Nassau has a nice town to shop in, they have most of the touristy shops. Although, a trip over to Atlantis in Paradise Island is always fun to do, pay for a tour of the dig/aquarium, its really something to see. They also have some very high end shops in there and the casino is open to the public as well. For a much higher price they now allow cruise ship passengers on the grounds and use of the water slides/pools, etc.
If you don't want to pay for an excursion, what is there to do in Nassau and Freeport? Are there a lot of places to shop? Any museums? Anything that is a "must see"?
I know you said you don't want to pay for an excursion and I agree that you don't need one in Nassau. If you want to go to Atlantis, please do it on your own . We took the Carnival tour on our last cruise and it was incredibly rushed, we couldn't hear the guide about half the time and because it was "sprinkling" outside he wouldn't take us on the last part of the tour. About 40 minutes later, when we went out to get on the bus back to the ship, the line was about 200 people long and it was pouring down rain. We took a cab back to the ship. It was only $10.00 and we should have used a cab for the whole excursion!
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My DH and I rode the ferry to Atlantis when we were in Nassau. We walked around inside. There is a part of the Aquarium which is free that was really fun to see. There is also a lot of interesting art in the hotel and casino. After awhile, we took the ferry back to the dock area and walked to the Straw Market. We also walked around the town for a while. We really enjoyed our visit there.:-)
We took a cab to Atlantis and checked out the free stuff and tried to get past security to see the slides and things but we didnt have a wrist band so we were denied. We water taxied back and walked through town. Instead of the touristy shops we walked up the hill to the nuts and bolts of Nassau. Cool govt buildings and architecture was everywhere. We wandered into an Indian restaurant and had apps and beer in the bar while locals in business suits dined away. It was an interesting diversion from the normal Bahama visit.
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Just in Freeport this past June. We did the island bus tour, which we thought was great. Saw all parts of the area, residential, commercial, gov't and the tour stopped in port lucaya. There is a casino there, beaches, lots of shops and places to eat. We only stopped for about an hour in this area so we couldn't do a lot of wondering around. It was definitely the more touristy area.
My advice is stay on the ship!!! Nassau is a dive I live in Miami and let me tell you can get the same experience from walking around SW 8th street, Freeport is nice
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