A client recently asked me about this and it wasn’t the first time so I thought I would share information with everyone on how to do this.
As you might know, when you book a shore excursion through the cruise lines directly, there is usually an upcharge for this. I do recommend using the cruise lines if you are unfamiliar with an area or if you have some tricky times to accommodate (doing on your own, you wouldn’t make the start time or get back on time, etc.). I wouldn’t consider going to a different island in a port I am not familiar with as this would cause too much stress if you thought you missed your ferry back. This would cost too much as well if you missed the ship as a result.
In Nassau, going to Paradise Island and visiting Atlantis is a very popular thing to do. You can easily get a taxi or a ferry boat at the port to head over there. The ferry boat is $4 per person each way. A taxi will run you between $4 per person and $15 for the taxi (exclusive).
What can you do at Atlantis? For free, there is very limited things you can do. You can go to the casino (but you can argue that is really not free!). You can see a small portion of the aquarium. You can get something to eat (though bring your credit card as cash is not accepted).
Atlantis does offer swim with the dolphins at varying levels. You can book this even if you are not staying at the resort. They have shallow water interactions up to ultimate trainer for the day, sea lion interactions and stingray experiences.
They also have packages that include the aquapark, slides, pools, beach and aquarium. There are three levels of passes – the DIGS pass (DIGS Aquarium and predator lagoon). This runs $40 per person. The Beach Pass includes the DIGS Aquarium and beach for approximately $70 per person. The Ultimate Day Pass includes the aquapark, slides, pools, beach and aquarium. This does not include Dolphin Cay or the Cain pool plus any paid experience. A day pass can be purchased at Atlantic for $120 for adults/$80 for children (higher prices in the summer). There are blacked out dates and the passes are limited each day.
So how do you make sure you get one? There are two options for this. First, you can get a room at Atlantis or other neighboring hotels with access. Harbourside is one hotel but the more common one used is the Comfort Suites. You can get up to 4 passes per room, based on the number of people listed on your reservation. Basically, you book a room for the night you are arriving (you are at Nassau on 8/14, you book for 8/14). You can check in early, but your room many not be available. Everyone who is checking in must be there at the check in to get your wristband. This will allow you the ultimate access to Atlantis. We can definitely help you with this booking, just let us know how many people you will have. You might not be able to use the room at all, but at least you’ll get the perks!
One other option is to use Majestic Tours. They will confirm your day pass in advance, charging you the same price as Atlantis does directly, though you have an option to add transfers for $15 more per person (roundtrip). The also offer the DIGS pass as well.
Lots of great options to get over to see Atlantis.
do you have any comments for us who are taking our cruise in July, 2014 that relate to late 2013- 2014 about atlantis, passes fpr water parks, digs, comfort suites, best economical way to tour atlantis with a group of 13? Or do the above comments apply for any time? Thanks please reply
What is the cheapest room rate at the comfort suites for a day for 2 people to get the one day pass for the ultimate pass .
I depends when you are going. I would recommend checking their website for your dates.
Another question is about cancellation policy. If for some reason the ship doesn’t make it to the port, I’m guessing I’m out the money and would not get a refund?
You’ll have to check the cancellation policy on your confirmation. Some are non-refundable rates, some need to be cancelled by a certain time prior to arrival. If the ship doesn’t get in and you’ve booked a non-refundable rate or one that has to be cancelled a few days in advance, you won’t likely get a refund.
We are traveling to the Bahamas the end of April on a cruise. We looked into getting a Comfort Suites room for the day, also. We were getting a one night NON-REFUNDABLE room for Choice member’s rate of $251.00 per night! Having a family of four, these seemed like a great deal compared to the $499.00 we would be paying for this through Carnival. However, when I went to check out online for the room, there were over $90 worth of taxes and “fees”. The total room was $350. When you add a cab both ways for four people ($6×4 + tip) $50 minimum, plus food for the day ($40 average) – you are easily up to at least $440. For our family, it personally was not worth the possible savings of $60. At least with Carnival all transportation is covered, food is included, and it is refundable according to Carnival! We are already booked for the day! 🙂
When I look at booking the Comfort Suites for 6 adults (2 rooms only because we can’t put 6 in a room) one day/night in April, it says there is an extra $5 per person housekeeping fee, $15.95 per person energy fee, and a $40.00 for the 3rd person in each room. is that part of the $245.00 “Estimated tax and other charges” or will it be added onto this?
It’s impossible to know if the estimated charges include those fees, but it probably does. You’ll have to add up the nightly rate with the charges and taxes to see if it adds up to the estimated total.
we are going on a cruise april 26th- april 29th and we just booked the atlantis excursion through carnival for 114/pp 6 dollars cheaper than the ultimate day pass and it includes all of the aquariums, slides, lagoons, dig walk, and beaches… oh and lunch!
How was it? I am debating on booking for a May 26th Cruise. And when you book through carnival how do you pay for it up front on the website?
Are you sure that included the slides, for the $114.00? Im looking to book it but the only price I see thru carnival that includes the slides and lunch are $184.00. Please let me know the name of the excursion. Thanks
I went the Comfort Suites route the last time we visited on the Disney Dream. It was PERFECT! When you arrive, they are all ready with wristbands and “check-in”. The entrance to Atlantis is at the back-side of the hotel, so it is a very, very short walk. Rooms are not assigned at check-in but you can go back and get a room later if you want. We went back around 3 and took showers, relaxed before heading back to the cruise ship. It was nice to use a full-size bathroom!
We took the taxi (shared van) over to Comfort Suites – the taxi was shared with other Atlantis guests. It only took a few minutes and that dropped us off right at the lobby.
I had heard that Atlantis capacity controls their day passes so it is possible you wouldn’t be able to get one directly from Atlantis on a very busy day (high hotel occupancy + large cruise ships w/ excursions).
So, if we are going to be in Nassau arriving at 8am on Friday April 26th on our cruise, would we book a room arriving the 26th, leaving the 27th? And will they have the wristbands ready that early? Thank you for this information!!
That’s correct. Your room won’t be ready until later, but you can use the facilities and get your wristbands.
We are heading to the Bahamas on a cruise and will be there July 18…when i saw that this was one of the excursions possible i immediately knew that is what i wanted/had to do. My family of four has wanted to go to just Atlantis for some time and this would be a great way to ‘check things out’ and see if it is worth just a trip there. Does anyone know if there is a way to call to make sure you could get a pass or do you just have to take the chance…booking through the cruise it is going to cost us $700 and i just don’t want to pay that for 1 excursion. I looked on the Majestic tours site but couldn’t find anything to do with Atlantis. There is a group of 14 of us going total and i know we will all want to do the waterpark and everything Atlantis has to offer, please give me any tips on what to do or what not to do to make this go more smoothly!