You have said your goodbyes, waved the guests off and the Bahamian breeze is blowing the sweet, balmy smell of freedom your way — if just for a day or two. Music is playing in the crew cabins, showers are running and perfume is wafting out under doorways into the corridor. Ah, days off on a boat in a busy season. Pure euphoria. There is nothing quite like that feeling in the ‘real world’.
So, what to do? You’re in the Bahamas, which probably means you’re on the dock in Nassau after dropping off the guests. You want to live it up and make some memories. You’re in the right place. Here are 10 things to do in and around Nassau on a crew weekend off.
For Exploring: Some of the best crew days ever consist of hiring an ATV/jeep/beach buggy and exploring an island, stopping as you like. On Nassau, you can check out the famous Bat Caves, Queen’s Staircase and Fort Charlotte, before heading to Arawak Cay for a swim. Tuck into a conch salad and some fried fish at ‘Fish Fry’ — a collection of brightly painted shacks where you can eat like a local and listen to live music on the lawn.
For Pampering: Book into a day spa. There are a bunch of great spas around the Bahamas, but let’s face it: time is short, you are tired and you don’t want to go far. Check yourself into the spectacular Mandara Spa at Atlantis Paradise Island. Alternatively, try the Four Seasons Ocean Club on Paradise Island, where you can bliss out with a massage followed by warm coconut poultices, then wander the resort’s lush Versailles Gardens. Heaven!
For Adrenaline & Laughter: Aquaventure Water Park is calling your name. Embrace your inner kid and hurtle down the slides and along river rapids at the mega 141-acre waterpark at Atlantis Paradise Resort. It’s nuts. You’ll love it. There’s nothing better if you want to forget the stress of the season and get that serotonin pumping.
For Golf: For some, there’s nothing more relaxing than an afternoon pootling around a golf course under the waving palms. The Ocean Club Golf Course is a championship 18-hole, par-72 course designed by Tom Weiskopf, with spectacular sea and harbour views as you make your way around. Book a session with the resident PGA Pro if you want to work on your game.
For Blissful Beach Days: You won’t have to go far to hit the beach, with beach access to Paradise Beach from Atlantis Resort. Other great Nassau beaches include Cabbage Beach (much nicer than it sounds), Love Beach (great snorkelling), and Jaws Beach (also much better than it sounds.) You can also check out limestone caves at Cave Beach, while those wanting lively beach bars will head to Junkanoo Beach (known as Spring Break Beach if that gives you a better idea of what it’s like!)
The most well-known Nassau Beach is the picture-perfect Cable Beach, which also has one of the island’s few private beach clubs at Baha Mar. You can book a private cabana here and enjoy the view of the infinity pool stretching out to meet the sea. Note that you will also need to buy waterpark access to use the beach club, so why not hit the waterslides and make a full day of it?!
For Bar life: There is an abundance of bars in Nassau — 19 in the Atlantis Resort alone. Outside the resort, Senor Frogs and Sunset Beach Club are both lively options, while Sip Sip back at Atlantis offers a pure, heavenly beachfront for refined cocktails. If you want a fun bar tour with a dash of local culture, sign up for the iconic ‘rum and reggae’ tour.
For a Roll of the Dice: Where else but Nassau Casino? Even if you’re not into gambling, this temple to luck is worth a look-in as you stroll around this showy resort. Serious gamblers report that it’s a tough place to win though, so don’t blow all your tips!
For the Foodie Experience: If you’re based in Atlantis, you’ll be tripping over celebrity-chef restaurants wherever you go. If you want to push the boat out, Nobu is just one of the big hitters in the resort, and Fish by Jose Andres is the place for outstanding Bahamian seafood. Also on Paradise Island, Dune offers French-Asian cuisine by Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges, while in town, check out Matisse, which has become an institution for its great Italian fare. Want something more casual? It’s back to Fish Fry at Arawak Cay for you, where Sundays are the place to eat and drink and dance with the locals, reggae playing and the smell of frying conch fritters rising in the air.
Whatever you do during your time in Nassau, make sure you leave Atlantis at least once! :)