Over the years, I have been to Nassau about a dozen times. When I was younger, and quite frankly paid little or no attention to the accessible community and its needs, I would leave my cruise ship, walk to and through the port facilities to access my ride/bus/cab for whatever excursion I had planned for the day.
After my 2019 cruise where I rented my first mobility scooter, I started to pay more attention to the Nassau facilities. A five minute or so ride along the pier brings one into the cruise terminal. Through that is the Straw Market. The quarters are a little tight, but while shopping for a t-shirt, I discovered a stand that makes awesome Pina Coladas. My next four trips to Nassau found me there first.
Also nearby and my next stop is Senor Frog’s, a favorite spot for lunch and some adult beverages. Accessible vans and cabs are available should afternoon plans include leaving the cruise terminal area.
While I am in Senor Frog’s, my friend Cory Lee would be moving toward the Atlantis. “Once you make it over to the Atlantis, you are truly in for an awesome experience. There is a huge water fountain upon pulling in that is composed of golden horses, exuding elegance immediately,” says Cory. While it is free to visit Atlantis there are areas that are only for guests staying at the resort. But Cory says you can purchase a day pass that will give you access to the aquarium and water park. Cory states the water park is not very wheelchair accessible, but the pass is worth it to visit the aquarium and other areas.
One of the few negative things I found about Nassau, the last time I tried to access the Atlantis complimentary shuttle, I found out it is not handicapped accessible. Most guests at Atlantis use the complimentary shuttle to travel the long distances between the 5 hotel towers. Wheelchair guests won’t be able to do this because it doesn’t have a wheelchair lift or a wheelchair ramp. The accessible cabs and vans can cover any of these deficiencies.
Unlike many other accessible Caribbean vacation destinations, Nassau has truly wheelchair accessible beaches. They have wooden boardwalks that allow wheelchair users to roll into the water. While many of the islands in the Caribbean offer “swim with the dolphins” cruise excursions, Nassau is one that has truly disabled accessible swim with the dolphins options. Looking for proof? That’s my friend John Sage getting pulled by two dolphins on the below!
The other negative aspect to Nassau accessibility is the Island, and nearby Paradise Island are not as flat as some other islands. So places like Fort Fincastle and The Queen’s Staircase present significant accessibility challenges to disabled visitors.
All in all, Nassau does a pretty welcoming job for any disabled traveler. As a result of the minor negative items, I can only score Nassau a solid B, but I look forward to my next stop there on a future cruise.