Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Atlantis at Paradise Island

Greetings from Atlantis... The Atlantis resort is located on Paradise Island which is just a bridge away from New Providence Island and the Bahamian capital, Nassau. Wow, this place is incredible! I've put up some pictures of the complex here and I'll be putting up more over the next few days. We've been here now for about 5 days. It took us 3 just to get around the resort without a map! If you look at the website, http://www.atlantis.com/ you can see more of it. It's amazing and HUGE. There are over 9 pools, more than 20 restaurants, 5 hotels I think (different buildings), a casino and several water rides. Most impressive, however, are the aquariums. They have sharks, manta rays, sting rays, groupers, all sorts of reef fish. I've put a few pics up of these as well. There are dolphins here but I have issues with captive dolphins so we haven't checked that facility out. It's ridiculously expensive and absolutely gorgeous...

The marina here holds about 60 ships, mostly sized for megayachts. Until yesterday we were, by far, the smallest boat here. Dang! Another similar Tiara came in yesterday along with a 38 foot Silverton so now it feels more "normal" on our dock :)

We are docked at the far end of the marina so we have a nice walk to get to the main area and it's quieter being away from the action. The facilities are beautiful though our slip is a bit rockn' rolly from the boats passing in the harbor and the dingies flying through the channel.

The first couple of days here Martin and I just wandered around. We made sure to wear our bathing suits so we could dunk in on a water ride when it got too hot. It was really warm here, unusually so from what some locals have told us, up in the mid-90s. We tried to be good, but we're both pink and peeling all ready!

Paradise Island is about 7 miles long and quite narrow. Most of the island is divided into private chunks - resorts where you need ID to get (like Atlantis). It's a bit of a Disney Land-type place. A fantasy vacation land... I don't think any Bahamians live on the Island.

We also walked over the big bridge to New Providence Island a couple of times to check things out on East Bay Street. We found several boating stores (looking for water maker supplies/chemicals - no luck there), found a grocery store and bought a Bahamian pay-as-you-go cell phone. You know we're not far from home - we passed Starbucks and Kentucky Fried Chicken on our walk. We had a great lunch (you could pick out your fish from that morning's catch) at the Poop Deck restaurant.

The buildings and streets in Nassau are a bit run down but the buildings have all been painted pretty pastel colors. It's not a place to bike so we're keeping to our feet. Half the cars are right-side/half left-side steering and driving is on the left. There's a ton of traffic and it's crazy! All the Bahamians that we've met have been really friendly. It's customary here to greet everyone very politely with "hello, how are you today?" I think it's considered quite rude not to greet people everyone you meet.

On Sunday my Mom arrived. It's GREAT having her here! That is deserving of another post, however, and we are about to enjoy this cool, gray afternoon with a movie... I'll be back soon...


Sean said...

So does taking a slip at the Atlantis' marina give you unfettered access to the facilities, such as all the pools, or is there an extra charge for that?

Martin said...

You get full access. When we checked in at the Dock Masters office, we were "room keys" (they look like credit cards). We use them to get a security wristband and towels when we go to the pool and we can charge up food/drinks and the like with them. I always get a comment as the boat's name, "I Got Lucky" is on the card. There are a couple of places we can't go through. The Cove is an exclusive "adults only" hotel on the property and the "Habourside at the Marina" is a private condo/timeshare development. The latter is irritating, as the quickest way to the main complex from our slip is through Habourside (rather than walk the twisty dockside) and we have to run the gauntlet of security each time. We've only been turned back once, but its still a pain.

Despite the expense of the marina - we're paying $4/foot/day - its still a whole lot cheaper than a room.