Hi everyone, I just returned from my 4 day getaway to Nassau with my husband, and thought I'd share a review!
Background: we're both in our early 30's, no kids, live in metro Boston and travel a lot for leisure. We spent 2 days in Ft. Lauderdale for a friend's wedding prior to flying into Nassau for a R&R vacation. We booked our trip on Orbitz and got a few perks - free buffet breakfast each morning at Bimini Market (Sheraton's buffet restaurant), plus a $100 resort credit. Hurray!
Sunday 3/28: leave our hotel in Ft. Lauderdale at 7:30 am after a night of partying at our friend's wedding reception; bleary-eyed, a little hung over, and tired. Get to airport, only to experience a 5 hour delay on our Spirit Airlines flight to Nassau! Bummer :( But what to do, it's a mechanical problem and I really don't want to fly in a broken plane. Have the opportunity to experience obnoxious fellow US travelers complain and whine at the top of their lungs to anyone who will listen (a recurring theme throughout our trip, and the only negatives we experienced throughout. Man, we Americans are a WHINEY bunch! :(
Okay, finally things improve - we take off around 2:30, and are in Nassau by 3:30. My husband and I deplane, clear customs, grab a cab, and are in the pool at the Sheraton with a drink in hand by about 4 pm. Whew! What delay? What problem? Our travel snafoo is instantly forgotten :) It is a bit windy this day, and it's late in the afternoon - so a little too chilly for the ocean or other pools, but the heated center pool and hot tubs are perfect!
After a few hours - we are back in our lovely room, a king bed room (#337). It has a balcony with partial view of the ocean and overlooking the Wyndham pool area. No complaints. Big deal, not a full-on ocean view. We're on vacation - if you want to sit in a lounge chair and look over the ocean all day and night, you can! I was impressed that at even these hours (4-6 pm, when everyone is leaving the beach to shower and change) - that I had wonderful hot water with good pressure in the shower.
Lovely dinner at Amici this night, courtesy of our $100 food credit. They perfectly accommodated my dietary restrictions (vegetarian)- we started with a goat cheese and roasted veggie bruschetta-type appetizer. Then my husband had a lobster pasta, while I had a baked ziti - - yum! We had tiramisu for dessert, and we even got a surprise Junkanoo music/dance performance by the waitstaff in traditional Bahamian costume! Turned in early, slept well - hardly any noise, quiet A/C. I think it rained a bit this night, but we didn't hear/see it!
Monday, 3/29: Wake up to beautiful sunshine, a few clouds in the sky and some breeze, but no rain at all. Went for a 2 mile run along West Bay Drive - the center median is well manicured with a jogging trail for about half a mile, then there's a park along Goodman's Bay which is perfect for walking/jogging. The sidewalks are also broad and safe, perfect for long walks/jogs. We enjoyed the run and getting acquainted with nearby businesses and restaurants.
Came back, changed for the beach, then hit up Bimini Market for the buffet breakfast. I can understand people thinking it's not worth the $20 charge, but as it was free, we thought it was AWESOME, hehe :) Eggs and omelets cooked to order, assortments of breakfast breads and baked goods, meats, cheeses, fresh fruits, hot items like pancakes, french toast, waffles, hashbrowns, yogurt, cereals, oatmeal, etc. Couldn't think of anything that I really wanted/needed that they didn't have.
Okay - then headed to the beach for Day 1 of Operation R&R! Plenty of beach chairs, towels, etc. We took naps on the beach for an hour or two, then took a dip in the ocean. The water is cool at first, but you get used to it and plenty of people were out swimming. There was a bit of breeze this day, and it was partly cloudy with sporadic sunshine. No biggie. We had our lunch at Burger King this day, simply because we weren't that hungry and therefore didn't want to blow a ton of money.
Came back, and alternated between the pools for a few hours, then ended the day in the hot tub. Went back to the room to shower and change, then for some reason I felt a little ill (migraine coming on) - so my husband simply picked up some dinner from the Caribe Cafe for us, and we spent the evening watching HBO in our room. Completely pleasant way to spend the evening, and we were well-rested and recovered from our travel for sure by the next day.
Tuesday 3/30: Woke up even earlier for our workout this day! My husband did another run outdoors, while I chose to hit up the fitness center. It is pretty well-appointed with treadmills, elliptical climbers, recumbent and upright stationary bikes, and lots of resistance equipment, free weights, mats, medicine balls, etc. One thing to consider is that it is pretty crowded at the hours you'd expect it to be crowded, i.e. morning 8-9 am or so. So I'd avoid that time of day if possible. Even so, going there at 8-8:30 ish, I was able to use an elliptical.
Okay, then again - breakfast at Bimini, followed by a morning on the beach/ocean. Weather was even better this day! Very few clouds, and an even lighter breeze than before. The vendors on the beach didn't bother me at all - sure, they're there, and hoping you'll buy their necklaces, sarongs, beverages served in a coconut, or otherwise take a snorkel trip with them, or go on a timeshare presentation - - but if you smile and politely say "no thank you" just once, they will smile back, say "no problem," and absolutely leave you alone. Easy as pie!
We decided to go to downtown this day for lunch, so I just put a decent looking sundress over my swimwear and my husband put on a short-sleeved collared shirt with his trunks. We took the jitney, which was about a half-hour ride at 12:00 noon (a bit more traffic than I expected, but very interesting). We enjoyed seeing the neighborhoods and people on our ride. We walked around downtown for about half an hour, and were surprised at the lack of things to see and do. We noted a pirate museum and some other small museums as well as a few historical monuments, but other than that - a sea of touristy souvenir shops selling junk, and then some high-end jewelry stores which we can't afford :) We had lunch at Hard Rock Cafe, which we pretty much regretted the minute we walked in - - would have much rather eaten at the Greek restaurant right next door, but there was a bit of a crowd there. There were 2 cruise ships in port, perhaps why it was so crowded. After lunch we took the jitney right back to the Sheraton and spent the rest of the day at the pool, enjoying the sun.
Dinner this night was at "Simmer Down," the restaurant at Marley Resort. It was delicious! It took us about a half hour to walk there from the Sheraton and you have to just exercise common sense on the walk as toward the end, it's not as well paved with lit sidewalks - but its completely doable. Dinner was on the pricey side, but worth it - I savored the pepper pot stew and a veggie platter, while my husband loved the lobster and pumpkin bisque and a grilled mahi mahi filet. We were too stuffed for dessert.
Wednesday 3/31: Woke up to an even more glorious sky, cloudless, with bright sunshine! Went on a run, had our breakfast, then declared it a complete day of R&R. On this day the ocean was more clear, blue and calm than ever, and not a breeze to be felt. We swam for hours in the ocean. I availed myself of the complimentary non-motorized equipment available at the Sheraton - borrowed some snorkeling gear and snorkeled off the reefs rocks near the beach for awhile, enjoying the colorful schools of fish, and even a small octopus! The water is so blue, clear and shallow - you can wade out till the rope, and still touch the bottom! We had lunch this day at the Dolphin Grill, which is the poolside dining establishment. Honestly, wouldn't recommend it - for the price it's not all that great, but the convenience couldn't be beat. We took naps poolside, then enjoyed some mudslides as we continued swimming and sunning the rest of the day. I really enjoyed the two side pools a lot, and swam for a long time. The center pool, which is the only heated one, was clearly the most popular esp. for young children, and it was constantly pretty crowded. But I didn't think that the other pools were necessarily "too cold," and plenty of people were swimming there too.
Dinner this night was at the Indigo Restaurant - I thought the food was incredibly good for the prices. We had edamame and veggie spring rolls to start, then I had a ravioli dish while my husband had a salmon filet which he declared was the best meal he had in our entire Nassau experience. We finished with a delicious guava gelato.
Thursday, 4/1: Our flight didn't depart till 12:30 pm, so we had time to get up early, take a long walk along the beach, then have our breakfast. We had time to relax and sit around before checking out and getting a cab to the airport around 9:30. We were there early and with plenty of time to spare even with checking in, going through security, and clearing U.S. customs. I think we made it to our gate by 10:15-10:20 - - but I'd still always rather go early than late, so I won't advise others to go any earlier than 2.5 hours before your flight. (we had no bags to check). Our return travel went without a hitch, thank goodness! We flew Spirit to Ft. Lauderdale, then connected on JetBlue back to Boston - there are directs from Nassau to Boston on JetBlue but b/c of that wedding we attended, we had to connect. Oh well.
Overall, a wonderful trip!