Saturday, June 11, 2016

Discovering the Lost City of ... Atlantis (Nassau, Bahamas)

Hey y'all!  I'm back and ready to tell you all about my amazing day at Atlantis Resorts in The Bahamas.  While booking our Carnival Freedom cruise I became obsessed with the idea of coming here and begged my friends to join me.  We researched the cruise excursions, Atlantis's website, and even some external travel packages.  We ended up doing a Day Pass with the AquaAdventure piece and spent the day riding water rides like teenagers.  Check out our day!
This was our view out the balcony of the Carnival Freedom when we woke up since we always stay on the back extended balconies.  The Atlantis hotels are definitely the "skyline" of Nassau.
If you can kind of see our balcony railing in the bottom right of the photograph, this is the port of Nassau.  Very bright and welcoming.  I thought the people directing traffic in the port were very helpful getting us to the taxis.  It was VERY busy as there were 4 cruise ships parked there that day.  The colors were really exciting to see (very different from Freeport).

Another interesting fact - the taxi rides from the port were all pre-fixe so there was no haggling room!  But they will put you with other groups/families if you're going to the same place and will squeeze you into a mini-van type vehicle.
So, the WORST part of the whole day was being dropped off at the resort.  There were no one really directing traffic and telling us where to go.  We kept asking and asking and no one could really tell us what to do for the day passes.  We ended up in a downstairs area near the teenager sign-in.  We were around 13th in line and waited over an hour to get our passes.  It was so long that the people behind us were beginning to get almost inappropriately angry.  There was only one woman signing in everyone and she wouldn't call for anyone else and no one came to relieve her.  It was really disgraceful.  Once we got our day pass wristbands, though, the day turned around perfectly.  [I just assumed, though, that this overpriced resort would focus more on customer service relating to getting people in.]
When walking from the lobby to the outdoor area we walked through the Shark Reef which is free to all guests and those touring the grounds.  Lots of BIG fish and tons of sharks to see.
The sharks swim really close to the glass so it's pretty neat for photo opps and such.  I mean seriously... take a look at these, simply on my iPhone.

While on this trip I became a bit obsessed with my Pano setting LOL but I think the shot looked pretty cool :)

After finishing up in the shark reef we continued trying to find our access to the water park.  We ended up finding our way, but as it was probably already 10-11AM we couldn't find a single lounge chair to put our towels.  We ended up renting a Medium Locker for $25 a day and put everything in there.  We were provided wristbands for our admission to the rides so nothing was needed.  The only thing I'm mostly disappointed about were the lack of access to my phone for pictures.  Other than that, we had a GREAT day riding rides with all the other teenagers.  I never felt overwhelmed by the stairs or uncomfortable with anyone else as I've been in the past.  This was definitely a GREAT crowd, especially since you're constantly bombarded with other floaters on the (not so) lazy river aka roaring rapids.

Seriously, not one ride was boring!  Try them all!

We spent the entire day riding rides and even though the resort was sold out of day passes we only waited in line for 20 minutes max.  Before leaving, though, I wanted to get a good shot of this ride, The Leap of Faith, that is a direct free fall and runs through the shark reef!
We left just in time to go through The Dig.  As we crossed the area to get to it we snapped a few shots of the hotel.
The Dig is a $45 aquarium that lasts a total of 10 minutes to walk through.  It is supposed to be the Lost City of Atlantis but is a bit overpriced.  Luckily, it comes with most Day Passes and Overnight Stays so if you're purchasing one of those tickets you'll get to walk in it without paying extra.  If you have to pay for it I really do think you should just wander to the Shark Reef and save your money.

The resort was SO big we just kind of walked until we found a taxi stand.  We were running a bit behind schedule and didn't want to miss our cruise ship debarkation but I got to get this shot of the real lobby.
This is a shot of what's across the "street" from the hotel upon coming in the true entrance.

Unfortunately, our taxi ride back to the harbor was not as good as our trip there.  The taxis at this point were not regulated and I'm pretty sure we thought we were all going to die when we ended up in some deserted allies with big men coming toward the mini van.  Luckily, we passed this police station and I felt a wee bit safer but not much.  We ended up paying more in taxi fair and I even left my sun hat in the car I was so frazzled and wanting to get out.  The driver swore he didn't have change for our $20 yet as soon as we were out of the car he was bargaining with the next victims saying he had plenty of change.  Regardless, we ran to the ship and were about the last ones on the boat (not the first time LOL).

Overall, Atlantis is NOT to be missed!  It's worth the money.  The rides are amazing.  The cost is not a bargain, but you know what?  You're in The Bahamas on a beach vacation so get it over and get out there and enjoy!!!

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