Is it better to take the ship excursion to Atlantis, Paradise Island or to just go on your own? Can you stay all day at Atlantis once you pay the excursion fee or the $25 fee? And what do you have access to while there (I do not care about swimming in their pools, just mainly in seeing all the grounds, the aquarium, stingray tank, etc.? And finally, are there taxis available until late at night so that you can get back to your ship?
We did it on our own and it was well worth it. $4pp taxi fare and they are available at many main entrances to the hotel. $25 Dig (aquarium fee) is also worth the expense. Due to tight security, they won't allow you to wander out near the pools or beach but if you are inconspicuous, it can be done. I would not waste my time waiting for a group to be escorted to this beautiful hotel. Food is extremely expensive, so plan your meals on board ship.
This ought to be a permanent feature on the home page since so many ask.
Ship' tour: Going rate $35 for a sightseeing tour of the harbor, being dropped off on Paradise Island and facing a long up hill hike to the hotel. Tour of the aquarium and digs included. Walk to water taxi ride back to ship is down hill but the service quits fairly early, in which case you are on your own. Better value.
On your own: DO NOT get hooked up with a taxi hawker on the pier, go to the square to catch one. You should pay $4 pp. Do not tip since that is twice what locals pay for the same trip. Don't get suckered into paying bridge toll, it is included in taxi fare. Wandering through the hotel is worth a couple of hours. Artwork and statuary breathtaking. Merv has good taste, and a lot of money. Huge casino. The shopping arcade is represented by most of the same stores in town so you can shop in air conditioned comfort. My wife reports similiar to better prices. You can get a preview of the aquarium and digs from windows in a lobby restaurant which won't be serving during the day. Admission is $25 if you think it's worth the money, time and walk. I believe it is, once. Cabs available anytime for trip back to ship. Less effort, more convenient.