By Cami Sauder
Do you dream of going to Atlantis after seeing pictures of their epic waterslide that zips you through a shark tank? Or yearn to check out their 14 lagoons with 50,000 aquatic animals? Or imagine relaxing on their white sand beaches, gazing over beautiful blue water?
Atlantis Paradise Island Bahamas in Nassau is definitely a destination that many people hope to visit!
I’m here to help you cut costs, so that you can actually afford to take your family there without breaking the bank AND time it right, so that you can do everything you want!
Top Tips for Visiting Atlantis Paradise Island Bahamas
From how to get there to how to save money and when to visit, we’ve got the scoop!
Flying Southwest to Nassau
If you’re especially savvy, you’ve earned your coveted Southwest Companion Pass, so one person in your party pays NO airfare, only the taxes and security fees each way.
Nor do you have to pay for checked bags (Southwest lets you check two bags FREE), whereas other airlines charge as much as $60 for the first bag and $80 for the second! What?!
Be aware that normal taxes of $5.60 per ticket apply flying TO Nassau, while departure taxes can be as high as $120 FROM Nassau. We just don’t want you to be caught off guard.
Booking Atlantis Using Hotel Points
Did you know that you can book a stay at Atlantis using Marriott points? And when you book four nights, you get an additional night free?
If you hold the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card, you also get a free night certificate that grants you up to a 35,000-point room free.
Depending on the number of Marriott Bonvoy points you have, you can redeem at either the Coral, the Cove or the Royal at Atlantis. With Marriott’s dynamic pricing, you’ll have to do a little digging to find the best deal, but it’ll be worth it.
As one example, when I searched for an award night at the Coral for the date of October 3 on Marriott.com, it said it would cost 40,000 points. Two nights, however, were 75,000 points, saving 5,000 points. Five nights were only 140,000 points, better yet and coming in at ~28,000 points per night.
Keep in mind that the resort charges a $100 service fee, and Marriott never waives resort fees or taxes on award nights. Additionally, there’s a charge of $50 per person per day for each guest older than 12 years in the room even on reward stays.
In the example above, this five-night stay would cost 140,000 points plus $400 for two guests, but that’s better than $1,622 out of pocket with no points!
Activities at Atlantis
You’ll definitely want to check out Atlantis’ AMAZING water park! All Atlantis guests get full access to Aquaventure, which has:
- 11 swimming areas
- 11 water slides
- Rapid River tube ride
- Paradise Lagoon
- The Dig Aquarium
- Predator’s Lagoon
- Marine life habitats
- Ocean beach area
Beach towels are free daily within the water park.
TOP TIP: If you still have an afternoon free after checking out of the resort, you can hit the beach or the water park and come back to a suite to rinse off and change before heading to the airport. This perk is available on a first-come, first-serve basis, so be sure to ask for it and ask early!
I heard once upon a time that entrances to The Dig (the Atlantis aquarium) are not monitored after closing hours and that you’re free to walk through it, although I’ve never been there in the evening to check myself.
You can also enjoy free movies if staying at Atlantis, and your kids can feed the stingrays and sea turtles in the Coral Tower at no cost, as well. Pick up a daily schedule to find even more free activities.
Use the Paradise Island Ferry to go into Nassau to eat at cheaper restaurants than those on property, including Arawak Cay for seafood. Or pick up a delicious, freshly-made conch salad from a roadside stand.
Atlantis Alternative: Comfort Suites
Another option is off property at the nearby Comfort Suites. At this hotel, you have access to all of the Atlantis amenities included. Who knew?!
For five nights, this hotel costs 25,000 Choice Privileges points per night for a total of 125,000 points. You also get a free hot breakfast each morning AND water park wrist bands.
Comfort Suites DOES have a per person, per day charge for housekeeping and utilities, and there is an additional fee for children older than 12. Be sure to read all of their fine print and understand the full charges BEFORE you book. You don’t want any surprises when checking out.
However, this is still a great deal, as a one-day adult ticket to visit Aquaventure costs $157+! Ouch! 🙁
Need Choice points? The Barclay Choice Privileges Visa Signature card offers 32,000 points after spending $1,000 in 3 months with no annual fee. These points are transferable to Choice Privileges. You can also transfer American Express Membership Reward points from your Green, Gold or Platinum credit card to Choice Privileges, as well.
When to Go to Atlantis
Nassau is a frequent stop on cruises to the Bahamas. If at all possible, try to plan your days at Atlantis when fewer cruise ships are in port.
When I looked up October 3, for example, I found that six ships will be in port, which is a lot of people to disembark on Nassau. Atlantis will be their No. 1 destination!
Atlantis sells both Aquaventure and beach day-passes. I’m not sure how many they sell, but I can almost guarantee you that they’ll be sold out that day!
In terms of ships in port, the next four days of your five-night vacation in early October would see 3 ships, 1 ship, 3 ships and lastly 4 ships. Very helpful information to plan your visit to Aquaventure and the beaches!
Take advantage of the People-to-People program or some of the other things to do in Nassau if you find yourself there on a day when there are many cruise ships in port, which I mention in my article 16 Unforgettable Things to do in Nassau.
Have you been to Atlantis Paradise Island Bahamas resort? Do you have any other tips that could help your fellow travelers save money or time? Be sure to post them in the comments below.
- 5 Amazing Southwest Airlines Destinations for Your Next Vacation
- How We Flew 4 to Grand Cayman for $260 Per Person
- 10 Carefree Things to Do in Cabo San Lucas
- 10 Amazingly Sunny Things to Do in Cozumel