If you are fan of Disneyland and don’t mind the lines, the huge crowds, being charged for absolutely everything – than the Atlanis is for you. And a huge amount of people will do anything for Disneyland. For me personally, it’s a resounding No! However, I’m not sending everyone on MY vacation but on THEIR own. And as a professional one of the biggest part of my job is to manage people’s expectations and send them on a vacation they want and imagine. Because saving for a vacation and looking forward to it and then being disappointed is really sad. At the end there will still be some nice memories because the bad stuff will fade away, but my job is to get one prepared for some sacrifices one has to make (for example if you take a speedboat tour to the Exumas the boat ride will be tough 1,5 hrs each way but totally worth a perfect deserted beach day, provided that the beach paradise is what you are dreaming about). My job is to minimize the sacrifices or prepare one for them and maximize beautiful memories that will be with one forever.
It’s no secret that the Atlantis is expensive, but is it worth all that? It’s huge, but so are lots of other places. Aquariums are cool but have you been to the Long Beach Aquarium or Las Vegas? Certainly no reason to come to the Caribbean. The giant slides and sharks is where I give them props. It is so important to educate our kids how sharks are immensely important part of the ocean Eco systems and they should be revered and respected, and they partly introduce the kids to their importance. Sharks are everywhere and spectacular. And there are lots of things that kids can learn while there.
There is the 20-30 minute wait for the big slide (that was featured few seasons ago on the Amazing Race) the one that goes through the shark tank. Considering it’s the largest slide in the world, not a bad wait.
What bothered me is waiting for everything else. The pool chairs are overcrowded you can’t find any chairs close to the pool (pictured below). Sometimes there is even a line to the towel hut. C’mon, we’re on a vacation – a line for towels? (pictured above)
They also sell day passes so the place is like a bee hive,
and there are very few bars and restaurants that accept cash, they usually just accept your key card or credit cards and they will ask you for the ID for the credit cards. So if you are on a day pass – HAVE YOUR ID WITH YOU.
There are people wheeling in coolers by the pool and helping themselves to their own sandwiches, beers, as they don’t want to pay the prices charged by the pool (pictured below).
Paradise Island beaches (unlike the Cable Beach) face open ocean and certain time of the year (like October/ November/December) can be completely unswimmable. I’m not talking Hawaii current and waves, but deadly undercurrents that have caused a death of a cruise ship passenger Nov 6, 2013 that I know of. Atlantis has a man-made beach with no waves, as well as a natural beach (no charirs and service there). Being in the Bahamas just 30-40 miles from the some of the prettiest beaches and clearest waters in the world, for me it’s kind of hard to reconcile wanting to sit on a man made beach that’s enclosed.
The run-of-the-house rooms are just basic, clean and comfortable, but far from the luxury one might expect watching the commercials. Of course there are stunning rooms at the Atlantis but more than 60% of their inventory are basic run of the house rooms (pictured below) with no view.
The pool cabanas are a nice touch, a bit expensive as you have to pay separately for evertyhthing you are served, but you will not be squished like sardines amongst other pool going patrons, and your service will be fast.
There are many many beautiful things at the Atlantis, the turtles, the sting rays, but everything is very far away from one another. Also everything is walking – no shuttles so if you are staying at the beautiful brand new Cove, to get to the waterslides and the main action will take a good 30 minute walk.
Everything has it’s pros and cons. Atlantis will be an experience you will truly remember forever. No matter how annoyed I was when I was there, my 7 year old was THRILLED! When we came back she was kissing the shark photos we were attaching to her show and tell board. She definitely wants to go back.
This one was a gift to her. Happy Travels!