Atlantis Paradise Island is the world-renowned Caribbean destination in the Bahamas for all ages. The resort features a variety of accommodations built around a 141-acre waterscape called Aquaventure. This water park contains 18 thrilling water slides, 20 swimming areas, a seven-acre snorkeling lagoon, and more. Atlantis also has the world’s largest open-air marine habitat bringing 50,000 marine animals from reef sharks to sea turtles within your reach. We’ve put together this list to help your trip to Atlantis be the best it can be. These are the Atlantis Bahamas tips you’ll be happy you know before you go.
The Atlantis Resort can be overwhelming even before you arrive. Making an accommodation choice alone can be a dizzying process. There’s the Cove, The Royal Towers, The Reef, The Coral, The Beach and more! Not to worry, we’ve got you covered with tips, secrets, and tricks to help you navigate Atlantis like a pro.
Best Atlantis Bahamas Tips for an overwhelming experience.
1. Reaching Atlantis
When booking your trip to Atlantis, you will want to book your flight to Nassau (NAS) and then take a taxi from the airport to the resort. Taxi prices are regulated so you won’t be overcharged. It takes about 30 minutes to get to the resort. Our Bahamian taxi drivers were courteous and professional. You can also book airport transfers through Atlantis, but then you may be stuck waiting for other passengers. We would not recommend renting a car. If you want to explore more of the island, hire a taxi. The locals may have some insider tips on places to go too!
2. Choosing Accomodations
For families: Nearly all accommodations at Atlantis are family-friendly. The main Royal Towers is the place to stay to be closest to the action and probably the best option if a visit is a “once in a lifetime” experience for your family. The Coral has newly renovated family-friendly rooms and suites. If you want to get away from the crowds of the main resort, The Harborside has 1-3 bedroom villas with full kitchens and laundry facilities. The Reef Atlantis offers more upscale living with Big studios, 1-2 bedrooms units with fully equipped kitchens or kitchenettes. This is perfect for families wanting easy access to the beach. While not formally part of the resort, the adjacent Comfort Suites Paradise Island provides budget-friendly accommodations AND includes all of the Atlantis amenities.
3. Atlantis is NOT an all-inclusive resort
Be prepared to shell some serious cash for special experiences, meals, snacks, drinks, etc. Many people recommend packing snacks and water bottles to avoid extra daytime charges. You’ll likely have a large dinner, but snacks help hold everyone over during the day. Rooms have mini fridges too for storing drinks and leftovers. The resort has a meal plan, which can be helpful if your kids are 11 and under (then they eat free). FoodStore2Go.com will deliver groceries to the resort as well. I’ve heard that Dominos will deliver too, but give them a call to make sure.
4. Make Reservations for Dinner in advance
Make dinner reservations before you even leave for the resort; otherwise, you’ll run into some wait times or will have to eat very early or late. Once you arrive you’ll likely have a message on your room phone asking you to confirm your reservations. Our favorites for fine dining are Nobu, Mosaic, and Dune at the Ocean Club. Our family-friendly recommendations are Carmines, Poseidon’s Table, Virgil’s Real BBQ, and Murray’s Deli.
5. Download the Interactive Map
Atlantis Resort is HUGE! Before you leave, download the free resort app available for iPhone, iPad, and Android. It includes a map and a list of events. You can use it to make your dinner reservations on the fly or before you leave. If you don’t want to carry your phone, pick up a printed map because, believe me, it’s easy to get lost.
6. Avoid Crowd
Since Atlantis is a very popular resort, you are likely to encounter crowds, especially if you travel during the high seasons like holiday and school vacations. The best way to avoid crowds is to travel in the low season when most kids are in school. If you are there during more crowded times, we have a few tips:
Avoid the Cruise Crowds: Sunday and Mondays are typically a bit lighter crowd-wise because the cruise ships are not flooding the property with extra people. You can also visit Aquaventure early or after 5pm when the cruise crowds are not there. There is a website called CruiseTT.com where you can see what ships will be in port on any given day.
Eat off-site: Consider having at least some of your meals off property. For breakfast, I recommend taking a stroll over to the neighboring marina village for Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts. It’s also nice eating al fresco and gazing at the stunning yachts docked there.
Reserve seating: to avoid the mad dash each morning to get prime seating around the main pool, you can book preferred seating for two guests at the Grotto Pool inside Aquaventure. Private cabanas can also be reserved throughout the main waterpark area. During crowded months, they can really be well worth the extra cost and provide many added amenities.
7. Swim with the Dolphins
Booking a special experience like those available at Dolphin Cay will help you spend time away from the crowds. Here you can swim with dolphins and frolic with sea lions. It’s not a cheap endeavor, but well worth it in my book. Make sure to book early as this very popular experience fills up months in advance. You can also purchase beach passes where you can spend the entire day at the Dolphin Cay beach.
Pro Tip:Personal cameras are not allowed into the Dolphin Lagoon. Non-participating family members can take photos from the shoreline. The photo packages are extremely expensive so split the cost with another family if you can. All files are digital so they are easy to pay one price and then share.
8. No need to pay “Tips”
No need to pay tip, since tips are already included on everything you purchase. For example, a $6.25 self-serve cheese slice of pizza came to $7.40 with VAT (value added tax) and tip added in. We were told by the front desk that even the daily fee per person at the hotel covers bellhop services. They will still accept a tip, but that’s up to you.
9. Skip the Lazy River
While there are times when you’ll want a lazy float, you’ll definitely want to head to the rapid river called The Current. It’s a mile-long river ride with high-intensity waves and rapids, guaranteed to keep you cool and laughing. It’s similar to a lazy river, but sans the lazy portion. It can take up to a half hour to float along the twisty path, but you’ll have more fun along the way riding waves and bumping over rapids. My family did this over and over again.
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