A December 2004 trip
to Nassau by roset1204
Quote: Destination beach.
The best memory of our trip to Nassau was that of the people. They truly are very nice and go out of their way to be helpful. While this definitely includes the staff at Sandyport, all locals we encountered were friendly and willing to go out of their way to be helpful. Many provided directions, free samples of liquor, and offered to be our camera person. All had smiles and friendly hellos! While I am sure there are many areas that one could find trouble in Nassau, I felt relatively safe at all times.
Take a taxi to Compass Point for dinner. It was great!
We looked into Cafe Matisse. . .what an amazing atmosphere. Unfortuantely, our shedule didn't permit us to have dinner there. But I would add it to the list for our next trip!
The lagoons and attractions at Atlantis are worth a visit. It's an amazing resort.
Hotel | "Atlantis Paradise Island Resort and Casino"
The beach tower is a good distance from the casino. If I were going again, I would pay to stay in the Coral or Royal towers.
The resort is huge. We walked the resort when we first arrived...it took us two hours to walk the grounds. It is amazing. The lagoons, water slides, pools, beaches, all were beautiful. It is a first-class resort.
I am glad that I stayed at Atlantis. Just to see and experience the resort. It is expensive for food and drink. A liter bottle of water is $5.25. But a note: everything is expensive in the Bahamas! A Big Mac is $3.99 at the McDonald's in downtown Nassau (12/2003).
The lagoons were impressive...we actually saw a sawfish in the predator lagoon! The casino was great. Would have loved to do the lazy river...but the water was way too cold for me. My friend went down the Mayan Temple water slide, twice! It was fun to watch as those that dared ended their ride. Most staggered a little on rising...and all said a four-letter word! Most said once was enough!
We had lunch at the beach bar. We shared a basket of conch fingers and fries, two rum drinks, and a bottle of water for $28.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 9, 2004
Atlantis Paradise Island Royal Tower
The units were very clean and the grounds were well kept. The entire Sandyport area is very nice and very well kept. The private homes across the bay are very expensive and exclusive.
Sandyport Beach is actually across the street from the resort. The Beaches Restaurant was closed for remodeling while we were there.
The beach is very small and was not as clean as I would have liked. There is also a small "beach" area that overlooks the bay -- we used this during our stay. This area is adjacent to the pool(s). The "bay beach" area could have benefited from some attention (clean up and sand grating), but overall, it was nice.
The resort claims to have three pools . . . and they do. However, all three pools are joined to each other. The "beach/pool" bar was not open while we were there.
About the unit itself: there are very few drawers in which to place clothing in the master bedroom. The first set of sheets for the master bed was torn and had holes. However, the bath towels and sheets were exchanged more often than other resorts I have stayed at. The second set of sheets were in slightly better condition.
The 3-bedroom unit did not have a washer and dryer in the unit. The kitchen was very small but adequate. The resort provided enough dishwashing soap and paper towels for the week -- the amount provided was more than other condos I have stayed in.
We brought a small suitcase with food from the States and a small cooler of frozen meat. I would recommend anyone to do the same to save on the amount you will spend on food.
We rode the jitney buses for $1 to Cable Beach and downtown Nassau. We also used the Sandyport Town Mall double-decker bus. This bus runs until 10pm and is free. It will take you as far as Cable Beach and back. You can catch the double-decker by the Sandyport Mall entrance. It's stated to run every 10 minutes. You catch the jitney by the entrance to the resort. Jitneys run until 6pm.
We did have three uninvited "visitors" (roaches) in our condo during the week, but I guess this is to be expected in the tropics.
Television is available in the unit and you receive channels from Miami stations. This was nice to catch the football scores on Sunday.
We brought a CD player/radio and CDs. We ended up listening to the local radio station, which played lots of island music.
The telephone service is expensive. I signed up with AT&T for a calling card that charged $.37 a minute (this is cheap compared to Bahamas prices) to call back to the States. There is a surcharge for each telephone call added to your bill even if you use an 800 number.
The balcony was small but great to have breakfast and dinner on.
We managed to elude the salesperson wanting to give us a "tour". However, our neighbors did not and were stuck for over an hour. Apparently, he just wouldn't take no for an answer.
Speaking of our neighbors . . . we had a floor unit and awoke each morning (7am) to the noise of the kids upstairs pushing a chair across the floor to get cereal out of the cabinet.
I would categorize the resort as very quiet. We saw very few people while we were there. We did attend the resort's "Get Acquainted" happy hour and appetizer function on Wednesday night. Rum punch, conch fritters, Buffalo wings, and veggies and dip were the fare. We played a few games to break the ice. In the lobby, there was a vendor selling jewelry, t-shirts, etc. If you stopped to look, she was determined to sell you something (bargaining), but she would eventually take no for an answer.
I greatly enjoyed my stay at Sandyport Beaches and I would not hesitate to stay there again.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 9, 2004
Sandyport Beaches Resort
West Bay Street
Restaurant | "The Poop Deck at Sandy Point"
The Poop Deck at Sandyport
Sandyport Marina Village, West Bay Street
Restaurant | "Conch Fritters Bar & Grill"
Member Rating 2 out of 5 on January 9, 2004
Conch Fritters Bar & Grill
Marlborough Street Across from British Colonial Hilton
Restaurant | "Italian restaurant at the Sheraton Cable Beach"
Member Rating 1 out of 5 on January 9, 2004
Sheraton Cable Beach
Restaurant | "Fathoms at Atlantis"
Live dancers were present during the evening. The wait staff also sang "Happy Birthday" to many tables during the evening. But it isn't too cheesy!
The restaurant sits within the "Dig" and many of the walls are actually windows looking into the large lagoons. Rays, sharks, grouper, and snapper swim by on a regular basis. You must make reservations to get into the restaurant, and I would recommend making them several days ahead. We made them the day of and had to wait until 9pm to get a table. The service was okay.
Fathoms is not the most expensive restaurant at Atlantis, nor the least. The more expensive restaurants at Atlantis require shirts and coats. Fathoms required resort casual (for men, dockers and a shirt with collar).
This is the second best meal that we had during our trip, Compass Point being was the best. Both were in the $140 (with tip and wine) price range.
Atlantis Resort, Royal Towers
Paradise Island, Bahamas
+1 242 363 3000 ext.
Restaurant | "Compass Point"
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 9, 2004
Compass Point Restaurant
Gambier Village West Bay Street
+242 327 4500
Attraction | "Flying Cloud"
I have been on MANY of the same types of trip when I visit Key West. The Bahamas sail did not live up to the high standards of Key West. The distance from the port is very short...the reef appears to be dead or dying. Nothing compared to the reefs in Key West. There were few fish around the reef. The crew did feed the fish, which caused many small fish to gather.
The water temperature was chilly...they were renting wetsuits for an additional $8 on board. We decided to be tough. I had goose bumps and lasted only about 40 minutes in the water.
After snorkeling, you received one free rum drink. Additional rum punch was $5 cash. The crew was friendly and we enjoyed meeting many interesting people on board. We enjoyed the trip.
Flying Cloud has a full-day trip on Sunday, which I think would be a better bargain. However, it didn't fit within our travel plans.
Flying Cloud Catamaran
Paradise Island Ferry Dock PO Box SS-19052
Attraction | "Atlantis Casino"
Atlantis Paradise Island Resort & Casino
One Casino Drive
Paradise Island, Bahamas
Crystal Palace Casino
West Bay Street at Cable Beach Post Office Box N-8306
Attraction | "Grocery Store"
All prices are going to be much more expensive than what you are used to in the States. Estimate anywhere from 1 - 3 dollars more since all items are shipped by boat from the States.
Since we had a full kitchen at our disposal, we planned to eat breakfast, lunch and two dinners (steak and tacos) at our condo. I had done some research and noted the cost of food and the availability, so I planned to bring items with us. I would recommend this to all...especially those that are traveling with families. Most of the canned goods were available to buy at the "major" grocery stores...for a few dollars more. The price of fresh produce was also a few dollars more. We purchased Diet Coke, water, juice, etc. I would defintely do the same thing again, especially bring the meat items, if visiting the Bahamas and I had access to kitchen.
We packed the following in a checked suitcase:
bread - it was mashed but still usable
chips - most of them broken but edible
can of refried beans
can of tomatoes
In a small cooler (all items frozen) we carried on:
1 1/2 pounds of hamburger
small boneless ham 2 pounds
small turkey breast 1 pound
bag of prepared salad
All of the above items made it without any problems. Most of the meat was still frozen.
There is one liquor store in Sandyport Mall. There are also several liquor stores on the main street in downtown Nassau. The prices are only about $1 cheaper than at the Sandyport liquor store.
The rum is definitely cheap in the Bahamas!! I made a frozen drink with pineapple juice, OJ, rum, and mango rum that was excellent on the beach! The condo had a blender that we used each day! A liter of Bacardi Special Rum is about $8 or $9. Beer is pricy in the Bahamas...a case of beer is about $46 (no matter the brand). Another great buy is Stoli vodka. We brought home 3 liters of Stoli vodka for $9 a bottle. We noticed that most on the plane that carried liquor home had Stoli as well.
Sandyport Mall Grocery Store
Attraction | "Seafood/Fish Market"
What an adventure and a great way to see local life! Walking along looking at each offering...we were soon asked by nice woman what we were shopping for. My friend said lobster...and she said, "Follow me." Away we went down the street, under the bridge to a vendor that had about 10 fresh live lobster. As she left us to bargain for our dinner, she said, "Stop by for a beer at my stand."
The lobster in the Bahamas do not have claws. We purchased two nice-size lobsters (each with about a 2-pound tail). The lobsters, kicking, were placed in a plastic bag. We then indeed headed back to our friendly lady for that beer, and she popped the tops and placed them in two small brown bags (for walking down the street).
As we strolled the "market," we noticed locals playing games, eating, and socializing. We headed back to the main street (Bay Street turns into a one-way, so we had to walk a little further to find a comfortable area to get to the street going back to town). Once there, we flagged down a jitney and headed back to Sandyport.
The lobster were delicious that evening!
Potter's Cay Fish Market
Harbour Area of Nassau