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Old April 14th, 2007, 07:42 PM
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Default Please clarify Nassau/Atlantis excursion

Headed on the Glory to Eastern Caribbean in August 2007. Been reading all of the posts regarding the excursions, whether or not to book before... while in Nassau (our first stop) I know my kids would love to see the Atlantis, but am I correct that you cannot use any pools or facilities, even for a fee??? What exactly can you do there as a day visitor? What is the British Colonial Hilton's policy on day visitors?? How far is that hotel/beach from where we dock??

Thanks for the help, am very new to this, as this is our first cruise ever!!!

Sandra
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Old April 14th, 2007, 07:51 PM
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You can only use the pools/water slides if you are a guest at the hotel or the Comfort Suits next door.

If you do the tour/excursion you get a guided tour of the dig/aquarium, which is awesome. The kids will love it. Its quite informative and interesting and you get a little history of the hotel. For sure something to see.

If you do the excursion, you take the water taxi over and then a short walk to the hotel where they will meet you to start the tour. You get the water taxi right by the ship. When the tour is over, you can still spend time there, but they will give you another ticket for the water taxi back to the ship.

You can also do some shopping once you get back by the ship. There are some decent shops and the straw market close by as well.

Have fun.
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Old April 14th, 2007, 07:58 PM
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Thanks Donna for the information. About how long is the Atlantis tour??
Will there still be time to go to a beach for a while?
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Old April 14th, 2007, 08:01 PM
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Yea Sandra,
There should be plenty of time to get to a beach. Plan the tour first and then hit the beach, depending on how much total time you have in Nassau. Keep track of the time, you don't want to miss the ship.

The tour itself is around an hour or so.
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Old April 14th, 2007, 08:04 PM
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Donna - thanks for your quick replies... would you recommend British Colonial Hilton?? Or another beach?? Sorry so many questions, this is all very new to us!!!
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Old April 14th, 2007, 08:11 PM
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So far, when in Nassau, I've done excursions, shopping and Atlantis. Haven't visited a beach, hopefully someone who has will reply....sorry.
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Old April 14th, 2007, 08:25 PM
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Yes, I think kids will enjoy the tour. Their imitation of what Atlantis might look like is very cool and all the different aquariums are great. I had never seen piranha before! Don't know anything about beaches because I went back to the ship after the tour.
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Old April 15th, 2007, 11:38 AM
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Okay.... last question on the topic!!! should I book this excursion before through Carnival or is it much less expensive to do it when we get to Nassau??
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Old April 15th, 2007, 11:47 AM
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We toured the Atlantis in Feb. The place is absolutly gorgeous!, kids loved it! We did the self guided tour, same price as the guided tour just no tip at the end.

The aquarium was neat, like you are exploring a cave. The only drawback was it seemed kind sparse compared to other aquarium's that I have visited before.

Beaches, some go to the British Colonial Hilton, $15 per person for a day pass, use of facilities, pool, etc. Food and drink available for purchase. You will be able to see the hotel & beach from the ship, here is a link to a photo I took of the area; http://cruisemates.com/gallery/image.php?id=62579

Now, that being said some may be disappointed with the beach because it is in the harbor, so no waves to play in, and no parasailing. But it is within walking distance of the ship.

Cable Beach is another option; Cable Beach is about 15 minutes away and has the Wyndham and Nassau Beach Hotel. $15 entry fee and you can use their facilites, pools, beachs, bar and grill etc. Take a cab ($6 per person) or the Jitney bus from downtown ($1). And it's more of a beach in my opinion, also, you can rent wave runners, go parasailing, bannana boat rides.

Cabbage Beach is within walking distance of the Atlantis, same goes for wave runners and parasailing, etc. However, no public facilities.

Hope this helps!
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Old April 15th, 2007, 12:25 PM
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Thanks BarJen... I am thinking maybe a quick tour of the Atlantis and then off to the Beach.... Cable Beach sounds like a great choice... especially since my kids are a little older (11 and 15) and like to do activities. thanks for your help!!
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Old April 15th, 2007, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandrag
Thanks BarJen... I am thinking maybe a quick tour of the Atlantis and then off to the Beach.... Cable Beach sounds like a great choice... especially since my kids are a little older (11 and 15) and like to do activities. thanks for your help!!
You are welcome!
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Old April 15th, 2007, 02:22 PM
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We went to the beach right at the Atlantis and it was fine. We were right in front of the "Michael Jackson Suite" which is the one in the high story bridge that you always see. Something like 10K per night. By the way, the water slide is creepy, it goes right through a shark tank !
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Old April 15th, 2007, 04:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarJen
The only drawback was it seemed kind sparse compared to other aquarium's that I have visited before.
What aquariums have you visited? I have been to lots of aquariums that I enjoy, but don't want to wast the time on this one unless it is really one of the best. A lot of other users here have said that it is one on the best, but I am not sure how into it they really are. I am a salt water aquarium hobbiest. I have my own at home.

Thanks,

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Old April 15th, 2007, 10:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linuxpm
Quote:
Originally Posted by BarJen
The only drawback was it seemed kind sparse compared to other aquarium's that I have visited before.
What aquariums have you visited? I have been to lots of aquariums that I enjoy, but don't want to wast the time on this one unless it is really one of the best. A lot of other users here have said that it is one on the best, but I am not sure how into it they really are. I am a salt water aquarium hobbiest. I have my own at home.

Thanks,

Brian


No, don't get me wrong, the Atlantis was worth a look, but like you I had read a lot of other post's hyping it up, so I geuss that I was expecting a whole lot more. That's all.

Barry
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Old April 16th, 2007, 03:35 AM
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The British Colonial Hilton does have a $15 daypass, but it would probably be boring for kids.
It is an extremely quiet business hotel with almost no kids (other than a few guests) and few "playful" amenities. (basically just pool floats.
My Wife and I have done their daypass twice this year and loved it's closeness to the pier and the lack of kids running about.
But we don't need a large beach or any "toys" as we prefer the quiet and relaxing the BCH provides.

The Cable Beach hotels, now (after they were all bought last year)also offer a $15 daypass from what I have read in posts by some locals.
Cable beach has larger beaches and more things for kids to do.
You can catch the #10 Jitney (bus) there for $1 (exact change) per person.

As for Atlantis...
The pools and slides are out. (unless you book a room. )

There is no need to do Atlantis as an excursion, as you can easily take your own cab or water taxi over and walk right up to the Casino Info booth and buy tickets for the Digs Aquarium for $29 per person.
(personally, we just wait until after 6PM or so, when the guards go home for the night, the Digs are free, until they close them between 11PM and midnight. If your ship is in town late or overnight, definitely do the Digs AFTER dinner for free.)

I have been to the Baltimore Aquarium and the one in Myrtle Beach and the Digs was nowhere near as good as either of them.
Personally I would never pay $29 for tickets to the Digs, but it was nice for free. (or technically, cabfare)

To me, Nassau is so well set up for cruisers, I can't imagine why anyone would book a ship's excursion there.
Everything you can book onboard, is easily booked right at the Welcome Center or (like Atlantis) you can easily get a cab right there and be there in minutes to buy the excursion yourself without the hefty cruiseline markup.

Bill
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Old April 16th, 2007, 08:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bguppies
I have been to the Baltimore Aquarium and the one in Myrtle Beach and the Digs was nowhere near as good as either of them.
That was exactly what I was looking for. I have been to them. It gives me a reference.

Thanks,

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Old April 16th, 2007, 08:36 AM
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Bill,

Great information, thanks!! For a family of four, I do not think I want to pay $108 to go to the aquarium. I think my kids would love to do the banana boat rides.... beach stuff at one of the hotels. I can also imagine my kids being envious of the water slides and pools at the Atlantis that we could not use!!! British colonial sounds great just for adults, but we will just go over to Cable Beach to the other hotels.

One excursion down pat, only two more to go!!! Thanks everyone for your help!! This is a great board!!!
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Old April 16th, 2007, 08:44 AM
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Glad to help.
Reading these boards is what helped my Wife and I decide that the BCH was exactly what we were looking for before we ever set foot in Nassau.

The more you can learn before you arrive, the better you can use the little time you get in port....

Bill
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Old April 16th, 2007, 04:09 PM
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Absolutely!! The job of researching before the vacation is the hardest part!! But it makes it so much easier once you get there...

Now that I have Nassau done, I am moving on to my St. Maarten and St. Thomas research!!!!

Thanks again!!
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Old April 16th, 2007, 07:37 PM
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When we went to Nassau we went over to Paradise which is indeed like 10,000 a night with a 3 night minimum lol. Anyways we didnt realize you had to be guest so we jumped in their marked off pool area and then realized it and left, only to walk down the walkway and find the Beach, where we went swimming not many people there really nice and there was a bar stand on the pathway but here isnt any "fun toys" here persay. Then we went shopping in the straw market, ventured off to the liquor stores, and then we found all the bars but were kinda scared of the area (seen rats on the main drag) late at night so we went back to the main area and hit up senor frogs so we were close to the boat. Had a great time, the only thing i really suggest Paradise for is the aquarium, never did the "digs"..took a cab there I think it was 6pp.
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Old April 17th, 2007, 03:06 PM
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Sandrag, I'm a "not thrilled" on Nassau person, but I have St Thomas info also.

We were totally unimpressed. Very expensive to take the cabs or water taxis to Paradise Island/Atlantis (we went in 2004, 6 of us in a taxi cost $50 each way, and it's only about a 10 minute ride). We went through the hotel, it was impressive, especially the aquarium, but we didn't want to pay for the cruise ship tour and use of the beach, so we went to the public beach a few blocks down for free. A beach is a beach. The jewelry sellers/hair braiders were very overbearing. There were vendors on the beach selling drinks and pop, and there was a hotel right next to where we were that had bathrooms and showers right on the beach that we used. Nobody questioned us.

After we got back we walked down to the Straw Market just down the street from the cruise ship dock, saw the same stuff they were selling on the beach for much less. Great place for t-shirts and hats, very reasonably priced.

Have fun in St Thomas!! We loved it there, Coki Beach was great! Snorkeling right off the beach (take dog bones (like Milk Bones), they sell them on the beach, but I just brought a few). When you take them in the water, they dissolve slowly and they draw the fish! Great for underwater photography. There were also people who made drinks on the beach with 151 rum, and a food stand.
Since there was 6 of us, I rented a car an drove there, the cabs/shuttles were expensive ($ 6-7 per person each way, since it's on the other side of the island). You just have to be adaptable to driving on the "wrong" side of the road.
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