The Caribbean islands are known for their clear blue waters and never-ending sunshine. But did you know they’re famous for their rum too?
Our honeymoon cruise took us to Nassau, Bahamas. We were eager to experience tropical paradise but also wanted to go on an adventure. We decided to book an excursion ourselves instead of through the cruise line. Trip Advisor proved to be spot on and provided us with some great options that weren’t offered by the cruise line. Pro Tip: if you’re going on a cruise, definitely do some of your own for excursions. We’ve found that you can find some really great things to do at better deals if you book it by yourself.
Our tour left at 11 am, so we were able to explore the island a little bit beforehand. Supposedly tours meet at different locations, but ours met at Smuggler’s Beer Garden. It’s a couple blocks away from the cruise port, but it is easily accessible from all over the island.
At the meeting point, we tasted five kinds of true Caribbean rum while traveling back in time to when pirates inhabited the island. Some of the rum was delicious and sweet, while others left us scrambling for our water glass. Our tour guide, Jamie, was an incredible storyteller. He really brought the history of the island to life and helped us to understand the role rum played in Nassau.
This tour lives up to its name. Everyone grabbed their rum-based cocktail (the Bahama Mama – aka Ty’s new favorite drink) on the way to the next stop where we learned about Nassau’s rum-running past. We learned that the Caribbean played a vital role in bringing alcohol to the United States during prohibition. So much so, that the money they made during a short five years of rum-running, was enough to set up the economy for what it is today. At this stop, we also got to snack on conch fritters and rum cake local to the island. YUM!
Throughout the tour, we had the opportunity to see historical buildings, as well as, lesser-known sites. We saw a local art gallery, the Governor’s Mansion and the Graycliff property. The Graycliff property had a little bit of everything. The restaurant was beautiful (and supposedly has a great wine menu)! We also toured the cigar factory and chocolate factory located on the property. At the chocolate factory, we got to try two different types of candy infused with rum. We still daydream about the truffles.
Lucky for us, a winery (the first in the Bahamas) had opened two weeks before we got to Nassau. Our tour guide asked if we wanted to go inside and sample a few different wines… YES! The best part? We learned how the winery fills and corks the bottles. We even got to cork a bottle ourselves!
Up next, rum raisin ice cream! It was a hot day so this sweet treat was much needed!
The tour made its final stop at John Watling’s Distillery. It is a gorgeous property where we learned about the production of rum, as well as, the 17th-century pirate for whom the distillery is named.
The Rum Runners tour was incredible and informative! We learned a lot, drank some great rum and had a blast. If you’re heading to Nassau on a vacation or stopping in on a cruise, we highly recommend booking the Rum Runners Tour. You can learn more and book your tour here.