2017 Disney Cruise - Afternoon at the Beach in Nassau

Up next in the 2017 Disney Cruise trip report, we continue our day in the port of Nassau…

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We were ready for lunch when we reached the ship (our ship, the Disney Dream, of course - we didn’t try to board any of the other three ships), because our stomachs were reminding us of what time it was, even if we did not look at our watches. We chose to eat at Flo’s V8 Cafe up near the pools, because they always have several things there to choose from. Almost too many choices, actually, because I had a hard time deciding between a hamburger and pizza. So I chose both, since you can get whatever you want. And some fruit, too. Gotta stay healthy, you know.

Laura and lunch on the ship

Laura and lunch on the ship

The Bramletts sent us a message that they had decided to eat lunch in the Cabanas buffet, so my parents went to find them when they were finished eating, and the rest of us went along when we had finished, too. I was happy with my lunch choices of hamburger and pizza, but they certainly did have lots more choices on the buffet at Cabanas. No regrets, just interesting to see what else was offered.

We went upstairs to the top deck to have a look around, and of course I used the opportunity to take some photos. I even walked all the way to the front of the ship, which is an adults only area, because I had a few moments by myself. It certainly was calm and quiet up there compared to the other areas of the ship with children running around. But since this was not an adults only vacation, I knew that was not the place for me to stay, so I went back and joined the rest of the group. I did have a good view of the Carnival Liberty from up there, and it was interesting to see our cruise ship of the previous year from some other angles. It looked like things had not changed much, which was fine, because we enjoyed our time on that ship as well.

After lunch, we went back to our rooms for a while, and we enjoyed some time of just sitting and enjoying the view from our verandahs (which had now been opened up by Rey at some point, making it one long verandah) of the ship next to us. But once things had settled down, Laura and I decided it was time for another adventure.

While I was browsing the Nassau satellite photo a few weeks before our cruise, I happened to see that there was a public beach not all that far from the port. In fact, from the surrounding landmarks it looked like we had almost walked there in some of our previous visits. A quick check showed it to be around a mile from the ship, so we discussed the possibility of going there when we were actually in Nassau.

No one else seemed to want to go with us. Jaylin stayed with his grandparents, and the Bramletts wanted to spend some time enjoying some of the ship’s offerings, so it was just going to be the two of us. Not a problem.

We changed into beachgoing attire, gathered up our stuff, and headed back down to Deck 1 to leave the ship once again. The sun was trying to come out, which was going to be just right for going to the beach. We set out on our walk, and I was glad to see that there were signs showing us the direction to go to Junkanoo Beach. The signs also had distances listed on them, but those distances were in kilometers instead of miles. We did not bother with pulling out our phones to try to convert to the more familiar measurement, because we had a good idea of how far it was anyway. At least the numbers on the signs were getting smaller as we went along, which meant that we were going in the right direction. We actually could have gotten there a little faster, except for the fact that there kept being slow people in front of us, and we couldn’t manage to pass them on the narrow sidewalk. So we had a nice, leisurely walk most of the way there.

Soon, we arrived at the entrance to Junkanoo Beach, and the entrance was not all that much more than a break in the wall that ran along beside the street. But from there, the beach opened up before us. We quickly saw that there were booths for vendors to sell their wares, a lifeguard chair, and a restroom building. That last one might be the most important of all of those, if you happen to need such a thing, although I am sure that the same could be said about the lifeguard, too.

Junkanoo Beach in Nassau, Bahamas

A beautiful day at Junkanoo Beach. From the post Junkanoo Beach in Nassau, Bahamas - read more about it there.

There were also large concrete walls that jutted out into the water every few hundred feet, or meters, since we were in the Bahamas. I suppose those were to help keep the water calm at the beach, or something like that. But I also knew I would probably need to go exploring to check out the view from the top of the walls, since it was easy to climb up on them, and since they were about 3 meters wide (I’m getting better at this meter thing).

We also figured out just where we were, because across the water we could see the Nassau Lighthouse that our cruise ships have always passed as we went into and out of the harbor. I guess I was always so interested to see the lighthouse that I never bothered to look out the other side of the ship to see that a beach was there. And off to the right were the four cruise ships docked at the port. Lots of cool things to see from this beach!

Nassau Lighthouse from Junkanoo Beach

The view of the lighthouse from Junkanoo Beach. From the post The Lighthouse in Nassau, Bahamas - read more about it there.

We found an empty place in the sand to put our stuff, making sure that it would be visible from the water so that we could keep an eye on it. There were beach chairs and beach umbrellas for rent, but we figured we would not be there long enough to justify the cost of those, since we only had a couple of hours before we had to be back at the ship and not get left behind.

There were several people in the water, but it was not overly crowded, which was nice, because I did not quite know for certain what to expect in the way of crowds at a free public beach. But we had plenty of room to move around and enjoy the water.

Many of the people that were there were up on the shore enjoying some loud music and some games. They had some relay races, and even a “twerking” contest. Not our kind of thing, but that’s okay, I guess. I figured that most of the people there were on a shore excursion from one of the cruise ships, but I was glad that we had been able to walk there without paying anything.

We enjoyed being in the water, which felt cool and refreshing, especially considering that we had worked up a little bit of a sweat in our walk to get there. And Laura did not always enjoy the fish that kept swimming up around us. They were actually rather large, and there were a lot of them, but they did not try to bother us any, besides brushing up against our legs from time to time. But the water was really clear, and it was easy to see down into it to see the fish swimming around. Much different than the water when we go to Cocoa Beach in Florida.

After a while, I got out and got my camera to get a few photos while the sun was out. I climbed under the lifeguard chair and out onto one of the concrete walls, walking out to the end of it. Out there, I had a good view of the surrounding area. I could face the ships in the port, the lighthouse across the way, or the beach back behind me. Pretty cool. Why don’t more beaches have walls like this? Photographers would love them! I could also see Laura down in the water, and she was constantly moving to keep the fish from coming too close to her.

Once I had satisfied my photographic craving, I went back to the water with Laura. Much of the crowd had started to leave, and it was noticeably quieter without as many people there. I am guessing that either their shore excursion had ended or the bar had run out of drinks.

All too quickly, it was time for us to make our way back to the ship. We actually still had plenty of time to get back before the ship left, but we did not want to take a chance on it. Besides, we needed a little time to get cleaned up for our dinner meal.

The walk back to the ship was not all that different from the walk to the beach. Except, of course, that we were going the other way. And also because we were wet from being in the water, we were able to stay a little more cool than before thanks to a very slight breeze.

Along the way, we found an interesting sight. A well and an archway were next to the British Colonial Hilton hotel, and those marked the site of the old fort that used to protect the island. How cool is that? It is always interesting to find history wherever we happen to be. Sometimes you have to pay attention to find that history, but Nassau seems to have little things like that all around.

Laura and the old fort well

Laura and the old fort well

And then at the old fort gate.

And then at the old fort gate.

As we were approaching Festival Bay, the area that you have to go through to get to customs and back on the ship, we were weighing the option of getting a Coke to drink. It would cost us a little money, while getting Coke on the ship would be free (actually not free, of course, but included in our fare). But we could get bottles instead of the small cups that are available on the ship. Best of all, it would have real sugar instead of corn syrup. Sold! Sold on the idea, anyway.

Cars, palm trees, shops, and a horse. Just a typical Nassau street scene.

Cars, palm trees, shops, and a horse. Just a typical Nassau street scene.

We selected one of the merchants who had some bottled Cokes on display in his small shop. As he was starting to give us our bottles, someone behind us said, “Don’t sell them those - they aren’t all that cold yet!” The man said, “But they want to buy them!” “But they aren’t cold!” I said it would be fine, and they would be cold enough for us. So over the complaints of the man behind us, who I am guessing also worked at that small shop, we got our Cokes, paid our money, and got a Bahamas penny in change. We were happy enough with the temperature of the Cokes, and we enjoyed a cool, sugary drink as we made our way back to the ship.

Going back through customs at Festival Place is not that big of a deal. Unless, of course, you do not have the proper identification. Or unless you get in line behind someone who does not have proper identification, which was our case. Some guys ahead of us had their cards from their ship, but they did not have a photo ID, which is also required. There was quite a bit of discussion, but I believe they were finally let through. We made sure that we had our cards out and ready to go, just so that we would not hold up anyone behind us.

Before we boarded the ship, we had to get a photo with both the Disney Dream and the Carnival Liberty. Pretty neat to have Laura standing in between our two recent ships in one photo like that. And holding a Coke with real sugar, too. Lots to love about that.

Check back soon for even more from our day at Nassau as the 2017 Disney Cruise trip report continues!

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