A three minute satire video of downtown Nassau filmed by two Disney Cruises crew members has caused Bahamian officials and newspapers to freak out.
The video, titled "Nassau," was reportedly filmed by Disney Cruises employees Casey Gill and Joseph Oster. It has been was widely viewed on Facebook this week.
The video shows the two crew members posing as tourists on Bay Street and Junkanoo Beach amidst filth, stinking garbage, drugs, vagrants and derelict buildings with the words “visit nassau / getoutnow or call 1-800-IDONTFEELSAFE,” scrolling across the screen. The video captures what many cruise passengers and tourists feel about Nassau - it's dirty and dangerous.
I picked Nassau last year to be the most dangerous cruise destination in the world. The most common comment that I receive from cruise passengers is that Nassau is the one port where they don't get off the cruise ship. There is high crime and an out-of-control murder rate. The sight of heavily armed police with automatic weapons causes the cruise tourists, I am told, to experience more stress than the security that the police are suppose to provide.
Cruise passenger also routinely state that they are offered drugs as soon as they get off the cruise ship. The service / tourist industry is often surly. I have been traveling to the Bahamas since the 1970's. The good-old "its better in the Bahamas" days are long gone.
Bahamian government officials and some local newspapers reacted to the video in a juvenile manner. Bahamian Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe reportedly called the President of Disney Cruises and protested the video. Some newspapers like BahamasNews Ma Bey called for a boycott of Disney and asked that the two young crew members be sacked. 242 Breaking News mocked the crew members and later reported that Disney allegedly terminated them.
The Bahamas' overblown reaction to the video controversy reflects poorly on Nassau. The truth of the matter is that Nassau, circa 2015, is a dangerous dump. Thinking of cruising there? Watch the uncontroversial video here and catch a glimpse of Nassau without endangering your life.
September 11, 2015 Update: The two Disney Dream crew members previously submitted the video to Disney as part of a cruise sponsored event. The Disney Cruises steering committee approved the video and selected it for the event. Disney subsequently caved into to the yellow journalists in Nassau and not only fired the crew members but took the crew member's pay and charged them for airfare home in retaliation.
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Photo Credit: Nassau Guardian