Thursday, June 17, 2010

Welcome to the Bahamas

In case you missed the beginning of my vacation recap, check out these links: Wakulla Springs and Key West.

We arrived in Nassau, Bahamas on Thursday at noon.  We ate a quick lunch on the ship before disembarking the ship.

Clear Kayak Adventure

Once again, we had already purchased our shore excursions on the cruise ship to avoid any mishaps.  We met our tour guide at 1:00 pm and waited in the blistering heat until the rest of our group gathered.  We walked over to the Double Deck Catamaran and took a seat in the shade.

It was a bit toasty outside, but once the catamaran started sailing, the breeze cooled us off.

We said goodbye to our cruise ship and headed out into the harbor.

During our harbor tour, we got a chance to see the beautiful scenery of Paradise Island.

After about 45 minutes of sailing, the guide anchored the boat and we set out on our adventure.

First, we explored the waters in the clear kayaks.

The clouds threatened to storm on us, but we blissfully ignored them.  We kayaked for about 30 minutes.

I loved how you could see straight through the kayak!

Since it was hot and we were seeing so many pretty fish in the water, we decided to jump right in!

With snorkeling gear, of course!

We had approximately 30 minutes to swim around the reef.

Since we had spent the previous day snorkeling in Key West, we were practically experts in the water!

We saw tons of colorful fish.  The secret to getting a close-up is fish food!

After an hour of fun, we got back on the boat and sailed away.

The crew supplied us with refreshing drinks.  I loved the Bahamas Goombay Punch.  It was so sweet and delicious!

We relaxed on the boat and enjoyed more sights on Paradise Island.

Our tour guide pointed out all of the celebrities' property.

We enjoyed listening to some Bahamian music in the background while we sailed.

We arrived back at the dock and walked right past the ever-popular Senor Frogs.  We didn't bother going inside.  After all, we could always buy an overpriced drink on the cruise ship!

The two and a half hours of our excursion went by way too quickly!  I really wished that we could spend have spent more time in the clear blue water.  Unfortunately, local beaches are not very accessible, so we decided to check out some local shops instead.

Shopping in Nassau

We shopped around the straw market for a few minutes.  It was certainly a unique experience. 

The shopping in Nassau didn't meet our expectations.  The locals were incredibly pushy and tried to bargain with you on the cheap junk that was likely made in China anyways.

"Hey pretty lady!  What can I get for you, mama?  Let's make a deal!  This is $30.  But for you, $25!"

I did purchase a couple of cute photo albums from the straw market.  I spent all of my cash on this one purchase.  We didn't feel the need to stop by an ATM for more money since there wasn't really anything else that we were interested in buying.

As we were walking back to the ship, a young local woman came up to Austin and I with a handful of "handmade" jewelry.  She insisted on putting a bracelet around Austin's wrist, and an anklet around my ankle.

Woman: "Welcome to the Bahamas!  Jewelry for you!"
Us: "No thanks."
Woman: "Everyone gets one.  One for you, one for your lady."
Us: "That's okay, we're not interested."
Woman: "It's okay, it's free, welcome to the Bahamas!"
Woman: "You have a tip?  I work for tips.  That's how I make my living."
Us: "Sorry, we don't have any cash."

Suddenly it dawns on the lady that we were serious when we said we didn't want her jewelry!  And we really didn't have any cash.  So, what happened next?  She immediately proceeded to remove the jewelry she had just given us and walked away with no additional comment.  She continued her charade with the other tourists as well.

Overall, shopping in Nassau received a poor rating in my book.  I would recommend spending your time on the island or in the water!

Hair Braiding

We were inundated with locals offering to braid our hair.  Of course, we politely refused their offers.

However, as we were walking by the hair braiding tent, we spotted a familiar face!  My cousin Annie decided she wanted her hair done.

I wasn't there for the jaw-drop reaction that surely occurred when my aunt found out how much this hair-do cost: $105.  For a kid's braid.  In case you're wondering, adult braids are even more expensive

Sunset in the Bahamas

We ate a remarkable dinner on the cruise ship while we were still in port.  After dinner, we sat on the balcony and watched the sun go down.

The vibrant colors in the sunset were amazing.

I love taking silohoutte photos with the sunset in the background!

After the sun went down, we went hot-tubbing in the dark and enjoyed the view of city lights reflecting on the water.

The cruise ship departed Nassau at 10 pm. 

Have you ever gotten hair braided?  How much did it cost?
I've never had braids.  The most I've ever spent on a hair-do was $50 for my high school prom.


  1. Wow looks like an absolutely fabulous time! I want to go to the beach!


  2. That looks absolutely gorgeous!!

    Thank you for sharing - it's a like a little getaway for my imagination! :-)

  3. What a great advanture! I feel like I am on the journey myself while reading this. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I'm so jealous of your vacation!! I love cruises -- there's so many fun things to do, beautiful places to see, and delicious food to eat. What could be better!? ;) Your day in the Bahamas sounds amazing.

    And that story about the jewelry is kind of funny. I can't believe she took the time to put it on you and then take it back off once she found out you didn't have money.

  5. Looks like so much fun! I got my hair braided in Jamacia and it was around $50...but that was almost 10 years ago so maybe prices have gone up!

  6. What a fun and relaxing vacation! I absolutely love kayaking, but I've never done it in a clear kayak - I'm sure that makes it even more amazing.

    I've also never had my hair braided, and right now it's so short I wouldn't even have the option.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! I totally understand about not having girlfriends. After college my husband and I stayed in our college town, but all of our friends moved away, so there was a period where I felt the exact same way. I'm sure it won't be long before you start meeting people, as outgoing and fun as you seem through your blog:) In the meantime, I found that the blog community helped tremendously. Not exactly the same of course, but helpful in its own way.

  7. Gorgeous! Those are the coolest kayaks I have ever seen. And snorkeling is always a blast! I've stayed at the Atlantis- it is SUCH an experience. I found the shopping in Nassau to be totally scary!!!!

  8. i would love to get little braids!! wow shopping Nassau among all the beautiful architecture must be amazing! ur so luck and it looks like ur having the time of ur life!! <3

  9. all your vacation pics look so fun! you're making me jealous! i've never gotten my hair braided.. well wait, the black girls in my high school gym class did it once..yes, in class. ha!

  10. oh my! i feel i have so much to comment on! ha. first of all those clear kayaks...what a treat. was it eery at all or just magical? i went snorkeling last year in st. thomas, i dont know how i feel about scuba diving! eeks. was it weird to get used to breathing?

    the silohoutte photos are remarkable! the colors of the sunset against the dark silohoutte...genious. hope you frame those :)

  11. Hairbraiding always reminds me of that episode of Friends when Monica got her hairbraided. LOVE!

    The clear kayaks would so freak me out. And your red sunglasses are FIERCE. I want. :)

  12. I'm the aunt who DID have a small heart attack when I found out what the hair cost. Believe it or not it was worth it. She loved every second of it and a week later is still nuts over the "do". Would I spend it again? Nope!!