Saturday, August 3, 2013

Bahamas, In a Nutshell

I am home.
I slept in my own bed last night.
and it felt good.
Ya know, there really is just something about your own bed that feels soooo good to come home to.
ya know?
so, our vacation was truly wonderful.
Really, really wonderful.
Everyone got along so well.
Even Gregory didn't have to implement to 25 ft. "no drama" zone.
So, I had decided at the beginning of the week to do a blog on the Bahamas at the end of our trip.
you know, the what to dos, what not to dos, pluses, minuses, tips.
Okay, lets get started.

First of all a week in the Bahamas is not cheap.
So plan for that.
It's really hard to go there on a strict budget.  I'm sure it can be done, but, I haven't found a way yet.
That is, if you really want to do all of the really fun things.
So, we stayed at Harborside in the Atlantis.
It will cost you about 2,700 for a two bedroom lockout.  That will sleep 4 adults and 2 kids comfortably.
We also got another 1 bedroom for the other 4 for 2K.  I rented that from
The guys name that I rented from is Eric Rose.
Everything went SO smoothly.  I would highly recommend using this guy.  He owns a lot of timeshares down there and knows his stuff.
The trip from the airport to Atlantis is around 60.00.  Note that they don't have a car seat rule in the Bahamas, so if you want a car seat, you will need to bring one.  Most of the cabs do not have car seats. There is one service that does, and I will provide you with that number if you need it.

We love staying at Harborside because it is a condo.  Very difficult to take that many on vaca and stay in a room.  These are spacious condos (actually a lot of wasted space) with views of the harbour.
Quiet, but perfect for kids (of all ages).
The pool is really large and not very crowded.  There is a restaurant out at the point which is also very quiet.
It's a good idea (if you have kids) to make a Costco trip to get a lot of snacks and stuff to take down there.
We are Sky Priority so the extra luggage did not cost.  If you have to pay for baggage, this may not be the smart thing to do.
The shuttle from Harborside runs every day to the market at 10:00.  Except for Sunday, and that runs at 8:30.  There is also a liquor store by the market.  I was very impressed with the quality of this market.  Had everything you need.  The cost?  AT LEAST twice what you pay in the states.
Also, if you are buying a lot of groceries, take a rolling suitcase to put your stuff in.  Makes transporting much easier.

Harborside has a shuttle that runs every 15 min. over to Atlantis Hotel.  If you're smart, you can catch 
it.  If your not, you have to wait.
Okay, stuff to do at the Atlantis.
This is really the perfect place to take kids on vacation.
It's also pretty fun for the adults.
Let's see, what should I talk about first.

1)  The aquarium.

It's a beautiful aquarium.
Now.  I'm going to be a little discriminating and say that I was a little disappointed in the aquarium this time.  I just think it might be time for a little face lift.  I think the glass looked dirty.
The fish were beautiful, and there was a huge array of creatures.  
And there were plenty of divers cleaning and feeding the fish.  I just think it's time for an up do.

2)  The slides.
Awesome, awesome and more awesome.
There is something for everyone.
From the old lazy river (and let me tell ya, it's really lazy)
to the power slide of all slides, The Mayan Temple.
You cannot go wrong with the slides.  
We really loved the new rapid river rides.  Little kids can ride with an adult.
Note:  it opens at 10:00.  Get there right at 10 if you don't want to wait on a tube.
Note:  I felt like they needed to clean out the empty tubes.  Many empty ones got in the way of fun.
Note: Hold your bum up or you WILL hit a rock and get bruised.

3)  The pools.
Fun.  Most are zero entry, which makes it easier to just walk right on in.
The temperature was perfect.
Very crowded, but if you get one of the helpers, they will provide you with chairs and umbrellas.
Please tip these workers.
Note:  For kids there is a GREAT kids pool with the best slides ever.  You just have to look for it.
There are also adult pools scattered about.

4)  The food.
There are many, many great places to eat in the Bahamas.
Recommendations:
The Poop Deck - local, take a cab.  There are two locations. $$-$$$
Seafire Grille - in the Marketplace.  So good $$$$
Chop Stix - in the Royal Towers - $$$
Athena Cafe - Downtown Nassau - $$$
The Ocean Club - outside dining at it's best - $$$$$ (have them make the Bananas Foster for desert.
Cooked and served table side.  Not always on the menu but they will prepare it for you if you ask.
Great ambiance.

5)  Kids Activities....
What is there NOT to do?
Seriously y'all, and you could really break the ole pocketbook on this one.
Kids club at night was great, great and more great.
The also have Build - a - Bear, Tea Parties, Race Cars (you build your race car), really too many things to mention.

6)  Shopping.
We didn't do much of this, but there are great shoppes in the Atlantis and Nassau.

7)  Beaches.
The beaches off of the main hotel at the Atlantis are crazy busy.
They also have locals that try to rent you every kind of water activity there is.
It is highly advisable to NOT partake in these activities.
They are not a part of the Atlantis and most likely don't have insurance.
I do not like these beaches at all.  I can't handle the people and the craziness.
If you want quiet, head down to the Cove beach.  Much, much more quiet.
The beaches are beautiful and the water is amazing.
The sand isn't as pretty as North Florida gulf coast, but it's still beautiful.
I think the water is much more salty also.  It will burn your face big time.
It is also really really rocky in the water so be aware of that.

8)  Adult activities.
If you want a more quaint, quiet hotel setting, stay at the Cove.
It will drain your pocketbook, but it is SO nice.  The pools are just beautiful and the beaches are really quiet.  They also have pool side gambling :)
The casinos are nice, but not very generous (to me at least)
Smoking is permitted, but they have added fans to the tables which helps somewhat.
There is also usually great shows to attend so check the calendar.

Please remember.
The natives in the Bahamas are a warm, friendly group of people.  They are so welcoming.
Please tip them generously and please be kind to them.  This is their island.

Well, that's about it!!!
It was such a fun trip, especially with kids.
I will be more than happy to answer any questions.
have a great day y'all!
kb

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