrenheit. Winters are dryer with temperatures in the 70’s to 80’s. The city was originally founded by British colonialists and some colorful historic buildings still remain from that era. Nearby Paradise Island is connected by bridges and is the home of the famous Atlantis resort. Currency is the Bahamian dollar, which is equal to the US dollar. US dollars are readily accepted there.

building in Nassau

Nassau is the busiest cruise port in the Bahamas. A lot of cruise lines have their own private islands in the Bahamas so itineraries going to those islands may include a stop at Nassau as well. Up to 7 ships can dock in Nassau at the same time. The docks empty into a street full of local shops, bars, and restaurants. The port is undergoing construction to add a new terminal building and retail space. Once that is finished it will probably turn into just another canned cruise port with all the same stores that all the other cruise ports have, likely putting some of those little local shops, bars, and restaurants out of business. People are always advised to bring their ID as well as their cruise card with them when leaving the ship, and Nassau was one of the few ports we’ve visited that actually ask to see that ID before they let you back into the port area to return to the ship.

straw market

As with any cruise port people can book excursions through the ship or other sources. There’s also things to do within walking distance of the dock, or taxis for those who don’t want to walk. Many local businesses sit just outside the port including the straw market, which has many booths where locals sell quite a variety of handmade products.

view of Atlantis from the ship

The Atlantis hotel is about a half hour walk away according to google maps. Day passes are available to buy online for anyone who wants to enjoy the resort’s water park and other attractions during their visit.

pirate bench at Graycliff

Graycliff hotel is just uphill of the port, about a 15-minute walk from the ship. It has a small chocolate factory that has chocolate making tours and a winery across the street that also has tours. These can be pre-booked through outside sources before the cruise.

old church in Nassau

About a 10 minute walk along the coast from the port leads to Margaritaville Beach Resort, and another 10 minutes past that to Junkanoo Beach, a popular beach for cruise ship passengers since it is the closest public beach to walk to.

Queen’s Staircase

There are other things within walking distance of the port as well. There are several historical forts. Fort Fincastle and the Queen’s Staircase next to it are about a 15-minute walk from the port. There’s a small charge to go inside the fort. It’s not very big, but offers a great view of the cruise dock. A row of booths where locals sell souvenirs line the lane next to the fort and an ice cream truck with the music playing and everything drove by while we were there, something I haven’t seen since I was a kid. The fort and staircase are both historical. Fort Montagu is a bit farther at about a 45 minute walk from the port.

Ardastra Garden & Wildlife

Ardastra Gardens & Wildlife Conservation Center is about a half hour’s walk from the port. It’s a small zoo with a lot of flamingos and some other birds and animals. There’s not a separate botanical garden, just plants between the animal exhibits, of which some have identifying signs. At $20 at the time of our visit the price to get in was kind of high compared to the number of things they had to see so we just thought of it as a donation to their animal rescue. There is another garden called Nassau Botanical Gardens nearby. It is a former quarry for Fort Charlotte and sits just behind the fort.

sign to various attractions

Other things to do include a pirate museum that is about a 7-minute walk from the port, Parliament Square which is only 2 minutes away, Pompey Square at a 7-minute walk, an art gallery 13 minutes walk from the ship, and a distillery at a 15-minute walk, and Fort Charlotte at 29 minutes away. Walk times are per google maps and start from the port exit so it’s a bit longer from the actual ship.

Hill Street

Copyright My Cruise Stories 2023

About LBcruiseshipblogger

MyCruiseStories blog tells stories about adventures in cruising on ships big and small. Things to do onboard and in port. Anything connected to cruising. Also food, travel, recipes, towel animals, and the occasional random blog.
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