Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Caribbean Islands (
-   -   Just Back from Atlantis - One (

Beth Apr 10th, 2002 07:17 PM

Just Back from Atlantis - One
Greetings!<BR>Just returned from four nights at the Royal Towers West Wing, and am happy to answer any questions.<BR>West Wing was very accessible to the major water slides at the Temple, and close to the sports/fitness center and spa.<BR>As expected everything was very expensive, but we did find little ways to cut corners by not taking the meal plan. I'm still not certain that the cheaper meal plan wouldn't work out better, but you better like buffets! We had dinners at both Cafe in Hall of Waters and Fathoms and both ran close to $200 for four for a slightly above average meal with slightly above average service. The only disappointing meal was a splurge (for twice the price) at the Ocean Club Terrace. Again, everything was slightly above average - but I was expecting so much more!<BR>We spent our days enjoying the pools, as the wind was fierce and the beaches were closed due to surf. Bring LOTS of sunscreen - we saw many very red sunburns in really wierd patterns! Our two kids (boy 11 and girl 13) had a blast, and thought the visit was way too short. We did not do any excursions or water sports, since as our bellman said on the first day: "Nothing is free at Atlantis."<BR>For close to $600 a day (including tax and grat), the room was again - "SAA" It was large enough for two queen beds and a cot, and the toilet was in a separate "water closet," but we could have used a well-lit vanity area in the bedroom. I figured we were paying for the pool grounds, so why not stay put and enjoy them.<BR>We did make one short excursion to the Straw Market, which is now housed in a tent due to last year's fire. The kids found it interesting, and bought a couple souvenirs there after some bargaining.<BR>They really loved exploring the grounds - always seeing something new - and going through The Dig about a dozen times. My son felt too old for the Discovery Chanel Camp, and my daughter felt too young for Club Rush. There is a preteen hour at Club Rush that my son was dying to try, but Club Rush is currently only open Thurs, Fri, and Sat nights.<BR>Our only real complaint about Atlantis? We wish they'd spend less time talking up the sales pitch for the timeshares, and more time explaining the routine. For example: we missed the fireworks the first night we were there because the notices went out the night before; We didn't know to have them check off our towel return at the end of the day, and it was day three before we realized we couldn't just drop them in the bin at 5:pm; We didn't realize we'd be carded at every access point if we didn't have those danged bracelets on!<BR>And by the way... Forget about sneaking in! It's like trying to get past the Gestapo even if you ARE staying there.<BR>Also, as someone else on this site mentioned, there needs to be some other thing for adults to do during the evening besides gamble. An outdoor bar with some music and dancing would be ideal.<BR>In summary, we had a wonderful family vacation that made great memories for us and our kids. This is a an absolutely beautiful resort, with incredible attention to detail on the execution of the Atlantian theme. The kids can't wait to go back; the parents might think twice, however, perhaps looking for a bit more value for the money.

Cindy Apr 10th, 2002 07:35 PM

Thanks for the trip report! I am going there next week with my husband, kids (boy 4 and girl 8) and my Dad (82). We have reserved 2 rooms the Coral Towers as I was told it is a more central location and that it is closer to the smaller water slides that the 4-yo would be able to go on. Does that sound correct? <BR><BR>Was it windy by the pools too or just the beach? I didn't know they had fireworks! Where is the best place to find out about these types of events? Thanks for the tip about confirming the towel returns and making sure everyone wears their bracelets (I hope they're waterproof!). I guess we'll be taking our time at dinner since we're not planning on introducing the kids to gambling just yet!

Beth Apr 10th, 2002 07:55 PM

Yes, the Coral Towers will be more central. Make sure you make your dinner reservations now. Both the Villa D'Este and Bahamanian Club are near you, if you are concerned with distance. Also, Murray's Deli is excellent and the best value at the resort.<BR>Yes, the Lazy River Ride and some tame slides are between Coral and Beach Towers, but that water did not feel heated. It seemed warmer at the Mayan Temple Pool. ??? There are kiddie pools at opposite ends of the resort: near Beach Tower and near Mayan Temple.<BR>Wow, it was windy everywhere! We kinda froze the first evening and second morning - but then things warmed up. It got cloudy and a slight rain for about a half hour around noon each day, but then warmed up bright and sunny - and windy!<BR>There is a daily newsletter "Fish and Chips" but you have to seek it out. We didn't find out about it until the second day, and then they were out of them! Also, we never knew there was dining entertainment at Fathoms - just lucked out and were there at the right time (appx 7:pm Tuesday) for a fun display of traditional local entertainment. There is a guest services desk (sort of like a concierge, but with a timeshare edge) that could probably tell you where/when something will be, if you know what to ask for!<BR>I'm sure you'll all have a blast. I love intergenerational vacations! Have fun!<BR><BR>

Cindy Apr 10th, 2002 08:25 PM

Was there a storm nearby or is this the windy season? I thought all the pools were heated? Is the Mayan Temple pool large enough for swimming or is it more the exit point for the slides so you need to be careful? <BR><BR>Where do you get the newsletter each day? I will make sure to ask for it when we arrive! I did already make some restaurant reservations since we're on the gourmet meal plan and don't only want to do buffets. How do you get to the Ocean Club if we decide to try a dinner there? I'm keeping all my expectations to a minimum so hopefully I'll be pleasantly surprised :-)

Beth Apr 11th, 2002 05:45 AM

Hi Again!<BR>I would assume all the pools are heated, so maybe it was just the temp of the day that made the Beach Tower side feel colder. Or maybe the temperature is adjusted differently. Hopefully it's not the "fear factor" making the Temple side warmer! Yuk! :)<BR>There is a large pool area with a zero entry in the Mayan Temple area, along with a kiddie pool on the opposite side of the Temple. There are a couple slow, short slides into this main pool, but you wouldn't need to rush away. I'd bring water wings if I had a four-year-old, but I'd be with him, too. The kiddie pools are more for parental sitting!<BR>Weather: I don't know if it's windy season, but it was just very windy generally the five days we were there, although it seemed a bit less each day. A squall blew through every day around noon, but quickly disappeared.<BR>OC: we went by taxi ($4 per person for 5 min ride) that turned out to be a limo! The ride over was fun, and the grounds lovely. If you can, maybe your Dad would babysit and you and your husband could go to Dune. That must be better! Every entree in the Courtyard Terrace was almost $50, and many were prepared tableside by waiters - not by chefs with fancy sauces! :)<BR>F&C: Each lobby has an info desk with the newsletter out each morning, but they are gone by mid-day. If there is something you are looking for (fireworks, dining entertainment) - I'd say ask someone at the info/activities desk.<BR>We really had a wonderful time, so I don't want to shortchange your expectations!

t Apr 11th, 2002 02:53 PM


Cindy Apr 11th, 2002 05:32 PM

&lt;&lt; Hopefully it's not the "fear factor" making the Temple side warmer! Yuk! :) &gt;&gt; <BR><BR>LOL!!! You are too funny!! Thanks again for the great info. Unfortunately Dad has early-Alzeheimer's so having him watch the kids is not an option. It will be nice to just get away for awhile and enjoy what might be our last extended-family vacation. <BR><BR>One more question(at least for right now!). About the ID bracelets. Do they have any identifying info on them or is it like a bar code? Do you need to wear it in the hotel and show it for meals or is it only to get access to the outdoor pool and beach areas?

Beth Apr 11th, 2002 06:15 PM

The ID bracelets are issued each day (different color) by the pool when you pick up your towels and show your room key. If you are walking about the grounds without one, you'll be asked to show your room key. They bracelets have no personal info and have nothing to do with meals.<BR>Sorry about your Dad. I have been through the same thing with my father. Both of my parents lived in an in-law apt with us for several years, but unfortunately my Dad spent his last year in a nursing home. It's a tough disease.

Beth Apr 12th, 2002 04:55 AM

Hi, Cindy,<BR>I realized last night after reading my post that I left our conversation on a terrible downer. What I was trying to say is that I can relate. But do be hopeful, as there are many wonderful new drugs to delay the progression and assure a good quality of life. What is really wonderful is that you are taking this family vacation, and that your children will have the opportunity to hold onto these memories for your Dad. Have great trip next week, and be sure to post your impressions when you return!

Cindy Apr 12th, 2002 08:24 AM

I understand what the future holds which is why I'm making sure we can enjoy as much as we can right now. Don't feel bad! We are all very excited about this trip and as long as it doesn't rain everyday we'll be fine. The only thing I debate about is if we should upgrade to Royal Towers because they have the bigger rooms. Dad is getting a room adjoining ours, but they'll be 4 of us in our room. Do you think that the bigger room/beds will make much of a difference? As someone used to a king-sized bed, a double sounds soooo small !!

Beth Apr 12th, 2002 12:53 PM

With the adjoining room door open, you'll actually have four beds and two baths total, right? I think a double is small for two adults, but not an adult and a child. You can also ask for a cot if you want everybody to have their own. I was told the RT rooms are 450 sq ft, while the CT are 350 sq ft, if that helps. But you're not actually in your rooms too much!

Susan Apr 12th, 2002 04:14 PM

Greetings!<BR><BR>I will be heading to Atlantis soon. Sounds like it was a nice trip, but expensive. What is the deal with these bracelets and such? Is it required just to a get a towel or is it a I.D. so they know who is staying at the hotel? We will be staying at the Coral Towers and we have some friends that will be arriving on a cruise ship who would like to join us for the day on the grounds of Atlantis. Will that be possible? Any advice would br greatly appreciated. Do you happen to know how long of a ride it is from the airport to Atlantis and do you know where the cruise ships dock in relation to Atlantis? Thanks.

Beth Apr 12th, 2002 06:20 PM

Hi Susan!<BR>The chartered bus transfer to/from the airport took appx 35 minutes. The boats dock between the Straw Market and the West Wing of the Royal Tower. We could see them coming and going from our west facing room! It's probably a 10-15 minute cab ride, and they generally let cruise ship visitors off by the Beach Tower, as there is public access to the beaches.<BR>However, to walk around the grounds, The Dig, or sit by the pools you need a wrist band that is only available by showing your room key. Guests may go to the dining, shopping, and gambling areas, of course! :) Maybe you can figure something out if you have a couple days to get acclamated before your friends arrive. I've heard other people bragging that it can be done, but it must be quite tricky. Good Luck!<BR>

Beth Apr 17th, 2002 03:46 PM

Cindy and Susan:<BR>Are you back?! What did you think?!<BR>

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:13 PM.