Nassau in a Day

Friday, July 17, 2015

Ah, the Bahamas.  Beautiful palm tree lined beaches, crystal clear blue waters, conch fritters,  fresh daiquiris,  history.  What's not to love?  You can find a lot to enjoy here, however many people visit Nassau while traveling on a cruise ship.  That means they only have 1 day or less to experience everything Nassau has to offer.  With all there is to do, how do you narrow it down to decide what you will do with your day?

It depends on what you're interested in.  Here, I have given you a few good options.  I have only been to Nassau once myself, (and I'm about to go again in a couple of weeks!).  So some of this information is first hand, and some of it is based on my (somewhat obsessive) extensive research.  (Update: 1/8/17 I'm now about to go to Nassau for my 4th time).  If you've read some of my other travel posts, you already know that I love to research all different cities and vacation spots even if I don't end up making my way there.  It's half the fun for me!  While, I know a lot of people may think I'm crazy for spending my time researching cities that I may never make it to- here is your chance to at least benefit from it!

Melia Resort Day Pass

If you're looking for a beach day, this could very well be it.   I came here last time and got the day pass at the Melia Resort (formerly known as the Sheraton) located on Cable beach. To get here, just take the #10 jitney (van bus). It costs $1.25 per person each way.  Make sure you have correct change, and make sure that it's the #10, NOT the #10A.

 You can buy the day pass the same day you arrive at the resort or go to to pay a deposit and pay the rest when you get to port. $30 to $35 per person.   It gives you access to their beach, pools, towels, restrooms, bars, chairs. non motorized water sports ( I recently read that the non motorized water sports may no longer be included to day pass guests and now may only be for people staying at the hotel itself.).

  I remember at the resort, they have this poolside restaurant that serves some pretty darn good conch fritters.  Conch is a Bahamian delicacy.  It's a shellfish that can be fried (cracked), ceviche, frittered etc.  I also got a Switcha while I was there.  It's local Bahamian drink which is pretty much a homemade limeade...and it's delicious.  

1 of the pools.  You can see how close the beach is.

The beach and lounge chairs.

Beautiful view of the ocean from the on site outside restaurant

Pool with waterfall

(There are a few other resorts that do day passes as well.  If you'd like to check them out, I know that British Colonial Hilton and Breezes have their own programs.)

Crystal Palace Casino

Once you're tired of the beautiful beaches and pools, why not walk on over to the Crystal Palace casino?  It's adjacent to the resort. They have about 300 slot machines along with virtual table games. Games range from penny slots to $25 slots.

Note: They only run live table games on certain weekends.

The Daiquiri Shack

So now you've hit up the beach and won some money at the casino.  Walk just next door and there is  this little place called The Daiquiri Shack (Daq Shack).  I hear this place is AMAZING.  Seriously, so many people have told me about this place and not one person had anything negative to say.  It's right across the street from the Melia.  I didn't know about it last time I was in Nassau, but I can't wait to go this time!  They make all sorts of daiquiris with fresh fruit...cut up right in front of your eyes.  You can pick up to 3 fruits to mix together.  Everyone I have come across say they are the best- even if you get it without any alcohol. Really, if you don't believe me, just go look at their Trip Advisor reviews.  They have quite the following.   Ahh, I can taste them now!  17 days 17 days.  lol.

*Update 1/8/17* I've now been there multiple times, and it really is amazing!  The people who run it are really nice, and the drinks taste so good.  I don't know what happens to Bahemian bananas, but they taste nothing like the bananas in the US.  I really don't like US bananas, but put them in your daiquiri here and it's delicious!  You can't beat the $6 price tag either!

Arawak Cay

You also can't miss the Fish Fry in Arawak Cay!  They have a lot of little restaurants all in one area that serves local Bahamian food.  All sorts of conch, peas n rice, seafood, great drinks.  If beer is more your thing, the local Bahamian beer is called Kalik.  Plan ahead when you go here though because they are definitely on island time.  It could take a few hours to complete your meal.  There are a few famous restaurants in there like Twin Brothers and Oh Andros.  I didn't make it here last time I was in Nassau but I really hope to get there this time.   

Cracked Conch.  You need to try this!

Kalik.  Bahamian Beer.


The Graycliff's hotel is known for their famous chocolates!  They offer quick tours of the facilities, along with longer tours where you can learn to make your own chocolate!  They also offer cigar rolling classes.

I want this in my mouth now.  I am definitely checking this out when I go!  I will probably be bringing boxes of these home.  If you want to see more about the tours,  check it out here.

Pirate Museum

If you have kids with you, or if you're into the pirate history of the island, you might want to explore the interactive pirate museum.  It features real sounds as if you were there (like the ocean lapping on the boat, pirates cheering, etc), an area where they have objects and remains from pirate times, another area where they dispel the many myths and enlightens you to the reality of the times- sometimes even more adventuresome than they myths (according to their website).  They also offer a gift shop. The costs are $13 for adults or $6.50 for kids ages 4-17.  You can learn more here.  .Even though we're not bringing my son with us this time- it might be fun to check out.

Queens Staircase

The Queen's Staircase consists of 65 steps carved out of limestone by slaves back in the late 1700s.  It is honoring Queen Victoria for her help in bringing about the abolition of slavery in the Bahamas.  The staircase is free to visit and walk up.  

Straw Market

If you've come to the Bahamas to shop, you'll probably find yourself at the Straw Market.  They sell all sorts of hand woven straw hats, bags, conch shell jewelry, wood carvings.  Break out your negotiating skills here.  They are accustomed to going back and forth on price.  One word of caution however: Make sure it's locally made if that's what you're looking for.  I've heard some people say that they noticed a lot of the items came from Asia...

Those are a few ideas to get you going on planning your day in Nassau!  Check back in August for my Carnival Cruise Review and pictures on what we ended up doing in Nassau!

Have you been there before?  What are your favorite things to do?  Anything I shouldn't miss while I'm there?  

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  1. Ah I love the Bahamas!! Looks like you had a great trip. I've never been on a cruise!

    1. Hi Brittany! Ahh, you should definitely try a cruise! They are so much fun!

  2. I love researching for travel too!! Whenever my friends suggest a trip I always volunteer to do the research. :) I love the Bahamas although I have only visited Nassau once on a cruise. I'd love to go back and stay for a few days.

    1. Hi Lizzy! Yay, someone else who loves to research travel! I feel like it extends the vacation. It's all the anticipation leading up to it that you can prolong. The actual vacation itself is over in the blink of an eye! Staying in Nassau for a few days would be great to try and see more! This will be my second time back, but on a cruise again, so not a lot of time!

  3. I am ready to go! When is my flight???

    1. haha, I'm sure we can squeeze you in the cabin if you don't mind sleeping on a couch! August 2nd- your couch will be waiting! lol.

  4. thanks for all the info. We are going on a cruise to the Bahamas in October. This will be our 2nd time going to the Bahamas on a cruise and I haven't booked an excursion this time because we really aren't wanting to do any of them that Carnival have listed. We are just wanting to go to the beach and your first article looks pretty good.

    1. Oh, that'll be fun Cathy! Countdown til October! Yes, if you are looking for a beach day with some pools and amenities, the Melia Resort is a great choice!

  5. Thanks for sharing this! Lots of cool pictures, the truffles make me want chocolate really bad!

    1. Hi Robyn! Thanks, yes, looking at those truffles are making me want them now too!

  6. This looks like a lot of fun, thank you so much for sharing so we can gather info before even getting there! Awesome post!

    1. Hi Ella! No problem, I hope you guys have an awesome time!

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