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The7Cs

The Bahamas - Shore Excursions for a guy that hates fun!

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Ok... hear me out... I'm a 40something dude with a wife and two sons - age 11 and 14. We are taking our FIRST EVER cruise in November. We had originally planned our vacation of a lifetime to Cuba on NCL - but obviously that went down the tubes... So rebooked to go to the Bahamas - which is all well and good... but I REALLY dislike typical beach/vacation activities. If it were up to me, I'd never get off the boat!

That said - I'm happy to be on vacation, and have good quality family time - but would love to hear of any non-typical, safe, off-boat activities we could do as a family - or I could do by myself while the wife and kids snorkel or whatever. We as a family are all pretty laid back, and are ok going our separate ways for a bit - not a lot of drama in our lives around doing our own thing.

We will be going to Grand Bahama Island, Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay.

SOME FACTS ABOUT US

We are NOT risk takers or super adventurous - no sky diving or para-gliding for example - not even jet skis... But kayaking or hiking is up our ally for example.

The wife and kids love the beach - me, not so much - but I'm willing to suffer a bit.

The idea of a waterpark sounds dreadful.

The whole family is REALLY looking forward to visiting Kennedy Space Center before our trip.

The kids are up for anything - and will go with the flow of whatever we choose to do...

The wife is flexible - but will want to definitely do at least ONE excursion off boat as a family! 

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THINGS WE ENJOY (may not all be relevant to the trip - but gives you an idea about what i'm like!)

Eating (fine dining, street food - it''s all good)

Drinking booze ( The wife and I - not the kids, obviously!.. beer, bourbon, rum)

Cultural Activities/Art/Music

Fishing/Camping/Hiking

Golf

SiFi and Comics

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From the research I've done, it looks like Great Stirrup Cay would make for the best beach day... but definitely open to suggestions!

Help us, Cruise Critic folks, you're our only hope!

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I get it--I am not a beach person, but my husband scuba dives so I do excursions by myself fairly often.  Things I look for include food tours (you can find them in the Bahamas for sure, I know I've done them in Nassau, not sure about Grand Bahamas but I wouldn't be surprised), as well as distillery/wine/brewery tours.  I think there are botanical gardens in Grand Bahamas as well, which might be a good family activity? 

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1 minute ago, kfnesq said:

...Things I look for include food tours (you can find them in the Bahamas for sure, I know I've done them in Nassau, not sure about Grand Bahamas but I wouldn't be surprised), as well as distillery/wine/brewery tours....

 

I love this idea  - Thank you!

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  1. IF your Wife and kids love the beach, you know what you have to do.  Learn to enjoy things they enjoy too.  

 

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14 minutes ago, PTC DAWG said:
  1. IF your Wife and kids love the beach, you know what you have to do.  Learn to enjoy things they enjoy too.  

 

Yeah - I believe Great Stirrup Cay will be our beach day - And I'll be there smiling with sand in my shorts, and a big floppy hat. 

 

To quote Star Wars:

Padme: "We used to come here for school retreat. We would swim to that island every day. I love the water. We used to lie out on the sand and let the sun dry us and try to guess the names of the birds singing."

 

Anakin: "I don't like sand. It's coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere."

 

 

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Not sure if it's available to you (suites and haven only) but I get the whole "hate the beach day" thing and that's why we booked a villa at great stirrup cay. AC, TV, private bathroom, special buffet, drink service, and if you want you can still go in the water!

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We have been to Nassau several times and have done a few trips none I’d recommend.When the kids were with us ( young teens) the best time we had was a resort pass for the day we caught the local bus to the Melia and got a taxi back.  https://www.resortforaday.com/destinations/nassau-bahamas-day-passes/

It gives you a lot of flexibility as the beach and pool / bar are all close together there are shady areas , water sports etc I know it isn’t probably not what you were looking for but just giving you our experience. 

We were all able to do our own thing but still be together. 

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If not a villa, then a cabana, maybe.  same idea but a little less luxe.  I love the cabanas, it gives you a home base with some shade & a place to sit that's not on the sand.

 

Also, I love that you quoted Star Wars in your first two posts 

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54 minutes ago, The7Cs said:

Yeah - I believe Great Stirrup Cay will be our beach day - And I'll be there smiling with sand in my shorts, and a big floppy hat. 

 

To quote Star Wars:

Padme: "We used to come here for school retreat. We would swim to that island every day. I love the water. We used to lie out on the sand and let the sun dry us and try to guess the names of the birds singing."

 

Anakin: "I don't like sand. It's coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere."

 

 

IF you don't wallow in the sand, you won't have as big of an issue.  🙂

 

Snorkeling is rarely sandy either....some beautiful water around Nassau for that.  Book a Catamaran snorkel trip...good times.  

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, gaabbee said:

Not sure if it's available to you (suites and haven only) but I get the whole "hate the beach day" thing and that's why we booked a villa at great stirrup cay. AC, TV, private bathroom, special buffet, drink service, and if you want you can still go in the water!

 

Amazing -- people need air conditioning and a private bathroom on the beach. We really are in the worst timeline.

 

----

 

We've only been to Nassau and the options there are not great. Atlantis (crowded pools/beach/waterslide) sounds like you'd hate it. They do have an aquarium and a casino and that's what my parents did in Nassau last week. My wife and I did a tour of Nassau once, but I didn't really find it to be that interesting of a place. Last year my parents went to Blue Lagoon and said it sucked. Nassau is definitely a good day to stay on the ship and take advantage of discounted spa deals and so forth.

Edited by richg35

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I think GSC has kayaks available if you get sick of the sand. I could be thinking of Royal's private island though (I'm fine with a beach day so I don't do excursions on the private island). GSC also has some hiking trails you might be able to escape to if construction hasn't cut them off. 

 

On Grand Bahama Island there's really nothing walkable from port besides a few of those notorious tourist shops/restaurants. So you'd need an excursion - but I can't help you there as we went to a small all inclusive resort and besides drinking and the beach we did play around on their inflatable obstacle course.

 

Nassau - I've seen/heard of some food tours there. When you said hiking it made me think of Queen's Staircase.

 

Though truthfully I haven't gotten off at my last 3 stops at Nassau. And if I went to Freeport (Grand Bahama) again I'd seriously consider staking out a lounger by the pool and making friends with the drink servers that day too. 

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1 hour ago, richg35 said:

 

Amazing -- people need air conditioning and a private bathroom on the beach. We really are in the worst timeline.

 

----

Agree, I don't get it either, but I suppose different strokes and etc.....

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2 hours ago, gaabbee said:

Not sure if it's available to you (suites and haven only) but I get the whole "hate the beach day" thing and that's why we booked a villa at great stirrup cay. AC, TV, private bathroom, special buffet, drink service, and if you want you can still go in the water!

 

2 hours ago, trivimp said:

If not a villa, then a cabana, maybe.  same idea but a little less luxe.  I love the cabanas, it gives you a home base with some shade & a place to sit that's not on the sand.

 

Thank you for your posts! 

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2 hours ago, trivimp said:

Also, I love that you quoted Star Wars in your first two posts 

 

Heheheheh... Glad you appreciated it! 😉

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1 hour ago, richg35 said:

 

Amazing -- people need air conditioning and a private bathroom on the beach. We really are in the worst timeline.

 

----

 

We've only been to Nassau and the options there are not great. Atlantis (crowded pools/beach/waterslide) sounds like you'd hate it. They do have an aquarium and a casino and that's what my parents did in Nassau last week. My wife and I did a tour of Nassau once, but I didn't really find it to be that interesting of a place. Last year my parents went to Blue Lagoon and said it sucked. Nassau is definitely a good day to stay on the ship and take advantage of discounted spa deals and so forth.

 

Thank you for your post! I appreciate all opinions - it's great to hear what everyone thinks, and we can make an informed  decision. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, richg35 said:

Agree, I don't get it either, but I suppose different strokes and etc.....

So I live 15 mins from a beach. Why go on vacation and do something that I can do at home? The villas makes it way more interesting to me. I understand some people don't get to go to a real ocean beach very often and the normal lounge chairs or cabanas would be fine. I just see the villas as an opportunity to have a different type of experience then what I am used to at home.

Edited by gaabbee

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1 hour ago, richg35 said:

 

Amazing -- people need air conditioning and a private bathroom on the beach. We really are in the worst timeline.

 

-

 

 

Not everyone can stay out in the heat and the direct sun all day especially if they are elderly or traveling with elderly parents.   Nothing wrong with spoiling yourselves while on vacation if you can afford it.

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Which ship are you on? There is something to be said for staying on the ship and enjoying

the facilities with no crowds. That said, Great Stirrup Cay has two types of cabanas and

one type of villa. If you rent one of those you can have a little bit of quiet time  and read a book

while the other family members enjoy the beach. We went to the waterpark at Atlantis and did

not enjoy it. Some people do but for us it was too big and too expensive. Next time we will get

a day pass to the British Colonial Hilton which is within walking distance to the ship. Never been

to your other port stop but there is an area of cruise critic that reviews activities plus check out

tripadvisor this site's sister site.

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2 hours ago, smplybcause said:

Nassau - I've seen/heard of some food tours there. When you said hiking it made me think of Queen's Staircase.

 

 

Tru Bahamian Food Tours does a walking/food tour called "Bites of Nassau" -- I found it really enjoyable when I did it, although more walking than I expected.  But I am middle-aged and fat.  

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I had read so many negative opinions of Nassau I was surprised how much we loved it.  We got off the boat and hired a couple of taxis to take us to Cabbage beach (we were a party of 7).  When you get to the drop off, you have to walk through a gauntlet of vendors:  jet ski-chair-umbrella-coconut drink pushing vendors.  But we pushed through them and started to head down the beach.  Pretty soon we all by ourselves on a gorgeous beach.  We set up our towels in the shade of the shrubs on the dunes and played in the surf.   No one bothered us, no one was any where near us.    The beautiful sea, the waves, the sun, the white sand…it was zen just sitting there, even if you didn’t take the opportunity to bounce around in the waves.  If what you don’t like about the beach is being surrounded by other people … maybe this would be a compromise for you and your family.   Snorkeling is not ideal (see references to playing the surf).

After a few hours of peace and sun, we trudged back to the place we were dropped off and picked up a taxi to head back to port.  There we split up, and my husband and I hired a driver to take us the other way out of town to a house on the beach featured prominently in some James Bond movie.   Largo’s Villa Palmyra from Thunderball still stands perched above the beach.   Our driver was so wonderful, telling us information about the island and explaining the sights along the way.   We almost stopped for a drink at a local pub where Sean Connery stops for drinks.  It was a great afternoon and well worth the flat we had negotiated with the driver before we left port.  If I ever go back, I will head this way out of town, our driver assured us there were better snorkeling beaches this way.

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Hubs and I took a brewery tour in Nassau a couple years ago from Islandz Tours. The price was reasonable and we had a great time. It was nice to walk around the town and see cool local stuff, and not be approached by pushy peddlers. I also believe they offer a rum tasting tour as well. 

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If you go to TripAdvisor and enter in where your going it gives you an option of “what to do”.  All types of activities to choose from.

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