A cruise stopover in the Bahamas – A little taste of the Caribbean

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I will forever cherish the Bahamas because that’s where the next chapter of my life began. That’s where my sun-and-stars got down on 1 knee and proposed. That’s where the white gold ring with the sparkling diamond and pink gold ribbons married my finger till death or amputation do them apart. That’s where it all began. Birthmark.

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We sailed to the Bahamas aboard the Norwegian Sky from Miami, Florida. I’ll skip the cruise part for another post and just talk about the Bahamas, Nassau to be precise.

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We docked at Nassau port and excitedly scurried off the cruise liner. I know it’s not fair for me to judge the whole island based on a cruise stopover but you know what they say about first impressions!

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There were many massive cruise liner in the turquoise waters. We stopped for pictures and then we were off to explore ‘The Bahamas’.

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After like 50 m we came to the ‘gateway’ and I couldn’t believe my eyes! I thought to myself ‘Is this it?’. It looked old and battered, the buildings looked like they could use some real TLC, there were people everywhere trying to sell you things you don’t need, there were cab drivers trying to take you to all these supposedly nice places! It was chaos. It was totally run down! This couldn’t be the Bahamas! I was confused, that’s not what the pictures said 😦 .

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Maybe it’s only bad here, you know how Chris Brown said ‘It could get ugly before it gets beautiful’ maybe if we walk further in, this frog would turn into a prince. No, there was no prince to be found around the port, just more indoor and street markets selling the same ol’ stuff. It reminded me of Small Street in Johannesburg.

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I was wearing my Zulu beads and people came up with all sorts of assumptions about their meaning. (Is asking that hard?) Trying to comment on them in the hope of enticing me to buy somethings from them and ignorantly insulting me in the process. And the one stupid guy who asked where we were from and I said ‘Zimbabwe’ and had to explain (yes it’s a country, next to South Africa, no we not dying of poverty idiot and no I don’t know Jimmy from Nigeria, no these beads are not from the Masai tribe! What do you mean how did we get here??). Then after pointing out that Africa was actually a continent with 54 countries and over 3000 tribes, and that we didn’t all know each other, we moved on. Came across a nice soldier and we had a great chat.

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Ok, we decided, let’s take a cab and get out of here. We haggled down the obviously overpriced taxi fare and settled to pay $12 ($6 pp) for the trip to Paradise Island. It was just like a kilometre away! And they’d made us pay $12! Talk about daylight robbery! We passed a toll gate and entered a whole new world! A more Bahamas-like Bahamas. This was more like it. I approved. Even the air smelled different, fresher! How such contradicting world’s could be just a kilometre apart beats me but again I live in Cape Town I should understand.

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We decided a trip to the Caribbean would be incomplete without rum. So we tried everything rum, from rum cake to rum chocolate to rum rum. Captain Jack Sparrow would have been so proud or upset that we finished the rum!

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And what do you know! The Bahamas is beautiful after all. Atlantis on Paradise Island was fit for the god of sea! Poseidon must have really taken his time creating it! It was picture perfect complete with sugar sand beaches, turquoise waters, a stunning aquarium, a casino and a water park [We didn’t have time to enjoy the water park (negative), but now we have an excuse to go back (positive)].

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As a day visitor you have to purchase a day-pass. The pass that allows you access to almost everything cost $135 pp (R1800) which is a bit steep and access excluding the water park was $69 pp (R880).

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After you done with Atlantis (not that you can ever be done, but you need to leave at some point) you exit to a yatch filled area and cute but overpriced shops.

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Going back, we decided to walk now that we knew where we were going. We walked over a bridge looking far into nothingness on the left and into ships on the right.

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As we approached our destination we walked past what seemed like deserted buildings and closed down shops. There were not many people in sight and we just wandered around off the beaten path.

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Later back in our cabin on the boat, we found a note that had been left by the cleaning staff. It was a WARNING that Nassau was listed as a ‘High crime zone by the US govenment’ following numerous attacks of all kinds on tourists. The warning strongly advised against walking around the island alone. And we had done just that! Thankfully nothing had happened to us, probably because we looked like the locals 🙂

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I still can’t get over how under developed some parts of the Bahamas are though! I’ll gladly go to the Bahamas again and stay longer to really get to know it, a day wasn’t quite enough. Maybe next time we will even hop on a carriage for a sight seeing tour.

Then it was back on the boat for me and my muggle with Cuban cigars and turquoise waters in the back drop and blue skies with feathery clouds above and jacuzzis and endless parties.

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