Fifteen minutes and a world away from Nassau’s teeming Bay Street, cruise passengers can retreat to a resort experience like no other. The Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island a huge complex along a three-mile ribbon of powdery shoreline includes a multi-towered hotel, giant casino, top-notch stores, restaurants, tennis courts and putting green, as well as lagoons and spectacular marine exhibits.
Known as much for its decadence as for the celebrities who stay there (Oprah, Michael Jordan and Michael Jackson, to name a few), the Atlantis is accessible and affordable to cruisers who want to check it out for a day. It provides a good alternative to simply wandering around town, especially since some of Nassau’s downtown attractions, like the famous Straw Market, were destroyed in September, 2001, by a disastrous fire along Bay Street.
Atlantis has a special arrangement with Disney and Royal Caribbean: Their shore excursion packages (prices vary) include a 30-minute harbor tour, a one-hour hotel tour, and access to the Atlantis’s beach, casino, restaurants, shops, aquariums and sporting facilities. Guests are given towels and chairs on the beach, but do not have access to the pools or changing rooms. Water sports like parasailing, jet-skiing and snorkeling are available on the beach at an extra cost.