My wife & I took a 4 night all-inclusive package to Bahamas, Nassau, Radisson Cable Beach Resort via Conquest Tours, Skyservice from Toronto March 9-13, 2003, which is right at March Break, I know.
Summary: good food, bad attitude, disorganized, too expensive @$3,000 Cnd (for less $ we could have had a 5 star in DR for 7 nights). The all-inclusive wasn’t worth it. Nassau has a lot of gasoline fumes. Nice temperature. Nice sky. Nice beach. We booked via SellOffVacations.com, which has very good rates, comparatively. Departure went well at Pearson Airport other than the indifferent attitude at the Conquest desk. Flight on Skyservice was good. It was a mistake booking a 5:15pm departure – it was dark when we landed at 8:45. We passed through Customs in Nassau quickly, then things got a bit crazy. There was no Conquest rep as we left Customs. We ended up asking a different tour operator where to find them and they directed us outside where we became part of a baggage laden crowd milling behind 6 or 7 noisy busses all with engines on, spewing exhaust on the crowd. We found the rep and told her our hotel destination and she just motioned us towards the other end of the row of busses. We clambered around other visitors and their baggage and got to the end and as there were no signs (just bus noise and bus drivers shouting unintelligibly), we asked a bus driver which bus, and he pointed to an empty bay. Eventually we were motioned on to a bus. We got to the hotel. No one there directed us, but eventually we just carried our bags in and stood in line until 10:30 to check in. We were hungry, hot & thirsty and we were indifferently told the restaurants were closed. (Last year we went to Puerto Plata and the Hacienda Tropicale greeted the arrivals with trays of drinks and snacks and they got about 150 of us checked in within 30 minutes.) We managed to sneak in the back door of the buffet and get some food as they were winding down. The room as only marginally better than the 3 star in Puerto Plata, but they had CBC on cable. We had breakfast and lunch at the Bimini buffet and the food was always great, even though the service was burly. You could also get lunch at the Dolphin Grill by the beach. If Conquest had an orientation, we were not informed of it, so we never found out how the restaurants worked – for dinner you had to book ahead, except that they were letting people book 3 days in advance, so the 4 night arrivals like us were stuck with 9 or 10 PM bookings for the whole stay. We figured we’d just use the buffet, but we found out the hard way that the buffet did not run every night for dinner. To use the all-inclusive you have to show your card and then sign a chit every time. So there was always a wait for meals or for getting drinks at the bars. Weird thing – the Bahamian men all gave cheerful (if slow) service, but the women were slow and indifferent. The beach was quite nice, but not much shade, so we sat by the nice pools mostly. It’s about 200m of beach then broken by rocks and other hotels, but there’s a beautiful long stretch of beach to the east along the other hotels (Marriott, Breezes and some others), but you have to walk across the other hotels areas to get there. The bus into Nassau was frequent and only $1 US each way, if you don’t mind the car fumes at the stops. We saw the famous straw market – t-shirts, woodcarvings, hats, bags, pot pipes and other tourist junk all of which you can find easily in Toronto. We asked directions to the Botanical Gardens and no one thought to tell us it was closed due to cleanup from last fall’s hurricanes.
We enjoyed ourselves anyway, but my wife says Mayan Riviera (2 years ago) was much nicer. I won’t go back to Nassau. Coffee lovers: bring your own.