The Tribune newspaper in the Bahamas has a headline Lawyer Says Nassau ‘Is A Dangerous Dump.’ It quotes me talking about Nassau, something I have done in the past when the Nassau Guardian quoted me saying that the Bahamas are ‘one gunshot away’ from cruise line exit.

My personal opinions about the problems in Nassau are irrelevant, of course. There is no dispute that Nassau has a major crime problem. Just read the Bahamas Tribune (which I do every day) or  the Nassau Guardian, Bahamas Weekly or other Bahamian newspapers. Cruise passengers and crew members contact me regularly about what’s happening in Nassau. Insiders at the cruise lines are not happy with Nassau as a port of call.  Serious crime, rape and murder, is a daily occurrence. Why any family sailing from Miami gets Nassau Bahamas off the cruise ship in Nassau is beyond me.

Since Friday, the Tribune reported on a half dozen murders and a dozen shootings in the Bahamas.

That’s a lot of dead people and gunshot victims. There are only around 250,000 people in Nassau (New Providence) and only around 330,000 people in all of the 700 or so Bahamian islands (New Providence, Grand Bahama, the family islands, etc.) The murder count for the year is already well over 100 with three and a half months to go. That’s to be compared with around 225 murders or so a year in Metro Miami-Dade which has 5,500,000 people, 22 times more than Nassau. This year there will be a record murder count in the Bahamas.  2015 will go down in history as the most murderous year in the history of the Bahamas. Until 2016, of course.

Crimes against U.S., Canadian or British citizens in Nassau are rarely solved. Within the last two years, the murders of American sailor Kyle Bruner, American student Mason Hart, British diving instructor Gary Vanhoeck, British tourist Edgar Dart, and retired Canadian doctor Geoffrey Harding have not been solved. There are no arrests following assaults, robberies, thefts and muggings of Americans. The police in Nassau never arrest criminals or child predators on cruise ships flagged in Nassau.

The U.S. Embassy and the U.S. State Department routinely warn about the threat of criminal violence in Nassau.

But most families flying or cruising into Nassau don’t know of the incredible violence there. And I will keep warning, to whomever listens, of the risks in this dangerous dump.

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Photo credit: BrokenSphere Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Commons – Wikipedia.

  • Tim Dye

    Although I’ve been there 5 times (going to be 6 in 3 weeks). We have never had a problem, YET. I plan on keeping my wife onboard this Time. We never usually venture far from the Piers anyways. When Cuba Opens Up. You can Kiss NASSAU Goodbye.
    TD

  • Bahamian living in London

    I was born in Freeport, but by the age of 5 my parents moved to England. When I was old enough to understand, they told me why we left the Bahamas. They told me that the educated Bahamian is an oppressor of the less fortunate uneducated Bahamian. They told me even if I received a college degree in the Bahamas, the chances of landing a job are slim to none. They told me as an Educated Bahamian woman(I am a doctor), I would be look down upon(Women still in 2015 don’t have equal rights in the Bahamas). I have never visited my own homeland since I was 5, but not surprised what it has become compared to what my parents told me it use to be like. I do miss the Island life, it must be in my soul, but soon I’ll be free of that feeling of missing since I recently purchased property on Grand Cayman; yippee!

  • Daniel (68 ft. or more)

    The Bahamas is a dump, your not lying James Walker. Not only is Nassau a dump, but have you ever been to Marsh Harbor, Abaco? The garbage is everywhere, beautiful sands and beaches with garbage overflowing from the streets in the background. I hear Grand Bahama is also a trash bin, most of the coral reefs are dead from all the human waste pumped into the Ocean. I’ve free dived some of the most beautiful reefs in the World, The Great Barrier reef, The Atolls of Belize, Cozumel’s reefs, Grand Cayman, you name it. But never in my life have I seen so much disrespect for the Sea life as the Bahamas has shown me. So Jim, I will be one of your witness against those who say your slandering, because they are the true liars.

  • Daniel (68 ft. or more)

    The Bahamas is a dump, your not lying James Walker. Not only is Nassau a dump, but have you ever been to Marsh Harbor, Abaco? The garbage is everywhere, beautiful sands and beaches with garbage overflowing from the streets in the background. I hear Grand Bahama is also a trash bin, most of the coral reefs are dead from all the human waste pumped into the Ocean. I’ve free dived some of the most beautiful reefs in the World, The Great Barrier reef, The Atolls of Belize, Cozumel’s reefs, Grand Cayman, you name it. But never in my life have I seen so much disrespect for the Sea life as the Bahamas has shown me. So Jim, I will be one of your witness against those who say your slandering, because they are the true liars.

  • Sandy Wess

    Nassau is disgusting in every way possible, my family and I were there 1 week ago. The place is the biggest tourist trap on this planet, everything is three to four times the cost of anywhere else on Earth. The service is terrible too, you go into restaurants, stores, whatever, and not one Bahamian will say “Hello”, just, “What do you want”. The beaches are full of cigarettes and empty beer bottles, on the second day there, I cut my foot walking on Cable beach from a half broken rum bottle. Almost everyone we met had a nasty attitude, I felt they didn’t want us there. Every night all you hear is gun shots in the distance, we will never visit this war zone of a country again! All the travel advertising this country does is an absolute lie! How dear this nation say “It’s better in the Bahamas”, am I allowed to sue them for false advertising? People reading this comment, don’t even waste your money on this place, it’s a dump and a half if you ask me, their government should be ashamed.

  • Dana
  • Tim Keller Sr.

    This is how fast a person is killed in the Bahamas, no one has a chance against these surprised attacks, you be the judge if this place is safe or not.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCTNe2dSqFA

    This is the 108 homicide victim in the Bahamas, headed for an all time record. Our dear class mate Mason Hart was murdered in Abaco 2 months ago and the Bahamian police haven’t done a thing about it. This country is an enemy of tourist and foreigners.

  • WOW!

    Shocking video, I tell you I will never visit there.

  • T.J.

    It is a dump, there is garbage everywhere you walk, and the smell is compared to an open cesspool. The town of Nassau is so gross, while we were shopping a carriage horse dropped dead right in front of a restaurant. It was evident the horse was abused, his ribs were all exposed, it was the skinniest horse I’ve ever seen, only skin and bones. And as the horse died the owner, this drunken cursing Bahamian kept kicking the horse in the head trying to get him up. At that point the police had to be called, 30 tourist, including me were about to beat the owner to death for the abuse he showed towards this poor hard working animal. Mr. Walker, you are so right, not only is the Bahamas a dangerous dump, but a tourist trap of all sorts. We will never go back to this depressing place again, my 11 year old daughter is still upset about the mistreatment of that poor horse.

  • Jackie

    I was there in the 80’s. It was a tourist trap back then. The hustlers and vendors in the Straw Market area were aggressive. I rented a room at what is now the El Greco and stayed there most of my visit and seldom went into town. With the proliferation of large cruise ships, I can only imagine how bad it must be. If you insist on going ashore, go as a group, no fancy jewelry, leave most of your cash in a safe on the ship, and no staying out late. Keep alert and stay in the tourist areas only. A pair of dark sunglasses will allow you to scan your area without looking conspicuous.

  • Karl

    Dangerous and nasty smelling, I don’t know what it was, but it took 2 weeks after I returned home for the smell to leave my memory smelling glands. It smelled like an open sewer with chemicals added to it, Christ of mighty, I even lived in Newark, New Jersey and it never smelled like that. This is probably while most of the corals we snorkeled were all dead around their island. I lost 9 pounds on that trip, I could barely eat with that nasty smell in the air, I could figure out where it was coming from.

  • Janice

    WOW! I’m in shock reading this! My husband & I went last August 2015 for a week, and stayed at Sandals. One day we took a cab down to the straw market, and had no problems, no issues, no aggression towards us, we also took a tour that Sandals put on, and we had a great time. We also went to Paradise Island and did some gambling, had a great time there too. Yes, Sandals had security, and we had to give our names and where we were headed and had to check back in upon our return, to us this was “normal”. Best 10th Anniversary we ever had, and everyone was kind and gracious..it was wonderful!

  • Josh

    My girlfriend and I recently went on a Carnival cruise to the Bahamas. Unfortunately, I found this website after I had purchased the tickets so there was no backing out. We decided not to waste the day on the ship and headed out into Nassau. I was very wary of everyone we encountered, but we really didn’t have any problems and ended up having an amazing time. Unlike some of the other posters, i never noticed an unpleasant smell. The only thing was on Paradise Island we were constantly offered cocaine or marijuana 20+ times by several different people. It turned out to be an amazing trip without a hitch, but I will not be returning again after learning how prevalent crime is there.

  • Deborah

    Probably the scariest part is getting off the ship and running into the seedy taxi drivers! The one that took me asked if he could take his clothes off and swim with me! He also was whistling at all the women walking on the street! I was very scared! I will never get off the ship again in Nassau!