Is The Bahamas Safe? What You Should Know About Crime

Diedre McLeod shares her tips on how you can stay safe while traveling in The Bahamas.

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The Atlantis Paradise Island resort, located in the Bahamas Photo © iStock/photosvit

The Bahamas is a picturesque archipelago of more than 700 islands and cays and is where I spent some of my childhood, developing a quirky local accent that I couldn’t shake. It’s also where I learned of the existence of pink sandy beaches, and that Bahamians have an unrivaled love for conch meat. The islands are world-renowned for their beaches, seafood, eco-friendliness and adventure activities.

Here are my top safety tips for travelers who are going to visit The Bahamas.

Safe places to go in The Bahamas

Your safety needs will vary across the islands and largely depend on where you visit. 

Nassau – cultural and capital city

Nassau is where 70% of locals live, and the best place to learn the customs and history of the country. While in downtown Nassau, you need to be alert and on the lookout for pickpockets and ATM scammers. However, across the bridge on Nassau Paradise Island, this resort-filled town is home to safe hotels, like the Atlantis hotel.

Be cautious when visiting the ‘Over-the-Hill’ community (south of Shirley Street) in Nassau. The community has cultural significance as the birthplace of the national festival of Junkanoo, but much of the violent crime in The Bahamas is concentrated ‘over the hill’. Avoid walking there at night, especially alone, and visit in groups if you can. 

Safety on the other islands 

The other islands (such as like Abacos, Andros, Eleuthera, Exumas – locally called Family Islands or Out Islands) are generally safer than Nassau or New Providence, with little violent crime occurring. However, here a few things to look out for:

  • Make sure to book tours with reputable operators to avoid scams by fraudulent tour guides
  • Many jet ski operators are unregulated. Rent from those recommended by the tourist office, confirm price and allotted time before jetting off, and keep track of your time on the jet ski to avoid being called back too early
  • Double-check your snorkeling and diving gear to be sure they function well.

Visit outside of the rainy season

Something to consider when traveling to The Bahamas is the hurricane season, which runs from June to November, when the islands can get hit by storms. The islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama were particularly badly damaged by Hurricane Dorian in August 2019, which was the most intense tropical cyclone on record to hit The Bahamas.

Health concerns after a lot of wet weather include Chikungunya virus and Dengue Fever, the two main mosquito-borne illnesses. Pack insect repellant and apply at dawn and dusk liberally to avoid mosquitoes at their most active time.

Colorful sails on a beach, Treasure Island, Abaco, Bahamas
Colorful sails on a beach on Treasure Island. Photo credit: Getty Images/Glowimages

The Bahamas: is it safe for families?

You should prioritize booking organized tours that are run by reputable companies, which will help your family stay safe while exploring The Bahamas. Other safety tips include:

  • Watch the heat. The Bahamas averages 83ºF (28ºC) daily. Protect your family from heat exhaustion by exploring early morning and late evening on hot days. Also, keep hydrated
  • Child-proof everything. Check the height of balconies and move anything that could fall or looks potentially dangerous. Keep windows and doors locked, in case your toddler wanders out of your accommodation
  • Have a code word for family members to use in high-stress situations or when they feel unsafe. For example, walking into a crowded market or street where it’s easy to become separated, saying the code word will help children be alert and stick close to older family members
  • Keep constant watch of your family members, especially children, at marine parks or the beach. Using arm floats on younger children, for example, does not guarantee that your child is fully protected from drowning
  • Children are prone to accidents. Make sure you get travel insurance, in case of injury or accident during your activities on the islands.

Safety for LGBTQ travelers in The Bahamas

The Bahamas is slowly becoming LGBTQ-friendly. Limit public displays of affection, regardless of your sexual orientation. You'll find plenty of accommodation options that are generally known for their tolerance of LGBTQ couples.

Safety for solo women visiting The Bahamas

There are so many beaches to discover in The Bahamas, offering different activities on each island. If you’re a woman traveling alone, here’s what you need to know to stay safe. 

  • While the islands are considered safe for women travelers overall, consider dressing modestly for your trip
  • Always take precautions while out at night to ensure your safety, such as taking a licensed taxi to a club or restaurant rather than walking, particularly in Nassau
  • Avoid hitchhiking, walking in deserted or poorly lit areas, and walking alone at night
  • Some Bahamian men can be more direct in their advances and you might find yourself navigating awkward conversations with sexual innuendos. Suggesting a partner/husband is nearby can help to stop these discussions in their tracks.

Safety at night

It’s easy to get distracted wandering around a new place, soaking up the sights and making sure you maximize the hours in a day. Travelers love going drinking and clubbing in The Bahamas, and the addition of alcohol and lowered awareness can reduce your alertness substantially. Especially at night, be aware of your surroundings and your belongings.

Petty crime in The Bahamas

Don’t keep your valuables all in one place. Snatch-and-grab crimes involving travelers’ bags, jewelry, smartphones or cash are some of the most popular petty crimes that happen to visitors in The Bahamas. If anyone tries to rob you, hand over whatever it is they are asking for. It is not worth getting hurt.

Violent crime in The Bahamas

Most of the serious crimes committed in The Bahamas center largely in Nassau (New Providence). Violent crime, such as sexual assault, robberies and gang violence, tends to happen most in Nassau’s “Over-the-Hill” neighborhoods and are mainly targeted to Bahamians. If, however, you find yourself the victim of a violent crime, report it to the nearest police station.

Gun laws

Unsurprisingly, it's illegal to bring a gun or ammunition into the country, or have one in your possession without permission. Anyone coming by boat must leave firearms on their vessel when coming ashore and declare their firearms to Customs. Punishment for breaking these laws is strict.

Drugs and alcohol laws in The Bahamas

  • Drug possession and drug use are illegal in The Bahamas. The convicted can sit in jail for a while and pay large fines. That said, it's still possible that you may be offered drugs outright when you're in The Bahamas, whether it's out on the street or at the bar or club. As a result, police presence has increased in the traveler hubs for the safety of visitors
  • Yes, marijuana is illegal – although it is commonly smoked by some Bahamians. Do not attempt to leave the islands with marijuana, and reconsider buying any from locals as it will be difficult to verify the quality
  • You must be 18 years or older to drink alcohol in The Bahamas, but laws are often not enforced. There has been, however, more push to curb this so make sure to walk with your ID when going out for a drink
  • Pay attention to your drink. Do not leave your glass unattended and make sure you watch closely when your drink is being opened or poured out for you. Spiking drinks with drugs is sometimes done to unsuspecting visitors.

High prices

  • The Bahamian dollar closely matches the US dollar, which means you may not get as much “bang for your buck” as you expected. In traveler hubs, like on Paradise Island, you will definitely attract higher costs for food at supermarkets or restaurants
  • If you want to catch a cheaper meal, then eat where locals eat. Try going to downtown areas for more affordable options
  • And if you feel like flexing your negotiation skills, then just steps away from the cruise ports in Nassau is the historic Straw Market. With hundreds of vendors, and a range of cultural Bahamian crafts to choose from, get ready to bargain for the best deal. There might be, however, some pushy vendors trying to sell you souvenirs as you walk through market stalls. To avoid prolonged encounters, I suggest confidently responding “not interested” to their advances and keep it moving.  

Traffic in The Bahamas

  • You’re most likely to encounter bad traffic in the capital city of Nassau, located on New Providence Island. Whether you are driving, taking taxis, or the local bus (affectionately called jitneys) you should plan ahead
  • Jitneys are everywhere, but it’s a casual service with no real timetable, so you may find yourself waiting odd time-intervals for a bus. Keep an eye out for pickpockets on jitneys
  • Never take unlicensed taxis and avoid taxis with broken meters. Regulated taxis carry a yellow license plate marked with the letters “NP”
  • The ferry service in The Bahamas is safe to take. It takes frequent trips between Nassau and Eleuthera, Andros, Long Island, or Grand Exuma.
  • There are also small boat services, called mail boats, that sail to the lesser inhabited islands. Mail boats are slow and transport goods and products; however, you can pay to hitch a ride but you won’t find much comfort.

Sun safety

The Bahamas gets about 340 sunny days per year and average temperatures of 83ºF (28ºC). You'll need to slap on plenty of sunscreen to avoid getting a sunburn. Ensure you use reef-safe sunscreen to protect the islands’ natural coral reefs.

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59 Comments

  • Coalhouse said

    WTF????
    I was in Paradise Island the first week of August. I come down every other year. This and the Baha Mar fiasco is making me think twice about my vacation destination.
    My family and I have visited the steps made by skaves and Oh Andros as well as McKensies is my favorite places to eat. Going forward I will keep my head on a swivel ever present for the thugs with nothing else to do but prey on people who pump money into the Bahamas economy. I will think twice. The Florida Keys is suddenly looking very inviting.

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  • Josh said

    I worked aboard the SS Oceanic with Premier Cruise Lines (out of Cape Canaveral before Disney bought us out to make way for the the Wonder) in 1999. One of my coworkers, Cameron, was taken hostage and held for a day in a random house where he was ultimately stabbed and left for dead. He was rescued by authorities and ultimately lived. To make matters worse, the ship stayed an extra hour, but ended up leaving without him. He was 20 years old, 6'3" and a good looking Canadian man by any standards. He had the day off and chose to spend it on his own at the beach. There is nothing in the Bahamas worth the crime rate. Go to Key West if you want the climate. Their culture is sad to boot. It's cheap tourism for middle class Americans. If your idea of a cultural experience is having poor women ask you to braid your hair, listening to second rate steel drum bands desperately try to play reggae like Jamaicans, walk through a tiny straw market where at least one in twenty of my crew mates said they had been pickpocketed, or spend all your time at casino Atlantis because, even on vacation, you can't experience culture correctly then please visit this chain of sad little islands. The Caribbean is exceptionally poor and poverty breeds crime. The Bahamas is a male dominated culture so be ready to experience a myriad of overly loud, forward and aggressive men wherever you roam. Puerto Rico is a bit more expensive, but the security is a bit more consistent. Jamaica has a better tourism corridor (although the crime is fairly high outside the hotel areas). Both are more expensive than the Bahamas. Nassau is scary, unless you just want to stay in casino Atlantis for the kiddies, don't go. Ever.

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  • Mario said

    We frequented Atlantic from 2004-2009. We haven't been to Bahamas or Atlantis since 2009. My wife and (my then) 12 year old daughter where constantly being propositioned by the young life guards at Atlantis. So we decided not to ever go back. I do miss the place though. I also noticed a lot of home owners especially in paradise island are selling their homes and moving away.

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  • Liz said

    My husband and I will be moving there by the end of this year or beginning of next.
    Are things really bad there ? Are there any safe neighborhoods??
    Should we cancel his transfer and stay here in PA??

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  • Madisyn said

    Liz, my fiancé, his family, and I just went on a cruise that stopped there last week. It is as bad as these people are saying. I purposely only carried a small pouch wallet(hidden) and almost never let go of my fiance's hand. The tourist area is alright, but still really pushy and a little rude. Being told "you're a pretty girl. Why don't you come over here with me to see what I have." By random people in the street and being bombarded all the time isn't good. The drivers are a little chaotic too. Plus, once you leave the main tourist area, it begins to deteriorate dramatically. I turned right back around after walking about a block away from that area. Afterward, we went right back to the boat.

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  • Kate paton said

    Nasseau downtown
    I am just back from the most wonderful holiday at sandals bahamian . I found the people ever so friendly and used the jitney ( bus) everyday and found nothing but friendliness everywhere . The jitneys always lively and with lots of laughs and lots of music and friendly banter . As long as u stick to the main drag on bay street you be ok

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  • Kristi said

    I am planning my 40th next year and booked a house for all 15 of us, am wondering if it's worth the stress. We have been to Govenor's Harbour before but this will be our first time in Nassau. Our house is in Goodman's Bay, is this a safe spot? We have 5 kids with us and I'm worried that it's not safe. Anybody have any input?

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  • expat said

    Lived there. Don't go to Nassau, especially with kids. Go to one of the smaller family islands. Nassua is terrible and exactly like most of the negative reviews. Catcalling and rude remarks and rude noises are a constant at women. I would never take anyone there for a vacation and would certainly never recommend it.

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  • Gail said

    Agree Nassau has gone down hill in every aspect. Been going to Nassau for over 20 years. Recommend Andros, Abaco or Exuma if you want a real Bahamian experience. You won't get it in Nassau

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  • Sam said

    Just finished a cruise that stopped in Nassau. We decided to not do excursions and explored on our own. The straw market isn't even worth the time. My wife, daughter and I were constantly harassed to buy stuff from vendors. They are very aggressive and annoying. Took a taxicab ride tour of the city with a guy who wound up being very suspicious. Just thankful we got back to our port in one piece. I honestly think my size (6'5, 340) deterred anyone from robbing us. The entire time I had a sense we were in imminent danger; not exactly something you want while on vacation. We never plan to visit Nassau, Bahamas again.

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  • Tom said

    I have been to Nassau 10 times by cruise ship with my wife and grandkids. We have swam on the public beach, walked the streets, and toured everywhere on the island. Not one time have we had any problem.

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  • Jay said

    JUST VERY SHORT REVIEW
    Am here in Nassau and am leaving in 2 days and I can't wait to I leave

    Very very bad and rude people

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  • ray said

    Lived there in the early seventies and it was low crime only because they hung them for capital
    punishment.I can see the blue smoke rising on my way to work in the morning and I knew someone was hung that morning.I only assume it was burning the body.That was just after independence.However, just after they banned capital punished,Crime went out of control with over seventy murders this year so far.Don't go there it is just too dangerous.T & C islands is just as bad.Lived there but will never go back. I also spent two years in Nassau, west bay street 2012-2014
    and it was just too dangerous to walk the street. I lived just up from the Casino on West Bay.
    They have no respect for human life and will kill for a dollar.

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  • duncs said

    As a citizen of the Bahamas I am very offended by these statements, how safe are you guy's cities? what's the murder rate in the state you live in? Don't be hypocritical crime is everywhere be knowledgeable of your surroundings and you will be fine.

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  • Kristy said

    I just started planning a surprise cruise vacation for my boyfriend is it possible to take a safe trip to the Bahamas if so what ports are the safest.

    Ps I agree with the comment above Buffalo. Ny has a huge. crime rate I've lived in the suburbs all my life you should be careful wherever you go EXAMPLES use caution whin going for walks take different routes go at different times that way you can avoid being followed always lock your door avoid. Unfamiliar areas or high crime areas doint go wondering about that much after dark especially alone I've always faver purses that go across you doint keep more cards or on you then necessary type thing. I live in a nice neighborhood????

    So I'm just wondering should I still plan a Bahamas cruise what are the best spots if not some ideas on other locations would be greatly appreciated

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  • Suzy said

    Nassau sucks period as soon as you get off the cruise ship locals will harass you nonstop and you won't be able to enjoy much. I can't stand salesman in my face well this is even worse. Plus you have to stay in the tourist area. If I ever took another cruise there which I wouldn't I would never go anywhere alone. Don't take a purse travel in a group. Also I would not get off the boat if I went back nothing there worth seeing for that level of harassment. No thanks

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  • Kate said

    I went to Nassau and Half Moon Cay on my family vacation cruise Sept. 17-22. In Nassau we did the dolphin excursion and private beach day. It was great! We did a little shopping later in the afternoon in the Nassau shops. It was fine. Yes, people are trying to sell hard core but that is to be expected. If you are polite, yet firm, you should have nothing to worry about. Carry cash in small bills. They are trying to make a living. We always come back with little gifts. I have friends who like a small bottle of alcohol (Ricardo) from the local ABC. Some like the shot glasses that we have the locals etch names in it. We purchase the huge shells and star fish the locals have right on the docks. My boys always like to see how their bargaining skills are so they try to get some items cheaper than they have marked. (The kids do it in NY City with the vendors trying to see who can get a hot dog for $1 when they ask for $4. And there is always someone who gets the price down.) The locals do drop their prices on some items. I've spoken to some locals and had some pretty good conversations. Just like with any city or any place you are unfamiliar with, you need to proceed with the proper caution. I would be careful on where you go and who you ride with. It's best to always be with a group of people.

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  • Dolores said

    I went on Caribbean cruise that was initially supposed to go into Freeport but, due to the Hurricane, we went to Bimini instead. It was a 2 day stay and we stayed at the Hilton Resort Hotel. It is a small island about 7-9 miles, but I had the best time, we were told by locals that the crime rate there is extremely low and I witnessed a woman leave her purse in a golf cart and go back inside building an no one bothered it. The locals were extremely nice and we had fun on the beach in Alice Town. I would definitely go back. I love the idea that they are building a row of expensive new homes on the island.

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  • Terri said

    In the Bahamas right now. Staying on Paradise Island at Rio Palace. We took Taxes into Nassau on 4 different days. We went shopping on Bay street, went to the zoo, took the local bus, and went to a public beach called Junkanoo beach. I felt very safe. I have 2 beautiful daughters in their late teens and we did not experience any cat calls or aggressive males. We stayed 99% on Bay street. We were even here during Junkanoo which is a drunk fest like Mardin Grass and no trouble. The locals are very friendly; more so than Mexico. I felt very safe. The sales people are many but none were overly pushy; you just have to be firm and walk away. We left our bag on the beach while we swam and no one bothered it. I'm glad I didn't read this before going or I would have missed a fun experience. Rio palace has great employees and great food, but the building and amenities ate not worth the price. Plus the waves on Paradise Island are HUGE. I wouldn't recommend staying on Paradise Island if you like to swim on the beach.

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  • Cruiser said

    Been to Nassau multiple times as part of a cruise stop. I have never experienced anything that would stop me from going back. We did encounter a pushy tour guide one time out of all our trips but I have run across worse here in the US....especially up north. For me the scariest thing I encounter when I go is the driving. Much different than in the states....

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  • Joes wife said

    Just came back yesterday from paradise island and went to new providence three weeks before that. We went to straw market and shopped around all over the tourist area never once were we bothered by anyoneother then usual sales pitch. There are bad people in every country. Nothing scary about Nassau just don't be stupid and go places tourist don't belong. I'm from Toronto and I wouldn't go to certain areas here. It's the same in every country/city be smart don't flash your money jewelry fancy clothes around there's always someone that has less and will take yours where ever you go. We had a great time both times we went. Found an amazing taxi driver that showed us the ropes both times. everyone is trying to make a dollar just like flea markets everywhere but be smart about it. You wouldn't leave your purse unattended in your own city would you ?? The people of Nassau are hard working friendly and kind. There's a jerk everywhere you go don't Label all of Nassau We even went to fish fry at 11:30 pm had a beer with taxi driver Now I wouldn't walk through there in a bikini with a Gucci purse but some people would Cable beach has better beaches stay at the marley resort $$$$ but worth it !!

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  • Paul Martin said

    My son and I boated to Bimini, then Grand Island and finally Nassau. WE went on local buses many times walked around shopped at grocery stor nothing bad ever happened, no problems but that was around 2003. I have lived in Japan, HK, Taiwan since as a foreign correspondent. No real crime in East Asia very safe.I am SHOCKED at the violence in Bahamas these days ! Bimini has very little crime.In a small place like the Bahamas which relies on tourism so much it is very sad that the crime is NOT under control !

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  • Melisa said

    We were in Nassau this week (two females). I found people to be aggressive sellers but expected that. Was more disappointed in the sheer amount of uninteresting junk for sale...I actually had trouble spending money which is unusual for me. But we found the residents were really friendly and helpful with walking directions to certain places.

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  • Natalie said

    DON'T GO!!!!! I had a really sad and frightening experience and the worst part about it is the cops DON'T care! My friend got abducted when the taxi driver decided to put gas in his car and had her bf get something from inside and then drove off with her in the car. The man sexually assaulted her and dropped her off in a touristy area where she flagged a police officer to drive her to the hotel.
    The police officer didn't bother to report it at all and didn't tell her to go to the hospital. We met her at the hospital where the doctor said this happens A LOT.
    She filled out a police report and a FEMALE COP blamed the assault on her cause she was drinking at the time. She took all the safety precautions and the worst part is that the COPS don't care, even the female ones.
    THERE ARE MORE BEAUTIFUL PLACES TO GO THAN NASSAU. I WILL NEVER GO TO NASSAU AGAIN

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  • Malik Velazquez said

    Im looking through all these comments and I see alot of bad reviews, as well as people passing judgments based on what they've heard. When I stayed in the Bahamas me and my mother had an amazing time. I was 18 at the time, now 21. While we did stay on Paradise Island we frequently ventured into Nassau. We were never harassed in the straw markets or tourists areas, and we witnessed no crimes being committed. This article states that 128 people were killed here in 2015. Think about it, thats a very small amount compared to most cities. NYC for example (where I live) had 333 murders in 2016. But that doesnt stop people from coming here by the thousands. And I for one have never witnessed or been murdered. Go to the Bahamas, experience the people, the food, and enjoy yourself. Just like everyplace you go stay vigilant. There is no place in the world where you're ever completely safe. And if thats going to stop you from experiencing life, then you might as well stay home. Dont judge an entire people as well as islands based on these 15 or so reviews. I promise you there is more to the Bahamas then they've said. You and your family will have an amazing time just like me and my mother did. Im currently planning my second trip. ❤️ ????????

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  • GW Parks said

    The "natives" are dangerous, rude and ignorant. I keep a boat at Lyford Key to my complete displeasures.
    The people there do not realize tourism is their life......Just stupid. Stupid and aragence is failure as they are experiencing and have been for over 30 years.
    Once you go you'll never ever go back, just don't go.......Period.

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  • Wil said

    @Malik:
    While 330 murders is a sad sight to see, keep in mind that New York City has a population of some 8.5 million. That equates to 1 murder for every 25,000 poeple.
    Meanwhile, New Providence Island (where the nations capital Nassau is, for those who don't know) has a population of about 250,000. With a murder rate of 128 sad souls, that equates to 1 murder for every 2,000 people.
    Doing the math, Nassau & the rest of the island's murder rate is 12.5 fold over NYC's making NYC a relatively safe city.
    I have a home on one of the family islands (previously referred to as out islands but the gov't. wants to promote a family friendly atmosphere) and murders are a very unusual occurrence. Theifing or swindling, a very different story. The deaths here are more in line with car accidents, primarily at night time when the Bahamians are drinking big-time & driving like crazy-nuts every day of the week, Sundays no exception! Never been to Nassau...& have no intentions ever going there. If you have to go to experience Nassau for all that it is, stay in the tourist districts...just like Jamaica...Period!

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  • AH said

    I am currently planning a cruise and one of the stops is Nassau. Of course with this being the first trip to a place as pretty as the Bahamas I will want to take my camera. But will it be a smart idea? I plan to walk to Junkanoo Beach and I will have it with me along with a few other things. Just trying to figure out how to safely get from the cruise terminal, the beach, and browse the markets without losing anything. Any tips from previous cruisers?

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  • Sallu said

    Well I read all the post. The good the bad and the moderate. My experience in Nassau was well enjoyed. I did everything and saw everything. I went everywhere. I even went to the most feared Bain town. Where there were thugs with automatic rifles all around me. I went to the beautiful hill top mansions where the we'll to do folks stay. Even had a free lunch made by one of the locals. I even got drunk in one of the ghettos surrounded by thugs. I was never robbed or even threatened by anyone. Matter of fact I was on hospital road in Bain town. Where I'm pretty sure no tourist would ever go by themselves because it's like one of the worst places in Nassau. I left my book bag on a street pole in Bain town and drove around the island on a scooter and when I returned it was still there with everything inside of it. Well of course the locals told me they would watch it and they did. Point of the matter is, there is crime and bad people everywhere. It all depends who you are as a person. If you give the impression that people can do certain things to you then they would. I'm a 5'8 160 African American male. I don't look tough at all. But I grew up in poor areas in the United States. So I've been around insidious individuals, con men, criminals you name. If you are street smart then you can maneuver in places like Nassau. Those people are humans at the end of the day. You can't let a small amount of senseless individual soil the image of a whole island. Just be mindful of your surroundings and you would be fine. Or you can hire me and I will be you personal security on the island free of charge as long as you paying for my trip.

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  • Malene said

    Me and 3 of my friends is going to Bahamas in a week or so. We are 18 to 19 years old, two girls and two boys. Is there anything we should know? where is safe and not? Im scared after reading the comments.

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  • Alex said

    Definitely be careful if you go and stay at Atlantis. This was in 2008 but I stayed there for a week with my Mother, Father and older brother. I was 14. My family wanted to do the Mayan temple slide one more time but I wanted to go take a shower and get ready for dinner so my Mom allowed me to go ahead to the room. I was walking down one of hallways INSIDE the hotel past the ballrooms and was completely alone, there were no other people except 1 local man. As I passed him he grapped my arm very aggressively and started trying to kiss my neck and whisper in my ear all while he was dragging me into a ballroom. I screamed and was crying and struggling to get away. Some how I was able to get out of his grip and ran as fast as I could to the lobby. He CHASED me. All of this was caught on the hotel security cameras. After they caught him I indentified him from a line up and I'm assuming he was aressted. We never heard from the hotel or Bahamian police again.

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  • Michele said

    A few years ago I made the mistake of traveling to the Bahamas alone. I had been spending the better part of 2 yrs traveling to places I'd never been, overcoming a divorce, and my own fears. I stayed at Breezes resort in Nassau. I was naive and friendly and talked to the locals. My mistake. Instinct warned me of a scam brewing against me that involved a resort bar tender, front desk worker, taxi driver. They were all working together. They plotted a taxi ride for me to the airport and I know I never would have made it. I protected myself and my life by taking a chance on 2 American pilots and asked if I could hang out with them. I told them what was up, just in case. They grilled me on traveling to Bahamas alone. I kept low key, kept my distance, after that and called the States and told family my whereabouts. On departure day I avoided their set up taxi driver and snuck off at a different time. This trip terrorized me and woke me up. Although I toured around and spent time on the beach, I was not impressed. The island is beautiful but not what goes on behind the tourist scene. I have traveled Europe and St Maartin alone and never experienced anything like this. Be careful there-stay in groups. Do not trust anybody.

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  • Nicole said

    THE BAHAMAS IS IN THE ALANTIC OCEAN NOT THE CARRIBEAN! Just letting everyone know since it's bothering me that no one seems to know this obvious fact, I mean look at a map!

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  • Jack Nichols said

    I visit The Bahamas every chance I get and have never had any negative experiences worth writing about. Perhaps I need to visit wherever you guys are from to see how it compares. So... where would that be?

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  • Stacy said

    I jus got back from freeport a little over a week ago. My now husband n I went to get married there on the beach. We stayed at the Viva Wyndham and were there for only 1 day when when the most horrific thing ever happened to me!!! That Friday night they were having a beach party and I wanted just to check it out for a little bit, my fiancé had a headache so I told him I wouldn't be gone for but a hour...It was located jus 2 minutes from our room. I went down and stayed near other guests and didn't wander, I had 2 small drinks (like they would give you water in the plastic cups). I got 1 more drink to take back with me...that I didn't even drink out of. I never set my drinks down, they were ALWAYS in my hand next to my stomach! When I started to walk back, I couldn't! Nothing would work! I was stumbling all over the place! I was approached by a guy saying let me help you back to your room, I work here and would point at his badge. I told him no I was fine. He wouldn't leave me alone and kept telling me he worked there and kept pointing at his badge...something to me didn't feel right with him! He got me to a point between the buildings and grabbed me and tried to pull me towards the beach! All I can remember at that point is grabbing him by the throat and throwing him to the ground n not letting go of his throat!!!!...I was on top of him chocking him, he couldn't breathe and I was jus beating him with all I had with my other hand!!!! I don't know how he got away, but he called me crazy n a few other choice words! When he ran OFF the property I knew he DIDNT work there! It took all I had to try and function at this point to make it to the main buildings for help! I can remember crying and telling security what happened and they were cleaning his blood off of my arms n hands. They finally called my fiancé to come and get me, but by this time I don't even remember him coming. Security did NOT even tell him what had happened!!! They jus wrote it off like I was drunk!!! I know I was drugged and the only ones that could have done it was the bar tender!!! I really don't know how I fought so hard, but damn glad I did!!! Who knows what could have happened!!!! The only thing I can think of is I an on some very strong pain medications and have been for many years due to many car accidents, but I definitely do not take these when drinking! Maybe that gave me the edge I needed to stay coherent enough from that damn drug they gave me!!! Plus the SOB got a beat down!!!

    We had our beautiful wedding on the beach!!!

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  • shaunricco deshun butler said

    me and my wife are american citizen trap in nassau help us they will hack and delete my gmail and and they tap my phone help nassau bahamas

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  • shaunricco deshun butler said

    ps immigration do not deal with immigration bahahamas is illegal

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  • Z'hara said

    I just returned from Nassau...let's just say I am sad to be home. I loved the city and the people! I caught a Taxi and went over the hill to Berthas Go Go Ribs and I returned in one piece. I received all the "hey mamas" smiled and kept walking I never was harassed. Everyone was so friendly stopping to talk to my family and I. I'm actually considering moving out there I love Nassau!

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  • Shonda said

    Guys stop being so gullible. Not everything you hear is true. Yes, the Bahamas has some crimes but not every county is perfect. Look at the states there's bombing, mass shootings, and so on but if you dear say anything bad about the US people will let you have it! I live in the Bahamas for 16 years and the only crimes report is Bahamains killing out each NOT TOURIST!!! Which is quite dumb when you look at it but they are very friendly to tourist they even have to have a three month class every 3 years from high school to retirement about how to care for tourist that comes to their island. See when tourist find this out the use this to downgrade the Bahamas because they know that this is there number one industry. They give negative false reports so that tourist can go to their own country so the Bahamains can stop making a living off visitor. BUT what they don't know is that they are literally taking bread and butter outof the mouths of bahamains for one negative comment. 75% of jobs in the Bahamas is dependent on visiting people like ou and others. SO JUST STOP IT! Just because something happened to you once doesn't means it going t happen again. So if you get knock down today or tomorrow you going to sy that you will never step a foot on the road again? That's just stupid!

    And PS the Bahamas is an Archipelago home of 700 island and cays Nassau is capital city New Providence is the islands name. Just because you went "Nassau" doesn't meants you went to the Bahamas you only went to 1 island out of the entire Bahamas. Because something happen to ou in Nassau doesn't meant it a cure on the family islands, some family islands don't even have 10 persons on it and it is very quiet of course Nassau being the capital it will have plenty people and lots of crime.

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  • Andre said

    There are some tragic stories above, the sexual assault experience isn't one a person can shrug off as a bad experience. So I must exempt my opinions that follow from that type of crime which I've never myself experienced.

    Otherwise, having been to Nassau with my wife, stayed in a highly economical hotel and wandered the streets everywhere, made our way to the neighboring beaches by public bus (in 2010), and indulged in random foods and interactions in random places within Nassau, I have to say I don't know what you guys are talking about when you get into the paranoid rants above.

    The fact is I do know what you are talking about in a way. the crime statistics and cruise-ship-complex with its expected locals pushing their products, the cat calling etc is all too much for a middle aged to older cruiser who really just wants to do what they want to do and the world just has to understand that. If you have little experience navigating other cultures in other cities in other places, and have a limited capacity to appreciate such things, you gonna have a problem. In a vast world where the spectrum of danger and circumstances mandates some common sense and intuition, then you fall victim to your own ignorance sooner or later. Nassau is a crime focus, it is markedly more dangerous that let's say Eleuthera.....sooo you move to suit.

    Be sensible, be vigilant, trust your instincts regarding safety and don't go looking for trouble. Paranoia is an overreaction and is not useful, it will entrap you in further ignorance. If you could manage this, the world of wonders are there for you to experience and appreciate.

    So to the point, Nassau was not nearly as dangerous in our experience as is being reported here, BUT it was as dangerous as the average port city through which a drug trade functions, so it dangerous! I don't especially like such an environment, but it didn't stop us from enjoying local culture, food, little museums and the beaches the locals themselves enjoy....it was a really nice experience in and of itself.

    Don't be paranoid and don't be careless.....just keep cool and be sensible

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  • Azz said

    I doubt it's worth the risk and more importantly, visiting crime ridden tourist traps like Nassu is giving the government of Bahamas a green light on crime, when the light should be amber, moving to red...

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  • Boog272 said

    My family (wife & 11 year old son) along with our friends and their 9 year old daughter just celebrated Christmas in the Bahamas. We had a Airbnb on Paradise island away from the resorts. Went over to Nassau one day and hung out on the beach by da fish fry in Arawak cay. Which I just read has been issued a travel advisory. We never saw anything that made us feel uneasy. In fact we met a couple locals one who gave us a bottle of wine and the other was a proud Bahamian who gave us his insights on his homeland. Another night went under the bridge between New Providence and Paradise Island for dinner. Had some of the most delicious authentic food of the trip. If crime is so rampant there this would've been the place we'd gotten whatever. Being we were the only tourists around. But again I never felt our group was in any danger. I'm sorry for the ones that truly experienced serious and violent crimes against them. But the talk of rude and pushy locals needs to tone down. Maybe if tourists treated locals with the same respect they would their neighbors, (instead of like the help). People would see the beauty in places others call ugly

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  • Nicole said

    I’ve been to Nassau 13 times a single mother and my daughter traveled there alone. I never had any troubles visiting there. I find the local Bahamians friendly and as far as aggressive sellers on the beach and at the straw market, sure they’re just trying to make a living. But will leave you alone if you tell them your not interested. I find Mexico worse. You just need to use common sense drinking, be aware of surroundings. It’s no different than at home in Canada where we are the 5th most dangerous city in the country plagued by drug crimes. Go and enjoy just be cautious I will go back again to Nassau!

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  • Ty said

    Nassau, Bahamas New Providence was awesome I’ve encountered with a couple of honest locals. Very friendly and helping at the end of the day it’s crime in every country , island , state , city I don’t care where you are. Of course the island is not as wealthy so you have people just trying to make a dollar which is ( NORMAL ) I didn’t see any difference in the culture how I thought only thing I didnt like it’s just like a state in the US

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  • clay said

    murder stats...
    Nassau - 128 murders population about 250,000
    New York - 333 murders population about 8.5 MILLION

    This aint tough math...

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  • Wize One said

    Wow, these reviews and stories I JUST read are horrible, especially the sexual assault stories. My wife told me she NEVER wanted to go the Nassau because of the rampant crime and how the local police look away (I was also told some cops are actually working with the criminals). I am going to make some people very angry (my fellow AA family and I do NOT care). As an African American I have been fortunate enough to travel to MOST of the Caribbean countries and have never had any real issues (St. Martins-the French side-is basically a ghetto with a nice beach NEVER GO THERE and in Antigua the people at the airport are extremely aggressive taking your bags and loading them in taxis without asking and then putting the damn hand out looking for a tip! There is NOT one safe all black country or territory in the world, NOT one (yes, as a black man I have accepted the truth that WE as black people can not run a country without the assistance of other races in order for it to be safe)!! I have this debate all of the time with my friends and relatives. The Bahamas have thousands of illegal Haitians roaming their streets (causing the increase in crime). I just watched ZNS local Bahama news TONIGHT 7-13-18 and they had a double murder (55 murders thus far). If you are reading this please (ESPECIALLY WOMEN) never go anywhere by yourself, never carry large amounts of money. Never put money in a back pack. Keep your money in your front pockets of in your shoes. Take photos with your cell phone or camera of aggressive people. If the word gets out to the public and news outlets about the crimes these worthless LOST SOULS are committing it will scare tourist away affecting their economy THEN forcing their GOVERNMENTS to crack down on crime. Without US tourist these counties would collapse FACTS. Please be safe when drinking also, you have to remember these are VERY poor people and they resent and hate seeing others coming to their country spending money when they have none. I always carry mace/pepper spray and a knife mandatory (being from NY it is what it is and I will NEVER get got or go down lightly). The safest place I went to was St. Johns (very small Island, very friendly people and most importantly it is part of the USA so we know who runs it). Sorry if I come off as arrogant, but I speak truth. Always remember what happened to that Natalie girl in Aruba, to be aware is to be alive!!

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  • dmoney said

    I was off the cruise ship with my family for about 20 minutes and went right back on. Cat calls, suggestive comments to my wife by a guy running a store when I was around the corner, aggressive people at the straw market in your face finally had to tell them to F off. A no go place for me and my family ever again. And that's to the right of the cruise terminal. Go left and it's closed up shops and hoodlums. Anybody who thinks this place is nice is nuts. I wouldn't dream of walking around there at night.

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  • john said

    My wife and I have been to Nassau several times on cruise ships. We do not de-board the ship in Nassau. The last time that we got off the ship as we made our way past the vendors one of them threatened a spell on us if we didn't give her money. Within a couple blocks walking distance a woman began driving at us very quickly; she was intent on speaking to us. It turned out that she wanted to warn us to go back to safety, pointing out a group of five young men coming our way that she said were 'very bad". We believed her, they looked bad and they looked hungry. Our money, my life, her body and perhaps then her life. We didn't wait to ask. Yes, there are kind and interesting people everywhere, but some places pose a higher risk of unpleasantness or danger than others. For my money I'll skip Nassau.

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  • Lindsey Miller said

    Bahamas were amazing, the locals are great & just trying to make a living. They lost 5,000 jobs when 1 resort in Lucaya shut down after hurricanes in 2016. After reading A few clearly rascist posts, I would encourage people to visit this place and judge for themselves. In my opinion, the people were gracious, kind and honest. The landscape was beautiful. It is marked only by corporate blemishes. Abandoning once great estates, when no longer suiting profit or investors interest. This islands are amazing. Go there.

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  • Esther said

    Its frustrates me how people can just write an article and everyone take it at face value. The fact is there are many islands in the Bahamas that are quite safe, and there are many islands that haven't had a murder in years. Somehow when reporting crimes, Nassau for some reason becomes the entire Bahamas. This is a gross misrepresentation, and must not continue. Please educate yourselves before speaking, should I blame Chicago for all the crime rate in the United States? Nassau is located on one Island in the Bahamas, please go get a map! My family in Andros still camp on the beach, and only lock their doors at bedtime.

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  • steven Lambertsen said

    Based on most of these comments, the trip to Nassau that I had planned after watching the James Bond movie Thunderball will be cancelled. I believe the Scary Stories over the Happy Face PC stories. Thank you for enlightening me.

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  • Paul Smith said

    Based on the incidents, Nassau Bahamas does indeed appear to be a place where tourists need to be cautious, alert and ready to defend yourself.

    The crime rate is noted.

    As far as blaming the increase in the crime rate on the fact that it is a majority black population is at the very least, ignorant but can be considered foolish if one does not factor in the lack of education, lack of employment opportunities and outright housing discrimination that the black majority experienced for many many years.

    The unequal distribution of wealth still exists!

    When a segment of the population is marginalized, discriminated, under-educated, etc., over many many years, eventually there will be a de-sensitized sub-group that arrises that increases societal costs and collaterally makes it undesirable for all of the citizens.

    I last visited approximately 25 years ago and was looking forward to returning within the next year.

    However, the increase in crime just may result in change of plans.

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  • Glar said

    The article above spoke about a warning of crime in the Bahamas. Nothing other than relevant info about crime : trouble spots/ spots free of crime= racey vs. Family islands; wholesome activities vs. Those which involve spending money on: gambling, liqour, and clubbing making the difference or objects of interest being made available / easy access: money, human female body, seems to be the running trend to the stories. It states in the article, and the stories prove: people are safe in groups, or if uninteresting- most valuable possession is a book bag and you are male. But I have read that home invasions have also taken place.
    To see that local police do nothing is all it takes for me to write this place off. If there is no police presence and that presence is lacking justice you can have the hell hole. There are other places just as beautiful that respect human life/ safety. Individuals that are bad are everywhere but not all govt officials/ police lack luster to their jobs: don't care. I will go where they do care/ do their jobs. The same is said about Mexico- and that prob explains the crime there. Why bother with them? The world has thousands of beautiful places to be explored, go there instead and enjoy the planet.

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  • joyce said

    As a black man myself , I must agree with the comment of the man who said that an all Black Country is always crime ridden and need the help of other races to make it livable. We must accept our wrongdoings and shortcomings to make a change and black people need to man up and accept the truth . sad but true.


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  • Heather said

    Visited Nassau October 12th 2019-
    Rented a four wheeler to get around the island. Drove West down West Bay St beside the ocean and stopped at a pull off spot to take pics because we saw other tourists doing the same. All the other tourists that stopped at the same location left, and we decided to leave also. The four wheeler would not start. My husband began checking the unit out to see if it was a minor fixable problem. I sat on a yellow metal bench, and began looking through our things for the number of the man that rented us the four wheeler. A VERY deep purple almost black four door car (we think Honda Accord or similar) with dark tinted windows pulled up behind us. My intuition was screaming at me and I told my husband we should just start walking back, leave the four wheeler. One of the men in the deep purple car got out walked passed me and then looked out at the ocean. I told myself my intuition was wrong when he then got back into the car without incident. (I now know he was just scoping us out from a better view). I found the paper with the four wheeler guy’s number and my husband wanted to wait to see what they said even though I stated again that I was uneasy and we should probably just start walking. I was on my phone with the four wheeler guy and he was assuring me he would hurry and get to us, and he sounded very worried asking us to hurry and tell him our location...

    I felt a tug on my phone from behind and I instinctively yanked my phone back. Still sitting I turned around to see a gun in my face with a very anxious almost scared looking native man holding it. I moved my phone to my other hand away from him, and he then tried to take my purse, but it was on my shoulder. I went to yank it back and then looked to my husband to see another native black man holding a gun to his fore head. Neither assailant spoke to either of us. The fight in me to keep my purse and the backpack containing all our possession disappeared because the gunman on my husband moved the gun closer and now touching my husband head in an aggressive manner (kinda like daring me to try it). They took everything but my phone and jumped back in their car with a third man in the drivers seat who never left the car. They headed back east on west Bay Street toward town- ships/port. A man from the US and a couple parked in another car witnessed the whole thing and gave us a partial plate of the last three digits being “737”. We reported the armed robbery to the Bahama police and Royal Caribbean. You know what, you’re on your own...I get the feeling it’s a norm and not much will be done. Until they begin hanging the assailants (they use to) again in the streets it won’t stop.

    Here’s the biggest thing- Royal Caribbean knows it’s a crime hotbed but doesn’t warn their guests. They have issued previous warning to guests sailing “Allure of the seas”, and “Anthem of the seas”, but quit issuing the warning when the Bahamas ministry of tourism (greatly urged) meaning threatened them financially, to stop warning their guests of the heightened crime and dangerous locations in Nassau. It’s always about dollars, not safety.

    The criminals got away with about $2000 in possessions between my purse and backpack, husband’s new iPhone, cash, wallets, clothing passports id’s sea passes. Everything we took off the boat except my phone. Total thugs and their loot from us will embolden them to continue. Hope you read my warning, Royal Caribbean won’t be kind enough to warn you. False sense of security they give you is costly, and can be deadly.

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  • Andrew said

    I think that the government of Bahamas should something with all this unemployment and crimes, no?
    Bahamas must be a save state!
    check it here: so much advantages of Bahamas. But no one understands....
    http://confiduss.com/en/jurisdictions/bahamas/

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  • Brian said

    BE CAREFUL! I just returned from a Royal Caribbean cruise there last week and encountered a criminal incident as well. I walked off the ship and visited the straw market with the constant cat calls to my wife and young daughter. We decided to take the walking tour we were not going to risk going any place near the danger zones like "Over Hill" etc..

    As we walked to the Starbucks to grab a drink and use their wifi to check emails and download attachments everything seemed fine and safe. For our first stop we started walking to the Pirates of Nassau Museum right off of George Street close by as we were staying in the tourist area only for the walk. Our plan was to just following the local walking tour map.

    As we got near the Pirates Museum we were approached by some local thugs who stated it was closed. As we kept walking to the entrance two thugs grab my wife and daughter and put knives to their stomachs demanding their phones and backpacks.

    My wife and daughter gave it up pretty quick as the knives were pressed against them and the thugs ran away leaving me alone. Other locals saw this happen and came to our aid by calling the Police.

    The locals told us they were Haitians, illegals, and these brazen muggings happen all the time in the tourist area by them. When the Police arrived they took a report, but that was pretty much it. We were all in shock so we went directly back to the ship.

    We told the ship's security what happened and they remained professional and also said it was not uncommon as they have incidents like this each time the ship docks in Nassau and it even happens to their fellow crew members. So I wouldn't listen to the reviews saying everything is great and safe in Nassau. They are just lucky they didn't experience something like terrible like we did.

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  • George said

    We just left our Nassau Port stop and are heading to CocoCay right now. My quick two sense on the visit to Nassau. If you walk out the port DO NOT turn left and go in that direction as it is all closed up shops and people hanging around up to no good. There was a nightclub in that area and is probably the source of a lot of crime at nighttime from what I could tell. When you turn right and head to the straw market it is pretty much safe other than the harassment from people asking you to buy things or trying to con you into a tour or some other scam. Yes I witnessed the "Cat Calling" at the women that is mentioned in many of the reviews here, so it is true, especially if you are a young female below 40. The straw market was safe and yes there is pressure sales all around just stay away from the very far end when you walk outside the market. Over by Senor Frogs as long as you walk along that seawall you will not be robbed just accosted by people scamming and selling. Walking to the Starbucks I encountered one beggar and no issues and it seemed safe. Tourists were sitting on the bench nearby. It was crowded though with all the tourists from the ship, so the old adage safety in numbers rang true. So overall my recommendation is to go no further than one block north and use Bay Street as the red line to not cross. So the furthest safe walk would be to Senor Frogs and I wouldn't walk north past Conch and Kalik Bar & Grill on that street.

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