A trio of cruise ships are lined up on the docks. The world class resort of Atlantis can be seen in the background on Paradise Island, Bahamas. Although Atlantis is a beautiful place to plunge and play, I actually prefer shopping and dining in the downtown core, and perhaps getting a little sunshine and a swim on the quiet private beach of the British Colonial Hilton on Bay street.
There is just something attractive about the local Bahamians and being called Honey by just about every female person hawking their wares that brings both caution to my heart, and a warm smile to my face. Retailers in Canada and the US could learn from the genuine hospitality of the Bahamian people – service with a polite, but sincere smile goes a long way.
If you move off the main drag into the realm of shops that sell knock-offs, be aware that just about everybody is related somehow. As you are escorted by an ever helpful person from shop to shop, keep in mind that there is some sort of symbiotic relationship going on between each shop. Finding a one-to-one knockoff of the latest, and expensive, Tag Heuer Carrera watch for a mere $120 US, is just one example of what you will discover. As one who DOES NOT purchase knock-offs of any sort, but does find the process or journey of ad hoc detective work interesting, I would recommend the adventure, nonetheless – just don’t do it alone! Comparing fake versus genuine products, especially from memory only, is the real challenge. But, please be considerate of the individuals who sell knock-off merchandise, as this may be their only way to survive in the rather expensive tourist economy of Nassau. Let your conscience be your guide.
Unfortunately, this year our itinerary will bypass Nassau, one of my favourite ports of call. First stop is the resort peninsula of Labadee, off the coast of Haiti, and then we swing west to Jamaica, Cayman Islands, and eventually back to Fort Lauderdale. I love the Carribean!
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