I normally don't write trip report but since there seems to be too many negative review about Paradise Island and Cabbage beach, I figure I write my personal experience. Not a detail trip report but rather observation and thoughts.
We arrived in Paradise Island on 12/25/13 and flied back 1/1/14. We are from Virginia but flied out from Baltimore because we like to fly direct. We stayed at the Best Western condo in Paradise Island. We are a family of 4, with 2 adults and 2 girls age 8, 11.
First off: Cabbage beach. Cabbage Beach is beautiful with soft white sand, more coarse and pinkish toward the golf course while softer and more pack toward Atlantis. It's also much more quieter and calmer toward the golf course. There are 2 public access points: 1 next to RIU and 1 next to The One and Only Beach Club. There is no public restroom in Cabbage Beach, however, you can use the restroom at the convenience store on access point at OO. If you are really bother by locals selling things then I suggest you pack your bags and move toward the golf course, it's almost empty with no locals. When we took the walk on the beach along the beach, of course, we get asked if we want jet sky, para-sail. A smile and simple no thank you will suffice.
Foods: Foods at Atlantis look like garbage. For a life of me, I never understand why people fly hundred or thousand of miles to eat the worst foods at these tourist traps. Part of the travel experience is interacting with locals and eating the foods of the area. We spent most of our lunch/dinner money on Potters Cay chowing down conch fritters, conch salad, fried groupers or buying fishes to bring home and cook. For those that don't know, Potters cay is under the bridge leaving Paradise Island on the side of Nassau. It's like the Fish Fry except better and faster and more authentic. Of course, you will be asked by some if you want some Ganzi (they called it ganzi instead of ganza) but then I was asked when I was downtown as well. A simple no thank you will suffice. There seems to be no tourist in the area which is a shame.
We walk from our condo to Potters Cay at least once a day. It's less than a mile of nice view.
We also took a ferry to downtown and walk to the Fish fry. For those who complaint about being asked for tips in the ferry, just ignore it if you don't want to give. Of course, if you just sit down and enjoy your view without listening and participate, they don't even bother you. Whatever the case, I don't think a dollar should ruin your day. We ate at Goldies, We prefered Potters Cay better. On the walk, We passed by Junkanoo beach which is full of cruise ship passengers. The only thing that really annoy me was the segway group which overtook the sidewalk.
Groceries: There are 2 close to Paradise Island: 1 in the village shopping center next to Bristol Liquor and Super value about 1/3 of a mile straight from the bridge. Price and selection wise Super Value is way better but be prepare for sticker shock since every thing is imported here.
Atlantis: we took a troll into Atlantis for 2 nights. 1 nights to see the aquarium and see if anything good to eat and another for the new year count down. It's just like a smaller casino in Las Vegas. Foods look pathetic. Pizza look like frozen pizza imported from U.S Schools. The aquarium is OK. Probably a little less attractive than Baltimore aquarium. Most of the fishes are local fishes, zacks, grunts, wrasses, parrot fishes. They also have a fresh water cichlids and amazon them which include pacu, piranha, etc. They have a tank full of green wolf eels as well. Overall, nice but not worth the admission cost. You can walk in and see it without pay after 6.
This is our second time in Nassau/Paradise Island. The first time we stayed at the Wyndam on Cable Beach. It was also during Xmas and the cold front from Miami almost ruin our vacation. It's cold as hell. This time, we were lucky to get nice warm weather.
Final thought: You are on vacation, relax and enjoy. Since you are in the tourist area, expect to be pestered, as always a simple No Thank you will be suffice. You are flying hundred or thousand of miles to a foreign country, eat the local foods. It's fresher. You just can't get fresh chicken, beef but fresh fishes and conch are plenty.