Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Xmas & New Year in The Bahamas

Atlantis Paradise Island



The extensive facilities especially Slides & Rides, Pools, and Marine Life Exhibits within the resort were all awesome. Serpent Slide and Jungle Slides of Mayan Temple were meant for everyone, while Leap of Faith, Challenger Slides, and those of Power Tower were definitely not for me. Caribbean/Bahamian dishes of Bimini in Marina Village and The Point Restaurant & Bar to the far west corner of Harborside Resort were of very high quality too. Worth a try would be restaurants of equally high quality located outside Atlantis in Paradise Island as well as those across the harbor in Nassau which cost way cheaper.


Overall standard of customer service in the world-famous Atlantis, however, was somewhat disappointing, as the server could not wait but bring the hot main course to our table before the cold starter salad was half finished, and at the end he or she always stood right by our table for as long as it took "inspecting" how we were counting our bills and most importantly whether we were writing down anything as "Extra Gratuity" in addition to the 15% service charge already automatically added to the bill so that he or she could decide what kind of farewell we the guests deserved.

It was such great fun swimming with a dolphin and walking with sharks! Both were experiences of a lifetime. For the former, guests were in groups of six and each group had a total of 30 minutes interaction with one dolphin. We touched and kissed, danced and swam with the dolphin, and finally had our foot pushed by the dolphin gliding across the lagoon from one end to another. For the thrilling adventure in the sharks' home, there were only the two of us and another two guests being taken care of by three divers during the 30 minutes "Walking with Sharks". Unlike the previous one in Dolphin Cay where guests were not allowed to use their own cameras, we were able to get some really good shots using GoPro and of course we did not end up as a tasty meal!



Sandy Toes Rose Island



Probably among the most convenient tourist destinations just 30-minute boat ride from Paradise Island, Sandy Toes had nothing more to offer than a beautiful beach since snorkelling tours took place right at the beach where there was neither any coral nor an abundance of fishes. Simply enjoy the silence away from the mainland lying at this private beach or swimming in the crystal clear water!



SUBs & Snorkelling by Stuart Cove



Any of these trips offered by Stuart Cove satisfied all coral reef seekers! Since we decided to join both in one day to avoid repeating the 2-hour round trip by bus from Paradise Island to Stuart Cove's office, we spent a full day navigating as well as snorkelling over different coral reefs. Experience piloting the sub would have been even nicer if it could be sped up!



Saddleback Cay The Exumas



Among the exotic collection of dream destinations in The Exumas was Saddleback Cay where we visited some iguanas waiting to be greeted and fed by tourists, snorkelled shallow coral reefs surrounded by colorful tropical fishes, fed the hungry sharks looking to share part of our authentic Bahamian lunch, and explored the stunning isolated sand-bar sat amid perfect sapphire-blue water all in one day, not to mention an hour and a half trip by speedboat from Paradise Island was itself a fun part!



Harbor Island



Harbor Island or not? It was a hard decision to make. A total of 6 hours round trip on board was all for only 5 hours on the Island whose Pink Sand Beach was one, if not the only one thing that we were after. Bear in mind that was our only chance, since it was never a plan to make another trip to the same region in the future just to see the pink sand. You do not need to rent a golf cart to get to the beach, but you might want to have some fun driving one.


Nassau



To start our last day, we took a cab from Atlantis Paradise Island all the way to Fort Charlotte, the farthest west point on our itinerary for Nassau. As we headed back east and strolled around downtown, we stopped by Prince George Wharf, Queen's Staircase, Water Tour & Fort Fincastle, before walking back to Atlantis for baggage collection and departure.

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