Our first port of call on Friday was Freeport, Bahamas.
As I mentioned yesterday, of the 5 cruises we have taken with almost a few dozen ports of call, this was our least favorite port to date. The cruise terminal in Freeport is in the industrial shipyard of the island and there is absolutely nothing to see or do outside of the port tourist stands without a 20-minute taxi ride to somewhere else. I had read online that the best snorkeling was at the Paradise Cove beach on the west side. I had reserved a ride with a private tour driver to transport us there but we never could find him. We then spent the next half-hour trying to find somebody going in that direction to share a taxi as it cost $8 round-trip each with a shared taxi but $20 one-way each if you go privately. We finally found a family going to Crystal Cove, which was in the general area that we wanted to go so we shared a taxi with them. Upon arriving at Crystal Cove, we headed out to the water with our new snorkeling gear that we had purchased before our trip….we figured it was like the bowling balls and shoes were purchased when we were first married – even if we only use them once or twice a year, it won’t take long to get our money’s worth from saved rental fees since they will last us for many years to come.
We were highly disappointed as we snorkeled in about 4 feet of water, even after going out a hundred yards from the shoreline. We caught glimpses of some fish and a sand dollar, but that was about it. It was very unexciting. I’m not sure if Paradise Cove, which was just down the road, would have been much better but we were unimpressed with Crystal Cove.
The family that we rode with got bored within an hour and were ready to head back to the ship so we didn’t even get to stay very long. It was pretty much a bust of a day!
The next day we stopped in Nassau, Bahamas and were much more impressed from the get-go. We decided to head out on foot to explore the local area.
After seeing the beautiful blue waters and white sand beach, we walked down to Fort Charlotte.
Fort Charlotte is a British-colonial era fort built on a hill over-looking the harbor of Nassau, The Bahamas. The fort sits a short walk west of downtown Nassau and the cruise ship terminal. The fort was constructed in the late 18th century by British colonial governor Lord Dunmore after the end of the American Revolutionary war. The fort has never been used in battle.
It was interesting to see the 18th and 19th century writing left by soldiers in the stone walls.
After walking about 5 miles in the hot 85+ degree sun, we decided to head back to the ship to cool off and get some lunch. After re-energizing ourselves and freshening up, we decided to take the water taxi over to Paradise Island and head to the beach with our snorkeling gear.
After a scary ride with our mean, native host who yelled at anybody that spoke and then demanded that we all tip him before leaving, we walked another 1.5 miles to the beach. Not seeing anybody snorkeling off the beach, we were accosted by a young boy who offered us a boat ride over to a cove with “great snorkeling and views of a ship wreck and stingrays.”
After being deposited near the home of Beyonce and Jay-Z,
we spent time exploring the ocean. Although we saw a much greater variety of fish and coral life, we did not see any evidence of a ship wreck or any stingrays. Oh well. It was still much more enjoyable than Freeport. At least the water was warm and refreshing.
If we were ever to return to the Bahamas, it would be to Nassau. In fact, it’s Zack’s dream to go to Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island on Nassau. Who knows, maybe for his high school graduation we will celebrate there. Start saving your money family!