If you’ve done your reading up on The Bahamas, or even just scanned photos of the amazing beaches in the area, you’ll know that there’s a long list of things you can do while in port on your Bahamas cruise. But not all of them are appropriate for families. If you have your children in tow, check out these top 10 things you can do with kids in The Bahamas.
Welcome to the capital of The Bahamas! As one of the most popular ports in the Caribbean, Nassau has an incredibly robust offering of tours, excursions and things to do on your own in port.
Check the shore excursion options for a leisurely catamaran sail — a great way for kids of all ages to explore more of the beautiful waters of The Bahamas, even if they’re not big on swimming. And if they are water babies and old enough for a bit of adventure, look for a tour that combines a catamaran sail and snorkeling. Check for age restrictions, but most snorkeling tours are open to children as long as they are accompanied by an adult.
Day at Atlantis
This one’s a no-brainer! Atlantis is probably the most famous attraction in The Bahamas, and definitely the most kid-friendly. As well as being a mega-resort, Atlantis offers day visits for cruisers, so you can take the kids to explore the Aquaventure Water Park and the beach. Carnival offers a number of Atlantis shore excursion options of different lengths. Don’t forget the waterproof camera so you can capture shots of the kids on the waterslides, lazy river, or even making friends with a dolphin.
City & Garden Tour
If your brood includes kids into history, culture or nature, a tour that takes you through the city and Ardastra Gardens would be a great way to spend the day in Nassau. You’ll see historic buildings and learn about the days of queens, dukes and duchesses, and then hit the Ardastra Gardens & Zoo, home to lots of mammals, reptiles and birds, including the national bird of The Bahamas, the flamingo.
Embrace your inner child with a visit to the Graycliff Chocolatier. The tour takes you behind-the-scenes of the chocolate-making experience, teaching kids about fair trade and organic cocoa bean farming. Watch chocolate being dipped, glazed and molded into delicious confections—and of course return to the ship with some goodies for yourself.
Over on Grand Bahama Island, Freeport is known for its casino and music clubs, but there are still great kid-friendly things to do.
The UNEXSO dolphin facility in Port Lucaya is one of the best places for kids to get up close to magnificent Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins. A submerged platform (3-foot deep) makes it super easy for kids to pet and kiss their new buddies without the need to swim in deep water. (An accompanying parent or guardian is required for children under 18.)
If your kids are up for some adventure, an island tour is a fun way to see Freeport’s highlights, in town, in the lush Garden of the Groves, and on to one of Grand Bahama’s beautiful beaches. If you have mini shoppers in your family, you can check out the Port Lucaya marketplace and the shops lining the streets of Freeport for affordable souvenirs.
Half Moon Cay
If your itinerary includes the exclusive port of Half Moon Cay, it may be hard to get your kids off the beach. This is, after all, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. If they’re looking for a new adventure, try one of these tours on for size.
Eco Lagoon Tour
Budding scientists will love this excursion on a glass-bottom boat, where they get to explore Half Moon Cay’s lagoon with a local guide. It’s a great way to spy stingrays, nurse sharks, conch, sea urchins and other marine critters.
Meet the ‘Rays
Speaking of stingrays, if your crew would prefer to get up close to them, you can sign up for the Stingray Adventure, an educational meeting with the stingrays local to Half Moon Cay.
On another exclusive Bahamian beach port for cruisers, Princess Cays, the star of the show is again the white sand and clear waters. Here are just some of the ways you can keep the kids occupied while you’re there.
Paddle it Out
Rent a paddle wheel and get those legs pumping! Paddle-wheeling is one of the most fun ways to get out on the water, but you can also rent kayaks and speedsters at Princess Cays. (Pre-reserve before you arrive if you can.)
This post was created for Away We Go with Carnival, the destination for getting in the getaway state of mind.