if you want to swim with dolphins, or simply stand in shallow waters with them, it's definitely possible on Paradise Island. The Atlantis Resort has its own Dolphin Cay where you can meet and greet bottlenose dolphin... for a very helfty price. We were really intrigued and went to have a look, but the experience really seemed too impersonal (far too many people there) and too expensive.
There are two programs being offered: the Shallow Water Interaction and the Deep Water Swim. In the Shallow Water Interaction you stand in waist-high waters to watch dolphins from up-close and then you are allowed to touch/kiss them. It costs 140 dollars and you'll be in the water for 30 minutes. In the Deep Water Swim you actually get to swim and snorkel with dolphins and play with them - with the help of a hand-held water scooter. This program costs 184 dollars.
Equipment: A swimsuit is enough. You will be provided with wetsuits and towels.
The beaches on Paradise Island are supposedly some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. There are plenty of beaches to choose from.
Cabbage Beach is a beach by Atlantis. Nearby is Paradise Beach and Cove Beach. Along with sunbathing and swimming, there are other activities available.
The Mayan waterslide and tube waterslides are the best. The waterslide takes you on almost a verticle drop right through the shark tanks. You go so fast you can't see them but from the observation areas it's quite a site. The lazy river is also a must. Relax and enjoy the slow moving pace while getting sprayed with water when the heat becomes too unbearable.
Equipment: Inner tubes are supplied for both the Mayan waterslide and the Lazy River. You must be a hotel guest to use them. Or stay at the Comfort Suites (they get use of all Atlantis activities for free).
From literature: With direct access from Nassau Harbor, the Marina at Atlantis features 63 mega-yacht slips. A 100 foot wide channel, located to the West of the Nassau/Paradise Island bridges, allows for unrestricted mast height on sailboats and easy access for power boats. Channel and Marina have a minimum water depth of 12 ft at low tide.
Equipment: I did briefly consider going into the Atlantis Marina. Bob thinks it would be good for folks to fly in and meet us here sometimes (183 miles & 35 min. from Miami) and travel to the Exumas, or go into the Atlantis Marina.
This is an expensive marina ($3 to $4/ft and no boats under 40 feet), but you get all the resort and waterpark privileges and amenities without paying extra. The hotel rooms are $250 to $445/room. If we had grandchildren guests aboard, it might be worth it
Parasail boat trips are offered at the Ocean beaches of Paradise Island.
Equipment: A camera to take some fantastic pictures.
Parasail equipment is included in the rent.