::dusts off keyboard::
I’m beginning to wonder when I’ll actually realize my real-life capacity versus my imaginary capacity or ability to get things done before I leave for a trip. Pardon the radio silence from the blog this past week, but we left for the Bahamas on Saturday and got back late Wednesday night.
Yesterday Raleigh was slammed with severe weather, tons of rain that caused flooding, and now today it’s very windy but the skies have opened up to let through peeks of blue.
Speaking of blue skies, I want to tell you a bit more about our trip!
So this whole idea started with my mom mentioning that it would be fun to go on a tropical vacation sometime, and with the impending birth of my sister’s first baby, we thought “well, it isn’t going to get EASIER to travel with more kids coming into the family, so let’s go now”!
We chose the Bahamas since it wasn’t a Zika risk for my sister. After a bit of research, we landed on Atlantis on Paradise Island. My parents had been before (athough it had been 30 years) and it looked like a fun place that all ages could enjoy.
Travel day was quite long, but the flights themselves were fairly short. Going through customs (both arriving and departing) was easy, so the whole act of leaving the country and arriving in the Bahamas was very smooth.
My sister and Mike had their own room, and Justin and I decided to split a suite with my parents. We wanted to have a meeting/hangout room where we could spend time when the kids were sleeping. When we actually walked into our room, my mom and I kept looking at each other confused about the size. It seemed much bigger than the one we booked, and it also definitely wasn’t renovated like the website had said either.
There was plenty of space for us and the room location worked out well.
Atlantis has a lot of pools, and a lot of waterslides for kids over 48 inches (neither of my boys was tall enough). They have a fantastic kids area for kids under 48 inches, as well as a few different kid pools. If you or your kids like swimming in pools and playing near the water, there is plenty of that! The boys were able to do the Rapids River, which was a lazy river with a few parts that picked up speed through rapids, but they needed a life vest.
Justin, Mike and I did a few of the crazy adult slides. One of them, Leap of Faith, was the most thrilling water slide I’ve ever been on in my life! It was terrifying but also very fun.
The days were spent tag-teaming the kids, playing with them at the Splashpad/Water play structure, and then one adult going back to the room to nap with Emily. Sometimes the boys took a break and went back to the room, other times they stayed with the adults. The grounds are absolutely picturesque, and the intention is to stay outside as long as you possibly can!
We went to the beach one day, which is just a short walk from the main pool area, and the boys loved splashing in the waves. The water was crystal clear and the views were beautiful.
There was a pretty good variety of pool-side places to eat lunch, which we used, but the prices were astronomical. It’s one thing to expect a slightly higher expense at a resort, but the prices at some of the eateries on the property were crazy high.
By the last full day, the kids were getting weary from all the activity and while the adults probably would have stayed one more day if they were able, it was clear that it was time to go home. Our last night we had a really lovely family dinner down by the Marina and enjoyed the evening together.
As an influencer, and as someone who is always curious about where other families like to vacation, I want to share a few things that surprised me so you feel fully prepared should you decide to vacation here.
First, the prices of food and drink are extremely high. Second, everything outdoors on the property near the pools closes at 5:00pm. It was a ghost town at 5:01pm. This was disappointing to me and seemed like such a waste. Third, we were surprised by the negative and unhelpful attitude of the majority of the staff on the property. We learned that this is likely cultural and when we were asked for our feedback upon leaving the country, there is a place where you can rate how the “attitude of the Bahamian locals” was during your trip. Some staff members were very kind and helpful, but others were so rude it was actually kind of shocking.
We also inquired about our confusion about our room, which was not what we originally booked. The space worked but we wanted to understand how we ended up there. The hotel manager shared that since the renovated suites were already booked, they put us in a non-renovated suite with extra space. That worked out fine, but we wish they would have been clear about that upon check-in. The suite we were in was old, the handles fell off in the shower, and one of the toilets was leaking which led to a few handymen coming into the room to assess the problem. I want to be clear here that the actual layout of the suite worked great for our family, and in the grand scheme of things it didn’t really matter, but when you pay for a certain type of room and instead are quietly ushered into a different room with no explanation, it can cause a bit of questioning. I also want to share that after we asked about our room confusion, Atlantis apologized that our original room was booked, and offered a discount on our next stay which was kind.
The positives of Atlantis are that there is a lot to do, especially for kids ages 6 and up. I wish my kids had been about 5 years older so they really could do all that they had to offer! The kids also really enjoyed all the caves and underwater viewing of the fish and sharks. There are a lot of things for adults to do as well, and it’s truly a beautiful place to visit. It’s relatively easy to get to and I’ve never seen anything like it in the United States.
So, would I recommend it? I’d say if you are aware that you’ll be spending a pile of money on food, and if you have children over 48 inches, you’ll enjoy Atlantis. If you are traveling without kids, you may enjoy some of the nicer restaurants and private pools. There really is something for just about anyone there, you simply have to be prepared to pay for it!
At the end of the day, we all had a fun time and the kids absolutely loved it–and that was the goal of our tropical vacation.
Here are a few more photos from our trip. . .