Splendor in the Sand: The Atlantis
First mentioned in Plato’s writings, Atlantis’ existence has been debated through time. Literature and science fiction refer to Atlantis as an ideal land with advanced civilization and generosity. Today’s modern reproduction is alive and well on Paradise Island, The Bahamas. It’s uniquely similar to several of your favorite places, yet completely one-of-a-kind.
Shiny marble floors, frescoed ceilings, millions of gallons of aquariums, a lazy river and miles of pristine beach create enough visual stimulation to warrant walking tours. That’s right, if your cruise ship docks at Paradise Island, walking tours of the Atlantis are a shore excursion. This facility has crowd control down to a science with directional paths, a shuttle bus and friendly staff at every turn. Like the Magic Kingdom, Atlantis is a destination.
Craving adult stimulation? Houston beauty queens Brooke Daniels and Crystal Stewart have both spun at Atlantis’ adult-only pool, Cain at the Cove. Reminiscent of the hottest clubs in Vegas it features guest DJs, floating sunbathing deck and girls who clearly don’t eat; some topless.
New York-esque Dining
Dinner reservations are a must at the Atlantis’ see-and-be-seen restaurants. Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, the world’s leader in innovative Japanese cuisine, is in the center of the action near the casino. Nobu rocks through the evening with full service sushi bar or complete dining room experience.
You may or may not see Bobby Flay in the kitchen at Mesa Grill, but you will benefit from his unique dishes served only at the Atlantis. The Bahamian Spiced Chicken Skewers and Cracked Conch Salad are stand-outs.
Orlando-esque Water Park
All are welcome to partake in the Aquaventure. With twenty million gallons of water, this on-site 141-acre water slide offers hours of floating entertainment. Water slides, rapids and tubes provide ample opportunity to splash around in the sun.
The Atlantis is full of surprises. While we visited, so did the cast of “Ugly Betty.” Episode four was filmed on the property and they hosted a red carpet season premier party; we were the first to view the show. Judith Light, America Ferrera and Adam Rodriguez were just some of the celebs upping the celebrity quotient.
Marine life here is what you see on diving and snorkeling expeditions, but you don’t have to dive or snorkel. You simply walk through the aquariums. In a building called The Dig, you can get up close and personal with spiny and slipper lobster, lionfish, spotted scorpion fish, and long-spine urchin.
New Orleans-esque Heart
The largest animal hospital and rescue center in the Caribbean is located at Dolphin Cay. The tour takes you behind the scenes to introduce you to Sea Lions rescued from a New Orleans’ aquarium following Hurricane Katrina.
Direct flights to the Bahamas are seasonal on Continental airlines. For information log on to www.Atlantis.com