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VacationWiser.com Guide to NASSAU
& PARADISE ISLAND
(Information courtesy of
With the lure of a big city and the
ease of tropical utopia, Nassau & Paradise Island are considered by many
as, well, paradise. Nassau, the capital of The Bahamas, is a bustling
metropolitan hub full of culture and modern amenities. To the north lies Paradise
Island. Its name tells you everything. It’s 685 acres of pure euphoria,
developed almost exclusively to delight and accommodate visitors. The island
boasts resorts, hotels, restaurants, shops, nightlife, a golf course, an
aquarium and a casino.
Before diving into everything that’s
great about Nassau, let’s cover some basics:
Getting there: Nassau & Paradise Island is very accessible by air and sea.
Visitors can arrive by scheduled and chartered flights at Lynden Pindling
International Airport (LPIA), as well as by cruise ship into the Prince George
Dock. Bahamas Ferry Services provides daily, twice-weekly or weekly service
from several islands on a fully air-conditioned vessel, and there is weekly (or
more frequent) mailboat service from all of the other islands.
AROUND: There are several
options to help you get around Nassau & Paradise Island. Rental cars, motor
scooters, buses and taxis are the most common means of public transportation.
Bicycles are not generally available for rental, but some hotels will offer
them for the use of their guests. UK rules apply in The
Bahamas, so please drive on the left and be very careful on the
roundabouts. Pedestrians should remember to first look right and then
left before crossing streets.
What to Wear: Casual summer wear can be worn during
the day at any time of the year; but be sure to bring a jacket or sweater for
the cooler evenings from December to February. Most hotels / restaurants /
casinos require jackets for men at night, especially in more cosmopolitan
areas, such as Nassau / Paradise Island and Freeport / Lucaya.
Beachwear is inappropriate in churches,
restaurants, and casinos. Away from the beach or the pool, you should cover
your swimsuit with shorts or a long shirt when walking the city streets. In the
more relaxed remote areas, the dress code is more flexible.
TIME ZONE: The Bahamas falls in the Eastern Time Zone. Bahamas follows Daylight Saving Time
policy—the same one followed by parts of Canada and the United States. As a
result, Daylight Saving Time begins each year on the second Sunday in March at
2:00 a.m. and ends on the first Sunday in November at 2:00 a.m.
Entry Requirements: When arriving by air, U.S. citizens are
required to present a valid U.S. passport.
Those traveling to the Bahamas on a cruise may use another compliant
document such as a Passport Card, Enhanced Driver’s License. U.S. citizens on cruises that begin and end
at the same U.S. port are able to enter the U.S. with a birth certificate and
government-issued photo ID. However, we
strongly recommend you obtain a passport before travel in case of an unforeseen
emergency that requires you to disembark and return by air.
Climate: The trade winds provide warm
year-round weather, with winter lows averaging a comfortable 70 degrees
Fahrenheit and summer highs with high humidity at around 80–90, with a gentle
dip at night of just 5 to 7 degrees. Hurricane season officially lasts from
June to November. The islands have rain year-round, which explains the lush
vegetation. Squalls and thundershowers pass through quickly, so the rain never
has to ruin your day. May and June are the months with most rain, typically
with about twice as much falling in the northern islands as in the southern
Banking and Currency: Bank opening hours are Monday to
Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Some banks are open on Saturday; hours vary between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00
p.m. In Nassau / Paradise Island, there
are ATM machines at Paradise Island casinos and commercial banks.
The Bahamian dollar is maintained at the
same level as the U.S. dollar and both are accepted interchangeably on all
islands. Credit cards and traveler's checks are accepted at most locations on
Nassau / Paradise Island and Grand Bahama Island.
Language: English is the official language.
Although, you might hear Bahamian English. It’s a mixture of Queen’s diction,
African influence and island dialect. The “h” is often dropped, so it sounds
like “ouse” for “house” or “t’anks” for “thanks.”
COMMUNICATIONS: Visitors and business travelers will find that telecommunication
services in The Bahamas are comparable to the services found in most developed
countries. The United States and Canada
are accessible by a direct call and most hotels offer direct dialing from the
rooms and / or the conference center. For those who want to use their
mobile phones, Bahamas Telephone Company has roaming agreements with 128
companies around the world.
ELECTRICITY: Electrical outlets in The Bahamas are 60 cycles / 120 volts, which
is compatible with all American devices.
TIPPING: Tipping in The
Bahamas should be treated just like where you come from, and you should tip
according to the quality of service you receive. Bellboys and porters usually
receive $1 per bag, while most other servers (waiters, taxis, etc.) receive
15%. Many establishments include the gratuity in the total, so make sure you
check your bill to see if it has already been added.
Distance from Airport: The Island of
New Providence is only 21-miles long.
Everything is within a 30 minute ride from the airport.