We are going on the Zuiderdam May 28. We will be going to Roadtown, Nassau, Half Moon Cay, and St. Thomas. Any suggestions about what to do? What is there to do on your own, and what would you recommend doing with the ship? Where are the best places to snorkel? Is there anything else important for us to know? Where not to go, where not to take a taxi? Thanks so much for your help!
We were in Nassua in 2001 and really wish we would have taken the shore tour to Atlantis Resort. Others on the ship that had done this said it was awesome. They were able to use the resort all day and all of the facitlities associated with it. Anyway, I hope you have a great time and have fun!
In Nassau, I recommend heading for Atlantis, an emormous resort/casino. There is a small ferry which goes to the resort departing from the pier. Or, you can take a taxi.
Half Moon Cay is the best part of the cruise, and here you'll find snorkeling. This private island is stunning and HAL has so much to do, with lunch included. St. Thomas is known for duty-free shopping, although personally I don't think there are any bargains to be found outside the US. Booze and cigarettes are about it. And, in St. Thomas you'll find lots of HAL snorkeling excursions available.
One thing about Atlantis-if you think you can just walk in and use the aquairums, pools, slides, and beach forget it. You need to be a guest of the resort or the Comfort Suites across the street. I believe there have been posts about getting a day room at both places, but it doesnt come cheap (bleieve they limit it to 4 people a room so you couldnt get a large group and chip in for a room)! Ive stayed there several times, and every time, there is a staff memeber posted at every door to the pool areas. If you cannont produce a wristband (colors change daily) or a room key, they will make you turn around and head back inside. This also applies to just wanting to look at the Dig and outside aquariums (they checked for wristbands at the Dig-my husband kept cutting his off and every time had to dig out his room key). Now you can wander around the shops, inside areas (except the Dig), eat there (though its very expensive and the food isnt that great), and casino (and use the casino) for free. There was a new Bahamian type shopping village being built near the marina that was opening soon (this was back in Feb). Check out some of the boats at the marina too-someday maybe! If you want to see the outside grounds, aquariums, and Dig, then it will cost you around $25 pp and you have to stay with the tour group. This still doesnt allow you to use the pools, etc though. Its definitely worth seeing the grounds and aquariums though. Im a scuba diver and could spend all day watching the fish swim around. They have animals that Ive never seen in the wild. If youre going to buy souvenirs be prepared to shell out the money. A long sleeve tee shirt with Atlantis screened on the back ran $70 (its nice quality though, and the stuff holds up pretty well). I bought a huge coloring book for around $12-15 and found it back in the states for half that price. Heres another little tibit we found out-the bridge suite (spans across the two tallest towers-Woody Harrleson -sp? stayed in it in the movie After the Sunset-with Pierce Brosnan) runs about $25,000 a night with a 4 night minimum stay. It was booked up for something like 8 months down the road too. Someone famous is usually in it (cant recall who it was when we were there though). If you watch Rob and Ambers wedding on May 24, they got married at Atlantis. It might give you an idea of the grounds.
There are also some nice boat tours to Virgin Gordas at Road Town. We booked White Squalls II ourselves via the internet. It was all day, all you can eat, drink, plus snorkelling gear supplied. You can walk to the Marina off the ship. It was about $95. p.p. in Apr.05 and worth every penny.
I don't think there is anything other than those right off the ship in Road Town. You definitely have to get out of town.
Have a great time whatever you choose.
I think Italy next..................
How much does it cost to get a water taxi to the Atlantis? Is it a round trip you are paying for or do you have to pay each way? Then when you get there how much does it cost to see the digs? Is it just as cheap to book it through the cruise ship?
The ferry was $2 plus a tip for the guy who points out the different things along the ride (he also points out he works for tips & not the ferry co..lol) its a long walk from the ferry to the Atlantis once you get there (not to mention a little dangerous crossing the streets for folks who aren't used to countries that don't drive like we do in the USA). I took a taxi back for 4 dollars (a minivan that carries more than one person back to the port) I recommend the taxi personally but be sure to ask the Concierge which taxi is the $4 ride because its $20 something back if you just hop in the wrong taxi. (the Concierge is very helpful and friendly)
A fellow cruisemate did an excursion of Atlantis (through the ship) and she paid $42 to see it all. I think it included use of the facilities (not sure about that though and it may also be a seasonal price)
The place is awesome!
HAVE A BLAST!
( we just got back last weekend BTW & plan to go again in the fall)