I would like to sign my parents up for a tour of Nassau once the ship arrives there. They will be on the Fascination ship. How do I go by booking them a tour? How much does a tour for 2 people usually cost? Do the tour guides pick you up and drive you around on a bus or somthing? [/b]
If you book a group tour thru Carnival, they will need to exit the ship and look for the Carnival tour coordinator on the dock (they will be holding up signs) who will walk the group to their mode of transportation. You can always purchase an onboard gift certificate for them which they deposit in their Sail & Sign account at the Purser's Desk and they will be able to book any tour they like. If you book a private tour, they will exit the ship and walk to the Nassau terminal where the private tour operator will be waiting for them. Land tours in Nassau are conducted via bus, mini van, horse drawn carriages.
As far as pricing, I've never done a land tour in Nassau, lots to see on your own, but don't expect it to be more than $40/person.
My wife and I just returned from Majesty of the Seas (RCI) with a port of call in Nassau. We pre-booked the City tour and Ardastra Garden excursion through RCI and cost $50 p/p. Like many of the cities/towns on the islands the streets are narrow and the tour was conducted in a van that sat about eight people. To be honest with you neither my wife nor I were overly enthused by the city tour and some tour books call them down right "boring". The two "forts" were not very impressive and the Ardastra Gardens were just OK. The total length of the tour was about two and a half hours.
In the afternoon we took the "water taxi" over to Paradise Island ($3. p/p each way) and the Atlantis Casino Hotel. A regular cab is $4. p/p out but $6. p/p back. Regarding the water taxi's, when you think the boat is full they always manage to sqeeze a few more people on. Plus they have an unofficial "tour guild" that give you a narrative over to Paradise Island which means he expects a tip. The hotel was nice to walk around in and see the shops, aquarium, and casino but portions of the grounds are off limits to non-guests of the hotel, however you can tour the "dig" for a fee. The walk from the pier into the hotel is quite long and is not over well marked so be aware of that.
If you are trying to surprise them, you will probably need to call Carnival. Also, if I remember right (not always the case :o ), you may not be able to sign onto their cruise account on the Crnival website, even with the booking number.
A little tip. If you take a Carnival tour, you will go to the theater at the prescribed time and be issued a number tag which you stick on your lapel or whatever. When they call your # you go with your guide who then points to your type of transportation. Just don't be late to the theater. A very short wait. Enjoy! 1/3/09 on the Freedom.