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Old 01-12-2013, 02:07 PM   #1231
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All caught up! It's really fun to read about an out-of-the-ordinary WDW trip. Though I know it's just going to make me want to cruise, something I'll be surprised if I'll ever be able to talk DH into. My family went on a few Mediterranean cruises back when I was in college, and I loved them -- am curious to see how a Disney cruise compares!

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Old 01-12-2013, 06:56 PM   #1232
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Just came back from a cruise at Christmas (not Disney) and spent the day at the Sheraton in Nassau. Had a great time there but was traveling with a group of 15 so we brought our own party with us. Beach was gorgeous and the kids loved the water trampoline. Check in and out took very long but figured it was a difference between north american vs islands take on time.
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Old 01-13-2013, 06:35 AM   #1233
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The cruise looks really nice so far! Sorry the time in Nassau wasn't very exciting... I'm sure our boys would have been bored too. They get bored much too easily!

I know what you mean about the panhandlers... Tim & I got married in Jamaica and have been back once since then. While the all inclusive resorts are nice, the other parts of the island are covered with people trying to make a deal! I hate it!
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:04 AM   #1234
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Finally had some time to catch up!

I'm loving your cruise updates! It sounds like your first night was great! Your dinner sounded yummy and the Golden Mickey's sound like a lot of fun.

Beautiful pictures of Nassau. But sorry about the rain.... I'm glad you were still able to get a little relaxation in!
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:37 AM   #1235
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I am sure hoping my time in Nassau is more interesting , but with a group of Dev. Disabled it is seldom if ever boring !!
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:58 AM   #1236
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolynK View Post
Sorry it has taken me so long to respond; yes, DHS had it's own fireworks, and they were great! We really were pleasantly surprised! I did take pictures, I just have to stop procrastinating and get some posted! Anyway, we got to the park at about 11:30 pm, and Mulch, Sweat and Shears was playing in front of the Sorcerer's Hat. We stood on the curb right on Hollywood Blvd, close to the turn for Sunset Blvd. It was a good spot, far enough into the park, but close to the exit! It was very crowded, but not any more so than Epcot was - we had been to WS earlier in the evening.
I just listened to the DISunplugged podcast from NYE at Epcot and it had me really wanting to go to Epcot but I'm so excited to hear about the options. At the moment I am really really really leaning away from MK, the crowds scare me. Part of me would like to try and see the earlier MK fireworks there from the Poly but it might be a bit much to attempt all of that, I worry about getting locked out of a park.

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It was funny, on NY day, we went to WS in the evening and stayed for Illuminations, and I swear, I have never seen that park so empty!! It was really weird, you could have walked up to the guardrail in several countries - it was that empty! I can't explain it, but we actually thought maybe most people had gone home already, until we went to MK on 1/3 There, they had CMs everywhere, directing traffic (which actually helped a lot!).
Basically, just plan for the worst in terms of crowds, and you will be fine! Don't be scared; it's definitely a fun time to go!!
I have heard great things about the traffic direction though MK is still a concern. We will just have to plan accordingly. I am excited. Had a momentary panic yesterday when one night looked already booked earlier in the month (have started tracking the DVC daily so see if I need to walk the reservation) but so far it's only been that one night. Fingers crossed it stays that way, I really don't want to walk!

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The nap sounds great, it's a vacation, after all!
As far as Nassau, we've found that the Caribbean islands look a lot prettier from the ship We honestly don't even get off the ship sometimes in the Caribbean, depending on the island and if we haven't booked an excursion. It's just kinda depressing! Plus, enjoying the ship when most people are ashore has its own benefits
And your "cab" pictures bring back memories (I think all the islands have vans, they don't want to take just one family when they can take 2 or 3!!).
Looking forward to your next update!
If I were to go back there I think we'd either stay on the ship, or try to find an excursion that worked. There just wasn't one either of us could get really excited about that was reasonable. The nap was lovely!

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Originally Posted by norybell View Post
All caught up! It's really fun to read about an out-of-the-ordinary WDW trip. Though I know it's just going to make me want to cruise, something I'll be surprised if I'll ever be able to talk DH into. My family went on a few Mediterranean cruises back when I was in college, and I loved them -- am curious to see how a Disney cruise compares!

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Oh you never know Nory...remember Jeff? You'll never get me on a cruise?

Unless it's to Alaska!

And now, he is at least open to it. There will be more in our future. It won't be a yearly thing for sure and there is other stuff higher on his list but as he puts it "wouldn't mind" going again. We would like to do the Med, timing wise and financially I'm just not sure how to make it work.

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Originally Posted by Diamondintheruff View Post
Just came back from a cruise at Christmas (not Disney) and spent the day at the Sheraton in Nassau. Had a great time there but was traveling with a group of 15 so we brought our own party with us. Beach was gorgeous and the kids loved the water trampoline. Check in and out took very long but figured it was a difference between north american vs islands take on time.
Diamond! It definitely would have been different had they all had other kids their age to play with. No water trampoline though, they would have loved that! And the slide had it been inflated. I think you are right on the Island time comment though. 15, how fun!!!

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Originally Posted by DisMomAmy View Post
The cruise looks really nice so far! Sorry the time in Nassau wasn't very exciting... I'm sure our boys would have been bored too. They get bored much too easily!


It's so frustrating isn't it? They need to self entertain, I certainly wasn't entertained by my folks 24/7. And if I was bored, I was smart enough to either fake it, or keep it to myself.

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I know what you mean about the panhandlers... Tim & I got married in Jamaica and have been back once since then. While the all inclusive resorts are nice, the other parts of the island are covered with people trying to make a deal! I hate it!
I spent a week in Negril, not at an all inclusive and oh, the beach vendors were relentless. Really takes away from the experience.

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Originally Posted by Angies1274 View Post
Finally had some time to catch up!

I'm loving your cruise updates! It sounds like your first night was great! Your dinner sounded yummy and the Golden Mickey's sound like a lot of fun.
The first night was really fun, we enjoyed it a ton! They do such a nice job with the shows and we made it a priority to make it to all of them this cruise, on our Alaska one Jeff and I missed one of the shows and I still regret that a little (though not the hot tub and pool time we opted for instead lol).

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Beautiful pictures of Nassau. But sorry about the rain.... I'm glad you were still able to get a little relaxation in!
It was definitely relaxing all around, no issues there the entire day. The rain thing was kind of funny, it wasn't cold, and at least my ankles weren't getting bit this time.

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I am sure hoping my time in Nassau is more interesting , but with a group of Dev. Disabled it is seldom if ever boring !!
With you Rosie, it can't possibly ever be boring!
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Old 01-13-2013, 02:50 PM   #1237
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I just listened to the DISunplugged podcast from NYE at Epcot and it had me really wanting to go to Epcot but I'm so excited to hear about the options. At the moment I am really really really leaning away from MK, the crowds scare me. Part of me would like to try and see the earlier MK fireworks there from the Poly but it might be a bit much to attempt all of that, I worry about getting locked out of a park.
In all of our visits, and many of them have been at the crazy crowd times, we have never been denied entry into a park. It's possibly because we go to MK the least of all the parks....
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:02 PM   #1238
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In all of our visits, and many of them have been at the crazy crowd times, we have never been denied entry into a park. It's possibly because we go to MK the least of all the parks....
On wdwmagic.com they always post updates about when the parks are in which closing phase (I think there are 4) and as a resort guest arriving on resort transportation I think you would only be locked out if the park were at phase 4. I have never seen them posting that a park is at phase 4. And if on of the parks (mostly it is the MK) closes to capacity, it typically reopens some time in the afternoon.

Have a look at their twitter feed https://twitter.com/wdwmagic to see what they posted about closings over this New Year's Eve. I think that should give you some data you could use for your trip.

I just realized that they do have a guide to the closing phases over there as well: http://www.wdwmagic.com/park-closing-phases.htm
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Old 01-13-2013, 05:29 PM   #1239
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In all of our visits, and many of them have been at the crazy crowd times, we have never been denied entry into a park. It's possibly because we go to MK the least of all the parks....
We've been in insane crowds at MK and DHS during President's week. Worse actually at DHS, basically got there and turned around and left and waited it out a bit till evening EMH before heading back. On NYE that won't really work. But, my expectations are that it will be crowded, we won't get a ton of rides and so as a result it will hopefully be a lot less frustrating.

It was also pretty ugly one night at Epcot during F&W. Weekend night, hadn't really planned on being there and knew it would be ugly going into it. Because I was expecting it, it didn't bother me as much but there was about 2 minutes of icky bottleneck that made me a wee bit nervous.

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On wdwmagic.com they always post updates about when the parks are in which closing phase (I think there are 4) and as a resort guest arriving on resort transportation I think you would only be locked out if the park were at phase 4. I have never seen them posting that a park is at phase 4. And if on of the parks (mostly it is the MK) closes to capacity, it typically reopens some time in the afternoon.
True, but it isn't fun being in there when it's that full. We were during President's week one trip. Now granted, my expectations are going to be VERY different than what they were that trip so maybe it would be ok but it was a very very frustrating day and definitely a situation where EMH saved the day, and really the trip. If it gets to Phase 3, or even phase 2 which I think MK did at least 3 days in a row, that's crazy. It will just mean not a lot of MK time until more at the end of the tip I think. We will see, not sure how many days we want at US/IoA yet and that will impact things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flossbolna View Post
Have a look at their twitter feed https://twitter.com/wdwmagic to see what they posted about closings over this New Year's Eve. I think that should give you some data you could use for your trip.

I just realized that they do have a guide to the closing phases over there as well: http://www.wdwmagic.com/park-closing-phases.htm
I wasn't tracking it there but one of my FB groups was updating it daily (DVC Central) and had the phase guide so that helped. Does reinforce the staying on property during peak times though!
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Old 01-13-2013, 05:57 PM   #1240
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We've been in insane crowds at MK and DHS during President's week. Worse actually at DHS, basically got there and turned around and left and waited it out a bit till evening EMH before heading back. On NYE that won't really work. But, my expectations are that it will be crowded, we won't get a ton of rides and so as a result it will hopefully be a lot less frustrating.

It was also pretty ugly one night at Epcot during F&W. Weekend night, hadn't really planned on being there and knew it would be ugly going into it. Because I was expecting it, it didn't bother me as much but there was about 2 minutes of icky bottleneck that made me a wee bit nervous.



True, but it isn't fun being in there when it's that full. We were during President's week one trip. Now granted, my expectations are going to be VERY different than what they were that trip so maybe it would be ok but it was a very very frustrating day and definitely a situation where EMH saved the day, and really the trip. If it gets to Phase 3, or even phase 2 which I think MK did at least 3 days in a row, that's crazy. It will just mean not a lot of MK time until more at the end of the tip I think. We will see, not sure how many days we want at US/IoA yet and that will impact things.



I wasn't tracking it there but one of my FB groups was updating it daily (DVC Central) and had the phase guide so that helped. Does reinforce the staying on property during peak times though!
Does Presidents weekend get pretty busy? I really want to go to Hawaii next Jan or Feb. But because it will be DS's last year of elementary school, I have been kicking around the idea of doing WDW/HP instead, assuming that would be an ideal time to visit and take advantage of low crowds. Once DS is in middle school, taking trips will have to be around winter, spring and summer break.

I haven't said anything about WDW but did mention Hawaii. DS has already said he would rather go to Disneyland than Hawaii.
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Old 01-13-2013, 06:32 PM   #1241
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Does Presidents weekend get pretty busy? I really want to go to Hawaii next Jan or Feb. But because it will be DS's last year of elementary school, I have been kicking around the idea of doing WDW/HP instead, assuming that would be an ideal time to visit and take advantage of low crowds. Once DS is in middle school, taking trips will have to be around winter, spring and summer break.

I haven't said anything about WDW but did mention Hawaii. DS has already said he would rather go to Disneyland than Hawaii.
It was a mixed bag. We did Thursday-Thursday trip but had horrible flight times so it really was Friday-Weds for park time. The younger 2 had the full week off but the older 2 did not so we timed it to make it so no one missed more than 2 days of school. Friday was fine, Saturday absolutely horrendous, Sunday and Monday very bad as well. Tues was better and then Weds was fine. We had a combination of factors working against us, namely teens who wouldn't get up early. I learned from that trip and we have divided up since then so that those who do want to go, just go and we meet up later. That's helped. If you go then, hit the parks early and hard!

I would go if the trip went the weds after presidents day though the next weds or something like that but honestly wouldn't do the weekend and day itself again. We did learn the hard way too, that those 2 days (one in HS, one in MS) really did hurt both kids to miss, both bombed a test upon return and so we are really trying to avoid kids missing anything now. They may miss a couple of days next year for the trip, I'm hoping we won't have a repeat of the disaster with the older ones but I guess time will tell. We won't have a school calendar till June so I can't really plan around it for sure.

Then again if it were that weekend, or no trip, I'd do it in a heartbeat! I do have a full TR on it, "How EMH saved our trip" the link is in my siggie and you can get an idea of the crowds. Honestly if we'd have been offsite and not using EMH it would have been a train wreck. Both E's were in Elementary at the time, 2nd and 4th I think. I think as my kids get older they may appreciate Hawaii more but I"m not sure. They haven't been yet and honestly given that they got a bit bored at the beach or weren't as into it as I hoped. It's a challenge but I think the entertainment factor of the cruise ships and WDW has definitely been higher on their list than just a beach. Not that there isn't a lot more than that in Hawaii, there is of course but if costs are equal, I just don't know.

If we didn't have the big family trip planned next NYE, I'd be pushing for DLR this summer to see Carsland and WOC. From here as you know, it's a pretty reasonable trip but as you mention, also an easy one for middle school when the calendar gets more limited.
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Old 01-13-2013, 08:28 PM   #1242
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It was a mixed bag. We did Thursday-Thursday trip but had horrible flight times so it really was Friday-Weds for park time. The younger 2 had the full week off but the older 2 did not so we timed it to make it so no one missed more than 2 days of school. Friday was fine, Saturday absolutely horrendous, Sunday and Monday very bad as well. Tues was better and then Weds was fine. We had a combination of factors working against us, namely teens who wouldn't get up early. I learned from that trip and we have divided up since then so that those who do want to go, just go and we meet up later. That's helped. If you go then, hit the parks early and hard!

I would go if the trip went the weds after presidents day though the next weds or something like that but honestly wouldn't do the weekend and day itself again. We did learn the hard way too, that those 2 days (one in HS, one in MS) really did hurt both kids to miss, both bombed a test upon return and so we are really trying to avoid kids missing anything now. They may miss a couple of days next year for the trip, I'm hoping we won't have a repeat of the disaster with the older ones but I guess time will tell. We won't have a school calendar till June so I can't really plan around it for sure.

Then again if it were that weekend, or no trip, I'd do it in a heartbeat! I do have a full TR on it, "How EMH saved our trip" the link is in my siggie and you can get an idea of the crowds. Honestly if we'd have been offsite and not using EMH it would have been a train wreck. Both E's were in Elementary at the time, 2nd and 4th I think. I think as my kids get older they may appreciate Hawaii more but I"m not sure. They haven't been yet and honestly given that they got a bit bored at the beach or weren't as into it as I hoped. It's a challenge but I think the entertainment factor of the cruise ships and WDW has definitely been higher on their list than just a beach. Not that there isn't a lot more than that in Hawaii, there is of course but if costs are equal, I just don't know.

If we didn't have the big family trip planned next NYE, I'd be pushing for DLR this summer to see Carsland and WOC. From here as you know, it's a pretty reasonable trip but as you mention, also an easy one for middle school when the calendar gets more limited.
I think I am going to eliminate the WDW option for now. I would rather wait for DD to have read at least some of the HP books before we go. As it is now, DS is dying to go see the HP stuff plus WDW but I told him we had to wait until DD was tall enough to go on all the rides.

For me, a trip to FL is best when it is at least 10 days and there is some serious down time at the pool. I don't mind doing a commando trip to Disneyland once in awhile but for Florida, there is just too much to see and do to keep a fast pace up the whole time. Besides WDW and Universal, we would also want to do Kennedy Space center and maybe even Legoland FL. Plus, my kids only get 2 or 3 days off for mid-winter break. Unfortunately, they don't get a whole week. If the parks are crowded, it definitely would be worth it for us to wait until a spring or summer break down the road.

My kids have been to Hawaii twice and DS cried (!!!!!) when we told him we were going again. We went last January for the second year in a row. To be honest, he cried because he really, really wanted to go to Disneyland!

The resort you were at in Nassau seemed pretty typical of what you would find in Hawaii. Beautiful pool, nice beach etc but looks like there is a lot more offered on the cruise ship to keep kids entertained.
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:17 PM   #1243
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Cynthia, slowly trying to catch up on everyone's threads.

The hotel/pool where you went looked lovely, and the ocean so inviting...as was that pool bar.

Sorry the boys were bored, but glad K and Jeff got in a fun game of volleyball. And YOU took a nap. I'm so proud of you.

Sorry for the rain on the trip back to the ship, but glad you got there safely and didn't step in anything disgusting.
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:13 PM   #1244
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I think I am going to eliminate the WDW option for now. I would rather wait for DD to have read at least some of the HP books before we go. As it is now, DS is dying to go see the HP stuff plus WDW but I told him we had to wait until DD was tall enough to go on all the rides.
I think that is a good idea, she will be really frustrated otherwise and that's no fun for anyone

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For me, a trip to FL is best when it is at least 10 days and there is some serious down time at the pool. I don't mind doing a commando trip to Disneyland once in awhile but for Florida, there is just too much to see and do to keep a fast pace up the whole time. Besides WDW and Universal, we would also want to do Kennedy Space center and maybe even Legoland FL. Plus, my kids only get 2 or 3 days off for mid-winter break. Unfortunately, they don't get a whole week. If the parks are crowded, it definitely would be worth it for us to wait until a spring or summer break down the road.
Honestly, I wish we didn't get a full week. It's annoying. The only benefit is that it means our spring break is later and thus not at peak times but since we don't typically go anywhere for either it just means 2 weeks of frustrated and bored kids. It also means we get out late but then again most of the state does. When do you get out? I think we are June 23 this year assuming no snow days.

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My kids have been to Hawaii twice and DS cried (!!!!!) when we told him we were going again. We went last January for the second year in a row. To be honest, he cried because he really, really wanted to go to Disneyland!

The resort you were at in Nassau seemed pretty typical of what you would find in Hawaii. Beautiful pool, nice beach etc but looks like there is a lot more offered on the cruise ship to keep kids entertained.
I think they'd be bored unless we really planned a lot of activity and the pool had a slide and/or lazy river. They are obsessed with going, primarily b/c they have a lot of friends that go on a regular basis and we have family there. I do think we could find plenty to do but it would be a very active trip with hikes etc to keep the boredom away. Hotel only they'd probalby start crawling up the wall in a day or 2. It will be interesting to see if Aulani has enough to keep them entertained. Right now I am thinking I may let them pick between Aulani and DLR for 2015 midwinter or spring break. I wouldn't try DLR for midwinter (Pres weekend) but it's great for points at Aulani. It will be interesting to see what they pick.

There was a lot more to keep the kids entertained on the ship, all ages of them!

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Cynthia, slowly trying to catch up on everyone's threads.

The hotel/pool where you went looked lovely, and the ocean so inviting...as was that pool bar.

Sorry the boys were bored, but glad K and Jeff got in a fun game of volleyball. And YOU took a nap. I'm so proud of you.
I was proud of me! I NEVER nap. Or at least never have on a family trip. I've dozed in HI with Jeff on our couples trips but that's about it since kids came along. It was so so lovely to get all warm and cozy and...doze! I did do it at least one in Oct on the girls trip, maybe twice. Sigh. I plan to do it a bunch in May at Aulani!

The beach there was really lovely and the pool as well. Honestly it if would have had a slide it probably would have made a big difference, or if the ocean inflatable one was up and running. Oh well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KatMark View Post
Sorry for the rain on the trip back to the ship, but glad you got there safely and didn't step in anything disgusting.
That was pretty wild, and icky but as long as you were on the sidewalk it was fine and it wasn't the main street, just the roundabout. It was funny, running through the rain, we all laughed and enjoyed it in an odd way but were also really happy we'd left when we did, definitely made us feel it was the right call.
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:09 PM   #1245
natebenma
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Well, your day at the beach was quite similar to ours on our cruise stop at Nassau. It WAS the Sheraton we went to. We had arranged for day passes (not a room) in advance. I'm not sure we were even there an hour, though.

It was April and the pool was kind of cool. We headed to the beach and Nate cut his knee and we were out of there. Between the resort pass and the cab fare, it was a pricey excursion for a very short time.

We had considered using the local transportation, the jitney bus for travel which would have been just a few dollars, but we ended up being uncomfortable with the kids being so young.

We have had one cruise stop in Nassau and two 5 night stays at Atlantis. We have spent a couple of hours downtown, including visits to the Pirate Museum. On our last trip we did a van tour of the island with stops at the Queens Staircase and one of the forts. That was not a bad option for a short stop in Nassau.

The other thing that people may want to consider in Nassau is a snorkeling trip to one of the reefs in the area.
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