I can’t talk about Atlantis without mentioning Mary-Kate and Ashley. I mean, c’mon, y’all. There’s a whole freaking movie dedicated to their time in the Bahamas. My priority? Do everything they did in the movie.
Step 1: Horseback riding on the beach. Done.
Step 2: At-freaking-lantis!
If I didn’t get my contract extended an extra month, I never would have gotten the opportunity to go to the Aquaventure Water Park at Atlantis, so special shout-out to Carnival for needing me a little longer.
When I tell y’all I had the best day, I’m not even kidding. This was easily one of my top ten favorite experiences from living on the cruise ship. I don’t actually have a definitive list, but if I did, I guarantee this would be at the top. I spent the day with my friends, Dann and Paige, and I’m grateful that they have the same sense of adventure that I do, because I honestly believe that we did Atlantis right. We did everything we wanted to do and then some.
If you’re planning a trip to Atlantis, first of all, the Aquaventure Water Park is a must. I don’t care if you have kids or not. I don’t care if you’re traveling on a budget. Make this the one thing you dish out money for because I guarantee it’s worth it, and you’ll regret it if you pass up the opportunity to
have your Mary-Kate and Ashley moment experience one of the most epic water parks you’ll ever visit. So here are my tips and tricks for making the most out of your day at Aquaventure Water Park at Atlantis.
When I say arrive early, I mean early. Like before the waterslides even open. This is essential because:
1) You won’t be fighting for cabs there.
2) You won’t have to wait in line super long to get your wristband (when I tell y’all these cashiers take their time doing everything, I’m not exaggerating. My little impatient self could hardly take it).
3) You won’t have to wait a long time to get your locker (more on that below).
4) You’ll have time to explore the water park before it gets crowded and ask around (or look at the signs) to see which slides you should hit up first.
5) You can relax in the pool areas before they get overcrowded.
Getting there early was the way to go. We got our locker, got our bearings and decided which waterslide we wanted to go on first before everyone else started lining up. We also made sure we were first in line to go down said slide all after lounging and relaxing in/by the pool. Also, I got to take this pretty sweet picture in front of the waterslides that I wouldn’t have been able to take if the slides were already in use.
GET A LOCKER
I usually like to avoid dishing out the extra cash for a locker, but here, it’s pretty essential. You’ll be wandering around the park a lot, and unless there’s one person in your group that wants to remain stationary, a locker is a must. You also need to put everything in your locker, and I mean everything. Don’t even wear shoes, unless you have water shoes or non-slip sandals. Make sure you take off your jewelry, sunglasses and flip flops unless you want to be holding them in your hand while you go down the slides.
Also worth mentioning is that if you have a card that charges for international transactions, I would recommend bringing cash with you so you can avoid those extra fees. To save a little extra cash, I would also suggest sharing a locker with everyone that you’re traveling with. They have different size lockers, so you can choose whatever you think will be best to fit everyone’s belongings.
BRING A WATERPROOF CAMERA
The one thing I didn’t keep in the locker was my GoPro. It was kind of annoying to haul it around with me all day, but the shots I got were worth it. Take videos of the park. Take videos of yourself going down the slides. Take videos floating down the lazy(-ish) river. Take videos underwater. There’s no rule against not having a waterproof camera, so if you have one, bring it. Check out some of the awesome shots I got:
Save precious room in your backpack and locker and skip bringing a towel. You won’t need one because, trust me, they have plenty at the park. You can pick up as many towels as you need and then leave them anywhere around the park. There are actually people whose job it is to pick up the towels. There are also many towel drop boxes around the park as well.
GO ON ALL OF THE SLIDES
Multiple times. We were lucky in that we were at the park early and avoided waiting in line very long. I think the longest we waited was five minutes, and when we were going around to all of the slides at the beginning of the day, we didn’t even have to wait for most of them. This is why I 100% recommend getting there early. Not only can you go down all the slides in quick succession, but you’ll have time to experience them more than once.
BUT DON’T GO DOWN THE SLIDES IN THE KIDS AREA
Even if you’re a kid at heart, the slides are off limits for adults. I don’t understand why because they’re perfectly sized for adults to go down too, but who am I to say? The kids section looked like so much fun, so we couldn’t resist going there, and Paige learned the hard way that adults weren’t allowed to go down the slides. Selfishly, I’m just jealous that she got to go down a slide that I will never get to experience.
NOTE THAT THE LAZY RIVER ISN’T THAT LAZY
I don’t know why they call it a lazy river, because it’s actually kind of wild. There are parts where you go through rapids. There’s a mini waterfall. All of the slides with tubes lead into the lazy river, so there are many entrances and exits. The thing I didn’t like about the lazy river is that it’s not a complete circle. There’s a beginning and an end, and then you’re forced to get off if you get all the way to the end. It’s unfortunate, because I love lazy rivers, and when I’m tuckered out, I like to just be lazy (for lack of a better word) and ride the mini waves around a few times.
I feel like this should go without saying, but just as a gentle reminder, make sure you drink lots of water. The island is hot, even during the winter time, so make sure you put on lots of sunscreen and keep yourself hydrated.
EAT OUTSIDE OF ATLANTIS
Needless to say, food in Atlantis can get pretty price-y, so I recommend eating a good breakfast beforehand and then leaving the area for lunch. Marina Village has several great options, and there’s also some outside of the area, such as Margaritaville. I would highly recommend checking out the Village Burger Shack in Marina Village. It’s fairly priced, and the burgers (and milkshakes) are absolutely divine.
If you’ve ever been to Atlantis, I would love to hear your stories and see some pictures from your own adventures. I’m telling y’all, I firmly believe it’s worth the money to experience this water park at least once in your life.
Have you ever been to Atlantis?