We got off the boat quickly i.e. in minutes, which was surprising since we expected large lines. Waited a while and finally connected with "Nugget" from "Smiling Pat's Adventures". Nugget took us for a tour in has van, and over to Paradise Cove. It was a beautiful beach, where we spent a couple of hours swimming in the turquoise water. And then for a tour of a small marketplace in Freeport, past some beautiful homes, and then spent some time shopping in the Port Lucaya Marketplace.
It was great way to spend a day. I could easily have spent the entire day at Paradise Cove, but we wanted to see some of the sights, since we had never been there before. I would definitely like to go back.
It was a very quick disembark, into the hot, hot, hot weather in Nassau. From the ship we could see Atlantis, but weren't interested in visiting there. We walked through the cruise ship welcome center, past all the people offering many types of excursions, cab rides, horse carriage rides, etc. You can find every type of excursion, right there at the port, if you haven't booked ahead of time.
The downtown area is basically two streets running parallel to the port. There were LOTS of jewelry shops. I have never seen so many sparkling diamonds and gem stones in one place. There were a bunch of t-shirt shops, a very nice perfume shop, and a linen shop that seemed out of place, plus a bunch of banks. There was also a straw marketplace, which was extremely hot. I don't know how people stay there all day without passing out. It has many very tight rows of t-shirts, towels, purses, caps, etc. After a couple of rows they all seem the same though.
There really weren't too many places to grab a bite to eat. Senor Frogs was loud and hot and bustling with tourists. Hard Rock Cafe was busy, but you can find a Hard Rock anywhere. We couldn't find any local places to grab a quick lunch. So we ended up having ice cream, and then returning to the ship for a late lunch.
Next time, I hope to see more of the island and visit one of their beautiful beaches. And still squeeze in some time for the great shopping there.