Last July, I went on my first Disney Cruise with my two tween sons and my two best friends. There were many decisions and choices to make and excursions were no exception! We did the 4-night cruise on the Disney Dream with a stop in Nassau, Bahamas. After reviewing all of the excursion choices, my boys said that they really wanted to see Atlantis (probably based on all of the TV commercials they had seen is my guess) and so the decision was made. We signed up for the “Atlantis Aquaventure” and all were excited for the day. The 4-6 hour excursion included transportation to and from Atlantis, passes to use their water park, a tour of the property, and lunch.
The morning we arrived in Nassau, all who had signed up for this excursion met in the
Walt Disney Theater. This is where they checked us in and gave us our ‘admission bracelets’ and lunch vouchers. From there we disembarked the Dream and walked through the port till we got to a series of buses, which is where we waited to take the bus to Atlantis. One thing to note is that there was quite a bit of walking involved with this excursion – so I would recommend wearing sneakers or comfortable swim shoes.
When we arrived at Atlantis, we were met by a tour guide and given an ‘orientation tour’ of the resort as we walked to the ‘Aquaventure’ water park. I must say that the resort is extremely large but was truly beautiful! We walked through the huge lobby of the Royal Towers (which is a site to behold in itself), through the hotel grounds and various marine exhibits and over to the water park. The water park is the best I have ever been to. It is 141 acres in size and features state of the art water slides, river rapids, waterfalls and pools. Our personal favorite in which we spent most of our time was their ‘Aquaventure river’ that went around the entire water park. Unlike ‘Typhoon Lagoon’s ‘lazy river’, this one at Atlantis actually uses special escalators and waves to transport you around it. It was a great way to spend a good deal of the day and kept us nice and cool in the hot July sun! Traveling in the ‘Aquaventure river’ is also a great way to see the entire water park and figure out where you want to explore next.
After we spent a good deal of time in the lazy river and exploring some of the water slides we got hungry and decided it was time for lunch. The lunch vouchers we were given were good for any one of the quick service restaurants that were located around the water park. The food was pretty standard fare (burgers, wraps, pizza and salads) but it hit the spot. One thing I did notice is that there was not a lot of tables or seating for the quick service restaurants; but, I assume that most people get their food and go back to their beach chairs.
When we were done with lunch we hit the water park again. We ended up spending some more time on the Aquaventure river and then the (somewhat) famous water slides that go through the shark tank! The wait times were not very long for the water slides, in my opinion, and there were so many of them it spaced everyone out evenly.
Once we were thoroughly waterlogged, we decided we would check out the ‘ruins’ of Atlantis called “The Dig” before heading back to catch the bus. Buses left every half hour back to the port, which was nice, because it really did allow you to spend as much time as you wanted at Atlantis and gave you some flexibility. “The Dig” was an amazing themed walk-through labyrinth of sea life in large viewing windows. The added benefit is that it was cool and these areas were air conditioned which made for a welcome relief from the hot sun. The marine life and presentation was truly wonderful and very extensive.
As we made our way out of “The Dig” we walked back through the lobby of the Royal Towers and rested a little in the lobby, taking in all of the grand architecture and design. We then headed back to the bus, where we were brought back to the port, and boarded the Dream again.
Atlantis is so large that we could go there again for another excursion and probably not do the same things twice. There are actually many Atlantis excursions to choose from. So if you are not a big water park fan you can book the “Discover Atlantis Tour” and basically walk around and look at the marine exhibits, shop, play at the casino and eat. There are also Atlantis excursions that feature Dolphin interactions at their Dolphin Cay, snorkeling and golf options as well.
In my opinion the Atlantis excursion was well worth the money –especially if you have tweens, teens or older kids. The orientation tour at the beginning was good for first timers to the resort but a bit long – if I booked another Nassau excursion I would probably bypass the tour.
Hands down though, the best part of the day was being able to walk back onto the Disney Dream (we were greeted at the port with ice cold lemon water and frozen facecloths to wipe our faces with – heaven after a day in the hot sun!).
Have you been to Atlantis? What excursions have you done with DCL and what did you like best?