Saturday, January 23, 2016

Breezes Nassau


Day 1

People think of the Bahamas as being part of the Caribbean, but weather-wise it is more like South Florida. Which means that in January, it could be 80 degrees and sunny or it could be 60 degrees, windy and wet. It’s just the luck of the draw.

And so we landed at the Nassau airport on a rainy Thursday morning. The airport wasn’t busy at all so we walked right through customs and immigration, hopped in a taxi and were at our hotel by 9 o’clock. We were staying at Breezes Resort and Spa, a small older property on the eastern end of Cable Beach. We visited Breezes on a cruise stop a year ago so we had a pretty good idea of what to expect – nothing fancy but fun.

We had requested and gotten a room on the 8th floor so we headed up to unpack. The room was basic but it had a great view of the pool and beach. At least it would be great if the sun ever came out! We put away our things and were ready to explore the rest of the property when Ron realized he couldn’t find his cell phone. We searched the room and checked with the front desk. No phone. Then Ron realized he’d left it in the taxi. Of course, we didn’t know the taxi driver’s name or cab number, but the lady at the Guest Services desk put us in touch with the taxi company who miraculously found the right taxi driver. Within half an hour the driver, a young man who went by the nickname “Mr. President”, drove up with the phone. What a relief! Mr. President seemed like such a nice guy that we made arrangements with him to take us back to the airport on Sunday.

FINALLY, we could relax and explore the resort. The rain had stopped but it was gray and windy so most of the activities had moved indoors. There was a Bingo game going on in the lobby and people were playing ping pong and pool. We wandered outside to make friends with the bartenders at the pool bar.  No one was in the pool but the hot tub was filling up.

After lunch at the buffet restaurant and a nap in the room, I was ready to get out and about. We decided to head over to the Atlantis for a little casino-action. Although most of Atlantis is off limits to non-guests, the casino is happy to take anyone’s money. :-)  We walked around a little, taking pictures of the gorgeous Chihuly glass sculptures. There was a shortage of low-dollar tables but I eventually found a $15 Black Jack table and Ron settled in at a Single Deck table. We played for quite a while and when we stopped, I was up $30. Not too exciting but at least it paid for our cab ride back to Cable Beach.

Atlantis casino

Atlantis casino

Temple of the Sun

Chihuly sculpture

Chihuly sculpture

We had dinner that night at Martino’s, one of Breezes’ three a la carte restaurants. The restaurants didn’t take reservations and we’d been warned to show up at 6:15 or we might not get a table. That turned out to be a non-issue since there was only one couple ahead of us when we got there. Generally, Italian food is my favorite but, except for the antipasti station, Martino’s didn’t seem very Italian and the food was just OK.  On the other hand, the desserts were delicious.
It was Toga Night in the lobby and the activities staff was attempting, without success, to get everyone to put on togas. They ended up with only one taker, an older man who may have had one too many Dirty Banana drinks from the lobby bar. Mostly, people just wanted to have their pictures taken with the really hot activities crew in their skimpy togas. :-)  Ron and I listened to the band for a while but we couldn’t keep our eyes open so we gave up and went on to bed.

Day 2

People are always asking on Cruise Critic, “What is there to do in Nassau when it rains?” Good question! I thought I could write a blog about that and had even put together a list of possibilities for us to try in case it rained all weekend. But I was very relieved when I woke up Friday morning and the clouds were starting to part. That article would have to wait for another time. :-)

Ron and I picked up some coffee from the buffet and took a walk on the beach. Next to Breezes was the massive and beleaguered Baha Mar Resort. Baha Mar was supposed to open a year ago, but the developer filed for bankruptcy and now the $3-billion resort was just sitting, almost finished and empty. Very sad. We walked up and down the long pier in front of the hotel until a security guard drove up and told us we weren’t supposed to be there.  Ooops… Oh well, it was time for breakfast anyway.

Cable Beach pier

Cable Beach
Cable Beach

The rest of the morning was spent by the pool, relaxing and sampling the conch fritters from the pool grill.  Yum! I enjoyed watching the family of kitties that hung out by the pool. I heard they were born at the hotel last year and now the staff was taking care of them. They were obviously used to attention. Everyone stopped to pet them. :-)  It made me miss our own kitty, Cedric, back at home.

Breezes pool

dolphin fountain

Breezes hammock

Susan on hammock


Breezes main building

conch fitters

resort cat

By early afternoon, the skies had clouded over again, so we abandoned the pool and took the bus into town to pick up a few souvenirs. Ron bought a couple of PiraƱa Joe t-shirts and I got rum cakes to bring back for gifts, then we walked around the waterfront. There were three ships in port and Senor Frog’s was busy with party people wearing balloon hats. Traffic was HORRIBLE getting back to Breezes but we made it back in time for dinner at Munasan, the Asian restaurant. The menu at Munasan was limited but the food was pretty good, especially the sushi (and dessert, of course). For some reason, the restaurant was playing Mexican music. Odd…

Nassau waterfront

After dinner, we joined in a game of Bumper to Bumper with the activities staff. Bumper to Bumper is a table game where each player moves a Matchbox-sized car around a race track. You roll two dice to determine how far to move ahead. But if you roll certain numbers, you crash and are out of the game. Then if anyone behind you lands on the same spot on the track, they also crash. It was kind of confusing but fun, especially when Ron crashed and took out half the other players. :-)  We listened to Funky D and his band playing in the lobby for a little while before heading off to bed.

Day 3

I woke up excited to see plenty of sunshine. Today was the day for our Segway tour! Ron and I had talked about doing the Segway tour in downtown Nassau before our trip, and when we got to Breezes I’d signed us up at the Tour Desk. But when I looked at the tour brochure, I realized this was a completely different tour, a new one being offered by Blue Lagoon. Even better! Blue Lagoon is a gorgeous private island, 30-minutes from Paradise Island by ferry. We’d done the Dolphin Encounter there in 2009 with Mama and Daddy, and it was one of those perfect days that you never forget.

At 9:30, the shuttle driver picked us up in front of the lobby and whisked us off to the Paradise Island Ferry Terminal where we checked in and boarded the ferry to Blue Lagoon. When we got to the island, we were directed to the beach area where we met our tour guide, Ashton. It turned out that we were the only ones signed up so we had our own private tour! First, Ashton fitted us with helmets and introduced us to our Segways. Ron and I had done Segway tours before so we didn’t need much practice. And after trying to ride Jenny’s hover boards over Christmas, the Segway was a breeze. :-)

The tour was fantastic. Along the way, Ashton told us about the history of Blue Lagoon and pointed out various native plants. We rode all over the island, past the beaches, through the jungle, up to the Custom House (the original entry point to the island), and finally to the tower built in 1918 that stands guard over the harbor. Our favorite part of the tour was climbing the tower and seeing the amazing views from the top. Beautiful! After the tour ended we had about 45 minutes before the next ferry so we explored the beach and watched the dolphin trainers holding a training session in the lagoon.

Blue Lagoon tour guide
Ashton strikes a pose


Custom House

Ron and Susan at Blue Lagoon

Blue Lagoon tower

Blue Lagoon

dolphin enclosure

Blue Lagoon

dolphin jumping

Blue Lagoon dolphins

Blue Lagoon dolphins

snorkel beach

snorkel beach

Blue Lagoon hammocks

water sports

When we got back to Paradise Island, we had lunch at the new Margaritaville, which just opened in December.  Ron and I decided this was a really smart location because the restaurant would get customers from Atlantis, as well as people returning from boat tours. We sat at the bar and enjoyed margaritas and a Volcano Burger - messy but delicious. Then it was on to the hotel, where we soaked up our last few hours of sunshine by the pool. The water sports center, which had been closed due to the weather, had finally reopened and there were a couple of sailboats out on the water.

Paradise Island
Paradise Island


Wasting Away Again...

view from room
The view we'd been waiting for

That night’s dinner was at the Garden of Eden, my favorite. The restaurant was outdoors, tucked away under a gazebo in a garden with bougainvillea bushes and tiki torches. The menu was mostly seafood, but as usual the dessert (chocolate bread pudding with vanilla sauce) was the best part. Breezes definitely had a good pastry chef.
In the morning, Mr. President picked us for the airport right on time. Another fun trip to Nassau had come to an end but we knew we’d be back soon. We can’t seem to stay away for too long.

aerial view
Goodbye, Nassau!


  1. Great service on the part of everyone getting Ron's phone back to him! Desserts are usually my favorite part of meals too, and you know, vacation desserts have only the good kind of calories :)

  2. Wonderful report. I felt like I was there with you! Great pictures too!