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Nassau, Bahamas

Updated: Apr 21

Day 3: Royal Caribbean | Harmony of the Seas with Nassau

We began our morning at the WindJammer for a buffet breakfast. It was packed and there was a little line to enter. We washed our hands and then found a table. There was a fruit/yogurt bar and also an area with traditional American breakfast food such as bacon, sausage, waffles, eggs, and pancakes. My favorite item was the croissant drizzled with a caramel sauce.

We booked an excursion for the day called the “See and Sea Excursion” and it was a land and sea tour. Our first stop was to the excursions desk on deck 5. Our App specified that we needed to stop here first because we were traveling with an unvaccinated traveler. At the desk they gave each of us a sticker and then we descended on an escalator to disembark. It was chaotic on the gangway. We asked someone where we should go for our excursion and were directed to the lady in the purple shirt. She gave us another sticker and told us to wait around. She was very vague with directions. Autism and vagueness do not go well together. My son was starting to lose it amidst the chaos. He began to cry and wail while yelling, “I hate the island, I don’t want to go to the island.” It was a rough transition for sure. Eventually we began walking with the lady with the purple shirt. She heard my son yelling and let’s just say Bahamians have a different way of dealing with disorderly children. Luckily, my son didn’t really understand what she was telling him. I carried him from the ship to our bus which was a decently far distance to carry a four-year-old. There were plenty of other young children on this tour and my son was the only one having an issue with everything.

Once we boarded the air-conditioned bus, my son was starting to find some peace. We waited on the bus for what seemed like an eternity as we waited for more guests to arrive. Once our bus was filled, we began the land tour of Nassau. Our heavy-accented Bahamian driver told us all about Nassau including a history of the area. I spent most of my time helping my son cope with the situation. (He has a difficult time doing new things so I knew when I booked this tour, it was going to be a challenge for him.) Our driver parked at a monument on Nassau where we were able to climb up Mary’s Stairs and get a Birdseye view of the area. There were cannons, a water tower, and shopping. I bought my son a little guitar and drum on a stick that you roll between your hands to use. I’m not usually one to buy knick-knacks but I knew the drum was just the fidget device that would help my son on this journey. He absolutely loved it and was starting to warm up to the island.

Views in Nassau
Views in Nassau

Our driver took us to a small dock where we began our second half of the tour. We unloaded off of the bus and walked towards the boats. I knew we were going to an underwater observatory to see fish, but I completely missed that this underwater observatory was on a boat. As we got to the dock, my mom said her phone fell out of her pocket on the bus. I notified our boat tour guide and he was quick to call the tour operator who then contacted the driver. I thought there is no way he’ll be able to return it to us with the logistics with everything else. He had already left. We were boarding a boat. My mom’s phone was gone forever, I thought. My son then informed me he needed to pee. We’re not usually the needy family, but today we were. Luckily, the boat was waiting for another group so we had some time. I took my son to use the restroom at the top of the dock and by the time I returned, my mom had already gotten her phone back. They were so efficient at finding the phone and returning it to her! I was so impressed.

Our group boarded an open-air pontoon boat and we headed off into the sea. Our captain told us we were going to go next to the other boat and jump ship to it. I thought he was kidding, but a few minutes later the two boats came together and they were holding ropes to keep the boats close together. The boats crashed against each other with each wave. The men held on tightly, but each wave pulled the boats a part leaving a gap large enough for a child. What could go wrong? Children were handed over the gap between the boats while adults carefully timed their step-over. Soon enough we all boarded the new boat which was already full of people. There wasn’t enough room, but then a guest that was already on the boat, told us we were to go downstairs. I had no idea there was a downstairs! We climbed down the stairs and here was the underwater observatory!! It reminded me of a ride I rode when I was in Disneyland, but this version was much more spacious.

We sailed away until we eventually reached a marine protected area and a new tour guide came down to explain what we were seeing. It was really cool and the highlight of the day. There were other children here as well so my son had fun hanging out with them. There were plenty of portholes for everyone and we saw a ton of fish and coral. It was like really good snorkeling without having to get wet. A perfect activity for small kids. My son really enjoyed this and he borrowed my camera and took easily 100 pictures of it all. Everyone clearly remembered us from the gangway and someone asked my son if he liked the island now. He responded with a thumbs up.

Fish Viewing in Nassau
Fish Viewing in Nassau

The return back to the ship was much smoother than departing. We transferred from the porthole boat back to the regular pontoon boat and then we sailed towards our ship. We circled around the Harmony of the Seas to dock right besides our ship. It gave as a chance to view our ship from a different angle which was awesome. Once we docked, we showed our SeaPass and photo IDs to security and they let us walk to our ship. This was a very short walk. We scanned our SeaPasses once we arrived back to the ship and sent all our bags through the X-ray machine while we entered through metal detectors. It was back up the escalator and we were back home.

Dinner tonight was back at the main dining room with our regular wait staff. I ordered the wedge salad, orange duck, and peach shortcake. The wedge salad and orange duck were both phenomenal. The duck was the best duck I’ve ever had. It had a really nice orange sauce with it and was cooked to perfection. The peach shortcake was not the best. It barely had any peach and was mostly cool whip and boxed chocolate cake. I love dessert, but I have yet to finish a dessert this trip. My dad had the apple pie which was far superior to the peach shortcake.

Dinner on Harmony of the Seas
Dinner on Harmony of the Seas

Tonight’s entertainment was an iceskating show at Studio B. My son and I found a seat and shortly after taking our seats, the show began. The announcer and music was incredibly loud and my son couldn’t handle it. We left pretty quickly and headed back to our room to sleep. My parents stayed for the whole show and they said it got even louder later so it was good that we didn’t stick around.

About the Author

Amaris is the owner of the Ohio-based travel agency, Adventures by Amaris. Her love for travel began at a young age when she traveled to her parents' home countries of England and Mexico. She continued traveling in High School by participating in a People to People program to Italy, France and Monaco. In college, she spent six weeks in Europe studying abroad and traveling. She visited Spain, Portugal, England, Wales, Ireland, Vatican City, and Italy in a whirlwind summer. Through her adult life she continues to make traveling a priority with her family. Her young son is autistic so navigating the world of traveling with an autistic child brings on new adventures. Her travel resume includes Mexico, Turks & Caicos, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Panama, Costa Rica, Haiti, Jamaica, Colombia, and Cayman Islands. She is an expert in planning family vacations across the world from Disney World to Europe to worldwide cruises.

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