Our last stop on the cruisewas Nassau on Friday the 26th. We had been following the news concerningBaha Mar for three years through their bankruptcy and all the politicalissues. Well, they finally got thingsworked out and the complex is now partially completed. They are still working on completing thefinal 3 hotels but the first, the Grand Hyatt is currently operational with 200plus rooms available plus the casino opened in late April. I think the hotelwill eventually have 1000 plus rooms.
We took a cab around 11 am to Baha Mar. You can also take a bus for $1.25 fromdowntown Nassau near the straw market. The appearance of the complexis spectacular with luscious landscaping, ponds, pools and fountains. As atourist you have free access to their pools and beach, which I foundfascinating. I’m sure this won’t lastforever.
Right off the main entrancelobby is the casino. I will attempt to download pictures sometime later thisweek. The casino is approximately100,000 square feet which I think is the largest in the whole Caribbean. It was bright, bright, brightwith outside glass letting natural light in right in the center of the casino.The shape of the casino was rectangular so there was no getting lost orconfused. Slot machines were everywherealthough they were not piled on top of one another.
There were 6 table gamepits, one of which was called Salon Prive, High roller pit. Most of these pitshad craps tables. I counted 7 on themain floor but I didn’t check the Salon Prive. All of the craps tables were 12 feet long with a bright green microfiber layout. The bet minimum at crapswas $10. All of the other games had a $5 minimum bet. They had all theproposition bets on the craps layout.
I gave craps a try notexpecting anything great to happen since I haven’t played in 3 months. I found the table to be somewhat bouncy butplayable. I think the bounce willdecrease somewhat over time. I was onthe table by myself and tried 4 hands the longest of which was 8 throws. Needless to say I lost $55. I was somewhat surprised that every 7 out waswith a 5-2. If I stayed longer I wouldhave tried different dice sets, but my main purpose was scouting out thecasino.
My wife played Pai Gow Pokerwith a $10 minimum which is great. Sheplayed for over an hour with a $100 buy in and just missed a royal flush. She then went on to the Ultimate Texas holdem table again with a $5 minimum and played again for almost an hour andmanaged to be up $30. There were no continuous shufflers at blackjack.
Most of my time there Iwandered around killing time trying penny slots here and there just putting $5or $10 into the different machines. WellI hit big on 3 different machines and was up $200 from my slot play.
All of the dealers and pitbosses were outstandingly friendly with smiles on their faces no matter whereyou went. When we first arrived therewere very few players in the casino but it increased quite a bit by 2 pm when we were leaving. They are still in what they are calling asoft opening and have not really starting their advertising campaign yet. Thegrand opening will be this fall.
We were extremely delightedwith this casino particularly when compared to Atlantis. Anytime we stop in Nassau on any future cruises, this will definitely be onour to do list.