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Bahamas Experience – Our First Trip To Nassau And Paradise Island, Bahamas!
As I sit in the Grand Bahamas International Airport waiting for our return flight home to the US, I decided to write this article while things are still very fresh in my mind.
This journey began about 2 months ago when I was looking for a special place to get away and to surprise my wife with a trip for our 20th anniversary. I had budgeted about $2k and thought that would be enough for a four day, three night stay at a nice place somewhere in the Bahamas. I researched many different options including cruises, all inclusive and others.
After much reading online in forums and talking to other friends and family, they all recommended Nassau and Paradise Island. Looking at the price options, it made more sense to stay in Nassau instead of Paradise Island, although having visited Atlantis on Paradise Island I will tell you the difference between there and Nassau is night and day. We’ll talk about that in more detail in a moment.
I spent several days searching online for the best deals and I decided to stay at a “Super Club” called The Breezes. They position themselves as a super inclusive resort. Although we have stayed at an all inclusive before in Cancun, I had never heard of a super inclusive resort before. According to the research, this meant that not only were all meals and drinks included, but so were all the other activities.
The other activities that they mention were playing water volleyball in the pool, evening entertainment in the hotel lobby and using all non-motorized water activities. They offered kayaks, small catamarans and small sailboats as part of their facilities.
When we first arrived at Nassau International Airport, we took the cab to the resort. Ernie was the name of our taxi driver. He was very pleasant and pointed out a lot of the local scenery. When he dropped us off, he gave us his phone number so we could maybe call him on the last day of our trip to make the trip back to the airport. The taxi ride was only $20 and I tipped him another four dollars.
Upon arrival at the resort, we were greeted by the concierge staff who offered to take our luggage to our room. As we started walking up the steps to the resort’s grand entrance, I could begin to see a very beautiful landscape unfolding. When we got to the top of the stairs, I could see the entire lobby and how it was open to all the elements. There were no front doors on the building and at the back of the lobby area there were huge openings that showed one of the most beautiful views I had ever seen.
The view was breathtaking. We were greeted at the check-in desk by a gentleman who served a very tropical drink. After a few problems with our key card we finally made it to our room. The first thing we did was go to the window and open the curtains. Wow! What an amazing view. We were able to see a full view of the swimming pool as well as the sea. The water in the pool and the water in the sea actually matched. I told my wife that the trip to the Bahamas could have ended right then and there and it would have been worth it to me. I had experienced what I had come to see… In other words, the most beautiful water in the world! However, this trip wasn’t just about me, it was about celebrating 20 years of a wonderful marriage.
Although the room was clean, it was old and dated and did not match the hotel lobby area. It also lacked seating. The only two places to sit in the entire room… either on the bed or a hard chair next to the desk. A loveseat or comfortable chair and ottoman would have been nice. However, the view made up for it. Besides, we really weren’t planning on spending much time in the room anyway. After a short rest in the room, we decided to go out and explore the resort.
After walking the property and having our first few cocktails, we realized that this property had lots of potential but needed a huge amount of loving care. There were many small things that made the difference. We could see cracked tiles in the swimming pool, loose boards on some of the terraces, and sadly they certainly weren’t using top shelf spirits in the bar.
After a short walk on the beach we decided it was time to try the buffet. We stepped into the dining area and it felt like we had just walked into an igloo. We walked straight into the lobby from the outside, down the stairs and through the double doors into the dining area where the temperature dropped a minimum of 30°. It was at least 65° in there. With the exception of one meal, we ate every meal outside.
Apart from the buffet, the hotel offered four other restaurants. Unfortunately, they all required long pants to eat there. This posed a problem for me because the only clothes I packed were shorts and comfortable shirts. Needless to say, we never got a chance to eat at any of the other restaurants during our entire stay. On a side note, we looked for pants while shopping downtown, but the cheapest pair we found was $150.
Day two started with breakfast and an interesting trip downtown to the ferry port via a local bus. We found the bus ride quite interesting and very affordable at only $1.25 per person. passenger. Initially, we were going to rent a scooter, but after seeing how people drive in the Bahamas, I’m glad we chose to use public transportation. Driving on the opposite side of the road also looks pretty confusing to me.
Shortly after we boarded the ferry to take us over to Atlantis, we met another couple who were from the States coming via a cruise ship. Turns out we were all heading to the aquarium so we decided to hang out with each other which gave us the opportunity to take pictures of each other.
Atlantis was a very nice, upscale resort property with prices to match. Everything costs money. They have day passes that can be purchased for various activities starting at $39 per day. person for the “You” aquarium tour (which we did), $69 per person person for “Day at the beach” or $125 per person for the water park. Although Atlantis was a very nice upscale resort with an incredible setting, it also seemed to be the most touristy area.
As with everything else on Paradise Island, even drinks were expensive. I paid $14 for a drink called “Blue Balls” that contained four shots of different rums and a handful of blueberries. Actually the drink was only $12, but I tipped the young lady two dollars. Although the drink was very expensive, it was the best drink I had during the whole trip.
When the ferry arrived back in Nassau, we said goodbye to our newfound friends. They were on their way to a cyber cafe and we were going shopping and having a bite to eat. Not to mention that they were going back to the ship soon anyway. We exchanged our information and hope to get in touch with them again.
After having a late lunch at the Hard Rock Café and doing some souvenir shopping in downtown Nassau, we headed back to the resort and decided to take an afternoon swim in the pool. We spent the rest of the day and evening just relaxing and enjoying the amazing view of the ocean.
Eventually we got back to the room and decided to take a late afternoon/early evening nap. After our nap we freshened up and went back to the buffet for dinner. And yes, we ate outside. After dinner we went to the hotel lobby to check out the entertainment. We ended up going over to the pool tables and playing a few games of pool. After a few glasses of wine we decided to call it a night and go back to the room.
The third day started with a breakfast buffet and a talk about the day. We decided to just hang out and relax. With that in mind, we chose to rent a cabana on the beach for the day. Cabana included full butler service. The day was pretty uneventful, and full of delicious tropical drinks and much needed rest in our little piece of paradise… On Cable Beach in the Bahamas.
Our last night was pretty much the same as the night before. The evening entertainment in the lobby of the hotel was similar to the night before. We found the evening entertainment quite boring and in many cases very distasteful.
On our last day, we again had the breakfast buffet and took a last tour around the resort. While doing so we met another couple who were there to celebrate their anniversary and were also from the US. They had mentioned that this was their third trip to the Bahamas, but that they were not impressed with The Breezes Resort. We could relate to how they felt and we discussed other places for our next visit to Nassau and Paradise Island Bahamas.
Overall, we would rate this stay at Breezes a 7.5 on a scale of 10. The building was old and needed a lot of attention, the food was average for a buffet, the entertainment was marginal at best, but the service was excellent. That’s the only reason we even gave it a 7.5. If the service would have been less it wouldn’t have even been a 5. We filled out the comment card and hope this resort fixes the issues. Otherwise, I couldn’t see myself returning, or being able to recommend to anyone else.
All in all we had a great time, although the hotel was not the best. Everything else was real. The view, the trip to Paradise Island, downtown, meeting new friends, etc. I think it’s just a matter of time before we return to the Bahamas.
While sitting here at the airport, I have been looking at other places to visit in the Bahamas. One of these places is the Harborside Resort on Paradise Island. It is a five-star resort that offers all the comforts. Through a discount travel club that I found, we are now able to stay in a two bedroom villa at a five star resort for only $299 per person. week! With that kind of deal, you can bet he’ll be returning to Paradise Island Bahamas in the near future.
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