I thought I'd share a pretty bad experience I had in Nassau last week so hopefully, everyone here can avoid it.
When getting off the Mariner in Nassau, we were heading over to get a taxi to take us to Atlantis. I went to Atlantis on the Explorer about 3 years ago and walked around all to the aquariums and the coral towers for free. I knew that they have tightened things up and you now need to pay $25 for the tour to see the whole thing (shops, casinos and the lobby party of the aquarium remain free).
Anyhow, as you get to the end of the pier, the locals will offer you a tour of the island the $25 tour of Atlantis with transportation for the low price of only $25. Sounds like a good deal, but I am always weary of "Island Entrepreneurship" and decided to ask a few questions. I negotiated the price down to $20 per person and agreed to pay only upon return to the ship. I also asked if they had an arrangement with Sun International (the company that owns the hotel) that would let us join in on the official Atlantis tour. The guy showed me a pass and said "yes mon, this gets us in".
The tour landed up being about an hour of driving through the ghetto, a brief stop at the water tower, and then we got to Atlantis. The tour guide took us inside, through the lobby, shops, casino, and then to the aquariums. All the time, dropping various interesting facts about the place. So far so good except after showing us 5% of the aquarium, he says it's time to head back to the taxi !!!!
I guess no one else on the tour had been to Atlantis before, including the people who I was with. I instantly knew what had just happened. We had been conned. These crooked cab drivers are "manufacturing" their own Atlantis tours using the parts of Atlantis that are FREE to visit for ANYONE and passing it off as a money-saving opportunity to see the whole thing!
Well, I was ready to ditch him and go back inside, pay for the real tour and then hop on board one of the many taxis offering to take us back to the ship for $4 per person. My family thought this would be unethical and would mean that the whole group would be waiting for us. I figure, it's probably more unethical to rip innocent people off than for me to rip off the con artist. Still, I was out-voted and we went back to the ship with him.
I was outraged because I know how spectacular Atlantis is, and I know how much my family missed. I gave the guy $15 per person, and he made a mocking sound with his lips but I couldn't care less. So my advice to everyone is that is you want to see Atlantis DON'T TAKE A TOUR IN NASSAU!