Hi everyone... just got back from the Fantasy and stopped in Nassau. Wanted to offer some tips about going to Atlantis on Paradise Island.
Entrance to the Dig (aquarium) at Atlantis is $25 per person. I had read an earlier post about getting in for free. The poster said that they walked in the casino entrance, out a door in the back, down some stairs, and were in the aquarium, and no one stopped them. Be aware that the resort now posts someone at that entrance to prevent people from doing this. If you do manage to get through that entrance for free, you'll only see about half the attractions. The aquarium is split up in such a way that you have to double back through the casino to see the rest of it. (I suppose you could walk all the way around the back side of the lagoon to get to the rest, also, but I didn't try this.)
If you pay to get in, you receive a blue wristband. If you sneak in, you won't have a wristband on. The security guards are looking for your wristband, so watch out.
A couple of our tablemates said they started talking to the man posted at the entrance, and eventually he said, "you guys are all right. Go on through. If you see a guard, go the other way because you don't have wristbands." So if you are a charming talker, this may be an option to try!
To get to Paradise Island you can either take a taxi or ferry boat. We decided to take to ferry boat because it was cheaper. $3 per person one way. We got round trip tickets and so paid $12 total for two people. However
, once we got on the ferry boat, who should appear but a "friendly tour guide" ready to tell us all about the islands during the trip. He encouraged us to "show your appreciation to your friendly tour guide. I work on tips." So we tipped $1 each (hard not to when he's shoving his hat in your face, and you don't want to be the only one not tipping). A different tour guide appeared on the return trip to Nassau and did the same spiel. We tipped $1 each again. So our round trip ride to Paradise Island ended up costing $16, about the same as if we had taken a cab straight to Atlantis and back at $4 each one way (with no tip - since the fare is twice what they charge the locals). We would have saved a lot of walking if we'd taken cabs. So this is something to consider; the ferry is not necessarily cheaper.