Alarm blaring at 4:30 am, we had a long day ahead of us… We showered, packed and checked out. Fortunately our rental was right where we left it and the drive to the airport only took 15 minutes. A few joggers lined the dark road for their morning run.
I could tell it was early in the day by the lack of passengers at the airport. We checked in for our Bahamasair flight and sat in the plastic seats with our airport snacks. Fortunately this flight was not delayed so we boarded along with the sleepy commuters, most going to the capital for work and returning at the end of the same day.
The 30 minute flight was short and sweet. On arrival we were out the door and in a taxi to the port of Nassau in a matter of minutes. We got out at the ferry for Paradise Island. This two level boat was packed to the brim with fresh off the boat (cruise) tourists. One fast talking Bahamian youngster yelled the history and highlights of the island, focusing on US celebrity references.
“Nicholas Cage is broke in America, but he’s a BILLIONAIRE in the Bahamas… that’s his house.”
“This is the house that blew up in Thunderball with Sean Connery.”
“Trump owed this island, you are fired!”
After which he collected tips in his baseball cap.
We disembarked and hurried to get ahead of the large crowd.
An Atlantis employee pointed us in the direction of resort property. We walked by rows of high-end shops and eateries, surrounding a central port holding five-storied yachts hailing for all over the world.
Inside the we walked by the marble floored halls and passed the casino to the Coral Tower to get our day passes into the resort. The friendly staff gave us a map and outlined a path to follow. With our luggage on our backs, we headed towards to the locker rooms. The hot sun beat down on us as we stared at the collection of rays, turtles, and sharks swimming in the shallow pools below us. We walked through the aquarium and glass tunnel while admiring the large fish swimming about. After we stored our bags and changed into some more comfortable swim wear, we headed into the water park.
The roundabout walk over brought us through winding paths with different perspectives over the iconic Atlantis architecture and eventually walked alongside the white sanded beach. Packed with umbrellas, we opted to skip the beach and move on.
Navigating through the parking lot of beach chairs and tourists, we tried out some of the famed slides, including the Leap of Faith, a 60-foot sheer drop down through a tunnel of shark infested waters, the Challenger Slide, a race down for speed with a companion and the Abyss, a 50-foot sharp drop down a pitch black slide.
Besides some brief lines, the rides were heart pounding and definitely gave an adrenaline rush.
We also walked over to view the Dolphin Cay nearby the waterpark area. This is another activity where guests can swim, play, kiss, and get propelled by dolphins in the water with professional trainers.
Unfortunately we had to make our way back to the airport to catch our flight home. Taxis were readily available in front of the lobby to go to the airport.
Strangely the US custom and immigration is on this side of the border for all US flights. This may make sense considering 70% of their tourism comes from the US (according to our taxi driver).
Tip: Give yourself an extra 30 minutes at least to get through the long customs and immigration line.
We stopped by Greycliff lounge for a quick bite to eat before boarding our direct flight on United to Newark. We had a nice upgrade to first class, but we were both too tired to enjoy it and soon fell fast asleep.
On our ascent I watched the turquoise waters disappear as we neared cruising altitude… Good bye Bahamas, it was a real pleasure!