If you’re just joining us, you can read all about Day 1 to catch up!
We woke up early the next morning ready to go for our first port day! We hit up the breakfast buffet at Cabanas. The breakfast buffet was adequate, but far less exciting than our dinner the night before. You will see a theme around this buffet…it wasn’t our favorite. We know that food quality is a totally subjective thing, but keep in mind this is a blog totally revolving around our opinions, lol. We think that it is just not a huge variety and that the crowding and the overall quality of the food make it so we don’t necessarily want to frequent this buffet. However, since we like to “keep it real” as they say…a meh buffet cruising is waaaaay better than a good day at work.
After breakfast it was time to get off the ship in Nassau. We’ve been to Nassau 4-5 times and always enjoy it. If you spend any amount of time on cruise review sites like cruisecritic.com you will find that there are a lot of Nassau haters out there. Lots of people say they don’t or won’t get off the ship in Nassau either because they have been there before or they have heard or think it won’t be awesome. We have personally been to Nassau several times and we always have a good time checking out the Colonial Forts, going to the water park at Atlantis, going to a beach, or shopping in the straw market. Of course we also love drinking a Kalik Beer (a local Bahamian beer).
On a cruise, you (obviously) stop at a port for a predetermined period of time. What you do there is entirely up to you. There is the option to explore on your own, to take an excursion through a cruise line, or to take an excursion planned through a private company on your own. Probably the most common thing to do at a cruise port is to book an excursion through the cruise line. There are several benefits to this including “insurance” that the cruise ship won’t leave you behind. There are also some drawbacks to booking through the cruise line such as price and group size, but for many people their risk tolerance is such that they won’t book an excursion except through the cruise line themselves. We love exploring on our own or booking an excursion privately, but this time we booked an excursion through DCL to Blue Lagoon Island. We paid for the excursion prior to the cruise and the cruise line told us when and where to meet. Easy peasy. We met in one of the theaters where the cruise staff organize the guests to leave the ship together. They also provide an opportunity to purchase a cooler bag and water while you wait 😉 Once it was time to go we made our way to the pier as a large group.
This excursion takes place on Blue Lagoon Island. It is a private island that one reaches by boat. They have typical beach day activities available in their lagoon, food, water activities, and animal encounters. Some of the things to do are additional cost. This excursion provided the boat ride and lunch.
It was an approximately 30-40 minute boat ride to the island. The ride there is rather scenic as you get to look at a number of large yachts and homes at Paradise Island as you travel to the lagoon. Plus it has the added benefit of a fun little boat ride versus some other excursions which may be a tour bus ride…so the “getting there” for this excursion can be part of the fun. Also, they played fun party and island type music on the trip there. It added to the ambiance. When we made it to the island, we were directed to a large beach with lounge chairs. The weather didn’t really cooperate as it was a little cold that day and cloudy, but we had a great time. We swam in the Lagoon, had a few mixed drinks, and enjoyed the included lunch buffet. There were several other things you could do on the island for cost, so we included their website so you can peruse those if you so choose. It was a fun excursion and we would do it again, especially if it were warmer.
Around 2:00 pm we took the ferry back to the port. We wandered through the area, bought our souvenir and some Kaliks and then finally did something we said we were going to do for years. There is an administration building in the port where you can get your passport stamped. I know it’s dorky, but we wanted to get a stamp in Roseanne’s passport. Now she can prove she has been to Nassau.
Our plans for dinner were an adult only dinner at an upcharge restaurant on board. The drawback to being adults-only is that our littles had to go somewhere. Older kids (3 and up) can go to the kids club and play which is included in the cost of the cruise. Children younger than that must go to the nursery which is not included and has an upcharge. Also, it is wise to schedule your littlest littles for the nursery ASAP if you have plans. The spots are somewhat limited and can be taken up quickly. These times can be scheduled online or on the first day of the cruise. Upon embarkation, you should head to the kids club and the nursery to get the kids officially registered. There are a lot of safety precautions taken there, so it is pretty easy to feel safe-ish leaving your toddler there. I only say “safe-ish” because we had never sent Roseanne to any babysitter other than our nanny up to this point in her life, so we were pretty nervous. It worked out well after the first little hiccup so we would do it again if we needed to. Also, you have your phone from your stateroom that you can carry around and the Nursery will call you with issues. We know…because they called us when Rosie was upset.
Palo has an Italian inspired menu. At the time of this publication, the cost of Palo is 40$. The pairing dinner is $59pp in addition to the OG $40 for the admission cost. If you do not do the pairing dinner, adult beverages are an additional charge. When you arrive they provide a charcuterie board that was delicious! After that you can then order your starter, salad/soup, entree, and dessert. Everything we had at Palo was very good and it was worth the up charge. The service at Palo was better than experiences we’ve had at Cagneys or LeBistro on NCL. One of the best parts of the dinner was that there was no downtime, each course flowed right into the next. The food was wonderful, however, we both prefer the food at Cagneys or LeBistro on NCL. We did think Palo was far and away better than the upcharge restaurants on Carnival and RCL. Another preference of ours is the ability to bring our child with us to the restaurant. I know that is not for everyone, but we really like bringing Rosie in on the experience and were slightly disappointed that it was not an option to include her in our dinner.
We picked up Rosie from the Nursery,. We happened to see Mickey was out so we stopped to see him. Then we headed to bed to get ready for the next day at Castaway Cay!!!
Stay tuned for Day 3 of our First Cruise with Mickey!