It’s a little unsettling, when your cruise ship pulls into a port in Nassau, Bahamas and promptly issues you a safety advisory direct from the US Embassy.
The basic gist of the warning, and of articles I’ve read since, is that crime rate (and homicide) is extremely high in this city and tourists have to be on extreme guard. The article from the cruise ship, printed on the same pamphlet that wished us a fun day in the Bahamas, warned us to not wear expensive looking jewelry or to travel with large amounts of cash.
I instantly wished that I had left my strands of diamonds at home and had instead brought my steel-toed flip-flops. 😉
Better luck next time, eh?
Nate and I had already booked our excursion for the day; and after reading the warning, we seriously contemplated canceling, fully realizing we wouldn’t get a refund. Although our excursion was a beach day at Atlantis (I’m sure most of you have seen commercials of the resort), I wasn’t sure if I wanted to risk it. (A.k.a. risk my life and well-being).
In the end, however, we decided to go, as we knew that we’d be inside the safety of the resort for the majority of the day.
So here is the good, the bad, and the ugly of our excursion that day… 🙂
Atlantis itself was really something to see! There were palm trees everywhere, which always makes me absolutely giddy with happiness.
There were waterfalls, shark tanks, aquariums, a water-park (which we didn’t pay to have access to), and a beach with access to the ocean. And maybe the most impressive thing of all was the resort’s appearance itself, which seemed to stretch on forever.
Oh, yes, and there were high-end shops inside the resort, if one got tired of looking at sharks, exotic fish, and crystal-blue waves. 😉
Nate and I found a comfortable – and surprisingly private – spot by one of the pools, and we read for awhile, while enjoying the warm sunshine.
Around lunch-time, we explored the many casual-dining options, several which were included in our beach-day package; and I have to say that I LOVED the fried fish and French fries that we ordered from one of the cafe’s. Since I live in New England, I’ve had my share of amazing fried seafood, and I almost hesitate to give such a high rating… But I’m fairly certain that this was the BEST fried fish that I have had in my entire life!!
It was sooooo fresh, crispy, perfectly-seasoned, and delicious!
That being said, I have to be honest and give a complete review of our day in Nasssau. From the moment Nate and I stepped off the ship, we were bombarded by the locals who were trying to sell their wares. We had stepped foot in their home, so we did our best to be as polite as possible. But it quickly became clear that they were going to follow us and to continue strongly ‘encouraging’ us to buy what they had to sell. At times, I was uncomfortable to the point of being nervous, as we were surrounded and being pressed so firmly.
Also, on the beach of Atlantis, we were supposed to receive two lawn chairs to sit at for the day, but the staff told us that although the chairs were free, we had to tip them if they were to give us the chairs. (Nate, of course, didn’t have any cash on him, so tipping was out of the question). In addition to this, we were consistently pushed to buy alcoholic drinks, and I was pushed to get my hair braded for a fee.
After saying ‘no’ a few too many times, the responses we received in return began to feel less than friendly.
For me, the bottom line is that Atlantis is absolutely beautiful, and Nate and I did have fun!! But in all honesty, the overall experience left me rather uncomfortable. For one, there is the very real threat of being robbed while in Nassau. And secondly, if I was returning with supplies to help the population that is obviously very much in need of assistance, I would consider a return visit. But to go back as a relaxed, sunglass-wearing tourist and to flash what can only be seen by the locals as arrogant, American wealth? Fun day or not, I just wouldn’t!
A few more pics from the day!