Our family just returned from a 4 day stay at Atlantis in the Bahamas. After landing, you go through Customs, baggage claim, then a quick baggage check. We booked a taxi with Cheryl’s Taxi Service (if you google Cheryl’s taxi Bahamas, you will find her). The Atlantis transfers cost about $40pp each way. Our cost $40 for the family and all our luggage and tolls going there, and $35 on the way back. We heard the water bottles were $10 each at Atlantis so we got a case of 24 bottles for $12 at the grocery store that we stopped at on the way there.
Once we pulled up to Atlantis, we were floored. The resort is ENORMOUS. It is like its own little city. We stayed at the Royal Towers. When we thought “big resort hotel,” in our minds, we imagined something like the Grand Floridian at Disney – a pretty large resort hotel, in our estimation. It is not. This place is MASSIVE and the lobby quite impressive. There are bell hops as soon as you get out of your vehicle. Use them! You will find a $15 bell hop gratuity on your bill at check out (whether you use it or not), so you might as well take advantage of it.
The room was very spacious and clean. The room had a small Juliet balcony, just enough to step out onto with my morning tea, but no chairs. The room had a large closet, large bathroom with separate toilet, vanity with lots of storage, 2 comfortable queen beds with duvets, a table with 2 chairs and another arm chair. There was a small one-cup coffee machine with Starbucks coffee and some tea bags. The TV is a flat screen but not HD. However, it had all the requisite channels needed for my family – Disney Junior, Nick Junior, and 3 ESPN channels – among about 50 other channels (BBC, CNN, NBC, CBS, etc.).
The grounds are lushly landscaped and there are numerous pools to choose from, as well as 2 beaches and 2 lazy rivers. The kids loved the kiddie pool called Splashers. It is no more than 2.5 ft deep at its deepest point, and has a zero entry for the little ones. It also has a large structure with slides and water cannons and other enjoyable things for the kids. The one thing I really appreciated was the number of lifeguards all around the property (and generally speaking, the sheer number of staff they have working here). Just for the Splashers pool alone, there were 9 lifeguards- 3 were on the structure, helping kids on the slides, 3 were just wading inside the pool to make sure all the kids were ok, and 3 were stationed in high lifeguard chairs all around the pool area. I felt completely at ease having my son play on the structure and slides by himself, while I watched from below in the pool with the baby. Tons of free life vests for the kids in various sizes all around the place – just grab one and go. But we brought our own from home anyway. There were more slides but since our kids were too short (you have to be 48 inches), we did not go on those. The kiddie pools, beach and Rapid River were enough for them. We did not even get to go to Aquarium because we ran out of time.
Food, as well as everything else is expensive. However, if you plan carefully, you may be able to do ok. The first night we went to Johnny Rockets. I got a regular burger with fries is $12.50, so I didn’t think the cost was too bad. But the milkshake is $9, so stick with the tap water. Hubby had a chicken sandwich, which was pretty good and $14. We saw another table order the Philly Cheesesteaks and I gotta tell you, they were the saddest looking cheesesteaks I’ve ever seen! (particularly since we are from Philly).
The next night we went to Carmines. Prices were $36 for the calamari appetizer, which was a huge mountain of calamari! Like 3x the size of Maggianos (at about 3x the price!) I ordered a regular salad ($28). My husband ordered the chicken parmesan ($48) on a bed of pasta (extra $15), so with gratuity it was $72 total for the chicken parm. He barely made a dent. So if you are family of 5, order the chicken parm with pasta and nothing else. All the appetizers at Carmines were about $30, the chicken/pasta entrees were $48 (including spaghetti with meatballs) and the beef dishes were $97.
The last night, he grabbed some takeout sandwiches and salads from Murray’s Deli. He got a Reuben and a Cobb salad and it ended up being about $50 for both. And I got a pizza for $6 at the Marina Pizza next door. The Cobb salad was the same salad they sold at the food kiosks by the pools for $10! So just grab one pool side before they close (around 5pm).
Everyone tells you to factor in an extra $100 per night in extra taxes, fees and charges, and they are right. The kids club has various activities for the kids that last around 1.5 – 2 hrs, and the cost is about $40-$60 per activity depending on what they are doing. In-room babysitting is $75 for 3 hours for the first child and another $25 for the second child.
On the last day, check out was at 11am. We were all packed and ready to go by 9am, the bell services took our luggage into the holding room and we made sure to pack one beach bag with clothes, etc. Our pick up time was 12:30pm so the kids and I went for a swim at the beach and the pools, we went to the guest transit center for showers. Bring your own toiletries if you have some extras from your room when you check out, because they provide towels but no toiletries.
Cheryl met us at 12:30pm outside the lobby as promised. We checked in at the airline desk. Then we headed over to the long security line. Then we went through Customs in the Bahamas for the US (so you do not have to go through customs when you land). When we landed in BWI, the luggage came out onto the carousel right away (which never happens in PHL). So just for not having to wait an hour for my luggage, I would fly out of BWI again. We would probably go back to Atlantis when the kids are a bit older and do not need constant supervision and can go on the slides for older kids. That way, the kids can play and I can relax by the pool without hovering over them all the time. But it was a very nice beach/pool vacation and I would recommend it! Any questions, I'd be happy to annswer them.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.