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On my quest to seek out adventure in the Bahamas I stumbled upon an excursion that looked and sounded awesome. Seahorse Sailing Adventures advertised their Sunset Dinner Cruise as the “only Dinner Cruise on Nassau, Paradise Island, Bahamas and a truly unique experience”. Perfect! Dinner and a boat ride at sunset – I was sold. I was looking for something unique outside the resort and boy, did this deliver! I was not sure what to expect but got lucky that space was available so I booked my daughter and I on the Wednesday night cruise. I was happy with the affordable price – $70 per adult and $30 per child.
The dinner cruise is offered ONLY on Wednesdays and Saturdays 5 pm to 7 pm (standard time) and 6 pm to 8 pm (daylight savings time). The cruise leaves from the Paradise Island Ferry Terminal (across the street from the Atlantis). At 5:30 pm we walked over to the dock, checked in and boarded the gorgeous catamaran boat. As I always find in the Bahamas, the majority of Islanders are truly kind and appreciate tourism. The crew was enthusiastic and helpful as we boarded the boat. I saw some small children but the majority of guests were couples and adults. My 15 year old daughter was completely comfortable with the crowd and we were ready to go! Bar is open! One Bahama Mama (or fruit juice) and a traditional Bahamian dinner buffet was included with our ticket. We settled in with our drinks on the huge bow of the boat and cruised along the beautiful Nassau Harbor. One crew member was narrating the tour and he was personable and interactive. It was interesting to hear about the history of the Island and see the celebrity mansions that line the shore. I love the casual “Island time” of the Bahamas and we enjoyed every second of this relaxing boat ride. After a short cruise along, dinner was announced and a small casual buffet on paper plates was ready in the galley. The BBQ ribs, chicken and traditional Bahamian style rice were our favorites. After dinner the sun starts to go down, sails go up and we cruised along at a fun clip to the middle of the ocean with breathtaking views of the entire Atlantis resort and the endless white sand beaches.
You can tell these families were sharing a special moment and I was happy for them and I felt the love (yes, I know it sound corny)! Something about the ocean, sunset and the smiling families got to me and I wanted to make sure I shared this experience with others. The moment had come, the sun was setting and it was prettier than I had imagined! I didn’t want this excursion to end! Lovely boat ride back through the harbor and just as we realize the tour is coming to an end shortly – Surprise! – music is turned up and here comes a little bit of a party time! Dancing, music – we were loving it and I embarrassed my daughter by swaying along to the beat (fun pop music that my daughter said were her favorite songs on her playlist). I would have gotten up and danced along with the crew but I knew that my teenager would not talk to me the rest of the vacation if I did that so I held back! What an amazing night! This beautiful boat pulls effortlessly back on the dock, we exit like rock stars and the night was over. We walked across the street back to the Atlantis and both vowed to do it again next year!
Bring a little cash to purchase drinks. Full bar, bottled water and soft drinks available but they are not included in your ticket. One Bahama mama or fruit juice is included but if you want more bring cash.
In August 2016, the Atlantis resort announced a huge 30 million dollar renovation project and ever since then I have been anxiously awaiting the debut of the rebranded, remodeled CORAL TOWERS and “fully transformed” MARINA VILLAGE (cute restaurant and shopping area at the resort). I have been receiving updates and pictures all year but was excited to check out the progress myself last week while visiting the resort. Happy to say, everything is progressing as scheduled and looks fresh and amazing! They are targeting a mid July opening for the new Coral rooms and a fall debut of the re-designed Marina Village.
The new Marina Village will have a focus on authentic Bahamian experiences, featuring local artists and seasonal festivals with music from Bahamian musicians. It will also debut an AUTHENTIC FISH FRY, along with conch salad and a beer tasting hall. This is very exciting and is all part of the Atlantis’ “Come to Life” campaign looking to honor and highlight the unique Bahamian culture . Great idea! I loved that the Atlantis employees now have name tags stating their name and where they are from in the Bahamas. It was fun to chat and learn about the different Islands of the Bahamas.
The Coral Towers (newly branded as “The Coral”) will cater towards families and is an excellent location for the beach, pools, Marina Village, casino and the lazy river. The Coral Tower was in need of a facelift and Atlantis is delivering! The lobby will be completely redesigned with a family friendly soda fountain and Gelateria. Guest rooms and suites have been gutted and completely updated.
The brand NEW POOL at “The Coral” is going to be an amazing centerpiece! Beautifully designed in white and blue, the pool will feature private cabanas and an elevated SWIM UP BAR to grab family friendly ice pops and signature drinks. I can taste the Mango/Pineapple/Coconut ice pops right now – Yum! I love that the Atlantis is always reinvesting and updating the resort and “The Coral” will not disappoint.
“The Coral” is about a 10 minute walk to Aquaventure Waterpark. There is also a free shuttle that runs often between the towers. Coral Towers is steps from Atlantis Beach West (my favorite) and all of the rooms have a FULL BALCONY. A lot of my clients with small children like to have a full balcony so they can put the kids to bed, shut the door and sit out on the balcony while watching the sunset and enjoying a cocktail. Sounds like a perfect night to me! Welcome “The Coral”!
I had heard great reviews about snorkeling in the gorgeous waters of the Bahamas that I had to check it out on my recent summer Atlantis trip. I found Stuart Cove’s Snorkel Bahamas and decided to book the ½ day excursion with my 15 year old daughter. The excursion provided free hotel pick up and drop off and 3 different snorkel sites on one trip. We were picked up from the Atlantis at 8 am. I did not expect that the bus ride to Stuart Cove’s dive shop would be close to an hour. The Atlantis is one of the first pick ups and then the bus proceeds to make several stops to other resorts to pick up other guests. There was a lively crowd and my daughter and I took in the Nassau scenery. It was nice to have a ride all around the Island and see areas we would not have seen otherwise. Once we arrived at the dive shop we proceeded to a quick registration and then got seated on the boat. The crew was friendly and helped us get our fins and snorkel/mask. I had specifically gone to Target and bought my daughter and I snorkel and mask sets before our trip to use in the Bahamas. For some reason the morning of the excursion I decided not to bring my own set and instead use Stuart Cove’s (thinking it may be more “advanced” then the basic set I bought at Target). This was a fail on my part – all snorkel/mask sets do the same thing! The ones they provided were completely fine but next time I would bring my own to avoid any “ick” factor with using a snorkel that has worn by hundreds before me. Duh! Nonetheless, our equipment was fine and clean. There were about 15 people on the boat and we set out on a choppy fun boat ride to our first snorkel spot. They told us this was an “open boat” and things will get wet! Do not bring a lot of stuff at all – one small bag that you can store away. Little did we know that we were on a boat that is not the standard boat they usually use. The standard double decker boats (as seen in the pictures) had been rented out for the past few weeks so we were on the much smaller boat and boy, did we get wet! Was not expecting that but it was warm and beautiful so we went with it. I probably would ask next time I book the excursion if it will be on their standard double decker boat or a smaller vessel. On to the first snorkeling site which would be the famous Hollywood Bowl. The water is several shades of turquoise blue, changing colors every few feet. Bright and sparkling – We could not believe our eyes – the water was so clear and beautiful – it did not seem real. Anchor plopped down in the middle of the ocean and we were ready with our fins to jump off the ladder in the back of the boat. We looked right down below us and at our sides and all around us are magnificent fish of all different colors and sizes. Surreal!
We cozied up to the Dive guide as he had fish food that he was sprinkling all around and the fish went crazy! My daughter got a bit squirmy and even I was a little freaked out at first but we loved every second of it and could not stop laughing! Truly amazing to see all these different fish swimming around you. The nice guide also took my daughter’s Go Pro video and took an amazing video for us. We continued on to the second stop which was a large coral reef. Water was not as bright but still cool with tons of reef to explore and different fish at this site. Again, in the middle of the ocean. There is a big adrenaline rush going on! I felt safe yet a few times was hearing the “Jaws” music in my head. Didn’t stop me and I was determined to push forward onto the last stop which would be the SHARKS! A hush came over the crowd as the guide told us about our last stop. Swimming above the sharks! The guides were very serious as they told us the rules. Everyone would be holding on to a rope, you needed to stay pretty still and you could not splash your fins around as the sharks could see you as fish food! These sharks are not in a cage like you see in the movies! Everyone had the option to go in the water or stay in the boat. My daughter opted out but I told myself “it’s now or never – I’m doing it”!! I was literally shaking as I lowered myself from the boat and held on to the rope. The dive masters dove way down with shark bait and we were told to keep our face in the water and not move about. Well, sure enough a few feet below us were sharks circling the water and swimming about! WOW! This was worth it and unlike anything I had ever seen. Terrifying and thrilling! I had conquered a fear and came out of the water smiling and proud (yet heart still pumping)! Boat ride back about 20 minutes to the dock and the excursion was over. The Dive shop has a cute little hut that sells food and drink – I was really ready for my Bahama Mama after this day! Loved it all – highly recommend!
Bring a change of clothes so you can change out of your wet bathing suit for the 45 minute bus ride back to the hotel.
The Atlantis Kids club is called AKA (Atlantis Kids Adventures). It caters to children, ages 3-12. If you read some of my testimonials on my facebook page, several people mentioned how amazing the staff is and how professionally this club is run. No wonder this Kids club has won several awards and was voted one of the top ten coolest Kids’ Clubs by Travel Impressions 2015. I took a tour of the facility (tours are offered daily for parents at 10 am and 2 pm if you want to check out the club first). Every day the club is open from 10:30 am to midnight. You can have your child attend an adventure for a few hours during the day or drop them off for an evening program.
This is not your typical kids club with one room. There are several different themed rooms, outdoor areas and activities for all ages. They also have video screens for movies and video games but their most popular activity is their “culinary adventures”. The Culinary Adventures is for children ages 6-12. These are 2 hour sessions and have themes such as Cupcake central, the Candy Ocean, and All about Treats, etc. The kids create delicious dishes in a state of the art kitchen created just for kids – it was adorable and very creative. There are also several programs that take advantage of the outdoor areas of the resort (pool and beach bonanza, fish tales and more). The Kids Club publishes a flyer for the week so you can see what looks good and then sign your child up. The culinary adventures are $48.38 per child.
Sign up for a culinary adventure when you arrive – they do fill up during peak seasons.
I had an amazing tour of the teen nightclub called CRUSH! This place is unbelievable! Tours are offered daily at 3:30 pm. CRUSH is the ultimate nightclub for teens ages 13 to 17. It is open from 8:30 pm to Midnight and located in the Coral Tower. Price is $26.88 per teen (varies by season). They also have family sessions from 4 pm to 8 pm where they host fun family games ($15.00 per person).
CRUSH is a 14,000 square-foot space that boasts an Internet lounge, a Gaming Room stocked with state-of-the-art technology, Xbox 360, and Xbox One, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, Wii and Wii U, a floor-to-ceiling gaming tree with 24 gaming console and ten private gaming cabanas. Video walls decorate the Dance Club’s VIP section and a live DJ is accessible via a touch screen song request system. I felt like I was in a cool adult club. Why didn’t they have this type of thing while I was a teen on vacation? There’s also a CRUSH Concession Stand and Bar that serves up a variety of snacks and “mocktails”. I had lengthy conversations with the club manager and security staff in the club about how stringent they are about staffing and security in and outside of the club. The teens have a great time but there is security all over and they have a strict no “PDA” rule. I was impressed by the staff and the club was immaculate. I also met several teens who were excited to go back to the club the next night. It is a fun social place and parents can have some alone time in the casino or the adult nightclub without having to worry about their teens.
Age verification is required, so take a picture of your kids passport on your phone before you go to drop them off at the club so you don’t have to go back to the room and get it. They will not be let in unless you provide age verification.
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!
The casino at the Atlantis is a glitzy, clean Vegas style casino that features Las Vegas rules and 86 table games including:
Gambling age in the Bahamas is 18 years old and table games are open daily from 10am to 4am. My husband spent a few hours in the casino most nights and said the dealers were fun and friendly (and of course drinks in the casino are always free). There are 750 of the newest slot machines and each slot machine is equipped with the latest in ticket/ ticket-out technology and state of the art rating system. Your room key doubles as your players card and you can earn comps on your gambling action that can be redeemed at the end of your stay. Daily slot tournaments are offered in the mornings and everyone is a winner (prizes range from $10.00 in free slot play to $100 in free slot play). The casino also offers free gaming lessons twice daily.
I have been a casino marketing representative for 25 years and I always say, do not play a dime without presenting your players card at the table. If you get your casino play rated you will be on their loyalty list and eligible to receive future room promos and offers. Do not gamble without showing your card!
My husband used the fitness center often and we both were impressed with the quality of the machines and equipment. All treadmills have a built in TV. State of the art – clean and convenient. The fitness center fee is included in your resort fee. There is also a lap pool right outside the fitness area as well as a Pilates and yoga studio (extra charge for these classes). There is also tennis courts and a full size basketball court that Michael Jordan hosts tournaments on every year. There is a cool rock climbing wall also as well as a big Shuffleboard game near the beach. Every which way you turn at the Atlantis you discover something new.
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.