Bahamas trip – Atlantis Resort

Through my work, we had the opportunity to travel to the Bahamas and stay at the Atlantis Resort.  We were somewhat excited by the opportunity, but were also a bit wary as we had some forewarning that Atlantis is expensive, and we don’t really do expensive.  Even so, it was something new and I’m always up for an adventure.  Plus, Debi and Toren would get to swim and play for a couple of days while I went to meetings.

We flew in on the 29th.  Our visit to the Bahamas started well when we told our cab driver that we had recently been to the Bahamas on a cruise ship and wanted to see the “real Bahamas” (i.e., where Bahamians live).  He was very obliging and took us on a tour through some of the neighborhoods most tourists don’t visit.  That was a lot of fun and very informative.

Then we arrived at the resort.  It was late afternoon and a bit chillier than we hoped, but we still had a chance to float along the lazy river by our tower (we were in the Coral Towers).  The lazy river was fine, but we started to notice that the upkeep of the resort was rather slipshod, with broken and exposed pipes around the river.  Given how cold it was (in the 60s), we did just two laps around the river (no one else was in the river), then headed toward a nearby hot tub to warm up.  Turns out, the hot tub was more like a warm-ish tub.  Even so, we spent a while in there, then decided to dry off, change into warmer clothes, and go explore the resort to see what we could do the next day.

As we wandered around, we did find some cool places.  For instance, the view of the Royal Towers (the iconic towers with the arch) from the Lagoon Bar & Grill was pretty cool:

Debi and Toren at the Lagoon Bar & Grill
Debi and Toren at the Lagoon Bar & Grill

But we also noticed some other issues with upkeep.  For instance, the underwater viewing tunnel for the Predator Lagoon had a serious leak in it with a stream of water running down.  There was about an inch of water in the tunnel.  The solution the resort came up with was to put a large barrel underneath the crack to catch some of the water.  That made the view of the Predator Lagoon a bit more uncomfortable than it should have been.

We walked around a large part of the resort, as these videos illustrate:

For dinner, we ate at the Marina Pizzeria, paying close to $40.00 for a large pizza.  Admittedly, the pizza was good and enough for two meals for us, but I could get 8 pizzas for that price in Tampa.

When we got back to our hotel room, Debi and I had to check on a couple of things related to work, but didn’t have much luck.  We couldn’t get the internet to work.  We didn’t want to spend $23.00 per day on internet, but we kind of needed to.  Regardless, we couldn’t spend the money we didn’t want to spend as the portal to pay for the internet didn’t work.  This was also when we noticed that there was a hole in the wall in our room, odd cables running around the place, and our TV didn’t work:

The hole in the wall in our room and cables.
The hole in the wall in our room (on the right) and cables.
Toren trying to turn on our TV.
Toren trying to turn on our TV.

We don’t normally watch much TV in hotels, but with Toren going to sleep at 8:00, Debi and I thought we’d watch something.  No luck.  We called the front desk and they said they couldn’t send anyone for 45 minutes.  45 minutes later, no one had come.  We called again and they said they didn’t know when they would get someone to come fix the TV.  They ended up sending someone the next day to fix the TV.

Day 2:

Debi is a bit of a water connoisseur. She really doesn’t like water that has any flavor to it, particularly if it tastes/smells like sulfur. The water at the hotel tasted like sulfur, and Debi really didn’t like it.  So, on the morning of the 30th I walked over to the gym, about a 20 minute walk, hoping to fill up our water bottles with water from the gym (we’ve found that hotel gyms usually have the best water).  When I walked in, I was informed that using the gym cost $17.00 per day.  Ugh!  There was water in the room, but at $7.00 per bottle, we couldn’t bring ourselves to drink it.  So, Debi plugged her nose and drank some of the water.

I had some time on Friday to hang out with Debi and Toren before my meetings started.  We went out to the beach and walked along the beach for a while:

Then we played shuffle board with Toren for a while:

After that, we headed to the water park.  We went around the river rapids ride (a lazy river with rapids) that was pretty fun.  It was still a bit chilly, so Debi and Toren went to the hot tub while I checked out some of the waterslides.  They did find a warm hot tub and the water slides were pretty cool.  We then took the advice of the cab driver to leave the resort and get some Bahamian food.  We changed into warmer clothes and headed across the bridge to Nassau. At the base of the bridge are a bunch of small shacks serving conch fritters and conch salad.  We didn’t get to try either of those when we were in the Bahamas in December on a cruise, so we picked one of the little restaurants and ordered some grub.

Conch fritters and conch salad are kind of the thing try in the Bahamas, so that’s what I ordered.  Here are the conch fritters:

conch fritters
conch fritters with fry sauce?

Debi and Toren tried them, but I ended up eating most of them.

And here is the chef making my conch salad right on the water:

Of course, the obligatory photo of me eating the conch salad:

eating my conch salad
eating my conch salad

It was okay.  Conch basically is flavorless, and the salad pretty much tasted like salsa.  Debi and Toren both tried the salad too, which is pretty amazing consider how picky they are.

Here’s a shot of Debi and Toren at our table right on the water:

our table at the restaurant was literally on the water
our table at the restaurant was literally on the water

After lunch, we walked about 1/2 a mile from the base of the bridge to a grocery store to buy some water for Debi.  The same water bottles they were selling for $7.00 in our hotel room were $1.59 in the grocery store.  So, we picked up some water, some fresh fruit, and some snacks for Toren, then headed back to the hotel.

Here’s a shot of Toren and I on the way back over the bridge to Paradise Island:

hiking back over to Paradise Island
hiking back over to Paradise Island

When we got back, we had a little more time before I had to get ready for my meetings.  So, we played dominoes on our balcony with this view:

the view from our balcony
the view from our balcony

Then I had to go to my meeting.

The next day I spent in meetings, but Debi and Toren went back to the beach, the water park, and did a variety of other things.  We left early on Sunday to catch our flights back home.

Overall, it was a great trip, even though we were a bit disappointed in the quality of our room, the cost, and the upkeep of the resort.  We got to see new things, try new things, and have fun together, which was the best part!

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