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Nassau Straw Market Tips for Cruise Visitors

Nassau Straw Market on Bay Street
Nassau Straw Market on Bay Street. Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons license

I like free, quick and easy things to do on a Caribbean cruise. The Nassau Bahamas Straw Market is a good option for all three.

Although the Bahama islands aren’t exactly in the Caribbean Sea, they are a hugely popular stop on Caribbean cruises, especially Nassau.

These islands are more popular with cruise visitors than any other islands in the Caribbean with about 5 million visitors a year. Many of them go only from Florida cruise ports to the Bahamas and back again.

It’s no surprise the Nassau Straw Market on West Bay Street is packed with tourists because it is so close to the busy cruise docks.

By the way, the market doesn’t sell plain straw. It sells a lot of souvenirs, arts and crafts. Only some of them are made out of straw.

How to Get to the Straw Market

Nassau Straw Market Location Map

The location of the Straw Market is the quick and easy part. Cruise visitors will disembark right at the docks and walk through the terminal (which also is a shopping opportunity).

They take an immediate right on what is called Woodes Rodgers Walk, go about 400 meters past Charlotte Street and take a left onto Frederick Street.

They can enter the market along Frederick, but the main public entrance is on Bay Street.

I recommend walking a few dozen yards farther on Frederick until reaching Bay because it is the main commercial street for Nassau tourists.

The Straw Market is both a good vantage point for Bay and a good landmark for knowing how to get back to the cruise terminal.

What to Expect

This open-air market is one of the largest if not the largest flea market in a single space that I have seen in the Caribbean.

It is jammed with hundreds of booths selling everything from T-shirts and hats to handmade items and of course some imported souvenirs.

Vendors are willing to negotiate prices because visitors will find most items in multiple booths.

But keep in mind the vendors will go only so low. Booths that sell high-quality handmade are often less willing to negotiate.

Plan on paying cash rather than using credit card. The market is open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The location of the market allows visitors to spend as much or little time as they want before exploring more of Bay Street or going back to the cruise ship.

It’s a convenient thing to do right after disembarking or right before embarking the ship again.

Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas. He is the author of four books about cruising in the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexican Riviera.
July 29, 2021

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