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Do you disembark in Nassau?

BraveGirl

Active Member
Original Poster
Hi all,
I'm planning a 3 night Bahamian cruise for my 40th birthday in April. I haven't been on a Disney cruise since I was 19, so it's been a while! I have two small kids, so most of the Port Adventures are off the table for us, since the kids would need to be older. Last time I went swimming with stingrays, but again, I was 19 and had no kids!

From what I am hearing, most people don't even bother disembarking in Nassau, is that the case? The cruise is so short, I can see the appeal of enjoying the ship for the day instead! But I'm a rope-drop to fireworks kind of Disney-goer, so the idea of not "doing" something is foreign to me.

I know the area in Nassau right around the docks is not the greatest, and the thought of setting off on our own with small kids looking for something to do does not sound appealing. I'm just wondering what your experiences have been. Do you stay on the boat? Or if you go to Nassau, what do you do?

Thanks!
 

EOD K9

Well-Known Member
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If you are going to get off the boat, leave the kids in the club for a little while. My advice, go buy some rum cake and get back on the boat. Treat it like the “at sea” day and take in the ship. Enjoy!
 

belledream

Well-Known Member
We weren't really interested in spending the time/money in doing an excursion at Nassau, but we disembarked anyways with the mindset of 'well we're here...' We did a quick bus ride to Cabbage Beach and spent an hour or two enjoying the waters. It was also my first time seeing tropical waters, so maybe that played a part in my enjoyment. Took a boat ride back to the port and we were back at Cabanas for an early lunch. We are also open-to-close type Disney people so the day actually felt long enough to explore both Nassau and the ship. However, we did a 4 night cruise, so we had that extra At Sea day already. And like you said, with 2 young kids, it might be more worth it to just relax on the ship where you have everything you need. I didn't feel it was 'dangerous', though I certainly missed the comfort of the Disney Bubble for those 2 hours. But if a few hours exploring town or a beach call to you, it's not that difficult to make that happen. Just my experiences. :)
 

MansionButler84

Well-Known Member
We did not get off the ship and found plenty to do on the ship. We were paying for the Disney cruise ship and Castaway Cay, not that dump of an island. I personally wouldn’t pay the DCL premium if I were only going to be on the ship from about 4 pm to the kids’ bedtime each day.
 

Herdman

Well-Known Member
We are going on our first cruise in May, also the 3 night variety. Our daughter will be 21 at the time, and she wants to get off the ship for a little while just to say she's been in a foreign country. We hope to do brunch at Palo if it is offered, but it is for adults only. Most people on the board only recommend getting off for a short time, if at all.
 

Surfin' Tuna

Well-Known Member
We have gotten off, but we almost never do anymore. Maybe a trip over to see Baha Mar, but that's about it. There is nothing there that will even slightly compare to the fun, safety, and cleanliness of Castaway Cay. Enjoy the ship for a day. If you really want to get off the ship to say you did it, hop off, buy a tee shirt, and then get back on the ship.
 

Club Cooloholic

Well-Known Member
So we have done the day at Atlantis and we have done a quick excursion into town. I dont know your kids ages but last time we did a horse carriage ride with ours and that was perfect. Got a little tour of the downtown, learned some local history and it was pretty cheap. We then had lunch in town at the Pirate Brewery, and that was nice. I think hopping off for an hour is a good idea, if nothing else you can buy a six pack or bottle of wine to bring back onto the boat.
Skip Atlantis. It's a lot of running around and as you said you are on a short trip.
 

Weather_Lady

Well-Known Member
I probably replied on one or more of the threads @ChuckElias mentioned, but I'll put my thoughts here, too: having twice attempted to find something fun, interesting, educational and/or non-ripoff-priced to do in the Bahamas with DH and the kids, I'd never attempt it again. It's saturated with overpriced shops selling the same cheap stuff, tourist traps, unsavory beaches and street hawkers pestering you to join their tour. There's just not much of interest there - at least, not enough that it's worth disembarking. (Nor am I just a Debby Downer: we've done other cruises, mainly to the Caribbean and Mexico, and had wonderful experiences at their ports of call.)
 
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BraveGirl

Active Member
Original Poster

Maelstrom Troll

Well-Known Member
Sailed to Nassau twice and visited both times. The first trip (3 nights Dream), my daughter was only 3 so she stayed in the kids club and we went ashore for about 2 hours of shopping. This past February (kid free 4 nights Magic) we spent about 7 hours ashore. We started with the Junkanoo and Fort experience, then walked to Watlings Distillery, and finished the day shopping around a bit. Nassau gets a little sketchy but stay on major roads and you’ll be fine.
 

Phonedave

Well-Known Member
I have done excursions in Nassau, and have also just "visited" the island.

Last time I cruised there on DCL, we got off the boat, walked around for about an hour to buy some souvenirs and then returned to the ship. It's really not a wonderful place to visit in my opinion.
 

Jedi Stitch

Well-Known Member
Not sure how young your kids are, but our trip we did the meet the dolphins at Paradise. It was worth it. We even found time to take a picture of the government house the most photographed building in the Bahamas, and even ate at a local restaurant. Check with the ships jeweler, they had a great treasure hunt at the Nassau jewelers to get a free trinket bracelet and necklaces. We had fun getting to explore and then my wife and daughter even did the hair braid at the pier before coming back on the ship. We were glad we booked the water excursion, because our trip was in January and on the Dream. It had taken half the day to dock at castaway cay, so all the castaway water excursions were canceled.
 

DisneyFreak

Well-Known Member
Our first Disney cruise we got off the ship. The second trip to Nassau we stayed on the ship. We generally stay on the ships at port except for a select few destinations. Plenty do to on the ship while in port and less of a crowd.
 

Surfin' Tuna

Well-Known Member
Not to hijack the thread, but I do have a kids club question. What are the rules for leaving the kids in kids club while going ashore. I think we did it once, but I felt as if we were breaking some rules not being there to get the kids. Does someone else know?
 

Seeshark

Member
I wasn't crazy about Nassau, and if I was there again on a cruise - particularly a short cruise - I wouldn't bother. We did the Blue Lagoon dolphin swim, and it was OK. I'm happy to have done it, but I have no desire to go again.
 

docdebbi

Well-Known Member
depending on the age of your kids, I recommend the blue lagoon dolphin encounter. we have done it twice with our kids, they were from 5-10 at the times. still talk about it as the highlight of the trip. if you have somewhere else you can easily do a dolphin experience, then stay on the ship.
 

Sirwalterraleigh

Well-Known Member
Nassau and Freeport are the probably the worst cruiseports in the Caribbean...I’ve been to 15 ish?

One of the disadvantages of DCL is their ports. Not great...they would be more attractive if they increased their game there a little.
 
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