The plan for today - meet up with Gail & John and Shontell & mom Gale to take the trip over to Atlantis. Easy enough, we meetup for another trip thru the buffet breakfast, pick up some bottled waters, and off we go. I have detailed this in posts on the Dis, but I'll go over it in brief here. Atlantis is a resort unto itself on Paradise Island, a small strip outer island that is part of Nassau.
They have an oceanfront beach, waterpark facilities, and Rodeo Drive shops and restaurants. And the pricetags that go with them.
You really have three ways to experience Atlantis. What you do depends on what your interest in it is. The waterpark consists of two interesting slides, one body, one tube, both of which go thru a plexiglas tunnel thru a shark tank. This is novel, but the novelty won't last too long. There are a number of lagoon beaches, an oceanfront beach, and a lazy river on the far side of the property.
My personal opinion on the waterpark is basically this: If you really want to do it, just to get off the ship for a while, go for it. But keep in mind you're going to Castaway Cay for free somewhere on your trip, and this waterpark won't keep the kids occupied for too long. If all they want to do is splash in the water, you can do that on the deserted Deck 9 instead for not one dime extra. To use the waterpark, you have to get a room, and you have three ways: Book a room at Atlantis(most expensive), or, book a room at the Comfort Suites that's across the street(less expensive, but, strictly a limit 4 per room here, have read the limit is not as strictly enforced at Atlantis, but consider that hearsay), or gamble a bit and try for a 'day room' first come, first served until they run out at Atlantis(usually the lowest, around $125-150), you have to physically go there for these, and they might have sold out the days worth already.
If the waterpark doesn't interest you as much, you can just do what we did and will do in the future, just take one of the many taxis for $4 per person over. Then it's an admission of $25 per adult, $19 4-12, under 4 free to tour the Dig, a number of aquariums spread over the property. The wristband basically gives you an all access pass to the resort. You can go all over.
Ok, when we got there, we headed right over to the kiosk with the blue globe over it, and at this point Shontell and Gale just wanted to go shop and gamble, so we parted company a bit, and then there were four of us. Got our wristbands and we were merrily on our way. Getting there early is a bonus - no crowds. The only people about were already being hurried along on the tours, so 9/10ths of the resort was deserted. Lots of photo ops here, before we even go into the Dig proper.
This place is as impressive the second time around. The high price tags there really pay to keep the place spotless and of Disney or higher quality. We slowly walk our way thru the Dig/resort, being typical tourist types along the way gawking and taking lots of pictures.
Towards the end, when we are by the slides, We bump into (Iluvdisney)Mary, who at this point is a little nervous as she has lost her key to the world card. You need one of these along with ID to get on/off the ship. After finding out that is the only item misplaced, we reassure her she'll have no problem getting back onboard. We find her again when we get back onboard and everything's fine, they made a new card for her. After our encounter, John gets an idea to see how high in the tower he can go to get some pictures of the resort. So he just waltzes right into the tower like he belongs there and proceeds up to the highest floor he can see out of.
Only he would think of that, he got some cool pictures for his effort!
Ok, we decide to head back and walk over to the taxi pickup and who do we run back into for the ride back but Shontell & Gale. We all have basically the same destination, some shopping in downtown. After some confusing discussions with the driver, he drops us off near the Hard Rock cafe, which is where we wanted to start out at. At this point we bump into Regina & co who are just coming off a walk thru all the shops. We chat for a bit and they head back to the ship. We go over to the cafe, to discover it is no more than a place to sell merchandise - no cafe to be seen! We wander around a bit more, Shontell & Gale wander off again in search of other shopping, and the foursome go to the one place Mary really wanted to go, Del Sol. A small shop full of interesting souvenir merchandise- sunlight(actually UV, but natural sun does better) colorizes it! They have a good selection - different tees, sunglasses, rings, nail polish, and even a frisbee! Mary and I get tees, she gets some polish for gifts, Gail and John get some stuff too. We go and even the bag they put it in turns colors in the sun, way cool! At this point we part ways as we really want to get back to the ship for lunch and G&J want to do more shopping too.
On our way back we run into Cheryl & Todd also on their way back for lunch, so we head back together. The buffet was as consistantly exceptional as usual. I don't know how many ways you can put how good the food is onboard. We spend lunch chatting a bit and then moved on.
Now, one thing mentioned by Cheryl & Todd at lunch is the one of the DVC castmembers, Matt, wanted to meet us. With that in mind we went to the member update, got new white member hats, got majorly drilled on the new Interval International deal (160-270 points people!) and no Matt to be found. Later on, just wandering by the WD theatre, I run into Matt. Who then really compliments me on the effort Mary and I did on the meets and webpage. I was half worried I was going to get yelled at for using Disney materials! That is the farthest from the truth. As long as it's being used in a fan way as I have, they are very happy to see it. And, as a special treat he took me in to the rehearsal for Andrea and co, very cool. Now, if only I can get my hands on a SS Member cuise polo. If you didn't know, I an a major polo shirt nut. I collect them from everywhere I've been, and have enough now to go for at least a month and a half without wearing the same one twice! I was really disappointed there wasn't a special one for sale in the shops.
At this point I took time to really get a good look at the special DVC silent auction items:
We had the early seating of Andrea McArdle to see, so time to go back to the cabin, relax, get cleaned up and go see the show. I have read very polar opposite reviews. I have mixed feelings myself. But I'm not on one extreme or the other. Andrea is still a spectacular voice and the parts she did were very entertaining. I think some people were expecting a full Broadway show or something, instead of her, hubby & daughter simply singing. Her husband is a gifted musician. Their daughter is also very gifted, but, -and here it comes- this part of the show really was missing something. it's hard to explain, but, I think she was not in the least into it and just trying to get thru it instead of enjoying the music. I don't know how else to put that. She sang perfect by rote, but that's all. Nothing......inspiring? I don't know, other than the impression of living up to the parents comes to mind. Overall a good show, just the same.
Now, we were intending to go to the Nassau sailaway party. However, Mary had a very bad reaction to the drinks we had at the show and the evening ended quite early. ah, well. It has been an exceptional cruise sofar, especially with acquaintances to share it with.
Next, the final day of the cruise - Click Here for Castaway Cay - TWICE! Scrapbook Page 5
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