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dlphn501

Viator for shore excursions - Island highlights tour

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What is everyone's experience with using Viator to book shore excursions?  I found this: Nassau Shore Excursion: Island Highlights Sightseeing Tour for only $35/pp and it seems like a good tour.  It says it picks up at the pier, but some of the reviews say they had to walk to the McDonald's.  It hits every site that I want to hit (Rum Cake Factory, Queens Staircase/Ft Fincastle are on top of my list, but it also goes to Atlantis resort, the Graycliff Chocolate Factory and John Watling's Distillery), and then I won't have to walk it.  Has anyone done this particular tour?  It also seems like you can exit the tour at Junkanoo beach, and walk back to the ship when ready, and I had planned on going to Junkanoo as well.  Below is info from the website:

Departure & Return

Departure Point

Woodes Rodgers Walk, Nassau, The Bahamas

Traveler pickup is offered

Ports
Prince George Wharf
 

Return Details

Returns to original departure point

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Hi Dolphin!

 

I actually did this exact tour in Feb. 2018.  I really enjoyed it!  This was my experience...I was solo on this particular cruise, so I wanted an organized tour, and like you said, this one included all the sights I wanted.  We met just across the street from the cruise port; detailed location instructions were sent with the confirmation, but it was super easy and obvious.  There were probably about 40 people in our group, but they broke us up into two smaller groups...one group on a bus and a smaller group of about ten on a van.  I was in the smaller group, so that probably helped my experience.  Our guide was very personable, informative, funny, organized.  A lot of the experience on these is luck of the draw on a guide!  The rum cake stop was a really quick in and out at the shop for a quick taste and purchase.  I already knew what I wanted to pick up here, so I was in and out pretty fast.  It's a small shop.  Queen's Staircase was very nice.  Our guide explained to us that there are A LOT of people that wait at the top of the staircase and "attach" to a group to give a "tour" and that we were welcome to go with one of them and listen, and it was up to us if we wanted to tip or not; this wasn't part of the formal tour.  We had a nice fellow give us the history of the staircase, but he was a bit quiet and hard to follow at times.  Plenty of time to enjoy this area though, very nice.  We didn't actually stop at the Fort.  We drove by and our guide asked if we wanted to go in (advantage of being in a small group, he asked us several times if there were certain places we wanted to stop or skip...more on this in a bit).  The entrance fee isn't included in the tour cost and we wouldn't have a lot of time there, so we didn't go in.  I imagine this might differ by guide and group.  The stop at Atlantis was pretty much what I was expecting...about a half hour to look around at the resort.  It's a lovely property, and this was actually more interesting than I thought it would be.  It's on your own, the driver will return in a half hour or so.  There are several Chihuly glass sculptures in the resort areas that I checked out, and a lovely walk along a dock.  You can't get into any of the "guest only" areas, so don't expect to see the water park or anything like that.  Graycliff Chocolate was another quick stop.  We had a taste of a couple of chocolates.  It's a small shop, but it was a nice little stop.  Back to the small group/customizing thing...across the street from Graycliff was a winery offering wine tastings.  Our group asked if we could have some time there.  Our guide said that would be fine, so several people went in for that.  I don't drink wine, but I enjoyed a lovely swing outside while others were doing the tasting.  Also, our guide was good about checking when people needed to be back to their respective ships (there were two different ships in port and we had people from both that day) so that if we added the stop at the winery, everyone would still have plenty of time to get back.  John Wattling's was a lot of fun.  There are tour guides specific to that property that will take you around and give you a tour.  I REALLY enjoyed what the guide was telling us there and I tipped him a few dollars at the end.  He seemed genuinely surprised to receive a tip.  They also have drinks and rum available for purchase.  At the end, they gave us the option for drop off at the straw market, the beach, or back at port.  I had them drop me off at the market as it was near the place I wanted to grab lunch.  Overall I really enjoyed the tour and thought it was definitely worth the money.  It hit the sights I wanted to see and gave me the safety of being in a group and the convenience of being driven around by someone else!  I do think a lot will depend on group size and guide.  Hope this helps!  

 

 

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Wow!  Thank you so much for that detailed review!  I feel a lot better about this now.  Do the tour guides hold up a sign or something so you can find them?

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No problem, always happy to help.  It's tough when you are booking an excursion and all you have is a two sentence description to work from!

 

I honestly can't remember if they had signs or not, but it was quite obvious when the guides showed up.  They had polo shirts on, backpacks, and a handful of wristbands to hand out.  I arrived ridiculously early as I wasn't exactly sure how complicated it would be to find the starting point (turned out not at all!), so that's why I was there before them.  I imagine if they were there first they might have a sign or something.  

 

Enjoy your trip!

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