Greetings Internet Stranger and welcome to 24 hours of things to do in Nassau Port! As you’re driving to work, the smog from the other cars streams through your window and down your throat like so many demon fingers. Looking around the city, you see the ominous grey cloud of pollution smudging your view of the skyline. Wouldn’t you rather be sipping rum on a beach in a gorgeous natural setting? Then this itinerary of the best Things to Do in Nassau Port is for you!
During this best Things to Do in Nassau Port itinerary, we’re going to get up close and personal with some stunning nature in the Bahamas that most tourists never get to see. Plus, we’ll be visiting the Bahamas on board Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas, one of their biggest ships! So even after we return to the cruise ship, we’ll never run out of things to do. Follow me!
Best Things to Do in Nassau Port
Morning: Blue Lagoon Island Nature Walk
Since I visited Nassau Bahamas as a Royal Caribbean cruise port, I booked one of their shore excursions to the private Blue Lagoon Island. Yes, booking a shore excursion can be more expensive than booking a tour on your own. But I always book a shore excursion through the cruise line because if something goes wrong, the cruise line is responsible for making it right. For example, if your guide on the shore excursion gets you back to the ship late, the cruise ship has to wait for you.
But if you’re visiting Nassau Bahamas on your own, you can visit Blue Lagoon Island on your own anyway. This is a privately owned island a short boat ride away from Nassau. It’s definitely one of the best Things to Do in Nassau Port.
The company that owns the island leads several tours here, but I recommend the Eco-Nature Walking Tour. You’ll be able to see parts of the island that no one else gets to visit. Plus it’s an amazing chance to get away from the crowds of tourists in the Bahamas. Allow me to persuade you further with…
Three Fun Facts: Eco-Nature Walking Tour
1) What Kinds of Plants Are on the Island?
Great question! There are about eleventy-jillion plants on Blue Lagoon Island, and they are almost all useful. Have you ever wanted to know how to survive on a desert island? Well, our intrepid guide Ashley taught us how to do it, using only the power of plants!
We met the coconut palm, which has everything you need to live. You can eat the coconut and drink its water, and you can use the bark to make shelter. You can even use the leaves to make a very fashionable outfit.
If you get sick of eating coconut, you can chow down on the ripe fruit of the sea grape tree. As a bonus, the broad branches of this baby will provide shelter from the Caribbean sun. Between your sun-protected skin and your chic coconut leaf outfit, you’ll soon be ready for the cover of Vogue!
One plant you need to be on the lookout for is the poison wood tree, which is basically poison ivy in tree form. How rude!
But never fear, Internet Stranger! The nearby gumbo limbo tree is the antidote to poison wood. Just rub up against its bark and you’re good to go. Truly, there is a plant for every problem.
2) Why is it Called Blue Lagoon Island?
The short answer is that it isn’t really. Ashley said that back when the Bahamas were a British colony, the island was called Salt Cay. (It’s pronounced “key”.) The lagoon on the island was a salt marsh, so a 19th century British businessman made money excavating and selling the little crystals.
The Bahamas got its independence from Great Britain in the 1960s, and in the 1990s, Salt Cay was turned into a tourist attraction. But even though everyone calls it Blue Lagoon Island, and there’s a big sign outside that says Blue Lagoon Island, Salt Cay is its official name.
If you want to be very pretentious, just go around calling the place Salt Cay Island and when people act confused, tell them the whole backstory in a withering and condescending tone. That will make you tons of friends!
3) What’s the Best Story on the Tour?
Ah, this is an extremely simple question to answer, Internet Stranger! The best story on the tour is about a tower belonging to one Mr. John “Jack” McCutcheon, an American Pulitzer Prize Winning journalist. He bought the island in 1916 and temporarily renamed it Treasure Island.
The McCutcheons then rebuilt one of the island’s towers that had fallen into disrepair. (This tower still has its cannon, as well as some smashing views of the Bahamas.) But during the dedication ceremony for the tower, an actual pirate attacked the ceremony, possibly screaming, “I’m the captain now!”
Jack McCutcheon singlehandedly took the pirate down and locked him in the tower. Soon, the guests of the dedication ceremony could see the pirate swinging from a rope at the top of a tower. (It’s still unclear to me whether McCutcheon actually killed the pirate, or if this was a bizarre prank.) But either way, the ceremony went off without a hitch!
Best Things to Do in Nassau Port
Once the eco-nature walking tour is over, your guide will take your souvenir picture. (Every participant on the tour gets a photo included with the price. The company will email it to you.
Then you’re on your own in the Bahamas for the rest of the afternoon! Poor you! Fortunately there’s plenty to do on Blue Lagoon Island, and there will be even more to do once we get back to Nassau.
Remember, Blue Lagoon Island is an island, so you’ll need the boat to get back to the port in Nassau and your cruise ship. Check the boat times back to Nassau very carefully. You don’t want to miss your ship and have to live on this island paradise forever!
And now that the preliminaries are out of the way, it’s time to get right down to…
Approximately Top 5: Nassau Bahamas Cruise Port
1) Lunch Time
Lunch isn’t included in the tour, so you’ll want to pick it up as soon as the walking concludes. I don’t recommend waiting because the lines at the food kiosk will get crazy long. Be sure to get lunch at the food kiosk outside the restaurant, not inside. The food inside is for prepaid lunches, and the choices aren’t as good.
Order a food and your cocktail at the same time. That way while you’re waiting for the food to cook, you’ll have something to sip on. I recommend the Blue lagoon Sunset drink made with banana rum and fruit juice. It goes down so smooth you could probably drink about five before the rum would kick in. But don’t do that or you’ll definitely miss your boat because you’ll be passed out under a Poison Wood tree.
For food, I recommend the conch (“konk”), the national food of the Bahamas. If you like fried squid, you’ll love its mild flacor. You can get cracked conch, which is fried and served with red hot Hurricane fries. It’s just the thin to make you feel greasy in your brand new bikini. But it’s so delicious, it’s completely worth it.
2) Bahamian Village Shopping
If you’re one of those people, like me, who can’t go several hours without shopping, then check out the colorful kiosks at the Bahamian Village. Even if you don’t buy anything, you can watch the local artists make woodcarvings and fresh conch salad.
If the line is long at the food kiosk, get the conch salad here. It’s pricy but delicious, and you get to keep the shiny conch shell afterwards, which will make it easier to reenact scenes from Lord of the Flies.
My favorite souvenir at the Bahamian Village is the sauces at the small culinary goods store. Get the tamarind if you like sweet and sour sauce and want to add a bit of kick to your next turkey burger dinner.
3) Explore the Beach Area
I mean, I assume that getting a little beach time in is one of the reasons you came to the cruise port in the Bahamas. It wasn’t all for fun facts about sea grapes and tamarind sauce.
Blue Lagoon Island is also home to many types of animal life. You can participate in a dolphin or sea lion encounter on the island, but that’s not really my jam, though the people participating seemed very into it.
However, I did like the little touch tank filled with small spiky and scaly sea creatures. Probably this is meant for kids, but it was more fun to tell any children who approached that the touch tank was for adults only and then stick my tongue out at them.
One final hidden gem on Blue Lagoon Island is the…rescue raccoons. Raccoons are an invasive species on the island, so they can’t be released or they’d eat all the sea lions or whatever it is that invasive raccoons do in the Caribbean.
I think Disney could make a fortune with an animated movie about these three raccoons busting out of their home and getting into mischief on the island. Disney, I give this idea to you with a free heart, and all I ask is ten percent off the gross.
4) Enjoy the Boat Ride to the Cruise Port
Even the boat ride back to the the rest of the best Things to Do in Nassau Port has oodles to see. Don’t miss the giant bridge dedicated to Bahamian icon, Academy Award-winning actor, and extremely handsome fellow Sidney Poitier.
Your guide on the boat will be a local who has forgotten way more fun facts about the Bahamas than I will ever know. But he’ll spend most of the time talking about the celebrities who have vacation homes in the Bahamas like Oprah and Jay-Z. Michael Jordan apparently likes to golf here, which is less exciting. Call me back when he is ready to play basketball again!
If you’re friends with Oprah, try to get her to book a night in the Bridge Suite in the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. At 25k a night, it’s supposed to be the most expensive hotel room in the world. We peons will just have to be satisfied with catching a glimpse of the resort from our tour boat.
5) Explore Nassau
When you get back to the mainland, you should have at least an hour to walk around and see the best Things to Do in Nassau Port before you have to return to the cruise port and board your ship. Enjoy the characteristically Caribbean colorful constructions!
Don’t miss Pompey Square, which is dedicated to an enslaved man named Pompey who led a rebellion of the enslaved people of the Bahamas against their captors. He didn’t get their freedom right away, but he did get this…fountain. That seems like cold comfort to me.
The Straw Market is the most famous place to shop in Nassau. They used to literally sell straw here, but now there’s a lot of cheap mass-produced goods. I didn’t find anything I recommend. Instead head back to the Nassau Bahamas Cruise Port and buy some jewelry from Andeana Designs. The conch jewelry is made by a local man with Down Syndrome, and it’s quite lovely.
Best Things to Do in Nassau Port
Evening: Dinner at Izumi
So since we’re really spending the evening portion of our best Things to Do in Nassau Port itinerary on board Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas, I suggest getting dinner at one of their speciality restaurants. They cost more than the meal in the main dining room (which costs nothing), but the food is better and the atmosphere is more fun.
Since we had fried fish for dinner, why not keep the seafood theme going with dinner at the Japanese restaurant Izumi. The sushi here is definitely not traditional, so if you’re a purist don’t come here or your monocle might pop right out of your eye with shock.
I suggest sampling a couple of different kinds of sushi. Start with something raw like the fresh tuna carpaccio with ponzu…
Then go a little mad sometimes with lobster rolls wrapped in yuzu and drizzled with champagne sauce. You’ll feel like a Very Fancy Person indeed!
Japanese cuisine isn’t really known for its desserts, so why not get a sweet cocktail like the She’s a Geisha, made with rose and sake. My young male waiter said it was his “favorite drink”, and I congratulate him on having the confidence to own his love for pink girlie drinks. They are delicious and all genders should feel comfortable drinking them.
After dinner, take advantage of being on such a large ship and take in one of the jaw-dropping spectacles like the ice skating show. That’s not a joke! Look, I have proof!
Ice skating in the middle of the Caribbean! What will they think of next?
That’s the Best Things to Do in Nassau Port
What do you think are the best Things to Do in Nassau Port? Do you think Oprah would give me 25k so I can try out the world’s most expensive hotel room? And how successful would that raccoon heist cartoon picture be? Please leave your thoughts below!
Note: If you want to know how I put my travel itineraries together, just click here. Keep in mind that while each article is about how to spend 24 hours with the best Things to Do in Nassau Port that doesn’t mean you should ONLY spend 24 hours with the best Things to Do in Nassau Port. If you want other itineraries for different places in the Caribbean, I have you covered here!