Traveling over the summer is such a thrill, and I recently had the chance to go on a mini-adventure with my older daughter to the Atlantis resort in Paradise Island in The Bahamas. Not your typical assignment I was ecstatic to have the opportunity to learn more about this resort and experience all of its family-friendly offerings including their recent partnershop with the Cartoon Network. Fun in the sun (with a lot of swimming in the mix), here is all about my experience at Atlantis.
About three hours from the NYC area, we were in the Bahamas in no time and had amazing experience thanks to the friendly services from jet blue. We were then greeted with a car that took us to the resort and checked us into the luxurious Reef Towers. Featuring six tours, families will find an incredible selection of accommodations with different interior designs and atmospheres depending on your needs. For us, the Reef Towers was perfect where we stayed in a studio that overlooked Paradise Beach and one many pools at the resort. Equipped with many of the comforts from home, I loved that our suite included a coffee machine, fridge, cutlery, cups, a stove, a sink, a full bath and shower and patio to lounge. If we were staying longer this would be a great option for us to make quick breakfasts or store fruit and baby food during while on vacation. They also offer suite and a penthouse with three bedrooms. I also loved that a Starbucks was located directly on the lobby, which we also enjoyed for a quick breakfast and a pick-me-up during the day.
Beaches and Pools:
We started our adventure at Splashers, an elaborate Mayan-themed kids pool and water playground that we had to check into by supplying our room key. We then received a bracelet – which changed colors everyday – and some towels that we could leave at various points at the resort when we were done with them. My daughter had a blast climbing the cargo ropes and going down the kid-sized water slides. There was also a lot of interactive pool time activities like a pulleys, fountains and cannons. After that we made our way to the gorgeous Paradise Lagoon Beach where we loved splashing around in the water and making sand castles. Private to the resort, the 7-acre beach was relevantly empty which made for an enjoyable experience as many guests soaked in the sun or enjoyed various water sports like snorkeling.
During our stay we managed to hit up most of the pools on the resort (there 11 pools) and I loved the distinct differences among them with Blu Pool and River Pool being among my favorite. My daughter also loved Splashers and Ripples where she could enjoy a mix of fun at the playground while also swimming. We also loved the lazy river as we meandered around a quarter-mile loop guided by a gentle current through a tropical landscape. Older guests will also enjoy the many water slides like the leap of faith slide, the drop, serpent slide, jungle slide and more.
Swimming and lounging all day can really build up an appetite and we enjoyed some incredible food options during our stay at Atlantis. Featuring familiar names like Nobu and Messa Grill for fine dining and Murray’s Deli, Carminies, Virgil’s and Seagrapes. For a fun dining experience our group at Seagrapes during our first night and enjoyed a buffet style dinner complete with a salad bar, pasta station, chicken, fish, fruit, and the ultimate; a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream bar for dessert. This restaurant is also decked out with cartoon network characters where kids could enjoy a lounge area after dinner. Also, on Saturday characters from shows like Adventure Time, Level Up, The Amazing World of Gumball, Ninjago and Ben 10 visit Seagrapes where families can enjoy a Cartoon Network themed breakfast. We also enjoyed eating at the family-style restaurant Virgil’s Real BBQ (Alicia reported on this opening a few months ago) where we dinned on pulled pork, salad, macaroni and cheese, corn bread and chicken fingers for the kids. Pizza from the Marketplace was also a hit as well as easy breakfast options from Starbucks. There are also several quick and casual eateries and bars if you happen to have a sitter.
We had a blast swimming, but we also enjoyed some very unique adventures at resort including a dolphin experience at the Dolphin Cay. Having never been up close with a dolphin before, I was so excited for the Shallow Water Interaction where we had the chance to interact with the dolphins and watch them perform tricks. For about 30 minutes we enjoyed watching them interact, talk and see first-hand how playful they can be. We were also able to touch them and give them a kiss – a cool experience for me that was actually scary to my four-year-old. After she warmed up to the experience she did love watching these charismatic creatures.
We also enjoyed a behind-the-scenes tour where we had the chance to learn more about the lifestyle and diet of the dolphins as well had a chance to see sea lions and take pictures with them! A truly unique and amazing experience that I will always treasure.
Since I was on a press trip there was a lot of walking around the resort, so our organizer thought this would be a great way for the kids to experience their childcare facility, Atlantis Kids Adventures (AKA). Before I dropped my daughter off for three hours I had the chance to tour the facility and my mouth literally dropped when I not only saw an immacautely clean environment but one that included a Victorian Dollhouse, grocery store – complete with grocery carts, a wizardology room where kids could watch a movie, play board games or hang out with Tripp, the super-friendly story telling tree! My daughter was intially hestistant about being dropped off, but quickly warmed up when she saw the dollhouse that was packed with dolls, a baby grand piano, and a mini kitchen and also loved the Arts & Crafts room that was filled with traditional crafts to interactive surface solutions
As a drop-off facility parents have the option to bring their kid for a few minutes or all day. While at camp kids enjoy imaginative games and creative play like arts and crafts. Older kids (AKA goes up until age 12), can enjoy supervised play on Apple computers, cooking lessons at Cooks@Play, a Lego Construction room, a stage where kids can sing and dance and games like Grav Ball, Wizards Cavern, Soccer and Snowboarding. They really thought of everything and I felt very comfortable leaving my daughter at this modern facility with their friendly staff. They also take safety seriously and have a no touch policy where sunscreen has to be applied prior to entry and children should be able to go potty on their own. They do guide children through these process, but they respect these sensitive issues. They also a require a child’s passport to check-in and provide a tag to get your child back. Parents can also opt to take a pager so that they can always be in contact with their children if they should need them. In just a few short hours of my daughter’s stay she enjoyed a snack, play time in the dollhouse, a water ballon party, and crafting a beach ball.
Also, from August 6th-August 1oth aspiring cartoonists are invited to learn the fundamentals of animation at the Cartoon Network Studios Fantasy Camp. Campers will immerse themselves in animation technology, basic hand drawing techniques, flip book basics, creating characters, voice-acting, and so much more. Guided by experts from our Emmy Award-winning animation studios.
Older kids aren’t forgotten at Atlantis were they can enjoy a hangout all their own at the teen club CRUSH. Designed with the modern teenager in mind (only for kids 13-17), this 14,000 square-foot space club is complete with the latest technology bringing teens multi-touch computers and surface tables with photo editing and publishing interfaced to Facebook, a Gaming Room stocked with state-of-the-art technology ranging from the new Microsoft flagship motion sensor product Kinect for Xbox 360 to a floor-to-ceiling gaming tree with 24 gaming consoles, ten private gaming cabanas, and iPads for internet browsing. I was really impressed with the layout and loved the dance club where teens could enjoy mocktails and pick their favorite tunes to play via a touch screen. Families can also enjoy CRUSH together at certain points during the day where they can enjoy some quality time together in this safe environment. Also, it should be noted that drinking is legal at 18 in the Bahamas so no one over 18 will be admitted into CRUSH.
Cartoon Network Themed:
As I mentioned, Atlantis partnered with Cartoon Network to bring a unique and playful experience to families. As a part of this experience we had the chance to enjoy unique events like an Adventure Time themed poolside dive-in theater that included trivia and cool prizing as well as a fun costumed character parade through Marina Village. It was a lot of fun to see these characters around the resort – especially as kids enjoyed its many familiar faces.
As a three-day trip we had the chance to check out everything from dolphins to pools to food to an aquarium. I loved every minute of our experience together and I can’t wait to return with the whole family as we experience so much more of what this family friendly resort has to offer.
Momtrend was not paid for this post. We attended this event on a press trip.
All opinions expressed are our own.