Caribbean Travel Roundup

Newsletter - Paul Graveline, Editor


Caribbean Travel Roundup
Paul Graveline, Editor
Edition 116
July 15, 2001

Last Update 11 July 2001

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2/ JOURNEYS FOR JULY 2001

ANGUILLA: HOTEL/RESORT VS. VILLA RENTAL BY ANDY ARDEN

I  just  returned May 7th-14th 2001 from our 4th Trip to the beautiful 
Island  of  Anguilla  and  once  again  had  a great trip. One thing I 
noticed  and  found  out  about  Anguilla  is  there  are  a number of 
Hotels/Resorts  and  New  (old)  Villas on this small Island. Via this 
report,   I  wanted  to  offer  some  advice  of  which  to  choose  a 
Hotel/Resort  or  a  Villa.  Including  some  suggested or recommended 
Villas and Resorts.

If  you  have  $ 21,000.00 Plus in low season or around $ 31,000.00 in 
high  season,  you  can  rent the New Altamer Villa on Shoal Bay West. 
This  is  for the Ultimate in Pampering. Private Chef, Valets, Butlers 
etc_.  It  is a Beautiful and Very modern Villa. Contact: 264-498-4000 
or e-mail: info@altamer.com Web Site: http://www.altamer.com/

If  you  are  like  me and don't have any extra cash lying around then 
you may want to consider the following location:

Splash  Villa  -  Beautiful  3  Bedrooms,  2  baths.  On  a  Hill with 
beautiful  views  of St. Martin, Very Private area. Contact: Janine at 
264-497-3666    or    e-mail:    Edwards@anguillanet.com   Web   Site: 
http://www.splash.ai  This is one to consider Renting. Janine can also 
help you with other Villa's that she manages.

Another  location,  you may want to consider is The MainStay@Elsie Bay 
Web  Site:  http://www.mainstayvilla.com/.  I  do  not know much about 
this Villa, just heard about it.

Advantages to a Villa.

After  four  (4)  stays  on  the  Island, I found them to be more cost 
effective.  I  would  rather have the coffee maker, make my coffee and 
enjoy  it  when  I  am  ready rather then at a Hotel/Resort where they 
bring  you  the  Continental  Breakfast during a certain time that you 
determined  the  night  before.  What  if you and your someone special 
want to sleep in?

Privacy  -  The  Pool  is  yours unless you are sharing the Villa with 
your  family  (in a Villa you do not have to rent another room for the 
kids)  or  another  couple  (also  a benefit - spread the price of the 
Villa out).

Food  -  If  you feel like eggs or cereal at a hotel/resort you go out 
to  their restaurant or have room service deliver. A bowl of cereal at 
a  Resort  cost  us about $ 6.00 delivered. At the Villa, you can shop 
and make your own breakfast.

Villas  -  feels  more  like home away from home Caribbean style, most 
give you more living space and are great for families.

Independence  -  convenience  of  your own cooking, washing facilities 
etc.

Advantages of a Resort/Hotel:

If  you  enjoy  being  pampered and not having to shop then consider a 
resort/hotel.

Someone  bringing  you  bottled  water and sherbet when you are beach, 
poolside,  or  delivering  a continental breakfast room with coffee to 
your room every morning.

Turndown  service  in the evening, I am sure you can arrange it at the 
Villa.

Resorts/Hotels to Consider:

Cap  Juluca  for the ultimate in luxury and one of my favorite hotels. 
No,  in-room  TV.  Pool is ok. Beach is beautiful. Rooms are the best. 
Complete  continental  breakfast  also,  your  in-room refrigerator is 
stock      with      complimentary      beverages.      Web      Site: 
http://www.capjuluca.com/

CuisinArt  Resort  also  offers  you  a luxury resort. Rooms are nice. 
Landscape  is  the  best  and  their Art Gallery is beautiful. Pool is 
Fantastic.  TV  in  the  room.  Very Limited continental breakfast and 
your  in-room  refrigerator  is  also  limited,  complimentary BOTTLED 
WATER  ONLY. Soda etc is about $ 3.00 can plus SC. Beach is very nice. 
Try    for    a    3rd    Floor    Luxury   Jr.   Suite.   Web   Site: 
http://www.cuisinartresort.com/   One   note:   Use   Jill  Walker  at 
TainoWellness  (tainowellness@hotmail.com)  vs.  their own Spa_ She is 
much  better  at  a  reasonable rate. Jill can also come to your Villa 
for in-Villa Body Treatments.

Cinnamon-Reef  appears  to  be  a  nice  resort.  Featuring individual 
villas.  I  do  not  know  a lot about this location, they have a nice 
secluded  inlet  and  they  are a little off the beaten (no pun) path. 
Great   Restaurant   -  Palm  Court.  Web  Site:  http://www.cinnamon-
reef.com/frmain.html

If  you  need  a quick get-a-way in the off season and are on a budget 
but  want  something  a  little special Jill Walker has linked up with 
Allamanda  Beach  Resort  on Shoal Bay for a Spa Retreat package. Tel. 
264-497-5217      For      more     details     contact     Ava     at 
allamanda@offshore.com.ai     or     info@allamanda.ai    Web    Site: 
www.allamanda.ai



Here are some comments about the restaurants :

During  our  one-week stay in May 2001 on Anguilla, we enjoyed many of 
the  local  restaurants, some were your local or not well known by the 
tourists and some were your tourist places.

For  excellent  food,  a  great evening and the best service go to The 
Overlook in South Hill.

Deon  Thomas  is  the  Chef-Owner  and  Ambrose  (sp) was our Host and 
waitperson.  We  had the best Buffalo (VERY HOT) style Calamari for an 
appetizer.  The  Garlic  Crusted Snapper and Mahi, Mahi was fantastic. 
We  ended  our  week  stay  here  and  wish we went their almost every 
evening.  Chocolate  Rum Cake Desert was fantastic. Try for a table by 
the  window for a great view and very Romantic setting. $ 140./couple. 
This was our favorite.

Barrel  Stay  in  Sandy Ground. Great food and good service. Kind of a 
local  place.  Their  Vietnamese Flavored Grill Fish was Great and the 
Shrimp  Scampi was great. $ 100/couple no desert, beer/wine glass. Bob 
Mazza owner for 21 years is from the NY area.

Roys  was  a  disappointment.  We have been there before and had great 
food.  My  Snapper  was supposed to be their Cajun Style but it had no 
flavor  and my wifes shrimp was just so, so. Service was fair to poor. 
Everyone raves about their fish and chips. $70./couple No desert. 

Hibernia  in Island Harbour Had Great Food, but we made the mistake of 
going  there lunch time and the menu/prices are the same. Go there for 
dinner stay away from there lunch time. Lunch $ 50/person. 

The  Palm Court at Cinnamon Reef another favorite of ours for food and 
service  Arnel(sp)  was  our host/waitperson and the hotels concierge, 
one  of  the best personalities around. Jamie is the chef. Great Place 
for  Lobster.  Try for a table by the window for a great view and very 
Romantic. $ 140./couple. Worth the drive down their road.

Old  House  on  George  Hill  was good for lunch, great lobster salad. 
Local place. $43./couple.

Ripples  in  Sandy  Ground for lunch Great Salads. We miss her Lobster 
Fritters, Good Dinners also.

Blanchards  it  is  a Tourist Place but the food was great and service 
was  good.  Snapper  was great and their spicy shrimp was spicy. Great 
Flavor. Dinner $ 150./couple 1 - glass wine, 1 desert.

Santorini  at  CuisinArt Resort. Service was good, food was also good. 
Great  Chocolate  Desert.  Their poolside caf‚ has great food and good 
service.

Tastees  Caf‚  on  the  main  drag.  Great  Breakfast  -  local place. 
However,  watch  out  Our  food  Cost $ 14.00. Coffee was $ 10.00 or $ 
24.00 total. I think we paid a tourist coffee surcharge

  Places  we  would have like to go if we had the time or for our next 
trip out there. 

Le Beach on Shoal Bay Great Place to have lunch on the beach.

We  heard  good  things about Smokeys at the Cove and Top of the Palms 
at  La  Sirena.  Trattoria  Tramonto  - old Paradise Cove in Shoal Bay 
West  -  Great  Northern  Italian  Food. Straw Hat also is good if you 
want a Tourist Place.

Notes:  Dinner  prices unless noted included appetizer, bottle of wine 
and desert. 

Call  the  restaurant  to verify they have Lobster and Crayfish it has 
been very Limited

BAHAMAS: NASSAU AND ELBOW CAY BY JIM JORDAN

(Ed Note: This report is Copyright c 2001 by Jim Jordan)

Bahamas Trip - February, 2001 

In  all  my travels to the islands in and around the Caribe Basin over 
more  than  thirty  years,  there has been one group of islands that I 
had  consistently  missed  visiting  --  The  Bahamas.  And,  this was 
somewhat  unusual,  in that this group of islands lies just off of the 
east  coast of Florida and thus they are the closest tropical vacation 
destination to my home in South Carolina.

During  the  winter of 2001, following a cold spell even for the sunny 
South,  I  decided  that  it was high time for Nina, my wife, and I to 
see  for ourselves what The Bahamas had to offer. But, we decided that 
it  would be folly to go to just one of the myriad of islands and cays 
that  make  up The Bahamas. To that end, we decided we wanted to first 
see  New Providence Island and Nassau, the capital and largest city in 
the  group.  I  had  always  been  somewhat in awe of Nassau, since it 
played  such  an  important part in the founding of the New World. Our 
plan  was  to  then  fly  to  the Out Islands for the remainder of our 
trip.

SHORT BAHAMAS HISTORY

The  Bahamas  are rich in history, since it was there that Christopher 
Columbus  discovered New World and the Bahamas, on his first voyage in 
1492.   He  spent  12  days  there  before  sailing  on  to  Cuba  and 
Hispaniola.  There  has  been  some  contention as to exactly where he 
first  landed,  but  it's  fairly  well  agreed now that he first made 
landfall  at  San  Salvador  (subsequently called Watling Island --but 
later reverted back to the name San Salvador).

In  The  Bahamas, Columbus found friendly Arawak Indians, or Lucayans. 
These  were  descendants  of  the  same South American tribes that had 
been  the  earliest inhabitants of a number of areas in the Caribbean, 
including  Jamaica.  These  peaceful people had been driven north from 
South America and later other islands by the warlike Carib Indians.

The  word  "Bahamas"  was  derived from the Spanish "Baja Mar" meaning 
shallow  sea.  It  is hard to know whether the Spanish lost more ships 
to  the  shallow  banks  and  reefs  or  to  the  English  and  French 
freebooters.  Nevertheless,  neither  the  freebooters nor the Spanish 
chose   to   settle   and   stay  in  the  Bahamas.  Like  the  Arawak 
predecessors,  the settlers who eventually inhabited the Bahamas would 
be mostly fishermen and farmers.

GEOGRAPHY

The  Bahamas  consist  of  an  archipelago  of more than seven hundred 
islands  and  cays  covering  almost  five hundred miles from north to 
south.  Concentrating on the ones we visited, New Providence Island is 
situated  in  the  center  of  the group. It is approximately 21 miles 
long  and seven miles wide, one of the smallest major islands, at only 
80  square  miles,  yet  two  thirds of the population (about 180,000) 
live here.

The  other  venue we visited, Great Abaco, is about 100 miles north of 
New  Providence.  It's  large, but somewhat sparsely settled. However, 
its  primary  town,  Marsh  Harbour,  is the third largest town in The 
Bahamas and was our jumping off place for a week on Elbow Cay.

Elbow  Cay,  just  east  of  Marsh Harbour, is just six miles long and 
about  1/4  of  a mile wide. Hope Town, it's principal settlement, was 
settled  by British loyalists after the Revolutionary War, mainly from 
South  Carolina  -- so it was most appropriate that we made it a major 
stop during our trip.

NEW PROVIDENCE ISLAND


We  flew  direct  from  Charlotte  on  US Airways in mid February. Our 
flight  path  took  us across South Carolina and out over the Atlantic 
at  Charleston.  The  ocean was obscured by clouds until we were about 
even  with  Jacksonville,  and  from  there  the blue of the ocean was 
broken only by Grand Bahama Island as we overflew it.

Arriving  at  Nassau  International  Airport,  it's  apparent that The 
Bahamas  are  now  fully  in  the twenty-first century. It is a modern 
airport  and  is  regularly  served  by a number of major airlines, as 
well  as some small and charter air carriers that provide inter island 
service.  We  cleared  immigration  and customs after a long walk from 
the  arrival  gate  into  the  main terminal building. We then checked 
with  Avis  and quickly were able to load our bags in the trunk of our 
rented car and be on our way.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS - NEW PROVIDENCE ISLAND

Driving  in  from  the airport I was struck with the excellent road -- 
John  F. Kennedy Drive. It is smooth, well maintained and well marked. 
This  is  in  contrast to roads we've observed on many other Caribbean 
islands.  In  fact,  for  the most part, I would rate New Providence's 
roads  to be on a par with those of Grand Cayman and nearly as good as 
those on Bermuda and around Cancun.

ACCOMMODATIONS

I  had  reviewed the rates of various resorts on the internet prior to 
our  trip  and already knew that Nassau was a pricey place, especially 
at  "high  season"  and,  since we planned to be out and about much of 
our  time  on  New  Providence, we opted to pass on staying at one the 
many  elegant,  all inclusive resorts. Instead, we found a small local 
"resort"  that had the basic amenities -- pool, television, restaurant 
and  "across  the road from the beach" -- which appeared it would meet 
our  needs. Plus, we were scheduled to be on New Providence Island for 
only  four  nights, so we decided that we could take most anything for 
such a short period.

The  place  we  had reservations turned out to be "somewhat" less than 
we  expected,  but  it  was "all right" -- Nina called it "Motel One!" 
(Notice   that   I   am  purposely  not  including  the  name  of  the 
establishment  here,  for  obvious  reasons.) I won't go into the gory 
details,  except  to  say  that  there  were  problems  with  the  air 
conditioning  (it  was  located  in one room of the two-room suite and 
only  cooled  the  one room). In addition, the bathroom had some minor 
problems,  and  those  weren't  corrected,  even after the manager was 
notified.  However,  suffice  it  to say that next time I will be more 
attuned  to  paying whatever the rate is for better digs! Also, though 
the  property  is  indeed "across the road" from a beautiful beach, it 
was  only  after  checking  in  that  we  discovered  there was a wall 
between the road and that beach!

DINING

You  can  find  just  about  any  type of food you want in Nassau from 
Chinese,   Italian,  French,  English  and  American  to,  of  course, 
Bahamian.   All  of  it  is  relatively  expensive  --  remember  that 
virtually  everything  is  imported  --  so  be  prepared  for entrees 
costing  25  to  50  percent  more than the same meal would back home. 
Fast  food  restaurants have also invaded The Bahamas, but the pricing 
index  still holds -- your Whopper and fries will cost you at least 30 
percent more than back home.

We  only  had  two meals in the on-premises restaurant at the hotel -- 
lunch  the  afternoon  we arrived and breakfast the following day. The 
food  was  all  right  but  it was as expensive as the other places we 
dined  and  not  nearly  as  nice.  It's  basic  saving  grace was its 
location  --  being on site, it was convenient. Suffice it to say that 
next  time  I  will be less attuned to convenience and more to overall 
ambiance.

We  found  that  our  best  venue  for breakfasts was the Cafe' Johnny 
Canoe     located    adjacent    to    the    Nassau    Beach    Hotel 
(http://www.nassaubeachhotel.com)  on  Cable  Beach. It was comparable 
to  most  any stateside Shoneys -- Nina called it "Shoneys Bahamas" -- 
but  the  two  mornings  we  ate  there the food was good, the service 
excellent and there weren't any surprises.

We  took  the  advice of a long time friend and had lunch one day down 
at  Heritage Village, beside the road to Arawak Cay. He didn't specify 
exactly  which  place  he  recommended, but we picked what looked like 
the  more frequented place and settled in for a lunch --Bahamian style 
--  of conch salad. Bad choice! It turns out that conch salad contains 
conch  meat,  tomatoes,  bell  peppers,  onions,  all  chopped  up and 
covered  in  a  lime juice marinade. I'm sure that there are folks who 
find  conch  salad  something  to  adore -- but I'm not one of them! I 
realize  that  one  should  try  local dishes when traveling to exotic 
destinations.  But, I once spent time in Scotland -- and I didn't like 
haggis either! At least the Kalik beer was cold!

After  searching for a good place to have lunch, we did go to one that 
wasn't  Bahamian  at  all -- a plain old Subway -- but it was good! We 
finally  lucked  up  --  when Nina was searching each street we passed 
for  an  ice  cream  cone  -- and found the Lickety Split! It's just a 
small  sandwich  and  ice  cream shop -- but it's clean, run by locals 
and  has  delightful  sandwiches,  soups, and salads, along with super 
ice  cream (according to Nina). I can't provide accurate directions to 
it,  but it's located in Shirley Street Plaza, between Williams Street 
and  Okra  Hill,  just  north  of  Shirley  Street  and  west  of  the 
southbound bridge from Paradise Island.

For  dinner, we tried four places and I can't complain a bit about any 
of  them.  The first was at Compass Point Beach Club (see more later), 
part  of  the  Island Outpost group. It is located at Gambier Village, 
way  out  on  West  Bay Street. I had heard a great deal about Compass 
Point  and  we  decided  that  it would be a prime place for our first 
evening  meal  on  New  Providence. And an excellent choice it was! We 
dined  on  the  terrace,  with  the  Atlantic  Ocean  providing a moon 
sparkled  backdrop.  The  meal  was all I had expected -- well cooked, 
well  served  and  pricey.  But,  after all a person seldom gets to an 
such  elegantly  casual  place,  so we thoroughly enjoyed our meal and 
our evening at Compass Point. (http://www.islandoutpost.com)

Our  second  dinner  restaurant  was  at the out-of-the-way Traveler's 
Rest,  out  West  Bay  Street  just  before Gambier. The restaurant is 
situated  just  across the road from the water's edge -- the full moon 
was  shining  down,  causing  the  ocean to put on a light show for us 
while  we  had  a  delightful  dinner.  I  had cracked conch -- it was 
somewhat  bland, but I'm not an expert, so perhaps that's the way it's 
supposed to be. Again the meal was expensive.

On  Valentine's  Day  evening, we dined at BBQ Beach at SandyPort, and 
it  was  as  good as you can get! Neale and Troy have created a unique 
eatery  --  the  restaurant has the only wood fired oven on the island 
and  specializes  in  wood-oven cooked dishes -- the food is cooked in 
an  oven  fueled  by a wood fire, adding a savory smoked flavor to the 
meats.  I  went all out and had the Valentines Dinner and a finer meal 
I  can't  remember.  The  lunch  menu  offers a plethora of delectable 
dishes,  so  I'll  definitely  make a point of having lunch there next 
trip. (http://www.sandyport.com/restaurant.htm)

One  other  restaurant  that was highly recommended to us was the Poop 
Deck,  located just across the waterway from BBQ Beach. We did look in 
there,  but decided to eat at BBQ Beach that night. However, next time 
I   will   definitely   go  to  the  Poop  Deck  at  least  one  time. 
(http://www.poopdeck.com/)

For  our  last  night  in Nassau, we had a super supper surprise, at a 
super  resort  --  SuperClubs'  Breezes  Bahamas! Our dear friend from 
Jamaica,  Gary  Williams (formerly general manager at both Hedonism II 
in  Jamaica  and  the  first  general  manager  at Breezes Bahamas and 
currently  SuperClubs'  Vice  President - Breezes), provided us with a 
complimentary  night pass for two, to Breezes Bahamas! (I think he did 
it  because  he  thought  we  looked as though we really needed a good 
meal!)  I  must  say that it was sumptuous and the fine culinary staff 
at  Breezes  put  on  one  heck  of  a buffet. And, the desert bar was 
awesome  --  and  Nina  even had her needed nightly ice cream cone! In 
addition,  Breezes  -- the largest of the SuperClubs' properties -- is 
a  real class resort of the nth magnitude. We stayed for the evening's 
entertainment   and,   since  it  was  toga  night  there,  I  got  an 
opportunity  to tie a toga for a fellow! I also took time out to watch 
the  Thursday  night  episode  of  "Survivor!"  I know one thing, I'll 
definitely  stay at Breezes next time I go to Nassau -- and that won't 
be    all    that    far    in    the    future.   (http:///www.super-
clubs.com/bahamas/location.html) (Thanks, Gary!) 

TOURING NASSAU

In  most  of  our  Caribbean  travels, we tend to simply vegetate on a 
beach  and  soak  up sun and shade and sea and some sand --unless it's 
our  first  time  there.  If  it is, we take on an aura of the eternal 
tourists  and  "do"  the  local  area  from one end to the other. And, 
since  this  was  our  initial  visit  to New Providence, we "did" the 
island  from  -- stem to stern. Our trusty Avis rental car provided us 
with  good,  dependable,  albeit expensive transportation -- gas there 
is  about US$3.50 a gallon, and even with it being an imperial gallon, 
that is pretty pricey stuff.

I  had  no  problems  with the fact that everybody there drives on the 
"wrong"  -- or left -- side of the road. Having done left-side driving 
elsewhere   in   the   Caribbean,   such  driving  doesn't  daunt  me, 
particularly  with Nina's almost constantly screaming, "Left! Drive on 
the left -- you're on the wrong side!!"

During  our excursions around the island -- and we actually did go all 
the  way  around  New  Providence  Island -- we found some interesting 
things to do and see. I would recommend the following to anybody...

Fort Charlotte

Located  on a hill overlooking the western entrance to Nassau Harbour, 
this  was  the  first  fort we visited. Built in the late 18th century 
and   comprised   of   three  separate,  connected  battlements,  Fort 
Charlotte  has a commanding view of Arawak Cay and beyond it, the ship 
channel  into  the main cruise ship docks of Nassau. Tours occur every 
half hour from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm.

Fort Fincastle

Commissioned  by  Governor  Lord  Dunmore, Fort Fincastle was built in 
1793.  Near  the  fort is the Water Tower and Lighthouse, which is 126 
feet  tall  and  provides  a  panoramic  view  of  Nassau.  Tours  are 
available  from  8:00 am to 5:00 pm each day except Thursdays. Located 
just  east  of  the  fort  is  Queens  Staircase.  This  steep natural 
staircase  is  thought to have been cut from solid limestone by slaves 
in the 1790's as an escape route from Fort Fincastle into town.

Fort  Montagu  The smallest of Nassau's forts, Fort Montagu is located 
on  the  point  at  the  eastern  end  of  East  Bay  Street,  and was 
positioned  to  protect  the  eastern end of Nassau Harbour from being 
accessed form the sea.

Parliament  Square  The site of the Queen Victoria Statue and Chambers 
of  Parliament -- House of Assembly and the Senate -- it is located on 
Bay  Street  between  Parliament  Street  and  Bank Lane. The Loyalist 
influence  is  evident  in these buildings which are based on Governor 
Tyron's Palace in New Bern, the ancient capital of North Carolina.

Straw Market

Nassau  boasts  a  very  large  and  lively  "straw  market"  offering 
handicraft  straw  goods  created  by  the  locals,  myriad  T-shirts, 
souvenirs  and  wood  carvings.  The Market is located downtown Nassau 
between  East  Bay  Street  on the south and Woodes Rogers Walk on the 
north.  In addition to the hubbub of the countless vendors stalls, the 
second  floor of the building is also the home of the Bahamas Ministry 
of Tourism.

  As  an  aside,  I  made  a point of going to the Bahamas Ministry of 
Tourism,  to  meet  an old friend -- and one I had never actually met! 
Some  year  ago,  a nice chap was active on The Caribbean Travel Forum 
on  CompuServe, which I manage. His name is Jim Hepple and he works as 
Deputy  Director  General  for  the  Bahamas  Ministry  of  Tourism in 
Nassau.  He  had  been  a  regular contributor to the forum by posting 
answers  to  questions about The Bahamas. So, since we were in Nassau, 
I had made it a point of looking Jim up -- and I did!)

Government House

Located  at  the  intersection  where George Street meets Duke Street, 
Government  House  is  the  official residence of The Bahamas Governor 
General, the Queen's representative.

Pirates of Nassau Pub & Museum

I   highly  recommend  that  anybody  interested  in  history  --  and 
especially  pirate  history  -- make a point of going here. Located at 
the  corner  of George & Marlborough Streets, the creators have done a 
magnificent  job  -- they even have a recreated pirate ship inside the 
building!   Plus,   the  walking  tour  --  with  an  interesting  and 
informative  guide  --  has some wonderful interactive sound and light 
areas  that  include vignettes showing how life was for the pirates of 
old.  Admission  is US$12 per person, but there's a tourist map -- and 
possible  other  sources  --  that  has  a coupon for $2.00 off of the 
regular  admission.  Hours  are  9:00  am  to  5:00  pm  daily  except 
holidays. (http://www.pirates-of-nassau.com)

Christ Church Cathedral

This  beautiful  old  Anglican  church  was  originally built in 1670, 
though  the  Spanish  burned  it  to  the  ground  twice  and termites 
destroyed  the  third edifice here. The fourth time, it was built with 
stone  in 1753 and stands today as a beautiful old church in the midst 
of  bustling downtown Nassau. It's located at the corner of George and 
King  Streets,  across  from  the  side of the Pirates of Nassau Pub & 
Museum.

TOURING AROUND THE ISLAND

Arawak Cay

As  shown  on the Nassau maps, Arawak Cay appears to be an interesting 
place  to  go.  However,  there is little to see there other than some 
light  industry. The road winds out to the west and around that end of 
the  island,  with  virtually  nothing there. At far the end, there is 
what  appears  to be a park with a nice beach. And, following the main 
road,  the  visitor  ends  up at what looks like an abandoned entrance 
gate,  leading  to a high, concrete, one land bridge that crosses over 
to Silver Cay.

Silver Cay

At  foot  of  the  bridge on the far end is a manned gate, where I was 
told  by the gate keeper that Silver Cay was pretty much devastated by 
Hurricane  Floyd  on  September  14,  1999,  and  the  island  is  now 
completely  closed.  He said that he understood there was some talk of 
rebuilding.

Some  later  internet  investigation revealed that Silver Cay had been 
Coral  Island  Bahamas,  the  third  park  developed  by  Coral  World 
International.  The park was the biggest park planned and developed by 
the  company.  It  was  originally  opened  to  the public in 1987 and 
immediately  became  the No. 1 tourist attraction in Nassau. The Coral 
Island  Marine  Park  incorporated  all  the  usual features: a marine 
museum;  an underwater observatory (which can still be seen from Cable 
Beach);  aquatic  animal pools for sting rays, sharks and sea turtles; 
a  "touch pool"; a snorkel trail; and a somewhat secluded villa hotel. 
In   1995,   in  accordance  to  Coral  World  International's  global 
strategy,  the  park  was  sold  to  the owners of the Marriott Nassau 
Beach  Hotel.  Marriott  renamed  it  Crystal Cay Marine Park & Villas 
(part  of  the  Crystal  Palace  and  Casino  on  Cable Beach). Sadly, 
nothing  has  been  done  to  date,  to open the island back up to the 
public.  A  call  to  the  Marriott offices resulted in the writer not 
being  able to confirm what the company plans are for Silver (Crystal) 
Cay.

Cable Beach

Of  all  the  beaches that surround New Providence Island, there is no 
doubt  that  Cable  Beach  is the most beautiful -- it has been called 
the  "Bahamian  Riviera."  And,  it  is  for  this reason that all (or 
almost  all) of the major hotels have staked their claims to a portion 
of   Cable   Beach.   Facing  generally  northeasterly,  it  stretches 
approximately  a  mile  from  the  public  park on Goodman Bay to just 
beyond  Casuarinas  on  Deleporte  Bay.  It  is  here that many resort 
hotels  are  located  (the  other  prime location for up scale hotels, 
etc., is on Paradise Island).

The  main  road passing Cable Beach, from downtown Nassau, is West Bay 
Street  and  along  the  road, the hotels abut each other on the beach 
proper.  Along  the  other  side  of  the  road,  there  are ancillary 
facilities  --  a  golf course, parking lots, shopping areas, etc. The 
area  is  well  maintained  on  the divided road, with it's occasional 
round-about.

In  order  from  east  to  west,  one  encounters  SuperClubs' Breezes 
Bahamas  (formerly  the  Wyndham), Nassau Beach Hotel, Nassau Marriott 
Resort,  Radiisson  Cable  Beach,  Westwind  Club,  Guanahani Village, 
Sandals  Royal  Bahamian  Resort & Spa, and Casuarinas on Cable Beach. 
And,  located  directly  between  and accessible from the Marriott and 
the Radiisson is the Crystal Palace Casino.

As  an  aside,  I  had  the pleasure of meeting, for the first time, a 
young  man  who  has  been  active  on  The  Caribbean Travel Forum of 
CompuServe,   Gavin   Knowles.   Gavin   has   posted  some  excellent 
information  about the Bahamas, much of it the work of his mother, Fay 
Knowles.  I made it a point of contacting Gavin by e-mail prior to our 
trip,  in  order  to set up a meeting with him. We went to the offices 
of  Knowles  Realty  on  West Bay Street, located at one of the round-
abouts.  There  we met Fay and her husband, Erskine, along with Gavin. 
Knowles  Realty  is a very up scale agency specializing in real estate 
expertise  in  the  specific  areas  of Nassau/ New Providence Island, 
Paradise   Island   and   Long   Island.  It  also  provides  valuable 
information   and   support   for   investors   seeking   real  estate 
opportunities  in the Bahamas. While touring around New Providence, we 
frequently  saw  for Knowles Reality's for sale signs, but only on the 
most desirable properties. (http://www.knowlesrealty.com/)

Deleporte Point

Beyond  Cable  Beach,  one  next comes to Deleporte Point. This is the 
site  of  SandyPort  Beaches  Resort,  a huge development. (See Resort 
Reviews below for information about SandyPort.)

The Caves

The  Caves  are located on the western end of the island, out West Bay 
Street,  at  Caves  Point.  The cave entrances are easily visible from 
the road. The caves once served as a shelter to the early Lucayans.

Lyford Cay

At  the western end of New Providence is the gated community of Lyford 
Cay.  It  is definitely worth driving out there if only to see how the 
"other  half"  live.  The  homes  are  huge,  with grand vistas of the 
Atlantic.  There  is  a  beautiful golf course, a small "village" with 
shops, a grocery and a gas station.

  As  an  aside,  we did drive through the gate, with nobody asking us 
anything.  The  homes  there are huge, well maintained and show easily 
how the "Rich and Famous" of New Providence live!) 

Clifton Point

This  is  the western most location on New Providence and the location 
of  the  power  plant  that  provides  electricity  to  Nassau and the 
island.  There  is  a  tanker dock where oil tankers tie up to offload 
the oil that fuels the power plant.

Commonwealth Brewery

Just   around   the  end  of  the  island  from  the  power  plant  is 
Commonwealth  Brewery.  Unfortunately  --  for us, we were told at the 
gate  that plant tours are no longer available. They didn't even offer 
a sample of Kalik!

Clarion Resort

The  area just to the east of Commonwealth Brewery is what appeared to 
be  a  fairly  large resort area, but we didn't stop here. It's on the 
extreme  southwest  corner  of  the island and we didn't see much that 
was of interest to us.

Adelaide Village

East  of  Clarion  Resort  is an area that has a huge wall running for 
what  seemed  to  be  a long distance. This is apparently the Adelaide 
Village  that  shows on the maps, but we weren't able to see any roads 
that accessed the area.

Coral Heights

Beyond  Adelaide  Village  is  an  area  that is directly south of the 
Nassau  International  Airport  and  some few blocks south of the main 
road.  We explored out the road and found an interesting area of Coral 
Heights.  It  consists of canals interspersed with residential streets 
in  such  a way that each house backs up to its own canal. It appeared 
that  a  number  of "working boats" are docked there and that the area 
is generally the home to locals and isn't a tourist area.

Barcardi Rum Distillery - Millars

Back  on  Carmichael  Road, east of what becomes Adelaide Road farther 
west,  we  turned  off  onto  Millars  Road and found the Barcardi Rum 
Distillery.  While  it  also  no  longer  has  visitor  tours  of  the 
distillery,  it  does have an excellent visitor's center, replete with 
a  bar  and  a  host  who provides liquid libations of the products to 
thirsty  tourists!  I highly recommend a visit to this bar -- there is 
no charge!

South Beach

The  southern  side  of  New  Providence  has few beaches to speak of. 
There  is  a  road leading out to South Beach, which apparently at one 
time  was  used  by  the  locals. The area is located in the southeast 
quarter  of  the  island,  the beach is shallow and extends out a long 
distance.  The  shallows contain some young mangrove trees and I would 
not  be  at  all  surprised to hear that new land is accreting and the 
island being expanded in this area.

SIGHTSEEING ON PARADISE ISLAND

Paradise  Island  was  once a scrubby feed lot called Hog Island. This 
spit  of  land  just  off New Providence has been transformed into the 
high  rise gambling and leisure haven connected to Nassau by a bridge. 
The  center  of everything is the Atlantis Resort, which was developed 
by  a  South  African,  Sol Kerzner, and it has turned into one of the 
most  complete  resort  -  casino  -  mega  -  hotels complexes in the 
western world.

The  large  property includes a 14 acre water-scape with waterfalls, a 
river  for  tubing  and  -- the highlight -- a giant outdoor saltwater 
aquarium  filled  with  sharks  -- you can walk through a glass tunnel 
right  in  the  middle  of them. There is also a lagoon for snorkeling 
just off a wonderful white sand beach.

Both  the  Atlantis  Casino and the water-scape are public areas, open 
to  non  guests,  though  I  believe there is now an entrance fee. The 
tunnel  through  the  aquarium  may  be free but I'm told that you pay 
fees  to  rent  tubes  or  mats for the attractions that require them. 
There  is  so  much  to  do  that you could easily spend the day there 
going  from  one  activity  to  another. The complex also includes two 
resort hotels, as well as a number of restaurants.

We  didn't  had  a  lot  of  time  to do all I wanted to do, nor to do 
everything   that  is  available  to  a  visitor  to  Nassau  and  New 
Providence  Island.  The  Atlantis  Aquarium on Paradise Island is one 
attraction  that  I  will  definitely visit on my next trip to Nassau. 
Another  is  the  Dolphin  Encounter  at  Blue Lagoon Island, based on 
Paradise  Island,  beneath  the  main  bridge to Nassau. Both are well 
regarded  and  lack of time was the sole reason that these were passed 
on for this trip. 

There  are  beaches  other  than  Cable  Beach  and  those on Paradise 
Island,  but  most tourists end up at one of these two wide, white hot 
spots.   The   others   tend   to   be   slivers  by  comparison,  and 
transportation to and from them is difficult and undependable.

NIGHTLIFE

There  are  two  casinos on Nassau and both are extremely large. There 
is  the  afore mentioned Atlantis Resort and Casino on Paradise Island 
and  the  Nassau  Marriott  Resort  and Crystal Palace Casino on Cable 
Beach.  You  can  play the slots 24 hours a day, and the gaming tables 
are  open  from  10:00  o'clock  each  morning  until 4:00 o'clock the 
following  morning.  If  you're  an inexperienced gambler, the casinos 
will  teach you the basics and attempt to put you at tables with other 
novices.

RESORT REVIEWS

I  decided  that I wanted to try and see some of the resorts that have 
made  The  Bahamas one of the prime vacation destinations for visitors 
from  the  United  States,  Canada and Europe. That would enable me to 
better  provide  answers to the countless e-mail questions I regularly 
receive  asking  about  the  islands  and the resorts. While we didn't 
visit  all of the resorts on New Providence I would have liked to see, 
we  did  get  to  the  ones  I  wanted  to  visit most. Below are some 
thoughts about those we did see.

Compass Point Beach Club

Having  been  to Jamaica a number of times and being familiar with the 
extensive  realm  of  Chris  Blackwell and having heard of his Compass 
Point  Beach Club, I wanted to see what he had built there. And, it is 
awesome,  to  say  the least! Blackwell, the founder of Island Records 
(which  brought  the  music  of  Bob  Marley  to the world) and Island 
Outpost,  have  again  conceived  and  created one of the truly unique 
resorts  in  Compass  Point.  The  resort  is  small  by Caribbean all 
inclusive  standards  --  a  collage  of  brightly  painted  cottages, 
cabanas       and      huts      sitting      on      Love      Beach. 
(http://www.islandoutpost.com/CompassPoint/)

Sandals Royal Bahamian

Having  seen  (but  not  stayed  at) some of the Sandals properties in 
Jamaica,  I  was  well  aware  what  Gordon  "Butch" Stewart does with 
regard  to  all  inclusive  resorts  in the Caribbean. Thus, it was no 
surprise  to  find  that Stewart has created Sandals Royal Bahamian on 
Cable  Beach.  I  made it a point of stopping in and requesting a tour 
of  the  property.  The staff was most cordial and gave me full run of 
the  property.  Unfortunately,  no  one offered to provide us a guided 
tour  of  the  resort.  Therefore, we were left to our own devices, to 
walk  around  and  see  the  exterior facilities -- which are awesome. 
However,  we  didn't get an opportunity to see any of the interiors --
rooms, dining areas, etc. -- to my disappointment.

Sandals  is  a  huge  resort and the rates are in line with it's size, 
location  and  the  general high season in Nassau. When we visited it, 
the  resort  appeared  to  be close to full capacity -- that is if the 
number  of guests congregated around the pools and along the beach was 
any  indication.  However,  since  the  resort  limits  it's guests to 
couples  only, I noticed, as I have at one other Sandals property, the 
tendency  of  guests  to  pretty much stick with their partner and not 
mix  with  other  couples.  I  did  make  it a point to speak to a few 
guests  and  all  commented  on  what  a  wonderful  resort  the Royal 
Bahamian  was.  (But,  in  line  with  my  above  comment  that guests 
appeared  to  stay to themselves, it was apparent that I surprised the 
ones  I  spoke  to -- obviously nobody else had spoken to them there!) 
(http://www.sandals.com/main/bahamian/ba-home/)

Sandyport Beach Resort

I  had  been  asked  by  a  member  of  The  Caribbean Travel Forum on 
CompuServe  to  check  out  Sandyport Beach Resort -- she had plans to 
stay  there  in  April  of  2001 and wanted to get first hand comments 
from  somebody who had visited the complex. I promised I would stop in 
and  give  it a look see, though I was somewhat afraid that I might be 
in  for  a  timeshare  presentation!  As  it  turned  out, my fear was 
ungrounded,  the  resort  is  magnificent and will be even better when 
the planned units and expansion underway is completed.

First,  the  complex consists of two separate parts -- the area on the 
west  side  of  the  Sandyport  canal is the Sandyport Marina Village, 
consisting  of  a  group  of  permanent  homes within a private, gated 
community.  The  canal  opens  directly  to  the  Caribbean, affording 
guests and homeowners access to the sea for boats.

On  the  east  side  of the canal is the beautiful low rise hotel, the 
Sandyport  Beaches  Resort  consisting  of a reception building, ocean 
front  restaurant  (BBQ  Beach  Restaurant -- see above for more under 
DINING),  ocean beach, lagoon beach, three swimming pools and the most 
beautiful  suites  on  the island. SandyPort has three bedroom deluxe, 
two  bedroom  deluxe  and  one bedroom deluxe suites, also one bedroom 
standard  suites,  studios and hotel rooms. In addition, the resort is 
an  RCI  Gold  Crown Vacation Club participant for folks interested in 
time share interval ownership. (http://www.sandyport.com/)

As  an  aside, I had the opportunity to meet the Marketing Coordinator 
for  SandyPort, Leslie O. Pindling -- the son of the late former Prime 
Minister,  Lynden  Pindling,  leader of the Bahamas for 25 years, died 
in  August,  2000, of prostate cancer at age 70. Pindling became prime 
minister  in  1967,  when the islands were still a British colony, and 
led  the  Bahamas  to  independence  in  1973. His son Leslie was most 
courteous  and  invited  us to return to sample all that SandyPort has 
to offer. 

Breezes Bahamas

Under  the  leadership  of  Chairman  John Issa, SuperClubs originally 
created  what  has  now  become  known as the "Caribbean all-inclusive 
concept."  Based  in  Jamaica,  Breezes  Bahamas was one of SuperClubs 
first  forays outside of that island. Taking over the original Wyndham 
Resort  on Cable Beach, SuperClubs completed a major renovation of the 
property  and  launched it under the Breezes name. The property is the 
first  resort  site one encounters upon driving out West Bay road from 
Nassau proper.

Breezes  is  the  largest of the SuperClubs properties, with it's four 
hundred  rooms,  including  suites  and  oceanfront deluxe rooms. Each 
room  has  either  two double beds or one king size bed. All rooms are 
air  conditioned,  equipped  with satellite TV, direct dial telephone, 
hair   dryer,  safe  deposit  box,  coffee  maker,  soap  and  shampoo 
dispensers,  CD  player, AM / FM radio and iron and ironing board. The 
accommodations  are  situated  in  two  towers -- the eight story high 
west  wing and the four story east wing. Between the two towers is the 
lobby  building  with the dining, entertainment and lobby areas on the 
south side, and the pool complex and beach on the north side.

Dining   options   encompass  the  Main  Dining  Room,  which  is  air 
conditioned  and  offers  casual buffet dining at breakfast, lunch and 
dinner.  The  resort  also has a sit down restaurant, Pastafari, which 
is  an  air  conditioned  pasta bar where long pants required -- it is 
open  for  dinner  only.  There is also a Pool Grill, where guests can 
obtain snacks from midday to early evening.

Breezes  offers  complimentary  weddings  and  renewal of vows for its 
guests.  These  include  a  wedding cake, champagne, flowers, marriage 
license  and  non-denominational  marriage  officer.  Witnesses can be 
provided  upon  request. All the necessary paperwork is handled by the 
couple,  but  the resort staff requires three working week's notice to 
complete  all formalities. A guest is required to be in Nassau 15 days 
before  the ceremony can be performed. However, a three day waiver can 
easily be obtained.

A  super  aspect of Breezes Bahamas is it's meeting facilities, one of 
the  best I have seen at any Caribbean resort. The facility is located 
above  the  lobby in a quiet, out-of-the- way area. It can accommodate 
groups  of  up  to  500  people,  theater  style,  in the Grand Salon. 
Breezes   Bahamas   provides   TV   monitor,  VCR,  overhead  &  slide 
projectors,  screen,  public  address  system,  microphone and podium. 
Banquets  and  private  receptions  can  also  be  arranged  for large 
groups.

Breezes  Bahamas  has  plenty of activities. In addition to having one 
of  the  best  beaches in the Bahamas, the powder white sands of Cable 
Beach,  the  resort  offers  guests  a  variety of other water related 
venues  -- a Jacuzzi, a Sip & Dip pool, a Play pool, the Main pool and 
a  Misting  Pool.  Breezes'  water  sports include -- at no additional 
cost  to  guests  --  wind surfing, salt water kayaking, water skiing, 
sailing,  pool  volleyball  and  scuba diving lessons in swimming pool 
and  all with instructions and equipment are included. Motorized water 
sorts are also available nearby at an additional cost.

Land   sports   include   three   lighted   tennis  courts  with  free 
instruction,  basketball, beach volleyball, bicycles, table tennis, an 
indoor  games  room  and a jogging trail. Tennis is available on three 
tennis  courts,  lit  for  night play. Free tennis instruction is also 
included.  Golf  is  available  at  the nearby Cable Beach Golf Course 
(not  included).  There  is  a  fully  equipped  Fitness  Center, with 
stationary  bicycles,  Stairclimbers,  Nautilus-type  equipment,  free 
weights,  rowing equipment, Aerobic classes, Aquacise classes, and the 
direction of the staff Fitness Instructor.

As  with  all  of  it's  sibling  resorts,  a  guest's stay at Breezes 
Bahamas  includes  the  resort's  own brand of "Super Inclusive" items 
which   are  all  available  without  any  additional  charge  --  all 
accommodations,  all  meals  and  snacks,  wine, unlimited premium bar 
drinks, sports and entertainment included in the rates.

In  touring the facility with SuperClubs Vice President Gary Williams, 
I  was  most impressed with both the resort's location at the east end 
of  Cable  Beach  and  the,  as  yet, undeveloped area of the property 
between  the resort and its tennis courts, beside the public park area 
fronting  on  Goodman Bay. Gary indicated that there are already plans 
to  extend the resort to the east, and this will no doubt make for the 
resort further becoming a prime property on New Providence.

For  our  final  night in Nassau, we had the pleasure (as noted in the 
DINING  section  above)  to  spend  an evening at Breezes, courtesy of 
Gary  Williams.  The facilities, including the dining areas, the bars, 
the  pool complex, the entertainment area, the shops and the lobby are 
all  intended  to impart a feeling of casual elegance, and the goal is 
fully met.

I  made  a concerted effort to speak to a number of the guests, to get 
a  flavor  of  how  they  liked  the  resort. All comments were highly 
laudatory,  with  no  exceptions!  That  certainly  speaks well of the 
effort  that Gary and the staff of Breezes Bahamas have made to create 
excellent  value  for  the price. The resort is expensive, though well 
in  line  with  other  properties  in  and  around  Nassau. I was most 
impressed  that  the  guests  at  Breezes  appeared  to  be  more into 
mingling  with  other  guests  --  this is something that I've seen at 
other  SuperClubs'  resorts  and  to  this  Caribbean  traveler, it is 
something   that   tends  to  make  for  a  more  memorable  vacation. 
(http://www.superclubs.com/brand_breezes/resort_bahamas/)

DEPARTING NEW PROVIDENCE

All  too  soon,  our  short stay on this island was nearly over and it 
was  time  to  head  for  our next port of call -- Elbow Cay. To reach 
there  meant  that we were required to return our Avis rental car, get 
our   prearranged  tickets  on  Bahamasair  and  fly  to  Great  Abaco 
(http://www.bahamasair.com/).  The  above  was  done  quickly  --  all 
except  the  actual flight. Oh, it wasn't actually the flight that was 
slow,  it  was  the  waiting  for  the  flight  that seemed to take an 
eternity!  Luckily,  we  met  up with a delightful couple -- a retired 
army  colonel  and  his  wife -- and conversation with them helped the 
time  to  pass pleasantly. Finally, our plane was on the tarmac and we 
were  able  to board, and we were quickly winging our way north to our 
next destination.

THE ABACOS

The  geography  of  the  Abacos  is unique in the Bahamas, because the 
Abaco  Sound  offers  so  much  protected  water. The Abaco Sound lies 
between  Great Abaco Island and a string of barrier islands -- or cays 
(pronounced  "keys")  -- which arch from Little Harbour northwest over 
a  hundred miles to Walker's Cay. The west coast of Great Abaco, known 
as  the  Bight  of  Abaco,  is  very  shallow and is rarely visited by 
cruising boats.

History of The Abacos

The  history  of  the  Abacos  started  with  the  end of the American 
Revolutionary  War.  Thousands  of  Loyalists  moved  to the Abacos to 
remain  loyal  to the British king. They were seeking respite from the 
harassment back in their former home colonies.

A  total of 2,500 Loyalists and their 4,000 slaves fled to the Bahamas 
after  the  war.  Most  of  them  came from Florida and settled in the 
Abacos.  Those who came from east Florida had been exiled from Georgia 
and  the  Carolinas.  From west Florida Loyalists whose original homes 
had been farther north relocated to the islands.

March Harbour Arrival

>>From   the  plane,  we  caught  glimpses  of  the  Cays  to  Eleuthera 
stretching  from  just  northeast of Nassau to North Eleuthera, before 
we  crossed  the southern tip of Great Abaco. Soon, the plane made its 
approach  to  the  southeast  and  we dropped lightly for a touch down 
between  the  tall  pine  trees  lining both sides the runway at Marsh 
Harbour.  As  we  passed  through  the  gate  from  after deplaning, I 
suggested  to the couple we met at the airport, that we would be happy 
to  share  a  cab  with them. We hailed a van, loaded all the bags and 
were off.

Since  the  other  couple was headed to meet a yacht at the marina and 
we  needed  to  stock  up  on some items at the grocery store, the van 
driver  dropped  up  first  and  then  took  the  couple to meet their 
friends.  We  shopped and quickly found that many of inexpensive items 
at  home  were  highly expensive here/ Once we had our staples for the 
next  few  days,  the  driver  arrived back to pick us up. Passing the 
whisky  store,  he  inquired  if  we  needed  anything  in  the liquid 
libation  department. Nina spoke up and said she sure would like to at 
least  check  the  prices. And, she found a real bargain -- a two-pack 
of  canned  Cokes bundled with a pint of Barcardi rum for US$2.00! She 
bought  four  --  she said the rum bottles were "cute"! Then it was on 
to the ferry dock and out waterborne way to Elbow Cay.

ELBOW CAY

For  the  remainder  of  our  Bahamian  excursion,  we  had  rented  a 
delightful  little  house  --  it  was more of a cottage to my mind -- 
from  Elbow Cay Properties. However, though we had never been there, I 
already  knew  that  we  were going to enjoy our stay in it. The house 
belongs  to  a  friend,  Marjorie  Colley of Nantucket, Massachusetts. 
Marjorie  had  been  an  active  member  on The Caribbean Travel Forum 
(http://go.compuserve.com/Caribbean/)  on  CompuServe  at one time and 
at  her  request,  I  had  scanned some pictures of her house on Elbow 
Cay,  in  order that she could have them as graphic images. Therefore, 
I knew that the house would be imminently suitable for our purposes --
  right  down  to  the  Pawley's  Island  hammocks  strung between the 
casuarina trees in the front yard!

History of Elbow Cay

Hope  Town on Elbow Cay was founded by the Tory widow Wayannie Malone, 
who  moved her family there from Charleston, S.C. in 1783. By 1880 the 
island  had  one  thousand  people, engaged mainly in farming and ship 
building.  It  was  the  administrative center of the Abacos, but this 
later moved to Marsh Harbour.

"Wrecking"  (salvaging  the contents of wrecked ships) had mainly been 
a  part  time  "occupation"  in  the  Out Islands from the time of the 
earliest  settlers.  But  it  became a way of life after emancipation. 
Sea  charts  of  the  waters  in  and around The Bahamas were at first 
nonexistent,   then   later   only   slightly   better  than  somewhat 
unreliable.  There  were  no  lighthouses until 1836 to provide aid to 
ships.  The  Out  Islander  wreckers didn't always depend on storms or 
navigational  errors to cause ships to founder on the reefs. Sometimes 
they  actually  lured  ships onto the reefs. Often, a lighted tree was 
placed on the beach to simulate a beacon.

The  British Imperial Board of Trade dealt a blow to Bahamian wreckers 
by  ordering erection of lighthouses. Hope Town residents on Elbow Cay 
blockaded  workers  building  their  famous  candy  stripe lighthouse, 
which  today  is  the  most  photographed  sight  in The Bahamas. They 
refused  them  food  and  water, and sank a barge bringing in building 
materials.  Elbow  Cay  averaged a wreck a month before the lighthouse 
was  built. In 1860 it was estimated that property valued at more than 
a  hundred thousand pounds sterling had been picked from wrecks in the 
waters  off the island in just over a year. Hope Town's population was 
by  then  about  five  hundred  and  fifty. Although they often risked 
their  lives  to  save shipwrecked sailors, they lived almost entirely 
from  the  profits  reaped from salvaging the cargo and equipment from 
the distressed vessels.

Albury's Ferry Service

To  reach  Elbow  Cay  the  traveler  must  rely  on the regular ferry 
service between Marsh Town and Hope Town, Elbow Cay's principal town -
-  and  the  third  largest  settlement in The Bahamas. Albury's Ferry 
began  operation  on  February 18, 1959, the day the airport opened in 
Marsh  Harbour.  The  "Ferry"  (as  it is known throughout the Abacos) 
remains  a  family  owned  business today with Ralph Albury serving as 
General Manager.

The  first  ferry  was  the "Junonia", a 40 foot lobster boat built in 
Maine.  As  Albury's service grew, additional boats were built of wood 
at  the  yards  of Edwin Albury on Man-O- War Cay. The conversion from 
wood  construction  to fiberglass began 21 years ago. Today the entire 
fleet  is  made  up of nine boats -- "Donnie I" through "Donnie IX" -- 
wide  body  fiberglass,  diesel  powered boats built to Albury's Ferry 
own   specifications  in  Florida.  The  boats  fall  into  four  size 
categories;  34  feet,  39 feet, 45 feet and 51 feet. The "Donnie IX", 
the latest, joined Albury's Ferry fleet in the fall of 2000.

Today,  the  ferry  serves  Elbow  Cay and Man-O-War Cay from Albury's 
Ferry  Dock.  Great Guana Cay and Scotland Cay are served by boats out 
of  the  Conch  Inn  dock  and the Union Jack dock. Ferry times to and 
from  Elbow  Cay and Man-O-War Cay take twenty minutes each way, while 
times  to  and  from  Great  Guana  Cay  and  Scotland Cay take thirty 
minutes   each   way.  (Note:  Scotland  Cay  service  requires  prior 
notification to Albury's Ferry Office.)

All  of  Albury's  ferries  are partially enclosed, fully licensed and 
inspected,   and   operated  by  experienced  and  licensed  captains. 
Equipment  includes  fire  extinguishers, life jackets, VHF radio, and 
first aid supplies. (http://www.oii.net/alburysferry/)

Arrival at Elbow Cay

On  the  ferry ride from Marsh Harbour, I asked the ferry boat captain 
to  call  Elbow Cay Properties, in order that they could pick us up at 
the  North  Dock  at  Cook's  Cove  --  it  is  located just above the 
entrance  to  the  Hope Town harbor and is convenient to the houses on 
the North Point of Elbow Cay.

Elbow Cay Properties(http://www.elbowcayrentals.com/)

We  were  met  at the North Dock by Don Cash and he put our luggage in 
the  back  of  the  pickup  truck -- Nina rode in front and I piled in 
back  with the bags. It was only about two hundred yards from the dock 
to  the  house,  so we were there before we knew it. Not having to lug 
all  the bags and groceries from the dock was a nice touch. (For a map 
of  the  island go to http://www.elbowcayrentals.com/, and you can see 
"Leeside"   on   the   bay   side   of   the  North  Point  or  access 
http://www.elbowcayrentals.com/photos/leeside/ to navigate there.)

I  can't  say  enough about Don and Cary Cash, the owners of Elbow Cay 
Properties.  As  I  said above, Don met us and drove us to Leeside. He 
helped  unload  our  bags,  gave  us  a  complete  tour  of the house, 
pointing  out  things  that  we would need to know during our stay and 
generally  gave  us  a  good  feeling  that  we  had  picked the right 
property  on  the  right  island through the right property management 
company.  Don  also  returned  on our last day and drove us -- and all 
out  stuff -- back to the North Dock, to catch the ferry back to Marsh 
Harbour.  Don  is also a descendant of one of the original families on 
the  island  --  I believe he said he was a sixth generation Elbow Cay 
descendant.

Leeside  We found Leeside to be exactly as we expected. The house sits 
on  a  shallow  beach, facing west and is surrounded by tall casuarina 
trees.  It  contains  a  fully equipped kitchen, adjacent to the large 
living   room-dinning   room  area.  There  are  two  air  conditioned 
bedrooms,  one with a queen size bed and the other with two twin beds, 
and  both  with  their  own baths. There is a wrap-around porch facing 
the sound.

The  location  is  about  a mile from Hope Town and just a five minute 
walk  to community North Point dock. The rental rate is $995 per week. 
The  cottage  accommodates  4  people  and no chided under age six are 
permitted.

There's  no television set, but Marjorie has a fine selection of music 
and  a  player.  Also,  there is a regular two way VHF radio, with its 
own  12  volt  power  supply  and  a  tall  antenna  on the roof. Each 
morning,  I  tuned  into  the Abaco "Cruiser's Net" on VHF Channel 68. 
It's  like  a  party  line, with each separate island checking in with 
what's  happening  on  the  islands that day, weather reports, various 
sail  boats checking in for e-mail, etc. It's a folksy "program" and I 
heartily  encourage  anybody  with  access to a VHF radio to listen in 
each  and  every  day.  (See  below.)  There is also a nightly weather 
report on VHF channel 9, by "Deja Vu" a local on-island weatherman.

"On  this 'Net you'll find the Weather forecast, reports on conditions 
around  the  Whale Cay Passage, announcements covering everything from 
e-mail  for  cruisers  to Happy Hour Specials - Arriving and Departing 
Boats,  a  Swap  Shop, Navigation Tips, and even 'open Mike'." (Copied 
from http://oii.net/boats/news.html#net.)

Since  there  isn't  much  else to do -- which was exactly what we had 
been  looking  for -- our stay in "Leeside" afforded us plenty of time 
to catch up on reading -- I finished four novels while we were there!

Out and About

However,  the  stay  wasn't  entirely  taken  up  by  doing absolutely 
nothing  at  all  --  we rented a 17 foot Boston whaler outboard boat, 
with  Center  Console.  The  boat  was  rented from Island Marine Boat 
Rentals,  owned by Dave and Phoebe Gale and operated by their son Jeff 
Gale  and  niece  Lory  Kenyon.  Island Marine Boat Rentals located on 
picturesque  Parrot  Cay,  just  a  short  distance  from  Elbow  Cay. 
(http://www.islandmarine.com/)

All  of  Island  Marine's  boats are fully equipped with life jackets, 
anchor,  lines,  a  swim  ladder,  flares,  flashlight, first aid kit, 
compass,  rod  holders,  large  built-in gas tank, and large fold down 
Bimini  top  for  maximum  sun  protection. In addition, when a person 
rents  from  Island Marine, he is provided with a chart of Abaco Sound 
and  a  hand  held  VHF  radio  to use if needed in an emergency or to 
provide  the marina with information about return times, etc. The boat 
had  a  70 hp Evinrude engine and electric trim and tilt. We were able 
to  use  the  North  Dock, which is shared by all of the houses in the 
community on the North Point.

I  had  contacted Island Marine by phone prior to our arrival on Elbow 
Cay  and  reserved  the  boat.  Upon arrival at "Leeside" I called and 
arranged  for  the  boat to be delivered the following morning. Bright 
and  early the next day, we were picked up at North Dock and went back 
over  to  Parrot  Cay,  to sign for the boat. Then, we were off on our 
own, to explore.

Man-O-War  Cay  Our first stop was back at North Dock, in order to get 
"provisioned"  and then we were away, headed across the Abaco Sound to 
Man-O-War  Cay.  With the aid of the chart we easily made the crossing 
and  headed  into  the  harbor  at  Man-O-War  Cay. I had heard on the 
Cruiser's  Net  that morning, that the school on the island was having 
a  flea  market.  We  decided that sounded like a neat thing to visit. 
The   crossing  from  the  north  end  of  Elbow  Cay  was  relatively 
uneventful, though there was a brisk breeze.

We  headed  toward Matt Lowe's Cay to miss the shallows to the east of 
Johnny's  Cay,  then turned north past Sandy Cay to enter the cut into 
the  harbor. The docks were packed solid -- we finally found one where 
we  could  tie  up,  and  walked  "downtown" to the Pavilion. There we 
found  the  festivities  were  in  full swing. We ran into our friends 
from  the  plane  and  exchanged  pleasantries with them and the yacht 
owner  and  his wife. We decided to buy hamburgers at the flea market, 
since  the  proceeds  were  for  a  worthy  cause.  After  getting our 
burgers,  we  retired  back to our boat and headed across the channel, 
to the lee of Matt Lowe's Cay for a floating picnic lunch.

Hope  Town  Our  other  excursion  destination  was into the Hope Town 
harbor  a  few times. It sure beat walking the mile into town by road! 
A  couple of times, we would motor from North Dock into the harbor for 
meals.  It  was nice to be able to simply cruise into the harbor, pick 
a  place,  tie  up  at  one  of  the  public  docks  and  walk  to the 
restaurant.  A  couple of places were excellent -- Cap Jack's and Club 
Soleil's        Restaurant       at       Hope       Town       Marina 
(http://www.abacoyellowpages.com/cws/clubsoleil/),  the  latter  where 
we  had  the  Sunday  Brunch.  Also  of note were Harbour View Grocery 
Store, where we shopped once and Vernon's Grocery.

As  an  aside,  be  sure  to check out Vernon's Grocery. While we were 
shopping  there,  Mr. Vernon came into the store with a batch of fresh 
baked bread! It was fantastic!

We  also  went into town one time, just to explore the lighthouse. The 
Hope  Town  Lighthouse, as noted above, was built in 1863 and it still 
uses  the  original  wind  up  brass  mechanism to turn the reflector, 
sending  the  beam out as far as twenty miles. This lighthouse is also 
the most photographed attraction in The Bahamas.

Another  time, we took the boat and cruised south, putting in at White 
Sound  south  of  Hope Town and then on down the island to Tilloo Cut, 
opposite  Lubbers  Quarters  Cay.  Not  being thoroughly familiar with 
either  the  boat  or  the local area and being aware that Abaco Sound 
has  numerous  shallow areas that can severely damage a prop or motor, 
we  decided that we had explored far enough afield for our first visit 
to  the  island.  However, I do plan to return someday and see more of 
the beautiful islands that make up the outline of Abaco Sound.

THE END OF THE TRIP

As  always  happens,  this  trip to The Bahamas ended far too soon. We 
returned  the boat to Island Marine and the next morning Don Cash came 
to  Leeside  and  helped us back to North Sound. We bade him good-bye, 
with  the  promise  that  we would be back. The ferry picked us up and 
too  quickly  we  were  back at the dock at Marsh Harbour. A short van 
ride  and we were at the Marsh Harbour Airport. We checked in, boarded 
our US Airways plane to Ft. Lauderdale and we were homeward bound.

I  can't  say  enough  how  much this trip meant to both of us. It was 
busy  and laid back. It included exploring and doing noting at all. It 
was   a  great  equalizer  to  our  usual  trips  to  other  Caribbean 
locations.  But,  we  will return, because the Baja Mar of The Bahamas 
will definitely be calling to us!

BAHAMAS: ATLANTIS BY KEN WELLS

July 2001

We  recently  spent  a  week  at  the Atlantis on Paradise Island.  We 
booked  the trip through Liberty Travel.  Liberty does a large percent 
of  the  Atlantis  booking.   When  we checked in at least half of the 
people  were  using  Liberty vouchers.  Liberty has a preferred travel 
program  were for $50/yr they will upgrade transfers to your hotel for 
all  your  trips  booked  through  Liberty to a private Limo.  We were 
really  glad  that we did this and the Limo service at the airport and 
the  return  was very smooth.   Our flight was out of Philly on US Air 
and  was  uneventful.   The  airport at Nassau was very well organized 
and  we  were  out  of  the  airport  with our luggage in less than 40 
minutes.  

I  was traveling with my wife, in-laws and my 8 year old daughter.  We 
booked  two  rooms  with  a  non-ocean  view  in the Coral towers.  We 
requested  non-smoking  and  connecting.   We  arrived at the hotel at 
1230pm  and were told the rooms would not be ready until 3pm.  I think 
the  Atlantis  will  not  release  rooms  even if they are clean until 
after  2pm.  We saw lots of people checking in and not once did anyone 
get  in  before 2 pm.  I think that maybe the Atlantis has figured out 
that  you  will  go  to  lunch  at the Atlantis while waiting for your 
room.   That  is  what  we and most other people did while waiting.  A 
little  after  2  pm  they  gave us our room keys.  We did not get the 
connecting  rooms  we wanted but were able to get adjoining.  We asked 
about  this  and  were  told  that they had no connecting available. I 
also asked if they could give a room on a higher floor. No Luck!  

Our  rooms  were  on  the  5th floor and had no view of anything but a 
very  large  and  overgrown palm tree.  We did not expect a ocean view 
as  we  did not pay for one but had hoped for a view of something.  We 
do  not  spend much time in our room during the day or night except to 
sleep  so  this  was  not  a  major issue for us.  The room itself was 
average  except  for the bathroom which was in need of major overhaul.  
The  bathroom  had  lots  of  peeling  paint  and  the  bathtub needed 
replaced.    There  was  no  mistaking  this  room  for a 5 star hotel 
room!   Another issue popped up that evening on our bill.  We had mini 
bar  charges  of  over  $50  when  we did not touch the mini-bar.  The 
front  desk  apologized  and  removed the charges promptly.  We made a 
habit  of  checking  our  tab  each night on the in-room TV but had no 
further problems.

We  avoided  alcohol  at the Atlantis because of  the expense.  We had 
brought  dry  mixes from home and purchased several bottles of alcohol 
and  a  six  pack  (very  cheap!)  at  the  shopping center across the 
street.   We  would  have  a couple of drinks after coming in from the 
day  while getting ready for dinner.  We also brought some snacks with 
us from home to have during our "cocktail hour".

We  had included the meal plan in our package deal which was $57 a day 
per  adult.   We  ate  most  breakfasts at the Marketplace and did the 
buffet.   The  food  was  good  but not excellent.  They had the usual 
buffet  stuff.   The  service was excellent in the Marketplace and the 
staff  very  pleasant.  For dinner we ate at several restaurants.  The 
only  one  that  required reservations on our meal plan was the Waters 
Edge.    We  ate there once during the trip (made reservations several 
weeks  in  advance)  and  the food was quite good.  The service on the 
hand  was  poor.   Our waiter Bradley was not interested in us once he 
determined  we  were  not  going to order any alcoholic drinks.  (This 
was  the  only  time  we  had  poor  service  during  our  trip at the 
Atlantis,  in  fact most of the staff went out of their way to be very 
friendly  and  nice!)   The  Atlantis  adds a 15% tip automatically to 
each  meal  (based  on  inflated menu prices not meal plan prices) and 
therefore  it  is in the waiter interest to have large drink tabs.  We 
did  the buffet at the Marketplace and Seagrapes twice each.  The food 
was  good  and  plentiful  but  probably not worth the $40 a head they 
were  charging.    The lines to be seated started backing up at around 
7- 7:30 and sometimes it could be more than a ½ hour wait.

We  ate  several nights at the Atlas bar and grill in the casino.  The 
menu  was simple sandwiches and was a nice change of pace after eating 
so  many  heavy  meals.   The  Atlas  has limited seating and is quite 
popular  so  if you don't want to wait in a long line, plan to show up 
around  6  pm.   At  7  pm  you  can expect to wait at least ½ hour or 
more.   No  reservations  are taken here. The beach area was very nice 
and  had  lots  of chairs available anytime you wanted.  The water was 
clean  and  free  of  rocks.   The  vendors  were  kept  away from the 
property  but  were right over the property line.  My daughter had her 
hair  braided  at  one of these stands. The cost was $2 per braid.  If 
you were getting a lot of braids done the price would come down.

The  pools  at the Atlantis were awesome.  They have at least six very 
large  pools  with several by each tower.  The large slides are by the 
royal  towers and are a lot of fun.  You have to be as least 48 inches 
tall  or you will not be allowed to use the slides except for two very 
small  baby  slides.  They  enforce this rule without exception and if 
you  are  a  ¼  inch  shorter  you will not be allowed on.  I saw many 
children  in  tears  over  this  so if your children are not 48 inches 
tall  you better prepare them for the fact that they will not be using 
the  slides.   Also,  no jewelry or watches are allowed on the slides.  
Leave  your  necklaces and bracelets in the room when you going to use 
the  slides.  The  slides  were crowded most of the time and you could 
expect  a  15  to  20  minute  wait  during the middle of the day.  If 
slides  are  your thing, try going at 9am and getting your fill before 
the  line  gets long.  We spent a morning going down the slides at the 
royal  towers  and had a blast.  There is medium size slide called the 
Goombay  slide  near  the Coral tower that is fun and my daughter wore 
out  a swimsuit going down it.  No day was complete without an hour or 
so going down this slide.  The line here was almost always short.

I  went  scuba  diving  with  Bahama Divers and was impressed with the 
operation.  The  divemaster  and  crew were very professional and very 
concerned  about  not  damaging  the coral reefs.  We went to the Lost 
Blue  Hole  and  to  Barracuda  reef for our two dives.   On the first 
dive  at  the  blue  hole  we went to 90' for 15 minutes.  Not much to 
see.   The  second  dive at Barracuda reef was great!  The reef was at 
25'  and was full of things to see.  Too numerous to mention here. The 
only  hitch  was  when  we got back to the dive shop they took over an 
hour  and  half  to  take  us back to the hotel.  All and all it was a 
great time!

We  had  booked  my daughter and wife to swim with the dolphins at the 
Blue  lagoon  back  in February. The weather the day we were scheduled 
was  very  bad  so  we called ahead to check to see if the program had 
been  canceled.    We were informed that it would go as scheduled.  So 
we  got  a taxi (it was raining and lighting so bad we did not want to 
walk  the  ¼  mile  in the storm).  When we got there we were informed 
that  the  program  was canceled and rescheduling would be impossible.  
A  ½  hour  later,  after much discussion, they found a place the next 
day.   The  whole program was tremendous and both my daughter and wife 
had  a  wonderful  time and could not stop smiling.  The foot push was 
awesome.   The  program  was  simply the highlight of our trip!  Bring 
plenty  of  800  speed film so you can catch the action.  You can also 
buy  pictures  and video they take but I was able to take far more and 
better pictures than they did.

On  a  rainy  day,  we  toured the new harborside timeshares.  We were 
given  $75  a  couple and a lite lunch to take the two hour tour.  The 
units  are  very  nice  and sleeps 10.  It has a large master bathroom 
and  two  nice  sized  full  kitchens.  The units cost $26,300 for one 
week  in  the  summer low season (the prices are higher for the winter 
high  season  but  we  were  only  told  the  price  for the season we 
inquired  about)  and  have  a $1200 maintenance fee per year. You own 
the  week for 40 years.  After 40 years the site is sold and you split 
the  profits  with the other owners.  The unit can be divided into two 
smaller  units  and  you  can  lock  off the smaller side and give the 
other  side  back  to get a addition week in the one side.  Both sides 
have  a  full  kitchen and master bathroom.  You can also trade it for 
other timeshares in different places. 

We  had  to  visit  the  Doctor's  Hospital in Nassau for a antibiotic 
prescription.   We  found  the  hospital  to be clean and well run and 
were  seen  right  away.   Many  US  emergency  rooms can not beat the 
service  we  had.  Dr. Johnson was very profession and treated my wife 
and I very well.   

BAHAMAS: PARADISE ISLAND SHERATON GRAND BY GARY GUZZARDO

July 2001

  We  left  Chicago  for  Paradise  Island on Tuesday morning making a 
connection   in   Fort  Lauderdale.   Despite  it's  small  size  Fort 
Lauderdale  has  four  separate  terminals.   Make sure you know which 
terminal  your  connecting  flight  leaves  from.   We were led to the 
wrong  building  and  by  the  time  we got the airport shuttle to the 
right terminal we were bumped from our overbooked flight to Nassau.

  We  got  to  the Nassau airport at 2:30 and had free rum drinks at a 
small  stand  in  the  terminal while we waited for our bags.  Customs 
was  a  breeze.   The  cab  ride  took  about  a half-hour and we were 
charged  $31.00.   Make  sure  you  negotiate  the  charge  before you 
leave.   Our  ride back to the airport was only $25.00 so we obviously 
we  paid  extra for the "scenic" route our first cab driver took along 
the coast.

  We  stayed  at the Sheraton Grand because I was able to get the room 
for  half  price  by redeeming Starwood points accumulated on business 
trips.   The  hotel  is  located  next door to Atlantis and shares the 
same  beach.   For  the  money  we paid the Sheraton was a good value, 
however  there  is  nothing outstanding about the place other than its 
location  on  a  great  beach  (Cabbage  Beach).  Our room had a small 
balcony  with a nice view of the beach and the pool.  Unfortunately it 
also  had  a  view  of the loading dock for the Atlantis Beach Towers, 
whose  rooms  looked directly into ours from across our pool deck.  If 
I  went  back  I would request an east view (even numbered rooms) that 
just  looks  over the beach.  The hotel's air conditioners are located 
on  that  side so it might get a little noisy but it would be a better 
view  and  more  private.   The  rooms are typical Sheraton rooms with 
hair  dryers,  irons and the usual toiletries. Overall, service at the 
hotel was prompt and friendly.  

  The Sheraton's facilities are adequate.  The small, shallow pool has 
a  waterfall  at  one  end.   The poolside snack bar consists of white 
plastic  tables  and  chairs on the pool deck.  The beach bar would be 
more  inviting if there was a way to get out of the sun.  There are no 
roof  and no umbrellas covering the chairs and tables and there are no 
stools  to  sit  at the bar.  Atlantis, however, has a great beach bar 
just  down the beach.  Head over there when you're ready to get out of 
the sun and sip a tropical drink.

  The beach is long with soft white sand.  The water is very clear and 
calm  although it gets deep pretty quickly.  The hotel provides plenty 
of  free  beach  chairs.  There is para-sailing, banana boat rides and 
many  noisy jet ski's available on the beach.  The beach can get quite 
crowded  when cruise ships are in port.  It's pretty long and good for 
walking.   I  would  definitely  recommend the Sheraton for its views, 
location  and service as long as you can get in there for a reasonable 
price.

    We  spent  a  lot  of time at Atlantis, which was next door to our 
hotel.   Although  the  pools  and slides are off limits to non-guests 
you  are  free  to walk around the complex.  We walked through all the 
buildings  and  the  Dig, which is a spectacular aquarium (the largest 
in  the  world)  which  replicates the lost city of Atlantis.  I think 
they  charge  for  tours but no one stopped us from walking through on 
multiple  occasions.   Atlantis  is  a  spectacular hotel. Every other 
hotel  on  the  island  suffers  by  comparison.   The pools, lobbies, 
restaurants   and   casino   are   all   elaborately  beautiful.   The 
restaurants  and  shops  are  very expensive.  We saw the Jimmy Buffet 
musical  "  Don't  Stop  The Carnival" in their theatre.  It's a small 
theatre  with  great  sight  lines  throughout.  The musical, while no 
South  Pacific,  was  well done and very entertaining, particularly if 
you  are  a  Parrot  Head  or  read  the book (A perfect book for your 
Caribbean vacation)

Here are our reviews of the restaurants.

Sheraton Grand
The  breakfast  buffet  at  the  Veranda is OK for $12.  Typical eggs, 
potatoes,  meat  &  omelets,  fruit & pastries.  It's unfortunate they 
don't  offer  outside  dining given their location right on the beach.   
The  pool  snack  bar is a good place for lunch.  We had their Tuesday 
night  poolside  barbecue  ($25).  Good food, great location with live 
music.  

Poop Deck
It  seems like you could walk there from town or from the hotel but it 
is  longer  than  it looks.  Nice outdoors location on the harbor with 
views   of   Paradise  Island  and  docked  boats.    Good  food,  not 
terrifically expensive.  



Compass Point
By  far  our  favorite  restaurant.   Great outdoor patio right on the 
water  with sunset views.  The food and the service were excellent and 
the  prices  were  reasonable  compared  to  other  restaurants on the 
island.   They are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You will need 
a  car to get there from Paradise Island unless you are willing to pay 
$18-$20  each  way  for  a  cab.   They  also  have some very colorful 
cottages with great views and a small pool.  

Dune 
Very  sophisticated but expensive food (over $50 per person) with very 
polished  décor  & service.  Great beach view if you are outside or by 
the  window.  We were disappointed to find that all the outside tables 
were  reserved  the  night  we were there.  If you want to eat outside 
ask for an outside table when you make your reservation.  

Café At The Hall Of Great Waters
Located  in  the main lobby of Atlantis surrounded by the aquariums of 
The   Dig.    Like  all  Atlantis  restaurants  this  place  was  very 
expensive.   Salads  were  $13  and  entrees  were $28-$40.  The food, 
location  and  service  were  all  top  notch,  but not good enough to 
justify  these  prices.  However, after realizing that they charge $28 
for  stir  fried  chicken  and  broccoli  at their Oriental restaurant 
these prices actually seemed reasonable.

Columbus Tavern
Nice, casual restaurant on a deck overlooking the Nassau harbor. 

Overall  we  found  the  service  at  all restaurants to be prompt and 
friendly.   We  never  experienced  the  slow service people warned us 
about before we left.    

There  is  a ferry that runs between Paradise Island and Nassau for $3 
each  way.  Since taxi's run about $7 you don't save much if there are 
two  of you, but you should try it once for a different perspective of 
the  port.   Overall we found Paradise & Providence Islands to be very 
clean,  safe  and  friendly,  but  not particularly scenic.  The roads 
were  all  well maintained.  Paradise Island has the look of a planned 
community  and  has  little or no island flavor.  Nassau is a bustling 
town  (particularly  when  cruise  ships are in port) with restaurants 
and  lot's  of  shopping.  The Cable Beach area has a few large hotels 
and  a  casino.   Given  the  reasonable  airfare (compared to islands 
further  south  in the Caribbean) and proximity to Florida, Paradise & 
Providence  Islands are perfect for a quick get-away for beach resorts 
and  casinos.  We enjoyed