Nassau, Bahamas is one of the most visited ports of call for Carnival Cruise Line. And as you pull into the port, your eyes are immediately drawn to the massive Atlantis Resort not far away on Paradise Island.
It had been years since our last visit to the resort and with a long list of excursions to choose from in Nassau, we opted for the Discover Atlantis shore excursion – offering transportation and a 45-minute walking tour of the resort and legendary aquariums.
Here’s a look at our experience on the Discover Atlantis shore excursion and some of the sea life we saw along the way too.
What to Expect
We met our tour leader on the pier, right outside of the ship. From there, we walked down to the end of the pier to our shuttle bus that would take us on a 15-minute drive over to the Atlantis Resort. Quick and easy!
From there, we met up with our onsite tour guide and began making our way through the resort. There were probably twelve to fifteen in our group. Not too big and everyone did a great job of staying together.
Our guide walked us through many of the outdoor areas pointing out restaurants and fantastic views. He was also very quick to point out the areas that were reserved for resort guests only. While the photo on the official shore excursion website shows everyone wearing headphones on during the tour, this was not the case for our group. With that said, we had no trouble hearing our guide.
We took a quick walk through the casino, don’t miss the fantastic Chihuly glasswork on display there – it is beautiful and massive! (Interesting fact — residents of the Bahamas are not allowed to gamble at the casinos – it is for tourists only.) From there, we made our way over to the main lobby and to the legendary aquariums known as The Dig.
Explore The Aquariums at Atlantis
The aquariums are the part of the excursion that my girls were most excited about seeing — and it did not disappoint. While the guide made frequent stops throughout the tour for us to look around, things kept moving pretty quickly. We did have a quick pitstop for a restroom break and a place to rest for those needing a break from the walk. Our guide also let us know that once our tour ended, our excursion passes would allow us entrance into the aquariums area for the rest of the day.
We saw tons of stingrays, an entire area devoted to the venomous Lionfish, sharks, eels and more. The girls were mesmerized by the massive size of the aquarium. My favorite area was the tunnel through the aquarium tank. Be sure to take some time in this area to admire the views — and the sea life too.
Our guide took us to the touch tank area of The Dig and I wish you could have seen the looks on my kids faces when he picked up a live conch and its shell. Talk about the ultimate learning experience, this was it! I’m kicking myself for not capturing a picture of this moment!
Maggie wouldn’t touch the live conch, but Molly gladly stepped right up. Pretty funny experience for us to talk about together – and learn too! And later that night back on the ship, the dining room’s featured appetizer of the night?! Conch fritters! Ha!
Things to Know About the Discover Atlantis Shore Excursion
- Children under five years old are FREE! (I’d recommend bringing along the stroller, it is a lot of walking for little ones.)
- When the tour is over, you can stay as long as you’d like, shuttle buses leave every 30 minutes back to the cruise port.
- The tour does not offer access to the pools, beaches or Aquaventure
- Bring cash or credit cards if you’d like to stay and eat at one of the resort’s many restaurants
- If you are coming kid-free, the casino is massive — throw a few quarters in that slot machine
The Discover Atlantis shore excursion was a great introduction to the Atlantis Resort. On our next visit to Nassau, I’d love to check out one of the many other Atlantis excursions available to access the pool and beach areas of the property.
Have you been to Atlantis?
** My family and I received complimentary excursion tickets courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line. Thoughts and opinions here are 100% my own. **