We went back and forth with whether or not we wanted to head out of port and go to Melia. It was rather chilly and sometimes looked cloudy and like it might rain. We weighed all of our options. Staying on the ship...we would do what? Pretty much nothing but eat and wonder around. It was a little too cold for swimming in the pool. If we went, the weather might get better and hey, at least it was something to do. Kendra struggled with...but if it don't get nicer out, we just wasted a bunch of money to get here. My argument was that it was money that we had already budgeted for the day, so not like we were spending money we didn't have.
We had decided to head to Melia Resort this time around. Last time we went to Blue Lagoon and had a wonderful time. We had talked about just going back there again this time. Nassau is not really one of those ports I look forward to doing. But if you are there, ya just gotta find something worth doing. I left it up to the kids to pick if they wanted to go back to the same place or try the new place I had found out. They chose Melia.
Now I knew that there was going to be a bit of a walk after exiting the port. We had decided to take the jitney (local bus) there since everyone made it sound so easy and it was CHEAP compared to a taxi.
Taxi's were everywhere hounding you to get in the car with them and of course we kept walking. I have to say, there has been so much publicity in the news, online and such about Nassau being a really crime filled area and with all of the deaths lately, I was just a tad bit nervous. (Yes, I know this happens anywhere and especially in the US). But in another country and one you don't live in, it just sometimes makes the matter even worse while thoughts race through your head about it.
I can say that walking down the street we were on felt a little "iffy" to me. We actually didn't go down the main front street and then cut over. We cut over first and then headed down the street. Maybe that was our first mistake.
We managed to walk right past the bus stop, not knowing and had to turn around after asking someone where (naming the street name) was and they pointed back.
The bus was already there and waiting by the time we made it over there. The traffic was a little crazy and with 3 kids with us, it made me feel uncomfortable.
We got on the bus and I ask the driver if it was going to Melia (I had already done my research and knew that bus #10 went by there, but figured if I ask about it, he would let us know when we were by it and stop...since I had no idea where it was or what it looked like from the bus stop to tell him we wanted off). He shook his head and we all piled in.
The bus was old and ragged, but kinda what I had expected. It was an interesting ride there. My son is really into cars and especially Skylines and he spotted so many of them along the way and was snapping tons of pictures. He swears some day he'll buy one and have it shipped over.
Melia was about a 20 minute ride there, with the stops of letting people on and off of the jitney.
The weather was just not looking promising at the moment. I was starting to doubt our decision to go and knew that since I had found this place, if it didn't go over well, I would pretty much take the blame for it... if I couldn't control the weather.
We arrived and went to the service desk to check in. The staff gave us the price, told us there were absolutely no refunds under any circumstance, put our wrist bands on after we paid them, and all without a blink of an eye or a crack of a smile.
This is how they determined we were the foreigners to the property
Melia was a really huge hotel and very pretty.
I had made copies of their lunch menu prior to leaving on the cruise. I wasn't so sure that we were going to eat there, but I took it just in case. Everything that I had read on the boards was that it was pretty expensive, so we were going to try to hold off until we got back on the ship or back to port to find something to eat.
In order to get outside, you had to walk down a hallway, follow the signs, take the elevator down, down the hallway and then out the doors.
The grounds looked beautiful. The weather did not.
The pools looked really nice and inviting and there were waterfalls everywhere. The kids just couldn't wait to get in. The kids really enjoyed the pool area. I poked my toes in it and said "no way". As pretty as it looked, it didn't feel that pretty. Of course Sakari will swim in anything at any temperature.
We decided to "park" under this awning and put our things down at the table since the weather did not look promising.
If you see the little booth under there, that is where some employees came out and one point and put out things like water and drinks I believe. They kept looking back at us and talking. It made us feel like we were not supposed to be sitting there or something?? I'm really not sure. They just gave you that "uneasy" feeling. I never did see anyone come up to them and purchase anything, so I'm really not sure what they were doing there. They were there for maybe 1 hour and then packed up and left.
At one point one of the workers came over and told us that the kids should not be on the rocks...they had rocks that was a walkway under the falls and beside the pool. He said they were slippery and they might fall. True, but we were right there with them and it was no different than anyone else walking on them. My thoughts that if you don't want people walking on them, why are they there to begin with? Maybe they should be removed????
They had a nice pool on the opposite side of the falls that had a beach type easy entry. It gradually declined into deeper water.
There was a little pavilion type building up on a small hill above the pool area. Later in the day the had people up there playing music and people from the hotel drinking if I recall.
Bridges to walk over...very nice.
In the following picture, you will see that there's a small rock wall down in the pool. I'm really not sure what it's purpose was but at one point my grandson was sitting on it in the water and once again, the worker came over and said he was not allowed to do that.
The rest of the day felt like we were being watched. Sigh.
We discovered a rather HUGE hot tub over to the side of the easy walk in pool. I knew if I was getting in any water, it would have to be that water.
Notice there was a lady with her son in it. We would later see signs that said no children and I had a picture to prove that others were using it with their children if they said anything to us. I mean what did they expect us to do on a cold day like today?
We all headed to the hot tub. This was probably one of the biggest hot tubs I ever remember being in. It was like a miniature pool and served it's purpose for the day.
I of course had to yell at my son for putting Brayden on his shoulders (after I snapped a picture of course) because I just knew if the worker seen him horsing around and trying to let the little ones have fun, we would be told to get out of the hot tub and that they weren't allowed in there. Yea, Sakari wanted lifted up to since Brayden done it. No one was looking...ok go then no more. (He was actually just swimming under their legs and lifting them up and then going back down under water and releasing them. It really wasn't horse play, but I'm sure the staff would have seen it differently.)
There was tons of sand in the bottom of the hot tub. It looked like it hadn't been cleaned for awhile. I know all that sand was not from today since hardly anyone was here.
The kids got out of the hot tub and headed for the pool. I don't know how their bodies didn't go into shock going from hot to extremely cold.
At this pool of easy entry...it was fairly shallow and then gradually gets deeper. In the middle of it, it gets deeper and you have to swim, then gradually goes back up again over to the other side by the falls. It really made me nervous that Sakari was following Kolin around in the pool and he kept going back and forth across this. I told her to get her floatie on, which she hates and refuses to wear 99% of the time, but I felt a little better knowing Kolin was beside her. She can swim and has been swimming for about 2 years now...but I still don't feel comfortable unless I'm in there with her.
The talk lately is about how Melia has been doing construction on the property. I'm not sure exactly what they're doing, but they had a huge wall up across the entire area that blocks the beach from the pool area. You can not see the beach or ocean from the pool property...nor can you access it without walking all the way to the end (and only 1 end) of the property.
You see the pretty design on the wall? Well if they would spend less time painting these birds on there, they might be able to spend more time working on the project behind the wall and get it done and opened. But the day we were there, they were busy painting birds on the wall.
We decided to head over to the other side and see what was over there. Me, Kolin and his gf went. There was a whole other world over there that we didn't know about.
Finally we spotted the beach.
It was as dead here as it was at the pool. Just not a very "water" friendly type of day.
I could spot the area that everyone said is some awesome snorkeling. It was so close, but yet unreachable today. I was so bummed. I really wanted to snorkel here. They said it's a great spot, easy access and not very far out. They were right...it was super close. But, we would not be able to adventure out there today. No one was allowed in the water today because it was too rough.
We seen some people down the beach that was messing with the seaweed and we had to go check it out. The birds were checking us out.
The family said they were from Texas. We talked to them for a long time. They were having a blast even though the weather was not the greatest. They had made this sign for the people back home. They said it was reported that the weather in Texas that day was around 27 degrees. They were there on the Dream and they were loving the ship. I told them we were on the Dream last year and loved it as well.
They brought me back to reality that even though this was not the best beach day, it was still better than being at home where it was snowing and freezing cold. They were very nice people and they said they had heard of cruise critic. They mentioned they had read several good reviews. I told them my name and they said that might be the reviews they had read. They ask for my opinion on certain places and where to go and what to do. We had a nice conversation and went on our way.
We decided to head back and tell the rest of the family that there was an entire other world to explore on this side.
We did walk all the way down the beach to the opposite end of the hotel (which would have been the end that we were staying at by the pool) and there wasn't an entrance to get back to the resort. Bummer.
We walked all the way back to the other end and back to the family.
The workers painting the wall blue so they can paint birds on it.
Now I do have to say this place is really lovely. It would be a great place to spend a sunny day at. It's not in perfect condition though and you can see a lot of minor repairs are needed...mainly to the sidewalks.
When we returned, I found my daughter sleeping at the table and the hubby was checking his email on our small laptop.
We really didn't see any place to buy food or drinks, so I sent the hubby inside to explore and get us a drink. He returned shortly with a plate of fruit and some orange juice. Um....ok. Where's my soda? He said they were serving food inside and I should go get some. I quickly informed him that was for the guest staying here and it wasn't included in our day pass. Oops. But the fact still remained that I needed something to drink. He went back in and I guess had to go to the lobby where there was a soda machine. It was $2.00 for a can.
We decided to all head over to the "new" area we had discovered.
After getting over that way, there really wasn't a spot to sit by the hot tub that had a roof over it like the other place. It did rain off and on and we didn't want to get caught in the rain with it being as chilly as it was. We felt the hot tub and it was COLD. Yikes. Ok, we're heading back to the other side.
Back to the hot tub we were orginally in.
While we were in the hot tub, it started to clear up and little. The sun even peeked out for a minute and we were hopeful.
The kids went back and forth between the hot tub and the pool. Of course I'm in tow following them. Brayden can't swim yet and well...he's not really one of those children you can trust.
It might have not been the perfect day for us, but the kids were having a blast and it's something they will remember.
Shayla decided to take a nap by me. She was too cold to get in the water. I guess you reach a certain age and then the temperature of the water does start to matter.
Notice this sign!!!
This is Kendra soundly asleep in the chair...right in front of the sign. Where do you think her kid is? The pool.
More of the area...
It was around 1pm and everyone was getting hungry. We really never did find where you could actually buy food so we decided we had had enough and was ready to head back to the port.
We didn't even make it all the way to the bus stop and the bus came along on the side of the road and picked us up.
We headed down the road, a way we hadn't been and I was double thinking to myself that maybe we had managed to catch the #10a (?) bus. I knew there was another #10 jitney that took you the "long" way around instead of straight to the port area. Oh well, it's not like we were running late or anything. LOL
We headed down an area that was a little residential type area. We went this way and that way. We picked up several people and dropped a few off. Some other ladies that got on the bus the same time we did, when he started heading this way they yelled "STOP!!! We didn't realize you were going this way, let us off now! We aren't about to do all this. No time for that." They hopped off and caught another bus.
After awhile we are looking around and taking in the sites and we notice we are back in front of Melia. Um, ok...we just did a circle and didn't go anywhere. Now we were heading back toward the port. LOL Oh well...like I said, we had plenty of time...it's just our bellies didn't.
I have to say that this bus driver was CRAZY! Weaving in and out of things. He wasn't very good with a clutch and would constantly stall it any time he stopped. The traffic behind him would be honking and I couldn't help but giggle and wonder why he would have this job.
The hubby took a seat right in front of the door. Of course the buses are old and not taken care of very well and every time he would take off, the door would slam really loud. Then he'd slam on the brakes and the door would slam open. Giggle giggle...great spot babe!
Several times he came very close to hitting other vehicles. Several times he ran up over the curb.
At one point a guy got on and sat up front with the driver. All of a sudden you would have thought we were on America's Most Wanted and in a high speed chase. The bus driver yanked the steering wheel to the right and then to the left. We were in an alley, the guy jumped off...not paying...as we sped through the alley hitting speed bumps really hard. We were flying in the air up off our seats and my son was smiling from ear to ear. He said "this is the funnest I've had all day!" LOL As we were flying down one of the alley hills, the guy that had jumped off earlier jumped back on...while the bus was moving!!! He sat back in the front seat and tried to slip something in his curled up hand to the bus driver. Kendra was sitting in the very front seat and he kept looking at her trying to keep her from seeing what was going on.
We made it back "safely" lol and was dropped off back in the same spot we started at. We paid the driver for our rollercoaster thrill drug run ride...$1.25 for adults and .50 for kids and went on our merry way.
We had passed a McDonald's along the way and they had guards standing outside with guns and postings around the place saying "no cameras or vidoes" Now that was kinda scary. I wonder why???
Another neat thing I noticed in this little area of town, they had a "no smoke area" along the sidewalk. Once you crossed the street, there was no smoking on that entire side for a ways.
We decided to go straight and head back toward the water this time around instead of the creepy way we had came to the bus stop earlier in the day.
We came across a pretty area with a little fountain and places to eat there.
Kendra ran into a few places in the area to take a look at the menu and use the restroom. She came out saying it was VERY expensive and we decided to pass on them and just head back toward the ship and get "free" food. Kendra complained saying she really didn't like the ship food and would rather eat there, but yet didn't want to pay those prices. Well...uh...if you want to eat somewhere here, go right ahead. I'm eating the free food on the ship. I can always find something to eat. I was still wet from being in the hot tub and it was cold out and looked like it was going to rain again. I just wanted to get back to the ship.
We started walking back to the port down the main street. They did have a few Christmas decorations up.
We made it back to the ship and couldn't wait to get into a hot shower.
This looks to have the potential of a beautiful resort. There's a lot of improvements going on, but yet you can spot some of the dismay that it has endured.
The construction was just terrible IMO. Only having 1 entrance and exit at the furthest end of the property was just crazy. They should at least have a way to get in and out to the beach area on both ends.
The pools were very nice and the waterfalls were beautiful.
The grounds were landscaped nicely as well.
We felt like we were the "outsiders", and we were of course, but no need to make us feel that way by the glares, watchful eyes, not being friendly during check in. I mean if you don't want to "rent" out your resort for cruisers, don't open it up to them with a day pass.
I really didn't like that it wasn't an AI. We went all day without food and most of the day without drinks. I guess I thought there was some type of small hut or bar that had food to buy there, but it was no where to be found. You had to go all the way back upstairs to the lobby to get soda out of the vending machines.
You have a place with beautiful waterfalls, with stepping stones behind it, but you're yelled at for stepping on them. You have rock walls in the water, but you are yelled at for sitting on them. This is a kids dream place, but yet they expect kids not to be on any of it. We just felt unwelcomed here.
The beach looked beautiful and it's not their fault we couldn't use it. But it did add salt to the wound.
Taking the jitney, while the son loved it and said it was the best part of the day, I really didn't care for it. It made me a little uneasy to be on the back street we were walking down that you caught the bus at. After the alleged drug run with the bus and the crazy driver bouncing us out of our seats...yea, probably not the thing for us and I would have to reconsider really hard if we were to take the jitney again.
Would I go here again? I'm really not sure. If it had been a beautiful sunny and hot day, I think we would have had a better time. I think the place has potential. But since we didn't have that kind of day, it pretty much put a sour taste in my mouth for the place. Which usually means, I would not return. I guess we'll just have to see if the opportunity presents itself again to us. More than likely, I will look for another place.