Nassau (Photo:Ruth Peterkin/Shutterstock)
3.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating

By Cruise Critic Staff

Port of Nassau

Nassau, with its blend of influences from West Africa to England and from Haiti to the United States, is one of the most popular (and often congested) cruise ports in the Caribbean and Bahamas.

About Nassau


Pro

The port is vibrant and easily navigable, offering beachy activities and affordable souvenirs.

Con

It's commercialized and often crowded; pushy locals hinder relaxation by hawking their wares.

Bottom Line

This is a great destination for first-timers looking for affordable beach time.


Find a Cruise to Nassau



The yellow and blue stripes on the Bahamian flag represent the nation's sandy beaches and surrounding ocean, while the black triangle stands for unity and the people's determination to develop the land and the sea. With endlessly developing hotels, resorts and shopping areas, it isn't hard to make this connection in Nassau, the capital of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.

Nassau is located on the 21-mile-long-island of New Providence and is connected, via bridge, to Paradise Island, another popular Bahamian destination.

The city of Nassau features tropical, tree-lined streets, filled with horse-drawn surreys, ruled by policemen in white starched jackets and colorful pith helmets; soft-sanded beaches for kicking back and catching ocean breezes; lavish, Vegas-type casinos; and a decent range of duty-free shopping stops. But, as much as this vibrant town center is a cruise visitor's first impression, most head out on beach adventures at massive hotel and resort complexes like Atlantis or on boating adventures that range from dolphin encounters to booze cruises.

Nassau's central location, just off the coast of Southern Florida, is one of its chief pluses, making it an easy mini-cruise port of call for ships passing through on the way to the Caribbean islands.

Where You're Docked

You'll dock at Prince George Wharf, near Rawson Square and the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism -- great for picking up maps, brochures, etc. -- in the heart of Nassau.

Good to Know

While there's no need to be especially alert, it does pay to leave valuables and excess cash in your stateroom safe and keep an eye on your surroundings.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money

Legal tender is the Bahamian dollar, which is equivalent in value to the U.S. dollar. Both U.S. and Bahamian dollars are accepted interchangeably throughout the island. European currency is not, so exchange it as necessary at a bank or ATM. (You'll find them at Rawson Square, Bay Street and at the casinos.) All banks and their branches are generally open 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday and until 5 p.m. on Friday. For more currency exchange information, visit www.xe.com or www.oanda.com.

Editor's note: Some hotels and restaurants add a fee for cashing traveler's checks.

Language

English is spoken in the Bahamas.

Shopping

Junkanoo handicrafts are always a sure bet and can be found throughout the island.

Best Cocktail

You can find Oswald Greenslade, once Bacardi Bartender of the Year, at the Poop Deck in SandyPort (near Cable Beach). Author of the book One More Cocktail (available for purchase at the Poop Deck), Greenslade is also the mixologist behind our favorite Bahamian concoctions. Splish Splash is a heavenly drink made from Bacardi Select, Nassau Royal Liqueur, pineapple juice, bananas, cream and sugarcane syrup, but his colleagues insist he is best known for his Bahama Mama. If your ship offers an evening call, try happy hour from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. (closed Mondays) -- complete with complimentary treats. Your best chance of catching Greenslade (and maybe even an autographed copy of his book) is on Friday nights.

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