This time around, we decided to book an excursion with NCL (I know, I normally don't do this) to go to Blue Lagoon. I let Kendra do the research and pick where she wanted to go for Nassau. Nassau is not really one of my "must-do-favorite-ports" places. So I was at a loss. She had mentioned going to Atlantis, and although I know it looks beautiful, I have read way to many reviews from cruisers on here about how it's not worth the money. You get very little time there and there are multiple packages to purchase and you do not get everything unless you add it on and so on. For instance I was reading that you can by the pass and it only included like the beach there. If you wanted to do the water slides, you have to add more money and so on. It could be a very expensive day and not one that is worth it for such a short period of time (then factor in the crowds that would be there). So I told her I'll pass on that and to find something else.
She found the Blue Lagoon excursion and I researched it and it seem like everyone enjoys the place with the only complaints is not enough time there. Well honestly, isn't that a complaint at every place you visit in port? There's just never enough time anywhere you go, but it is what it is.
I had read about the entire "ferry boat" thing and the times they leave and the "last ferry ride back" or you're stuck on the island forever and ever. But yet again, that didn't sound too bad to me either. Ok, snap out of it Kim. You can't just stay on an island and claim you missed the ferry without someone noticing. Back to reality.
The price was (I believe) $54 for adults and less for kids. I knew it came with your buffet lunch and drinks and that the water activities were extra. The only water toys that our group was possibly interested in were the water toys in the ocean and it was an extra $15 per person for the entire day. I did my research and found that if you booked local, then the water toys were included in your day package. However, after a lot of thought, we would have to catch a cab (costing more money) and take the time to go over to Paradise Island to catch the water taxi over to Blue Lagoon. This sounded like it could possibly cost us more, plus more time, plus an extra stop at Paradise. We finally opted to just book with NCL and be picked up directly at the dock by the water taxi and head straight over to Blue Lagoon. I had fully prepared myself to know that it's a long ride over there and that we would only get to spend about 2 hours there for that price. Anything more would just be an extra. Since there really wasn't anything more that I was interested in doing, I just figured it would be worth it to see the place and let the kids have a little fun.
The bad part was, our reservations was at 1pm and here we had already docked at 11:30am...wasting time. Boo. Our tickets had arrived in our room at the beginning of the cruise and they instructed us to go to the theater to meet at 12:45pm.
When we arrived, we were among the first (with Kendra believe it or not) and they instructed you as you came in to go down to the front of the theater, 1 person per family, to get your arm bands.
At 1pm, they started herding us out of the theater. They told us to stay single file all the way to the boat that was waiting on us. Do you know how impossible it is to do this when you are mixed in with others getting off the ship, trying to scan key cards out, and tons of other people walking down the pier as well? Then factor in having to get your family pictures on the pier when getting off. I mean who wants to miss out on that? Not our family and Kendra is a big fan of that and takes a picture with EVERY character out there.
I tried to keep my eyes on others with the arm bands to figure out where we were going. We headed down the pier and at the end, we veered off to the left where there was a dock. The boat pulled up and we all piled on.
Courtney snapped a picture of us all sitting on the boat waiting to take off with her phone.
I looked back and captured a picture of the Getaway sitting at the pier as we pulled out.
Trying to get a decent picture of the kids and every time I turned around, this is all Brayden would give me...funny faces.
Kendra and I taking a selfie while the hubby and Kolin are at the "concession stand" in the background getting soda's and chips for us. (Soda was $2.50 each). "Oh wait mom, you have your sunglasses on, let me put mine on and try again." She insisted that I take another so "we can match".
Along the trip, there was a guy in the front that was telling everyone various things along the way. He was pointing out the "famous peoples" homes. I was only able to hear Beyonce & Jay Z's home and also Eddie Murphy's island. Beyond that, I have no clue. He wasn't on the microphone and the word was kinda getting passed back as people were talking about it. I wasn't really in a seat that I was able to take pictures, so I did it on the way back.
Now I know that others have commented that it's about a 40 minute boat ride to the island. But honestly, it did NOT seem like it was that long. Maybe I was just enjoying the scenery? Maybe it was because the ride was straight there without any stops at Paradise? I'm not sure, but it went by quickly. It was a beautiful ride and I think what really takes so long is because when you are in the canal (? I'm not sure if that's what it's called), they have to go really slow. It's probably like a no wake zone. Then once you get past all the homes, you could go a little faster. You go out and around this bend and then they could go fast over to the island. I didn't actually realize just how close the island is until on the ride back. It's really not that far. It's just the "speed zones" that take longer.
We pull up at Blue Lagoon (you kinda come in between some land like you do when you are on the private island at Great Stirrup Cay) and it was beautiful. Just like the pictures that I had seen and read about.
There's a long pier that you walk down and on the side is where some of the dolphins are at.
There was a lady who was working with one of the dolphins and it was doing tricks. She would tap the water with a long stick and the dolphin would come up out of the water and do multiple flips in the air and come back down. Of course every time that I snapped a picture, it looked like the dolphin was just jumping up. Kinda hard to catch them in motion during a flip.
The end of the pier at the edge is where the dolphin area is. It was like a beach area that you walk right in to where the dolphins were. Kinda neat.
The island was beautiful and pretty big too. This is once we hit the land and looking back at the dolphin/animal areas. You can see in the picture that they offer a 8x10 photo with the dolphin for $37. Ouch.
Walking along to find out where we are going to decide to sit for the day and snapping pictures as I go.
I remember seeing a huge blow up slide when we first came in. It was some type of land bounce area. I forgot to go back and explore it. I guess I just can't imagine anyone wanting to jump on the hot plastic in that heat. Water toys would be more fun.
There is tons of shade on this island. Anyone wanting to know if they'll get a seat in the shade...no worries AT ALL. Plenty of room, and a lot of hammocks too.
They did have several small areas roped off saying "Reserved Private Area". They were small areas. But I never did see anyone in the area. Some were just sandy areas. Others had chairs. Others had the clam shells. I think they were preparing for later in the day and I'll tell you why I came to that conclussion later in the review.
Tons of water activities to be done there if you are interested. Gosh, I remember these water bikes (trikes) back in the 80's. It was "the" thing to do at the beach. Well, it was basically the ONLY thing to do back then because they didn't have the fancy water trampolines or anything. Then you have the water park. It was pretty big with a lot of things to do out there.
There's a quite a few different activities you can do. So I thought I would take a picture of the pricing. They do have locker rental if you so desire. $5 plus a $5 deposit.
There's ahuge building where you get your lunch at. There's plenty of seating both on the bottom level and on the top. There's definitely no lack of tables, chairs or anything on this island.
I absolutely love when the islands in the Caribbean have everything painted really colorful. When I see colorful things, it always reminds me of the Caribbean.
We finally decided on an area in front of the beach (that was directly behind the dining building). There were plenty of chairs there and also plenty of shade or sun depending on your mood at the time.
There are plenty of grape trees and palm trees everywhere for shade.
As always, Sakari is the first to get everything off and head to the water. Brayden was right behind her. The kids playing and having a great time. Kendra would be Kendra...and do her normal pose in the water for pictures.
You will find a lot of little fishes swimming in the shallow area. I did see a lot of these long fishes and the smaller fishes were following them around.
You see the big blue floaty directly behind the kids in the above picture? Well they had several of these along the beach. Of course the first thing everyone thought was they could get in them and float. But, when you got up to them, they were filled with really ugly brown stuff. I'm not sure what they were for??? Does anyone know? It was almost like a floating scum collector or something. I have no clue.
We decided it was time for some food. I think it was about 2:30pm. The lines were forming, but moved along quickly. If we had just managed to wait another 10 minutes, there wouldn't have even been a line.
You could choose from a hamburger or hotdog. Normally I would take the hamburger, but just wasn't in the mood for it. So, I got the hot dog. IT WAS HUGE. It was a footlong and just sounded good to me for some reason.
They also offered you chicken. I'm not sure what the dressing was on it. I'm a "breast" girl, so anything other than a breast did not appeal to me. I got it just in case one of the kids wanted it.
The meal also came with the large steak fries.
There was a topping area that had lettuce, cheese, pickles, tomatoes, orange slices and whole apples.
They had another area that you can make your own salad. They also had bean salad, orange slices, corn salad, beets, onions and croutons.
The one thing I really enjoyed about this place was they paid attention to detail. It wasn't just a hut that they sat up and served you food from. They actually made it look appealing and decorated to give you a nice Caribbean feel. This of course is something I always pay attention to, but yet others may not. I think it's just the photographer in me.
After I was done with my "extras" for the salad, there wasn't even a line now.
I went out to take a view from the back of the building then went and sat down with the kids. The hubby stayed back with the munchkins while they continued to swim. They said they weren't hungry and didn't want to get out of the water. They all arrived to eat about 15 minutes before I did and they all had corn on the cob. Either I missed it, didn't know to ask for it, or it was gone and they were getting more. I'm not sure. But after eating, I wasn't hungry any more.
They had a drink station and you could get either lemonade or something that looked like fruit punch. However, I have NO IDEA what this stuff was, but it was AMAZING. It tasted so good. Maybe they just loaded pounds of sugar in it? I don't know, but it was good.
The kids over heard someone talking about how you were only allowed to get 1 glass, but I constantly seen others going up to get more. So I really don't know what the "rules" were and where they got this information. I went up several times and the kids kinda went up, ducked in like spiderman when the server wasn't looking, grabbed a cup, and zoomed out.
On my way back up and over the dunes, I noticed the other huge building (like the building where they were serving lunch at) and noticed they were decorating it over there. It was really pretty and it looked like they were getting ready for a wedding or something later in the day. I loved the colors they had (same colors I had for my wedding).
When I was done eating, I decided to go off and explore an area that I didn't know existed. It was directly behind the lunch building and there was a path up and over like these dunes.
There was like a whole other little lagoon back there.
If you want a secluded, deserted area away from everyone else, this looks like it's your place. I thought maybe this was the snorkeling area, so I headed back to pull out the map they gave us when we arrived.
There was a sign to let you know you would be swimming at your own risk and there wasn't a lifeguard on duty on this side. (Yes, the other side had a life gaurd both at the water park and at the beach).
When I arrived back at the camp, the kids all decided they wanted to do the water toys. Even though there wasn't much time left, they still wanted to try it out. $15 per person it was and according to them, well worth it. It completely wore them out, but it was fun to watch them. They give you a wrist band indicating that you have paid for the "fun" and a life jacket must be worn.
Watching them trying to climb on these completely wore me out. I could only imagine the burning muscles they had at the moment. It was hilarious to watch for sure.
I couldn't believe that Brayden was able to make it up on these things. He was doing just as good as some of the adults if not better.
If you notice, some of the pictures are crispy clear while others are not so focused.
While I absolutely LOVE my point and shoot cameras, this is where they fall short. They are not good at any zoom. I have tried over and over with different things and settings, the zoom just SUCKS. Whether it's on land or in the water. Sometimes I have a tendency to forget this and take pictures zooming only to remember that it gives me nothing but bad results when I see the pictures when I return home. A much better option is always to take the picture at the highest setting (which I keep my camera on) and then crop in close the picture you are trying to zoom in on. You will get a much better picture in the end.
The hubby adventured out into the water and was watching the kids having so much fun. He finally gave up and came back in saying "I bet they are having a blast." I knew he wanted to try it too! ...and he finally did.
The kids finally returned and talked about what a good time they had and how worn out they were. They said it was really hard to climb up on them, but it was not only fun but funny as well to to try. They were full of smiles!
Kendra did go out with one of my cameras to catch the close up shots.
While the kids were having fun on the water toys, I took out the map and tried to see where this "snorkeling" area was and headed off with my gear.
The map claimed that it was around the corner at the beach area there closer to the rocks.
The beach area around the corner (same beach that we were on, but it curves a little), did not have much shade and there weren't very many people there.
I went into the water and it had a drop off. There seem to be areas here and there that were dug deep and then would go back up. There really wasn't much to see and very little fish. I did find a school of pretty big fish (and I had no idea what they were), but still not much to see.
So although they may claim there's a "snorkeling" area, it's far from anything I would call snorkeling.
I walked back to the camp a little disappointed to find the kids back out of the water.
The weird birds of Blue Lagoon that stole my husbands chicken off his plate. This is what I got to do while everyone was having fun on the water toys...watch birds steal food.
I know you are all tired of all of the water toys pictures. But man there were so many and I only picked a "few" out. LOL
One last one and it's a video that I compiled together.
CLICK THE VIDEO BELOW
So it was getting close to the time that we should probably start packing up, dragging the kids and munchkins out of the water, and headed toward the entrance where we were to catch our ferry back to the ship. As much as we hated to leave, the time had come.
When we arrived, they told us that the Disney people would be leaving the island at 4:30. If we were on NCL, we had the option to leave at that time with Disney or we could stay until 5:30pm. Of course we opted to stay until 5:30pm.
About 5:15pm, we packed everything up and started heading that way. I really wanted to stop and get a picture underneath the Blue Lagoon sign before we left, but when we got there, they had the water bikes there in the way. Boo
We all had to stop one last time at the restroom and Kendra decided she would change in to dry clothes. I didn't have a great feeling about that.
They had clean restrooms and a changing area room as well.
We all went outside, looked around in the gift shop to kill some time (I didn't find anything that interest me). Obviously Kendra was taking her time, just like always. After a certain amount of time, I was tired of waiting and said "Ok, we are headed out. I'm not getting left behind."
We all headed toward the dock and there was a line all the way down it and they were loading the boat.
We watched the dolphins swimming around right there beside us at the dock.
After getting half way down the pier deck, I did see Kendra come out and head for the line. We were slowly moving in the line and Sakari and Brayden were watching the dolphins as my "panic mom mode" was in full force because they had nothing but a rope to keep you from falling into the water.
We got up to the beginning of the line and they ask "How many?". They let us on and said "That's all". Um....ok. So Kendra wasn't making this trip (although there was another ferry pulling up for the remaining people).
We started pulling away. Here we go...OH NO....WAIT!!! TURN AROUND...GO BACK!! I have a kid that doesn't belong to me!! Not again. How does this always happen? here we go...leaving mommy behind. Just great. Ok, well, I guess it's not "so" bad. I can say that "normally" when Kendra is not around, Brayden usually minds me pretty good. It's only when Kendra is around that he completely acts up.
I gave him that glaring mammaw look like "you better not try me boy!" and he was good the entire way there. He just hugged me and told me how much he loves me. Awww, there are those times that he just looks at me with those piercing baby blue eyes and he melts my heart.
I kept looking behind us and I never did see the other ferry coming with Kendra on it. Oh no...it just dawned on me...we can't even go back to the ship since we have Brayden because we don't have his key card. There was no getting in the gate at the port or anything. Ugh. Well, the good thing about it was that this was a ship sponsored tour and without that last ferry being back, they weren't leaving us no matter what. This settled my mind at least.
Someone was very sleepy.
We really enjoyed ourselves at Blue Lagoon. It seems like this place gets mixed reviews and either you love it or you don't. It was a good fit for our active family.
Although we didn't do any of the animal swims, I do know a lot of people come here just for the swims and don't stay for the island.
You do have to pay extra for the water toys, but as much as my kids enjoyed it, it was well worth it.
I didn't find this place to be good for any type of snorkeling...unless I was just in the wrong area or needed to go over to the other beach to be successful.
I liked that there was a lot of shade at this place and no need to rent umbrellas.
The food was plentiful and included in the price.
My final decision would be to suggest this place and I recommend it. My kids have talked about this place ever since we were there and said they would love to go back!