Atlantis: The Not-So-Mythical Family Vacation

A couple of weekends ago we treated a certain little man to the toddler buffet that is an airplane floor.

Thank you fellow travelers for leaving a smörgåsbord of pretzels, cookies, and peanuts under your seats to keep Rex happy. I much prefer this toddler distraction compared to the high five marathon with total strangers that took place on the way home from DC last fall. (No mom, we didn’t really let him eat off of the floor).

It was all a part of transporting our little crew (and 50+ diapers) to a family vacation at the Atlantis Resort in Nassau, Bahamas.

Atlantis Towers

To boil it down, this place is the Disney World of the Caribbean. From activities for small children to stuff for adults, it’s impossible to be bored. Don’t even get me started on club “Crush” for the 13-17 that makes Vegas look like a dump.

We took it pretty easy for the five days we were there. Here are our top 7 favorite Atlantis activities…

1. Playing at the beach (der)

Atlantis Beach

Atlantis Bahamas Beach

The beach is right off of the pools which is beyond easy for a husband to whisk away a toddler that wasn’t into the sand.

2. Playing at the pool (there’s a theme here).

The Binz loved the not-so-lazy river filled full of rapids and turns called The Current. To the lady who warned me before I about hopped on a tube with Rex in my arms: thank you! While the kids were a bit too young to try out the hundreds of waterslides, they did get a kick out of the shark infested Leap of Faith:

Atlantis Leap of Faith Shark Slide

3. Swimming with the dolphins at Dolphin Cay.

Dolphin Cay is on-site and a quick walk from our room. Neither giggle monster was super excited to get into a wetsuit but they got a kick out of it all once we were in the water. Linds will tell you he felt “rubbery.” She also informed me that her favorite picture (out of the “cheapest” $100 photo package) is the stock one of the dolphins that came in the frame. Of course. Why wouldn’t it be?

4. Feeding the stingrays and holding a starfish in the AquaTots class.

Atlantis AquaTots - Feeding the Stingrays

I’m not sure if it was her favorite mermaid swimsuit or not, but she didn’t even think twice about hopping down in the water with these crazy little creatures. For a girl who I’m usually trying to convince to do everything, she was so in the moment and not at all scared.

5. Ooohing and ahhhhing at the could-eat-our-entire-family-sized stingrays and other fish in “The Dig” aquarium.

Atlantis The Dig - Stingray

6. Eating…

Atlantis - Restaurants

Carmine’s is a family-style restaurant with great food, wine, and the most amazing “poor man’s” tiramisu. Virgil’s is another family style place that serves bar-b-que a la Kansas City. We also tried out the “lighter” Murray’s Deli and the Marina Pizzeria. We didn’t even scrape the surface for all there is on-site but we like to think the team there recommended some of the best spots.

7. Joining in on the “Junkanoo” music in Marina Village each night.

If you need ideas for Rex for Christmas, painted sunny D bottle filled with beans will make you his favorite. I loved watching Linds get mesmerized by the music and lights. Again, she jumped right in an started playing.

 

It’s no doubt there was a lot to tucker the kids out. Making sure they got enough rest, we did retreat to the room for naps and early bedtime occasionally. The view from our room wasn’t too shabby though. Neither were the snacks.

Atlantis View and Room Snacks

An early bedtime meant having the best seat in the resort for a fireworks show (if you look close you can see the sharks at the waterslide).

Atlantis Bahamas Fireworks

The room wasn’t too shabby either (one of the Regal Suites in the Royal Towers).

Atlantis Regal Suite

Atlantis Regal Suite - Cartoons in the Bathroom

Every 5-year-old should get the chance to watch morning cartoons in the mirror while brushing their teeth, right? Don’t get used to it, baby girl.

One of the nights we got the giggle monsters in their PJs, ordered in some room service hot dogs, and took advantage of the on-site babysitter service. We were a bit nervous about leaving them with someone we had never met but the woman we had was so professional and beyond prepared it made us feel good about getting a night to ourselves while they slept.

Atlantis - Bahamian Club

We had dinner at the Bahamian Club and enjoyed one or two or three cocktails. We’re now convinced we have to figure out how to recreate the Seafood St. Jacques we had as an appetizer. We’re also convinced we butchered the pronunciation of it when ordering. The night led us to winning at the casino and enjoying a few Cuban cigars (when in Rome! Er, near Cuba).

By far my favorite thing to do was spend time as a family for five straight days. Forget travel schedules, to do lists, and errands—the only thing we worried about was making sure we got enough time by the pool and plenty of sunscreen (thankfully I packed 7 bottles of the stuff after finding a single bottle can run a whopping $30 during this trip to Cabo last year).

Some of my favorite moments were when we were doing absolutely nothing.  Like…

…Piggy back rides.

…Fashion shows.

…Watching the sharks.

Atlantis Bahamas - Shawn w/ Kiddos

…Posing.

…Trying to make sure we have more than one picture as a family from the trip.

Atlantis Family Pic

I had illusions of taking a horse-drawn carriage ride through downtown Nassau to learn about the history of the town. Shawn and I also got excited one night to see they air segment on TV about the mythical city of Atlantis and how the stories were tied into the details of the resort but…well, we both fell asleep. I know Shawn would have liked to put the resort’s golf course on his list but he opted to make sure this was strictly a family-focus vacation. They also have kayaking and dinner cruises, etc. That just means we’ll have to make another trip back for the educational and golfing opportunities when they’re older ;)

Did you really make it to the bottom of this post? If so, kudos to you! If you want to see the 100+ pics not in this post or want to giggle at us in wetsuits, see the Flickr photo album of the trip.

Leave a comment and let me know other great family vacation spots you suggest!