Thursday, September 24, 2009

Nassau, Bahamas & Disney Cruise Line

The first Port of Call on our 3 night Disney Cruise was in Nassau, Bahamas. Cruise line ships dock at Prince George’s Wharf which can accommodate up to 7 cruise ships at one time. As you exit the ship you will be diverted through the building that houses the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism. Here you can get information, transportation and maps.

On a previous trip to Nassau, my husband and I did some of the local tourist attractions. After leaving the Ministry building we took a horse drawn Surrey ride around the main part of the city. The colors and architecture are really beautiful. The driver gave us a little history lesson as he pointed out some of the main attractions of the city. After our ride we went to the Pirates of Nassau Museum. It was really amazing. There were full sized ships inside as well as the history of some of the most famous pirates of Nassau. There were rooms with pirate flags, replicas of famous battles all along with information on the history of pirating. There was a courtyard area as well with weapons and what museum doesn’t have a gift shop? The gentleman who was working the gift shop was dressed as a pirate and spoke in character as well.

After the museum we walked a few blocks over to the Queen’s Staircase. Built in early 1900’s the stair case made of coral sandstone boasts 66 stairs built by slaves to honor Queen Victoria’s help in the abolition of slavery in the Bahamas. Next to the staircase is a large waterfall. The whole area is almost hidden by stone walls that frame out the two sides of the staircase and waterfall. After climbing to the top, we were steps away from Fort Fincastle which was built in 1793. The Fort is shaped like the bow of a ship and is sometimes referred to as a “battle embankment” rather then a Fort. While not large, the Fort does have some wonderful water views and some of the original stones from when the Fort was built still remain.

Next to the Fort is a 126 foot water tower built in 1928. You can either walk to the top or take an elevator. The views are breathtaking.

After our little tours we went back down to Bay Street to do some shopping. Bay Street has a mix of high end stores such as Gucci and Fendi and little tourist shops with T shirts and Magnets. Do not over look some of the side streets that head back towards to wharf. Some of the best finds in Nassau are in these little shops and eateries. My favorite discovery was the Tortuga Rum Cake shop. Laced with aged Tortuga rum, these cakes are moist, flavorful and memorable.
No visit to Nassau would be complete without a stop at the famous straw market. The original market burned down a few years ago and has yet to be rebuilt. The current straw market is housed in a very large tent like structure. It is filled with local vendors peddling everything from designer bags to cigars, jewelry and of course, straw goods. The aisles are extremely narrow and the interior can be very hot. As you browse the aisles, the vendors will be asking you if you want to “make a deal”. Deals can be found and most will negotiate the price with you. Many of the vendors will have that same Coach bag you saw a few aisles back and love so don’t buy the first you see. Your best bet for a really good deal is to negotiate for more then one item. If a vendor has 2 bags you like, you will have a better chance of getting a great price on the 2. Barter a little, if you still don’t like the price, move on. Whether you buy that designer bag or not, be sure to get yourself a souvenir made by the locals.

It was interesting to see the attractions we did and we enjoyed the shops, the food and the overall experience. When the Disney Wonder docked in Nassau on my cruise in July 2009, I went back to the straw market and had to stop at Tortuga Rum to get my rum cake.

1 comment:

  1. All this cruise are great but i love the Bahamas which
    was my greatest experience of the life time. i will be
    going on a Disney cruise on this January 2010.
    bahamas cruise


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.