Atlantis--How to Be a Cheap, Picky Eater and Still Have Fun
Nov 11, 2002
Review by lindseysoda
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Amazing wildlife, fun water activities, good food, great service
Cons:A bit expensive, but not as much as everyone else says
The Bottom Line: Atlantis has something for EVERYONE-- a once in a lifetime vacation that I would wholeheartedly recommend to anyone who saw the shark waterslide on tv and got hooked like me.
My husband and I just returned from our honeymoon at the Atlantis Resort at Paradise Island--we LOVED it. Here's some advice on how to get the most out of the four main activities you will be doing there: eating like a pig, sleeping like a log, swimming like a kid, and gambling like my grandmother.
Recommend this product?
First EATING, the most important vacation activity. Atlantis had a big challenge to face when I showed up, because I'm a vegetarian, lactose intolerant, hypoglycemic, and I don't eat anything grilled (i.e. veggie burger) because I get sick. Regardless of all these obstacles, the resort still served up a great week's worth of food for me. Here are the tricks.
1. DO NOT get the meal plan if you or anyone in your family is a vegetarian or picky eater. Vegetarian food is generally the cheapest on the menu, and there is absolutely no way to spend as much money as either meal plan costs if you don't eat meat. Even with appetizers, a drink, and desserts, I was still coming in well under the $55 per day I spent on the Modified American Meal Plan. My husband, who does eat meat, didn't make up the difference either. We would have saved WAY more money if we had not gone on the plan, and we would have had a wider choice of restuarants to boot.
2. Food is not as expensive as everyone says it is. I would compare the food prices at Atlantis to the ones in New York City. A bit over the top, but nothing to break the bank. After hearing many complaints, I went there thinking a hamburger was going to be $25 and an iced tea was going to be $10. Not so-- the prices are high but not astronomical. My husband got a really good burger (so he tells me) at Atlas Bar and Grill for $8 or so, and it came with fries.
3. Go buffet-style for maximum pigging out. Seagrapes, Marketplace, and Water's Edge all have good breakfast buffets, and I believe Seagrapes's and Water's Edge's buffets were about $15 or so per person, and Marketplace's was about $20 or so. Water's Edge was the most fun because you sit right near a whole bunch of sharks and rays.
For dinner, you really can't beat the buffets at Seagrapes and Marketplace. I'm not sure how much Seagrapes was, but Marketplace was $40 per person. (Seagrapes is the cheaper one). There was plenty of food and it was REALLY good. One night I had three desserts! Oink oink.
4. How to eat lunch for $4 per person:
My husband and I followed another person's epinion and stuffed our suitcases with food and especially bottled water. Here's what traveled well: mini cereal boxes, pop tarts, Lance/Austin crackers, peanuts, granola bars. These snacks do not make a substantial lunch, and after burning off hundreds of calories swimming, we are HUNGRY. We went to either Dive In or Cave Grill every day and got a veggie wrap to augment our snacks. The wrap cost $8 and was totally yummy, and it came with guacamole, salsa, and sour cream on the side. It was exactly what we needed to tide us over to dinner, along with our snacks.
5. To eat or not to eat:
Here are some things to AVOID--
--Nachos at Atlas Bar and Grill--eeeeew
--Anything at the breakfast buffet that's been sitting there for a while under a heat lamp.
Here are my favorites:
--Fruit plate at Atlas Bar and Grill-- All the fruit at Atlantis was amazing
--Desserts at Marketplace-- anything with chocolate!
--Pancakes at Murray's-- outstanding!
--Anything that was NOT sitting under the heat lamp. Here's the trick-- You can watch them making pancakes, french toast, and waffles right there. As soon as they bring out the new ones, grab 'em and you're golden. Once they've been sitting there a while, they get all crusty and coldish-- not worth it.
SLEEPING LIKE A LOG
Here's a way to save money-- stay in the Beach Tower. Our room was huge (one of the ones nearest to the elevator so it was bigger than average), it had an amazing water view, it was clean, had plenty of storage space, and a decent bathroom. I would rate it slightly better than your average Days Inn-- not bad at all. You won't be spending much time in your room, so why pay the Royal Towers prices? Beach Towers is a fine place to stay, as long as you splurge and choose the water view room-- it is fantastic.
SWIMMING LIKE A KID
Another good thing about Beach Towers is that it is really close to the River Pool, one of the two least crowded pools. River Pool is the best because it is zero-entry, has waterfalls coming right into it. has a cool view into a big fish tank, and leads directly into the Lazy River ride-- you can get on the ride without getting out of the pool.
Most people were swimming at the Mayan Temple Pool because their kids wanted to get on the slides over and over, but this pool is more crowded. My advice is to set up shop at River Pool and take a couple field trips over to Mayan Temple to get on the slides. It's not that long of a walk, and you can burn off some of those pancake calories.
Another excellent pool is the Coral Towers pool, kind of in the middle of the resort, and very close to the Goombay water slide. This pool seemed to be all couples, so we were right at home!
The slides are amazing and incredibly memorable. Everyone should get on the Mayan Temple Slide (the tube slide through the shark tanks). I liked this one because I don't particularly enjoy the ones where you go flying straight down and feel like you're falling. The tube slide is scary, but in a "safe" way, and coming out in the shark tank is a total rush.
I also got on the Jungle Slide, which was pretty cool, except if you build up too much speed you come flying out and will almost certainly get water up your nose.
My husband tried the Challenger slide, and I guess he won because I was too scared to try it. I don't like those "wedgie" slides. They are great for kids though!
GAMBLING LIKE MY GRANDMOTHER
The casino is pretty nice, not too crowded, and has lots and lots of slots. I stuck with 25 cent video poker, which is my favorite game because your money lasts the longest. Of course, I eventually lost it all. My husband played Let it Ride and lost $80 in like 5 minutes, so that was the end of that.
A FEW MORE RANDOM DETAILS
We read lots of epinions before going, and overall I found most incredibly helpful. Here are some points I heard often that I disagree with:
1. It's not as expensive as some people complain. My husband and I are pretty freakin' cheap and we still didn't think it was that bad. Remember you are visiting an amazing resort-- you can't expect McDonalds type prices.
2. The service is WAY better than most people reported. After reading these reviews we expected everybody to be a big jerk. Not so-- every last maid, bell hop, food server, cashier, and water slide operator treated us like royalty. I really don't know why people complain about the service. Of course, we are from Boston where most people are jerks, so anything would have been an improvement for us!
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