Atlantis, Paradise Island
You can learn a lot about the diversity of shark wildlife in the hotel aquariums. It's also fun to watch the sharks scurry about in the water to get to the food first. Certainly the first learning experience I had here in the Bahamas, and I enjoyed every tidbit of information given by the marine biologist. No charge for this; you can come and watch whenever you feel like it. I'm not sure about the frequencies, ask the person at the front desk when the next shark feeding is.
You can go parasailing here with two people per boat or just solo for those brave ones out there. I believe the price was around $20 per person for a half hour. Children under the age of 18 cannot go alone unless the guy is given direct parental consent to do so.
This is an event that you can do with one or two people, depending on the size of the jet-ski. You can also use your voucher from the Royal Hotels for a free Jet-ski rental with the purchase of one. For a half hour it's about $20, so you can get in an hour with a voucher. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult unless given direct parental consent.
The only water activity that you can do for less than $20, but you're also with more people. This is a good one for your children, since jet-skis and parasailing may be a little too dangerous. Here, you can fit many people on the banana boat which is pulled by a motorboat. It reminds me of a mechanical bull for water. Hang on tight!
Try not to go at the same time that we went.. there was a storm that formed just overhead a mile away with lightning and everything. It is a very beautiful beach with crystal clear waters, so you should be able to see anything if it approaches you in the water. You can also do many of the different water activities available at the beach, which are under my other tips.
This is a walk in a glass tunnel underwater through a tank of "predators." Some of the fish in the tank really are predators, but a lot of them don't really pose much of a threat to you if you fall in the water for some reason. The only thing in here I can imagine that MAY attack you are the barracuda and the sharks. It's home to giant Australian grouper, sawfish, tuna, and more. Certainly something to see.
Just as a rule of thumb, if you intend to stay on the lazy river, keep right. There are little exits out to a pool and other places along the way, so just keep right. There are also whirlpool zones where if you get caught in them, you'll wind up staying there until you figure out how to maneuver yourself out of the way. There's also a section that if you're on the wrong side of the bank, it'll drag you backwards, so learn these areas and you should be fine. It's a great little thing to just sit back and relax while being cooled by the water.
This is the name of the high-speed, really high waterslide that you see in all the ads and everything. I also reccomend you try this even once. My grandfather of 86 went on this and said it was so fun he wanted to do it several times over. The actual slide takes about 15 to 20 seconds, and you're going so fast you really can't tell if you're under water. There are a couple other slides on the Mayan Temple; the Challenger, a racing slide where you compete with one other person to see who gets to the bottom first; the Jungle slide, a twisting slide you would find at any water park; and the tube ride with the sharks. All four of the lines are relatively short at all times of the day in comparison to the waterparks I've been to, like Splish Splash and Blizzard Beach.
Get a wristband at any of the towel stations in the pavillion. All you have to do is show your room key and it's yours, "free" of charge. The colors change every day, so you're going to have to get one every day you're there. Children like to collect these wristbands and tend to keep the old ones on while aquiring new colors
This is a must-do to anyone going to the Atlantis Resort, because it's very neat to know that you're in an intertube underwater with sharks swimming above, below and beside you. Certainly worth the wait in line for the little wrist band thing.
Here, you can listen to a live band sing songs that range from Bob Marley's entire Legends album to Van Morrison. Only the greatest hits of the classic American genre is available from these people, but you know, you can't just make a Bahamian beat to every single song and have them memorized for an on-demand performance. It's interesting hearing some hit songs with a Bahamian flavor. Even Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville sounded quite different, but it was very well done. They're great entertainment, and they're amplified throughout the entire outside pavillion by little speakers in the foliage, so it makes a nice poolside lounge background.
They may be crowded at times, but the temperature is always perfect for the temperature outside after sunbathing for a little while. If you're not a beach-person, this is the way to go. There aren't any jellyfish or sharks to scare you out of the water. Possibly the safest swimming encounter at the hotel is in the pools. Be sure to swim in the ones with people in them and not the ones with sharks and stingrays in them.
Atlantis is home to the 2nd largest marine habitat in the world - behind nature itself. 6 inches of glass sit between you and millions of gallons of water and some of the most impressive fish you will ever see, including sharks, eels, rays, tuna, grouper, snappers, barracuda, and more. Over 200 species are represented, and most are indigenous to Bahamian waters.
The Bridge Suite at Atlantis has been occupied by Michael Jordan, Queen Elizabeth, and other celebrities. It costs $25,000 per night for a minimum stay of 4 nights. Yes, that would be $100,000 per stay. You have plenty of time to save up - it is booked 5 years in advance.
Our cruise ship got in quite early and we took a $4 taxi ride over to Atlantis from Nassau. Apparently security wasn't in full force yet, as we wandered into the guest area and then into the Dig, part of the $25 Aquarium, for free! Interesting tour and premise of long-lost archeological finds of the mythical city. If you're not so lucky, you can see some of the Aquarium from the lobby's cafe, or pay the $25 for the full tour (with the shark tunnel). Plan to spend time wandering around the shops and bring some money to donate at the casino (look UP at the beautiful glass sculptures).