Ive never done the tour of Atlantis, but have stayed there a few times. The grounds are pretty amazing (and really spread out so be prepared to walk a lot) as are all the aquariums and marine life. I think the tour would be worth it, especially if you think you might want to stay there sometime. You wont be allowed to use the pools, slide or beach though unless youre a guest there (or Comfort Suites). You can use the restaurants, casino and walk around inside for no charge, but you will need to do the tour to see the aquariums, including the Dig.
If you plan to stay there, do keep in mind-its not cheap (a good quality long sleeve heavyweight Atlantis logo tee ran $70), the food isnt that good, and the staff arent very friendly/helpful (though they were better this last time). The first time we went was an anniversary gift from my parents, and the last time (this past Valentines) was a reward for highest sales at my husbands job. For a short trip, its not bad. We never left the resort.
Your best way to get there is a taxi (not sure of the cost, but there is a toll bridge charge too). The water taxi is cheaper, but you will have to walk a ways to get to the resort.
We brought snacks along with us to avoid having to pay their high prices for food. We booked a room at the Comfort Suites and spent the whole day. You can also use the beach there. So much to do there though to keep you busy. It's VERY large and you may not see it all.
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We went ahead and booked a room at Atlantis even though we won't be staying the night. We get to Nassau at 7 or 8 on the 27th of June and leave at 1 am the next morning. We plan to spend the entire time at Atlantis, so I hope it will be worth it. There are two twelve year olds going too and we want to be able to enjoy everything that Atlantis has to offer.
It will definitely be worth it. Your kids will have a blast on the slides, and seeing all the different fish in the aquariums. Check the schedule and they can catch some feedings. Theres a Discovery Kids camp too, though since youre only there for the day Id skip it. I think they also have a program where kids can shadow an aquarium keeper and get in some of the tanks with the fish. If youre going to eat there (dinner strongly recommend rsvps) weve found that the better selection and food is the buffet located in the Royal Towers-I want to say Marketplace, but I cant remember. Theres a diner type place outside and downstairs from the shops, but its not great. Next to it is a deli where you can take out. The other place we liked for lunch was Neptunes Grill (I think) which is located outside from the casino and at the entrance/exit to the undergroud tunnel to the sharks (its under a big dome). There are also burger places around the Beach Tower pool, and Royal Tower pools. Be prepared for sticker shock! You can check out the resort map on their website so you can plan what all you want to do first. The pools are not heated, but in June they should be fine. Theres a rental place in the lagoon for water toys too. Be sure to bring a camera, and an underwater one for the slides. Ive gotten some great shots on the slides. Have a great time!
I'm not sure how much you booked your room for at Atlantis but I can tell you last year we booked a room at the Comfort Suites which is right across the street from Atlantis and staying there gave you full use of "All" the facilities at Atlantis. You could probably get a room much cheaper there. Check their website out and see. We ended up cancelling our reservation because we were only going to be in Nassau from 8-2 and thought it may be too much to do in such a short time. We ended up doing the Stingray Beach break which was okay. Not as much fun as Atlantis would have been though!!
Thanks for all the info. We can't wait to get there. We paid $285.00 for the room, but when you figure what we would have spent for the 4 of us for the day, I figure it will be cheaper going this route. Thanks again!