My 15 year old daughter and I decided we wanted to do something different and adventurous on our annual summer Atlantis, Bahamas vacation. We found an off property excursion, Powerboat Adventures, that was advertised as “the one day, one trip that will have you talking for years”, and it did not disappoint!
Powerboat Adventures is an all-inclusive day trip from Paradise Island to the secluded Exuma Cays (the real Bahamas out Islands) 38 miles away by ocean! We were picked up at 8:30 am from the Atlantis and brought to the Ferry terminal right across the street. We walked back to the Atlantis at the end of the day (5 pm) when the excursion was over. They have 2 powerboats – we were on the 60 foot, triple engine boat. Sleek and amazing, and we sat in the front for the 60 minute boat ride out to Exhuma Cay. It was a semi bumpy ride at times – not too crazy but fast, exciting, gorgeous and relaxing all at the same time. We rode in this cool jet drive boat on the amazing blue ocean with the sun shining on us and wind whipping through our hair. The first stop was to a little island called Allan’s Cay – home of the Iguana Dragon lizards. These iguanas (up to 3 feet long)! scamper out of the bushes and come close to you to eat grapes that you are feeding them from a stick. Totally cool – we were a little apprehensive at first but it was great fun and neat to see these “living dinosaurs”. The crew on Powerboat was amazing. They would take pictures for you whenever asked and were very lively. Back on the boat to the next stop: “Ships Channel Cay”. 007 James Bond music was pumping through the speakers on the fast boat ride over – I felt like I was in a Bond movie! Loved it! Ships Channel Cay is Powerboat Adventures’ own private island lagoon with calm waters, beautiful beach and an adorable cottage/deck. The colors of the lagoon are out of a dream – I have never seen so many different shades of blue and turquoise. The cottage was shaded and had a full bar that provided drinks all day. It was cool to be on your own private island. A fresh grilled lunch (steak, fish, salad, fruit, etc) and open bar ALL DAY were included on this excursion. Yummy Baha Mama’s were flowing!
Note, several children were on the boat so it is a very family friendly excursion.
The first activity was the STINGRAY FEEDING experience. The crew has the wild stingrays come up to you as you are lined up on the shore and you feed them fresh fish out of your hand! Again, could be a little nerve wracking at first but it was an experience. The stingrays brush up against you and it is intense! All of the encounters are in the wild, with no cages or pens. If you do not want to participate you have a first row view from either the shore or the shaded deck. Next activity is drift snorkeling (gear provided) – you should be comfortable swimmer for this part. After snorkeling comes a little relaxation, lunch, drinks and get ready for the main attraction – the world famous Shark Feeding Show! Featured often on the Travel Channel and Discovery Channel’s SHARK WEEK. The crew wrangles the sharks close to you by throwing bait to them on a rope and “wrangling them” in. It is really exciting to watch and surreal that these sharks are so close to you but still “in the wild”. It seems they do know when to come close to the shore daily for “feeding time”! Great entertainment like I had never experienced before and you might be one of the lucky ones who gets to “help” the crew wrangle a shark on the feeding rope. It was tons of fun but also adrenaline pumping as it was repeated to us several times to stay on the edge of the shore and not go into the water while the feeding was going on! This whole excursion was casual and not rushed – plenty of time to relax, chat with others from the excursion and really revel in the moment of being on this secluded deserted breathtaking island. The last formal activity was the Conch Salad Show. We watched as the crew created a fresh conch salad for all to enjoy. Fresh conch is pulled from the ocean, split opened, cleaned, mixed with limes and veggies and voila! Delicious! We were bummed that the day was over and would do this again in a heartbeat.
Definitely a highlight of our trip – 5 stars!
Sit in the front of the boat for a more “wild” ride and the back of the boat for a calmer, smoother ride. We sat in the front on the way out and the back on the way home (back is shaded and undercover so this was perfect for the end of the day).
The epicenter of the Atlantis resort is Marina Village. It is the place to walk around for shopping, dining and free nightly entertainment. The Marina Village is located at the Atlantis (everything is located right there and I keep mentioning this because this is what makes Atlantis such an easy and relaxing vacation – you never have to leave the resort)!
While walking through the Marina you are looking at all the huge yachts – which is just beautiful. There are 20 cute shops in the Marina to peruse as well as a Ben and Jerry’s, Starbucks, adorable candy store and several casual restaurants (Carmine’s, Johnny Rockets, Quiznos, Bimini Road). We also love the Daiquiri stand that offers both Virgin and regular frozen Daiquiris. Fun to grab one after dinner and walk around the Marina Village. Our favorite restaurant in the Marina is Bimini Road. It is a cool indoor restaurant with an outdoor bar. The lobster is amazing! The best part is the live music they have playing on the outside deck at night. We loved the Bahamian group singing Journey “Don’t stop believin’” and other 80’s hits. The singers are interactive and lively– more free entertainment to take advantage of at the Atlantis. There are also steel drum bands, a stilt walker and more throughout the Marina Village.
Get to Bimini Road early for dinner. They don’t take reservations and it is a very popular place!
A huge highlight of our trip was the amazing new Magic Show at the Atlantis. We saved this show for our last night.
This summer the Atlantis featured The Magic of Rob Lake, performing in the Atlantis Theater Wednesdays through Sundays at 8 pm. I am hoping they bring him back again this summer! Run, do not walk to get tickets to this family show! (Tickets are ordered at the box office in the Beach tower). I send a ton of business to Las Vegas as well as the Atlantis so I have seen every show imaginable and this is hands down one of the best! In researching Rob Lake online I now see he won International Magician of the year and has performed his grand illusions all over the world. This is a first class show and truthfully I felt it was an incredible bargain. This entire show is fantastic! My family was in awe and we loved every second of it! We also could not believe the amazing value. An adult ticket is $44.00 and kids are $10. They sell popcorn and concessions in the theater before the show. The audience participation was huge for both kids and adults.
Stick around after the show to get an autograph and take a picture with Rob Lake – My daughter and I were definitely star struck. I was happy to have the opportunity to tell Rob in person that his show was amazing and I was planning on recommending it to all of my customers. He was humble, thankful and adorable – loved it!
Activities and marine attractions (marine exhibits, aquariums, turtles, stingrays, sharks) are everywhere at the Atlantis. A great summer bonus is when Cartoon Network comes to the Atlantis for the summer (June through September).
On the day you arrive go to the Cartoon Network Obstacle course and sign up for a time. You need to make a reservation early (it is free) to make sure you get a time slot.
The Cartoon Network Character parade in Marina Village is on Tuesdays and Friday evenings at 7 pm. Also, don’t miss the “Screen on the Green”. Monday, Thursday and Friday at 8 pm on the Dolphin Cay lawn. My daughter loved this! They put up a huge inflatable screen on the lawn with chairs and Cartoon Network blankets and the kids watch their favorite Cartoon Network shows. Beautiful outdoor nighttime activity!
Get there on time to get the free Cartoon Network sunglasses that they give out – who doesn’t love free stuff!
We also loved Paddle-boarding in the Paradise Lagoon. It is a great fun family activity – $44 per person for ½ hour. Very relaxing and refreshing. While paddling in the lagoon you are next to the Cartoon Network obstacle course so it’s like you are watching a live version of the show “Wipeout”. Well, not that intense because the obstacle course is for kids but great entertainment and scenery all around.
I can’t say enough about how beautiful, clear and blue the water is in the Caribbean. Perfect temperature, crystal clear water, beautiful sandy beach – we couldn’t get enough of the ocean. The beaches and sand are clean and we swam and relaxed at the beach for hours. The great part about the Atlantis is that the beaches are right there – no driving anywhere to get to the beach – you can go from beach to pool to water-slide to aquarium very easily.