Fun, Sun, Drinking, and Dancing! Part 1

When we headed for Nassau we thought it would be like other Caribbean islands where the only thing to do is lay in the sun. However, we found a whole lot more to do than what we expected.

Fun, Sun, Drinking, and Dancing! Part 1

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by lashr1999 on August 24, 2006

Nassau is a good place to relax and enjoy the hot and humid climate of the Caribbean. The crystal clear waters and bright red sunset will captivate you. Nassau has been the center of color and culture in the islands. Just look at the islands history of piracy, rum-smuggling, and colonialism.

When here, the best excursion to do is the powerboat adventure which takes you to the private Exumas Islands. The tour is a bit expensive but worth every penny. You get to experience wildlife, participate in different activities or just lie on the beach.

Take a trip to visit Atlantis and see the aquatic exhibits such as the dig. Go around 7pm to avoid the entrance fee. The site is not too Bohemian, and it seems to try to be a mini Las Vegas. If you have kids it would be a nice place to stay.

The straw market is a place to find handicraft goods. Be aware that some items advertised as Bahamian may actually be from Asia. Be prepared to do a lot of bargaining here to get the best prices. Please note that the Bahamian dollar has the exact same value as the US dollar, so you can bring your own money if you wish.

${QuickSuggestions} For nightlife try Senor Frog’s and the Paradise Café both can be hit or miss depending on the time of day. Also around this area is the Fluid Lounge, Bahamians say this is the place to go for hip hop and native Bahamian music.

For authentic Bahamian food try the restaurants in the Arawak Cay area. Try the conch fritters for a taste of something different. ${BestWay} Jitney buses can take you to the main parts of Nassau. They cost $1 one way. The number 10 bus connects cable beach to downtown. The buses do not connect Nassau to Paradise Island.

Small ferry boats are used to connect Nassau and Paradise Island they cost $3 one way.

Cabs can also be hailed if you need a ride. Be sure you negotiate the price before hand to avoid surprises later on.

Powerboat Adventures: You Have to Do It!!!

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by lashr1999 on August 24, 2006

Warning, this journal has spoilers, don't view it if you are going to do it!

Exhausted from the previous night, we reluctantly woke up the next morning to go to the powerboat adventure. The bus was a bit late coming to the hotel to pick us up. It picked up people from other hotels then dropped us off to a shop near Nassau Harbor. Here, we were given a disclaimer to sign. Basically, if you get hurt, they are not responsible. My friend Jessie read the part about a possibility that a shark could bite and was apprehensive about signing the papers.

Getting on board some groups were given a pink ticket and some were given a yellow tickets. We were then split to go into two boats. On board we were given a brief safety talk and told where to find the life vests. The crew did not pass them around so Jessie screamed for one of her own.

Once you leave the dock the boat speeds even faster.

The destination is the Exuma’s Cay about 38 miles away. You feel the wind and salty air hitting your face. It was exhilarating. The journey to the first stop took us about 45 minutes so we were doing about 40 miles an hour on average. When the boat finally stops you feel your face tingling for several minutes due to the air and salty hitting your face. It feels funny.

The first stop is Allan’s Cay here you see an island of Iguana Dragon lizards. These prehistoric looking creatures actually come out to see you from the bushes to be fed.

We were warned that the Iguanas bite and to only feed them with a long branch so they won’ have you as a snack as well.

Watch out, the Iguana will try to nibble on your toes if you get too close. The beach and water here were crystal clear you could see fish in the waters close to the beach.

After a while we headed to the boat to continue on to our second destination, Ship Channel Cay, a private island. Along the way we did several racing maneuvers with the second boat. We were having fun being bounced around a bit.

A short time later we reached Ship Channel Cay. When the boat stopped we could see stingrays and sharks close by.

We headed to the base with a renovated fishing cottage. Here, we had access to unlimited drinks, beer, cocktails and snacks. We tried a couple of drink but we kept coming back for a drink called ‘that thang’. The guy at the bar joked about how much we loved that thang in his island accent.

A few drinks we headed to relax on the beach with drink in hand. The sand was a whitish pink powder and the water was a crystal clear blue green.

You could see small colorful fish swim right by you.

About an hour later the guide called us to fed the sting rays.

We were warned not to step on their tail or we could get stung. The creature are not aggressive unless they feel threatened or hurt. Those that wanted to feed the stingrays were given small pieces of fish. We held our hands under water and the stingrays sucked up the fish. Jessie was scared to feed them so I held her hand under water so she could feed them. She was terrified but she feed them.

Liz was somewhere far from the stingrays.

Next, the guide started to lure the sharks close to the shore with a big bloody piece of fish.

Many sharks headed towards the beach, we were told it was a very good day.

There were not usually this many. You have to see how close they got to believe it.

The guides had to scared the sharks off with a stick if they got to close to them or us. This was exciting and scary at the same time. Jesse and I stayed up close.

Liz the wiser of our trio stayed further behind. Little children were trying to go up closer to the sharks than their parents.

After this the guides invited everyone to scuba with them. Not being able to swim Jessie, Liz and I stayed behind to drink and relax on the beach. We everyone came back it was time to eat. A buffet of salad, rice, grouper, bread and meat were served. The food all tasted very good as we continued sipping on That Thang.

Jessie after having a lot of liquid courage amazingly went with the guide when he asked if anyone wanted to scuba dive. Liz and I still having our senses partially intact stayed on the beach and relaxed. When Jessie finally came back we got to hear what an amazing time she had how she saw a shark in the water. Then, she started to convince us to go scuba diving the final time they were going. She said she was the most terrified member of our group and a hypochondriac and if she could do it we could as well. After awhile of hearing this and drinking some more Liz and I decided to go. I was afraid of drowning since I could not swim and Liz was afraid of the sharks. We headed to the water with the group I had a life vest and inner tube on as well as the scuba gear. Liz went back to the boat as soon as she went in. Jessie and I continued. I had always wanted to try this but I could not swim. Everyone was getting further away from Jessie and I since the current was strong. Then Jessie was closer to the group than I was. I was floating above the water scared the inner tube and the vest might somehow fail at the same time and I would be pulled underwater. Anyway, I did manage to dip my head underwater with my scuba gear and was amazed by the fish and the clean water that I saw. It was looking at a topical fish tank there were colorful fish swimming in different places and different plant. At one point I saw the fin on a shark but that didn’t bother me. Panic was setting in because the group was far away and I was not going towards them since the current was so strong. I was trying to paddle as hard as I could but I would only move a few inches. Visions of open water shot through my head at the same time, since yes these were shark infested waters. But I kept looking at the water and was calmed by the sea life around.

I knew the boat was nearby and was watching us. Everyone else was headed to shore. Since the current was strong the boat picked Jessie up and then came for me. For some reason the ship line had become tangled with me and it was pulling me and I had problems getting on. Boy, was I scared that I would go under. When I finally did manage to get on board I plopped on board like a dead fish. The rope was still tangled with me, it took awhile to get it off. It was a terrifying experience towards the end but I am glad I got to experience some of the beauty of the Caribbean sea. However, I don’t think I will be trying to scuba again anytime soon.

It was about time to leave the guide showed us a video of our adventure which was pretty good. I brought a copy. After another that thang it was time to leave and we had to say good bye to the crew.

We sped back the way we came. It had been a great day it was well worth the $200 each we spent to go on the trip. If I go back I would have to do this trip again!

Fish Fry at Arawak Cay

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by lashr1999 on August 24, 2006

At Arawak Cay there are a group of restaurants that the locals refer to as the Fish Fry.

For appetizers we had the fried conch fritter. They were pretty good and my friends were eating it. That was until she started trying to find out what it was made from. At first my friend thought is was cod fish or bacalo in Spanish. Then, I pointed to the picture on the wall and pointed to the seashell and told here the inside is what she was eating. At that point she stopped eating it and said I can’t believe I made her eat that. This is from a girl who eats raw clams.

Anyway, the rest of the food was pretty good. I ate the ribs and rice which was delicious. My friend ordered some seafood dished which they liked. The drinks offered were excellent. I loved their Pina Coladas. They are served in a variety of size and come virgin or with a shot of rum added for $1 more. You can guess which version of the drink I had.

The service is pretty slow I have to admit, I guess they work on island time. Also the waitress who my friend first asked about the conch didn’t know how to explain what it was.

The fish fry restaurants are pretty easy to get to. You can take the $1 10 bus or take a cab from cable beach or downtown.

Fish Fry at Arawak Cay
West Bay Street
Nassau, Bahamas

British Colonial Hilton

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by lashr1999 on August 24, 2006

The Hilton is a reasonably priced hotel in the downtown Nassau area. The hotel staff members were pretty pleasant during our stay and always answered our question. The only problem we had is that they forgot to ring us for a wake-up call we requested. They apologized the next day for this.

The hotel itself is about 100 years old. It has been undergoing renovations, and some of the décor is a bit dated. I think it adds to character of the place and makes for some nice photos. The weekend we were there, two brides were taking their wedding pictures in the hotel on the staircase.

The rooms are quite comfortable, with all the essentials you will need. The bathroom is quite large and has both a bathtub and a shower. The staff kept the room pretty clean during our stay.

On the outside there is a private garden and beach area for hotel guests. There is also a pool and a bar area as well. We spent some time here and were happy with is. The drinks offered were great. The hotel has several bars and restaurants. We ate at one of the restaurant here, which had a seafood buffet. Everyone was happy with our meals and service. I have to say that the desserts were excellent, and I loved their chocolate.

The thing that makes this place a great place to stay is its location. It is just a few blocks from the straw market, so you could buy your item and keep them back at the hotel. It is also on the same block at the Flamingo Café and Senor Frogs. After a night of partying, you can easily find your way back to your hotel. The Fluid Lounge, where tourists and natives listen to hip-hop and other music, is about 2 blocks from the hotel. You can take a 5-minute walk to take the boat ferry to Paradise Island or take a cab, which takes 10 minutes to get there. The restaurants at Fish Cay and Ardastra Garden is about 5 to 10 minutes by cab or the $1 #10 bus.

Senor Frogs

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by lashr1999 on August 24, 2006

Senor Frog's is probably the most well known party place in Nassau. It is a Mexican chain restaurant which can be loaded with tourists looking for a good time depending on the time of day.

On one side is the restaurant area with tables and silverware. It was here we ate one night. This area is very beautiful and scenic since it overlooks the harbor and you can see ships in the distance. We ate chicken fajitas with rice which was pretty good. They give nice portions for prices which ranges from $12 to $25. I would call these dishes more Tex-Mex rather than authentic Mexican fare.

There is a bar and dance area where they play some good music at times. Here there is music and dancing, conga lines, karaoke, and a party atmosphere. Remember, free drinks are given to those that join the conga or karaoke. This is a really fun place to stop for a cold drink. Stay away from the Strawberry Daiquiris they were a bit too syrupy sweet for me and my friends taste. There are some cool glow in the dark neon signs hung around the place that are funny to read.

For us this place was hit or miss depending on the time we went. When cruise ships disembark many of their passengers walk here. I suspect during spring break the party would last the whole night through.

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