Now that we had a spending strategy in place, it was time to start enjoying the resort. As the name implies, the resort takes its theme from the legend of the lost city of Atlantis mentioned in Plato's writings in 360 BC. The legendary city is said to have sunk to the bottom of the ocean. The Atlantis Resort promotes this lost civilization theme in great detail. We entered the lobby of the Royal Towers to see columns and a high arched ceiling covered in sculpted sea shells. There were paintings depicting artist renditions of what the ancient Atlantis civilization might have looked like. There are vases that reminded me of the type of artifacts archaeologists uncover in archaeological digs. One of the popular photo opportunities is the shell chair. Even in our hotel room, we were intrigued by the fish sculptures at the bottom of the night stand lamps. The artistic aspect of the resort was not my focus initially but the more time we spent there, I was increasingly awed by the level of detail of the place.
Just beyond the lobby of the Royal Towers is the aquarium. It has an impressive variety of sea creatures swimming amongst the array of lost city artifacts. I often found myself glancing at the large windows of the aquarium whenever I strolled through the lobby. It was always a treat for me to see the gigantic manta ray swim by. When this creature swam on its side, I could see that its wingspan was wider than I am tall!
As guests of the Royal Towers, we were entitled to the Discover Atlantis Tour free of charge. Most of our group was from one of the cruise ships that were in the Port of Nassau that day. The hour-long tour was led by a guide who showed us the aquariums and beautiful grounds of the resort. Most of the tour focused on the aquariums and sea creatures that swim in bodies of water indoors and outdoors. We walked through cave-like tunnels that promoted the lost city theme with ancient contraptions. We walked through an interesting area called The Dig in which we made our way through man-made caves and eventually found ourselves walking through an aquarium tunnel. We saw the predators area where there are sharks, sawfish, stingrays and other sea life you probably don't want to encounter during a swim. For a price, however, Atlantis will let you suit up and swim with sharks, dolphins, or just about any other creature that is on display at the resort.
In addition to all of the sea life, we learned some facts and stats about the construction, expansion, accommodations, and ownership of Atlantis. Of course, I don't think anyone leaves the resort without hearing about the Michael Jackson Suite where the entertainer stayed during his visit to the resort. You can stay in the same suite for $25,000 per night! Oh and you must stay a minimum of 4 nights.
The Discover Atlantis Tour was a fun, informative way to spend an hour. This was enhanced by our tour guide, a friendly young lady who was also a fan of gospel music. In between her commentary to the group, she would ask Traci and me about the One Love concerts. Like us, she had spotted several of the artists around the resort.
The major draw for Atlantis is all of its water amusements. There are swimming pools everywhere, intimidating water slides, lazy rivers, rapid rivers, jet skiing, water tri-cycles, beaches, and more. We needed to show our room key cards to the personnel at the towel huts to get towels and a daily wristband. Traci and I are not really beach and water people but at Atlantis, everything looked so inviting that we had to give it a try. We had a great time on The Current, a river rapids ride in which our inner tube was propelled around the surprisingly long course by periodic waves of water. We relaxed on the Lazy River course. We did the Serpent Slide, an enclosed tube slide that actually goes through an aquarium where sharks and other creatures swim. Hats off to the creative people who designed this ride. Traci got up the courage to try the steep Challenger water slide. We spent some time on the beach and made sure to take a break for conch fritters and fries from one of the various food shacks throughout the property. I'm not sure if it was the time of the year, the immense size of Atlantis, or a combination of the two but the beach, pools, and water amusements never seemed crowded.
Ahh. Vacation has begun.
a quiet day at the beach
floating down the Lazy River
Traci speeding down the Challenger Slide (right side)
Because we were so busy with the One Love events, we did not have much time to try out other resort offerings. Traci only worked out one day during our stay. She definitely got her $15 worth at the fitness center that day, however. She took an hour-long yoga class followed by an hour-long spinning class which she followed by thirty minutes of her own workout routine.
Atlantis will face some competition starting in 2014 when another resort being built by the Chinese is scheduled to open in Nassau. We were told it will rival Atlantis in size and will employ 7,000 people. Continue...