The Atlantis Paradise Island Resort in Nassau, Bahamas is a giant, resort complex comprising of several hotel towers on 141 acres of land. It offers a unique opportunity for guests of all ages with its magnificent lagoons, water slides, water sports, animal encounters, shopping, multiple restaurants and more. Also, the seascape island retreat is part of the Marriott chain of residences which ensures quality service and luxurious accommodation. We had meant to go there for many years, so we were excited to at least get a sampler for the day during a Royal Caribbean shore excursion while we were cruising last month aboard Oasis of the Seas.
What You Will See
There is something here for everyone. There are several areas where one can walk around, engage in water sports, do some shopping and have a quick bite to eat.
Upon first visiting Atlantis, travelers might decide just to walk around the big resort to get an idea of what it looks like. They can also check out its sheer magnitude, free exhibits, and shopping options. There is plenty to keep one occupied, and one can walk around the grounds and enjoy the lovely scenery, well-manicured gardens, and the beautiful lagoons. There is a shopping mall across the mini bay called the Marina Village with over thirty stores!
Guests should visit the Dig Deck, an Aquarium like structure, and experience the lost world of Atlantis. This visit is a self-guided tour in which one walks through tunnels and sees large water tanks and different artifacts. The floor is paved and easy to navigate. It isn’t too hot or stuffy, and it is all shaded.
The first stop is an ‘archaeological base camp’ followed by a lobster exhibit that is captivating to watch. The little reef-dwelling crustaceans go up and down small bars and ladders which are very entertaining. There’s a wishing well overlooking the lagoon that is teeming with different marine life, including friendly stingrays.
Visitors can admire the murals and check out the lab and Fountain of Youth along with the Treasury room. The aquariums are filled with groves of coral reef with eels, seahorses, and jellyfish. Of course, the aquarium has everybody’s favorite – clown fish. The kids will love all the little “Nemo” fish.
Anyone can also enjoy the Predator Tunnel. This attraction is a giant aquarium with sharks and other marine life, and it feels like they are watching every move from every angle. Not to be missed is the tunnel where guests can sit cozily on the inflated tubes and float in a clear plastic tunnel while sharks swim all around the tunnel in plain view gawking at the visitors.
The Aquaventure park (requires a ticket)
Stretching across the vast waterscape and well-kept beachfront is the Aquaventure Waterpark. It is perfect for thrill-seeking guests as well as family members of all ages. The park is free for guests staying on the property, but visitors can purchase a day pass.There are animal encounters with dolphins, stingrays, and sea lions. There are also two slide sections each offering their unique features and a Lazy River. The first slide is a replica of the Mayan Temple that encompasses the 60-foot Leap of Faith, Five-Story Serpent slide, Challenger slide and Jungle slide.
For those wishing the push the envelope further, they can take the 200-foot long Abyss plunge at the Power Tower along with several other shorter slides. Even the resort’s Lazy River here is upgraded with wind-wave panels and bridges and water cannons. For an additional charge, visitors can interact with dolphins or stingrays. Those who book in advance can enjoy the “join a marine trainer for a day” program.
Location, Hours, and Admission
Travelers can fly into Nassau Bahamas or takes a ferry from Miami. Another way to visit is of course as we did while on a cruise ship shore excursion which includes a water taxi or bus shuttle from the port.
A day pass to the resort will be around $150 per person. The property does limit the amount of visitors per day so booking ahead of time is essential.Parents should check how long their cruise ship is in port for to get the most out of the day. The Aquaventure park opens at 10 AM.
Autism Travel Tips:
- Parents need to prepare their children for a lot of walking around in wet areas around pools and slides. Kids can’t run around and need to be aware of other guests.
- During high traffic days, there are often lines by the slides with no real way to get in front.
- While there are accessible ramps throughout the resort, most of the slides are not equipped for special needs.
- The best time visit is during the non-Hurricane season between November and April when it is not too hot outdoors.
- The resort sells sunscreen and insect repellent. We discovered on our visit that mosquitoes were less of a problem than bees.
- .There is no need for parents to bring life vests or inflatable tubes; the resort has these on hand.
- We were impressed to see that the staff is well-rehearsed and trained as well as helpful with autism. All pools have lifeguards, and the slides have staff who explain the slide procedures correctly.
- There is Wi-Fi available for purchase for all guests there for the day.
- The resort offers chairs, towels, umbrellas and of course showers but for an extra fee, visitors can rent a cabana for the day by one of the lagoons.
- There are multiple food venues dotted throughout the resort that offers snacks and drinks as well as places to sit down and enjoy a quick meal.