If you are planning or have been on a cruise, then you are probably aware that one of the major stops for many Caribbean cruises is Nassau in the Bahamas. We were fortunate enough to go on another cruise that stopped in the Bahamas on our recent trip, and one thing I overheard was that there isn’t a whole lot to do in Nassau for kids. I might have agreed with that sentiment prior to this trip, but one surefire thing to do that kids will enjoy is visiting Atlantis.
You may have heard about Atlantis in the past but you may not entirely be sure what there is to do there. For those who are visiting as part of a day trip on a cruise, the biggest attraction is the Aquaventure Water Park. According to Atlantis’ website, the water park is spread out over 141 acres, much of which is lined with beaches. The park has a number of water slides as well as a “rapids river”, which is a combination of a lazy and not-so-lazy river.
Getting there from the cruise port is pretty straightforward. There are a number of taxis waiting just outside of the gate after you leave the port. We didn’t have any issues whatsoever with either of our taxi trips, and if you use one of the services that combine passengers from multiple cruise ships the price is only $5 per person each way. We liked that there were about 8 – 10 passengers with us each way, as it made us feel just a little bit safer in a foreign country. If you do feel like you want an additional amount of security you might check out Cheryl’s Taxi Service. We saw that they were highly recommended and had excellent reviews from various sites. I felt like the taxis waiting at the gate were absolutely sufficient, and I think there was an extra element of ease with their operation. We didn’t have to meet up or stay in contact with a particular service. The distance to Atlantis is approximately 2 miles from the port if you feel up to a hike. I would definitely NOT recommend this as the day trip is already short and there would be the least amount of safety with this route. Doing research on how to get there before you leave for your cruise is recommended. There is of course the option of going as a port adventure with your cruise, which will make the travel portion a whole lot easier, but it will also cost an additional amount per person and may restrict your time at the destination.
There was a little bit of a line waiting to purchase tickets to get into Atlantis. If you aren’t going as part of a port adventure with your cruise, buying tickets ahead of time would be recommended so you can skip this line. You can purchase tickets directly on their website so that there are no additional fees tacked onto the tickets by third parties. The website was a little confusing as to where to book the Aquaventure Day experience. It is currently located under Experience > Aquaventure and then scroll down to Aquaventure Day Pass Booking.
Once we got inside the resort there was a little bit of a walk to get to Aquaventure. There were people that helped guide us to the water park. There were also lockers available at Aquaventure for us to keep our belongings in, and we didn’t have any issue purchasing or securing these.
The water park itself is large so finding our way around was a slight learning curve. We finally locked down a beach chair that was between the Mayan Pyramid slides, the near-Pandora looking slides and the Rapids River. This made it easier for everyone to find each other at a somewhat central location.
I think the favorite activity among our family was definitely the Rapids River. It had a mix of calm, slow moving water and spots where you would go down rapids. The rapids weren’t too much for anyone in our group, and I would think that ages 8 and up would be great at a minimum. We also enjoyed the water slides but didn’t make it to the most challenging ones. There was also an awesome water slide among the Mayan slides that ended by going past a bunch of sea life through a clear tube.
A multitude of lunch options were available at the park itself, including grilled burgers, jerk chicken and adult beverages too. There were also restaurants inside the resort such as a pizzeria and mediterranean cuisine. If you are jonesing for Starbucks you can get that here as well.
Lastly, we did walk through a casino as we made our way in and out of the resort. We did not stay to play any of the games, but it was a large casino with slot machines, cards, roulette and the works. This part is definitely not for kids but if any adults are looking for a little gambling time on your cruise, this certainly fits the bill.
All in all it was a great day. We got to see parts of Nassau on the way to and from the resort and cruise port, and our family had a really enjoyable day. It is absolutely a worthwhile visit and one that can either be done as a port adventure through the cruise activities or on your own.