Here is my long review from our trip to Atlantis 7/25 to 8/1. We had a great trip, and would definitely go back, but a couple of things really bothered me so I will give you the rundown and feel free to skip parts you aren’t interested in if you hate lengthy reviews. I tried to label the sections so you can skip to info you want. As a former hotel mystery shopper I tend to be detailed!
We took a Friday night red-eye from Long Beach to Ft. Lauderdale and then from Ft. Lauderdale to Nassau so we arrived around 9am Saturday. Flight and crews on JetBlue were great and I would definitely fly them again. Great price and no turboprops/regional jets on the last leg which is the only way for me to go (not a fan of small planes).
Sandra was waiting for us outside baggage claim with a sign, and she was a welcome sight after a long journey. Yes, you can easily get a taxi, but I am a planner and I liked knowing someone was waiting for us with our name on a sign and an agreed upon price. ($45 for 5 without grocery stop-we planned to take the shuttle from Harborside the next day)
Once we arrived at Harborside we stored our luggage and the bellman put our rolling cooler in the fridge so our food wouldn’t spoil. After a quick check-in the front desk ladies told us to check back at 1pm in case our unit was ready early. We walked to Atlantis and let the kids swim (they changed into their swimsuits in the Harborside lobby bathrooms). We checked on our room at 1pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm. Our room still wasn't ready at 5pm (we had a fixed unit we rented from an owner), at this point they tried to get us to wait till 6pm, and my patience ran out and once we got angry we received a better unit on the fourth floor with a marina/Atlantis view in Building 7. I hate that I had to get mad to get a unit after the 4pm check-in time, but waiting till 5pm was long enough with three tired kids. The unit was beautiful and I thought it was in pretty good shape though it has not been renovated. The unit (a one-bedroom premium with rollaway) had ample space and storage.
Negative Stuff (Unit and Staff)
Someone had peed on the sofa bed (kids told me it smelled so I took the sheets off and found a massive fresh urine stain and it was obvious on the mattress so I know the housekeeper just put clean sheets over it and ignored it), if I sound accusatory it’s because I made tiny pen marks on all three beds to see if the housekeeper would change the sheets as I was promised on the once a week cleaning day. That day when we came back the pillowcases had been changed, but all three pen marks (and dirty sheets) were still on the bed. When we arrived we found at least ten items missing from the condos inventory sheet and my husband took the list to the front desk and asked them to please replace the items. They never replaced them even though we asked on day 2 (we gave them a written list and insisted on two items because we needed them to cook dinner-mixing bowl and pot holders arrived three hours later). The last night the garbage disposal broke and the sink backed up. They sent someone about an hour and a half after we called. I think my husband and I were in agreement about the staff. They were all polite and told you what you wanted to hear, but did whatever they wanted on their own schedule. I saw at least 5 guests waiting for the sundry shop in the lobby to open )the sign said she would return at 8:30pm) and the employee was laughing and chatting with other staff members in the hallway while the front desk told the people waiting she was busy getting supplies to restock the store. We walked by 15 minutes later at 9pm and she was still chatting. I could give you many more examples. But you get the idea. I never got the sense anyone really wanted to help you, but they were polite to your face.
Again, we really had a great time, but when we went to the timeshare meeting I told the salesperson why I wouldn't buy at Harborside and spend that much on maintenance fees with these kinds of issues with the units and staff. The salesperson was very understanding and didn’t pressure us at all. We got our $125 credit which was nice. I took her brownies the next morning and she was very happy
Detailed Food Info:
We checked two suitcases and took a rolling cooler on board the plane. The rolling cooler (bought from Wal-Mart) had all our frozen items (bacon, ham steaks, turkey burgers, chicken sausages, sliced swiss cheese butter and cream cheese - note-cream cheese did not thaw well so don't bother!) In the two suitcases (about 50lbs each) we took a scrubber sponge, 2 rolls paper towels, ziploc bags (gallon and quart) dish soap, dishwasher soap, laundry soap, softener sheets, 2 jars of peanut butter and 2 jars of jelly, salt and pepper, Mrs, Dash, mustard, spray can of Pam, powdered coffee creamer, sugar, 1 can of ground coffee, coffee filters, powdered lemonade, tea bags, hot cocoa mix, cheezits, instant oatmeal (we ate it every morning as a quick breakfast so we could leave for the pools/beach by 9am) instant mashed potatoes, tuna in the foil pouches, 3 boxes of Ghiradelli dark chocolate brownie mix and 3 disposable foil 9x9 baking pans, individual packages of cookies and some protein bars. I put a box inside one of the suitcases with our frozen bread so it wouldn't get mashed as it thawed (2 loaves of bread, hamburger buns, hot dog buns and bagels)
Once we got to the Bahamas we bought the following at the City Market: milk, orange juice, fruit and veggies for side dishes based on what was on sale or cheap, tomato for burgers, eggs, cooking oil (to make brownies, i'm a chocolate fiend), 2 cases of water and glass cleaner (the units have a glass table and I am a clean freak so I used it for all the cleanup that week-floors, counters ect.). Don't go to the market without a plan or you will buy too much food or be overwhelmed by choices. I saw so many people in the store from the Harborside shuttle buying so much stuff and panicking over fitting it on the shuttle!
We spent about $110.00 at the City Market and ate one meal out at Mosaic which was about $240.00 for 3 adults and 2 kids. The meal at Mosaic was outstanding and so was the service. I did buy the occasional latte at Starbucks, and several drinks at the pools, but didn't care because I saved so much on meals. Drinks were strong and really good throughout the resort. The rest of the meals we ate in and took lunch to the pool each day in our rolling cooler (frozen pb & j's, cheeze-its, cookies and frozen bottled water) Everything thawed by lunch and was cool and refreshing on the hot days :) I baked brownies three of the nights and found the convection oven worked well.
We went to the same pool everyday of our trip and used it as a “home base”. We took the shuttle to The Cove and walked through the Cove lobby to get to the Baths Pool. We set up in the back row near the bathrooms, beach, snack bar and lazy river conveyer entrance (this was the conveyer that took you up to the fork between the rapids and the second conveyer to the slides). We sampled all the slides and my 10 year old even did the Leap of Faith. I did the Abyss once but that was enough for me the other tube slides were all great and the water was warm. Reapply sunscreen after a couple times around the current or you will get burnt when the sunscreen washes off. Found this out the hard way after getting the first sunburn I have had in 20 years! Beach was never crowded, but we went first thing in morning between 9 and 10 before getting in the current to do the slides. One morning we spoke to a staff employee who told us the best place to go to get great pics while he fed the manta rays with the 12 foot wing spans! Aquariums are free and the tour with info is informative and not boring at all.
Shuttles and other info:
Get the list of free movies and activities from the concierge at Harborside each day (it’s on the counter so you can take a copy) and you can enjoy lots of stuff. I took several lists with me and I can scan them if anyone wants a sample of the available activities. I also a list of the channels available on the Harborside tv in case anyone needs that. The shuttles are plentiful and we never waited more than a few minutes to catch one.
Something my kids will never forget LOL:
One day while DH and I were lounging at the pool I noticed a teenager laying on the lounger in front of us and his brother and girlfriend (found out that’s who they were later) were throwing wet towels on him and trying to get him to drink water. I noticed he was drooling and his hands were curled up. I told my DH I was worried he was having a seizure and asked if we should help them. My DH went over when his brother left and his girlfriend seemed agitated. Apparently he was only 16 and his brother had gotten him drunk on vodka and he couldn’t stand up and his brother left him with his girlfriend and took off. About this time my kids come running up to me yelling “someone threw up in the current and we were almost to the conveyer and they made us get out because the barf was going up the conveyer” I quieted them and asked if the boy my husband was helping stand up was the one who barfed in the water. They confirmed it was and we had a great talk about the perils of excessive alcohol consumption. Turns out this 16 year old had sun poisoning and alcohol poisoning and my DH carried him to the Cove tower so they could get a wheelchair for him. I am afraid to think what might have happened if my DH hadn’t intervened because this kid looked like he was having seizures and he only attempted to stand and go with my DH because he told him he could die if he didn’t get help. Not impressed that an Atlantis staff member never noticed or reported him even after he threw up in the water and couldn’t walk on his own. This whole thing took at least an hour and no one even offered help. Scary!
Okay, I have probably wrote too much, but I know that I found other detailed reviews helped me to plan my trip and I am very grateful to everyone on this board. Any questions, please feel free to ask so I can return the favor!