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MandaR

Booking and excursion on my own

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  I am a first timer.  One of the reasons I booked our cruise with a stop in Nassau is that Atlantis has been on my bucket list since I was a kid.  Of course it is also one of the most expensive options out there and my own children are asking to top it with a dolphin encounter.  Thankfully I can pretend justify this added cost since the excursion is going to be the kids holiday gift this year.

 

   There are so many different options out there to book these excursions.  My TA sent me a link, the cruise has their own and it seems like each search has a dozen different people offering the same thing.

 

  What I have decided is I like the option offered by Bahamas day Pass which for one price includes everything I need with positive reviews.  My question is, since I'm not booking with the cruise line or my TA what steps should I know?  I see we are responsible for our own transport to Atlantis, but have also seen that it should not be a big issue.  Are there any concerns I should know when booking through an 'outside' source? 

 

  Hopefully I make sense, I just don't want to miss something or be penalized because I booked our excursion through someone other than my TA or Cruise line.

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I would make sure there is a refund option if your ship does not port in Nassau or for any other reason. From what I have read, it is better to take a taxi rather than the water taxi and that you should try to get off the ship as quickly as possible  so that you get there before the crowds arrive.

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We just got back. We left the ship, walked right outside the gate of the port, and there were a lot of taxi vans. You tell them you want to go to Atlantis and they put you in a van with 8 people. It’s $4 per person and it takes about 10 minutes to get to Atlantis. They drop you in front of the Coral Towers. We bought our day passes on line directly from Atlantis. They were $69 per person. When we arrived, we went to the Atlantis Discoveries area, got on the pre-purchase line and picked up our wristbands and they gave us a map and a tote bag. We walked through the aquarium (stingrays, turtles, fish) and headed toward the beach. On the way, we found several towel huts and picked up our towels. It’s a pretty long walk to the beach and I recommend you use the restroom at the Coral before going to the beach because its a long walk from be beach to any restroom. They are doing a bit of construction so some of the usual facilities are closed off. When we arrived at the beach, it was gorgeous. There were attendants right at the entrance and we got our chairs with overhead shades. There were several attendants who came around to offer drinks in coconuts. They were $15 each and were very strong. We hit it in time for a 2 for one special! The beach is really nice with the typical blue and green Caribbean views but the water was rough. There were people swimming but I was afraid to. My husband picked up lunch for us at the seashell restaurant. We had 2 giant salads that were pretty good but it is very expensive. You can bring your own food if you prefer to. After the beach, we were able to rinse off at showers right by the beach entrance. The only criticism I had was that the signage is poor and it took us a long time to find our way back to the Coral but a nice staff member escorted us when we got lost. We got a cab van easily right outside of the Coral and headed back to the cruise port.  We enjoyed the day very much. 

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Thank you Parkslopegal  at this point we will probably run the same thing.  The dolphin encounter is way to pricey, but being able to explore the aquarium and hang out on the beach will still be a great time.

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