When we left you last we were spinning tortillas and exploring Mayan Ruins on the Yucatan in Mexico, and unforgettable experience! With just one stop left on our cruise we were a little bummed that the final day was scheduled to be a day at Norwegian Cruise Line’s private Bahamian Island, Great Stirrup Cay.
If you’re wondering where the lack of enthusiasm stemmed from its because one of the two of us had already visit this island paradise, and much like we described the non existent town of Costa Maya to you Great Stirrup Cay is very much a cruise ship on land. Aside from a beach with less than stellar snorkeling due to the poor dead coral reef, and the food cantinas that serve a glorified version of the same food from the ships cafeteria, there isn’t much to do. This little island had been a quick stop over on my solo trip to Cuba; and while I enjoyed my time there it wasn’t a place I really felt a need to revisit. As it turns out though luck was on our side, high winds in the area made dropping anchor near the island impossible and we were re-routed to Nassau, a place neither of us have traveled to before, but held plenty of allure having heard stories from other travelers of many good times had.
We’ve always said we’d keep things honest on this site- so here is the honest truth about our time in Nassau, it was just eh. We had a good time, but not a great time; not everything can be amazing all the time. Nassau is a busy cruise port, and like almost all cruise ports we’ve ever visited the area within walking distance of the ships reflects this, with lots of trinket shops, t-shirts for sale, and restaurants serving the same menu as all the others.
When we initially disembarked the ship we were a little at a loss for what to do. We knew that a day trip to nearby Atlantis Resort wasn’t only out of our interest but also out of our budget. We wanted something local- so after asking around we settled on Junkanoo Beach.
Junkanoo is a quaint and comfortable beach that caters to visitors and locals alike. You can rent chairs from a beach front vendor if a towel in the sand isn’t your jam. Hungry? No problem you can grab a snack from one of a dozen beach side stands, and if munchies aren’t on your to do list they’ll also gladly sell you a bucket of beer for 20 dollars or so.
After wasting a few hours away under the Bahamian sun we shook out our towels and headed back into the heart of Nassau to do some exploring. Other than Junkanoo Beach, the locals we talked to encouraged us to not miss the straw market before we left. I don’t know about you but for us the name straw market conjures up images of hand crafted goodies, art, and everything in between. What we didn’t expect the straw market to be was a large conglomeration of imported tourist trinkets from China, it wasn’t really our thing but if you’re looking for something to send home it’s not a bad place to look.
In full transparency Nassau was nothing like we expected it to be- although I’m still not sure what we expected. The massive amount of tourism brought into the area, from both the resorts and the cruise ships, has in many ways created a town were any sense of authenticity has been replaced with Starbucks and souvenir shops. It just felt sterile, like any other street in the US but attached to a tropical beach. It was nice, but I don’t think either of us really feel like we experience it, if that makes sense. That’s not to say we wouldn’t go back. Limited to transportation by our own two feet, and a tight timeline maybe we just didn’t have the chance to dig into the heart of what makes Nassau tick. At any rate, it was a beautiful day at the beach and a relaxing way to wrap up our cruise!
Curious about the rest of our cruise adventure? Here’s all the info on where we went and what we did:
- Norwegian Cruise Lines: Cruising In Style
- Jamaica: A Case Of The Munchies
- Grand Cayman: Sting Rays, Starfish, and Snorkeling
- The Mayan Coast
Our experience with Norwegian Cruise Lines really won us over to the joys of cruising. Are you a cruiser? Why or why not? Got a unique cruise story to share? Tell us more! Pop on down to the comments and say hi! As always thanks for reading and being a part of our adventure!