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Cruise Askew, Day 3 in Nassau March 18, 2009

Posted by Trisha Lyn Fawver in General Rambling.

As the day before in Freeport, Nassau started bright and early with a 9:15am departure time for the excursion to the Atlantis Aquaventure.  Unlike in Freeport where a lot of us branched off to different excursions, most of us went to Atlantis.  Adam, Nicole, Gavin, & Nikki had decided to fork over the extra dough to swim with the dolphins, while Katie, James, Lena, Crystal, Ed, Joe, Andrew, Drena & I all decided to do just the water park portion.  Carrie & Steven ended up coming with us too because the dive they were scheduled for was canceled due to choppy waters.  Atlantis was my favorite part of the Bahamas HANDS DOWN!

Gorgeous.  Now this was the tropical paradise we'd been hoping for.  Definitely more touristy than Freeport, but that's just what we wanted.  It took us about an hour to get to the park from port and through the long ass tour they take you on before letting you loose.  I made the error in judgment to only bring the disposable waterproof camera I'd bought with me and not my normal camera, not really knowing that there would be SO much cool stuff to take pictures of before getting to the slides.  I figured slides are slides, pictures aren't 100% needed, but I was wrong.  LUCKILY, Katie was a champ and remembered hers, and wisely relinquished it to me during the tour and I must have taken probably a hundred photos just of the grounds as we were walking through.  You think I'm lazy getting these updates up, she still hasn't taken the photos off her camera and sent them to me.  I think I may have to go to her house next weekend to retrieve them myself!  I was able to snag some that others took, so here's a delicious taste.

That walkway in the last photo isn't actually a walkway, though that's what most of us assumed it was at first glance.  That's actually one big suite.  The tour guide pointed out that celebrities like Michael Jackson have stayed there.  The price is $25,000 per night with at least a 4 night commitment and books years in advance.  It has views of both sides of the island, over the resort and beach and out to the ocean on both sides.  Just… WOW. 

We decided to attack The Current before hitting the slides… there's a slide called the Leap of Faith that's something like a 120 foot drop that dumps you into the lazy river, and several people wanted to go on that.  Crystal and I… not so much.  So we opted to just grab some tubes and jump into this lazy river.  Well, it wasn't that lazy.  It was actually more of a rapids ride… think Rip Roaring Rapids for those familiar with Great America… except with an individual tube like at Waterworld or Raging Waters.  Of course, no rocks, more artificial rapids created by strategically placed water jets, but it was a nice balance back and forth from scream like a little girl rapids to lazy floating.  Crystal & I were greatly amused at how far apart we got at some points because of the rapids.  We did a round and jumped out.  We'd been separated from most our group and Ed had opted not to get in the water at all after feeling the colder winds that were blowing through, so he was keeper of some of our stuff by one of the big pools.  We'd left most of it like clothes, cameras, etc. in the lockers at the main visitor center, but he chilled in a shaded lounge chair with our towels and sunscreen.  I believe Carrie & Steven chilled with him awhile, so he was definitely not bored.

Again, I've failed you for photos… I took a bunch with my waterproof disposable camera, but I haven't taken that camera in to get developed yet.  So, that'll be it's own post I guess.

I personally hadn't really noticed the wind until after we were getting out of the water (of course).  It wasn't as nasty overcast in Nassau as it had been in Freeport; the sun was out most of the time and it was definitely brighter and bluer skies, but there was a chilly wind blowing.  Crystal and I headed almost straight past Ed and into the neighboring pool.  Soon after Lena and Katie found us and Katie joined us in the pool.  We spent a lot of time just chilling talking with the majority of our bodies submerged in water to keep warm (yes, the water was warm… just like I'd dreamed for Bahamian water!), then finally got out to utilize our meal vouchers and get some lunch at the snack bar near the pool.  As we were eating with Carrie, Steven, Ed & Crystal, the others managed to find us.  We spent the time drying off and getting our grub on while attempting to solidify plans for the rest of the afternoon.  We decided that once we were all done we'd head over to the two aquariums that Atlantis boasted.  We had wanted to meet up with the 4 that went for the dolphin excursion, but without cell phones (NO ONE wanted to mess with $6.99/minute international rates!) there wasn't much way to communicate.  Although we headed over to the aquarium in kind of two groups since some were going to stop off at the lockers first, and while they were there they ran into the dolphin folks, who'd been far delayed and were more interested in enjoying the slides than the aquariums at that particular moment.

It was about that time that I first learned (cause I haven't been in the loop I guess) that Gavin had been long planning to propose to Nikki while they did the dolphin swimming.  And she'd said yes!  Gavin, you suave motherfucker… this boy made arrangements with the people at Atlantis to, during their experience, have a dolphin swim over to them holding a buoy that said "Will You Marry Me?"  I guess originally he wanted the dolphin to be carrying the ring somehow in a waterproof container or something, but people quickly talked him out of it.  What a dreamy way to propose to a woman… via dolphin in the Bahamas… and I LOVE dolphins, ask anyone whose seen my collection of dolphin stuff… so yes, consider me super jealous!  It was just so romantic and sweet and great.  Couldn't have happened to a nicer couple of people to find each other either.

So, back to the aquarium, aptly titled The Dig.  One of the coolest things was the decor, which again, we'll have to wait for Katie's photos of because I don't see any of our other travel buddies have pictures of it in their albums that they've shared with me.  But, they also had two MASSIVE manta rays.  Like, 10 foot wingspan.

That photo has no scale and doesn't do it justice… once I get the photos from Katie I'm almost certain I have one that has a scale object in it.  When we went through with the group we just had my disposable camera with us, but on our way out of the park we went through again to stop in the gift shop that was in the center of the aquarium halls, so I took a TON of photos of the inside of the aquariums with her camera… it all fascinated me.  I love aquariums.  The decor inside was also rather futuristic in an ancient civilization way, very true to the Atlantis theme.  So there was plenty of photos of that too.  One of the nifty factoids that the tour guide had told us that morning about the aquarium's residents are in such good shape because the water in the aquarium isn't just water treated with chemicals and sea salts to mimic their natural sea water – it IS actual ocean water from the surrounding Caribbean.  Pretty cool.

Once we were done oohing and ahhing as a group, we wandered around the lagoon area to the other side where the smaller predator aquarium was located.  This promised to be sharks, sting rays, barracuda, etc. that, for obvious reasons, can't be housed wiht the other fish.  I have to say I was disappointed – the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas was a much better predator only aquarium attraction.  The decor was basically none, and they were all just in one big bowl like tank.  There was one of those glass domed walk ways, but that was it.  And the sharks are the small ones that aren't that impressive, and there didn't seem to really be that many fish in there either.  So that was a bit of a let down for me, but The Dig made up for it.

In general Atlantis was AWESOME, and I'd love to just fly straight to Nassau and spend more time there to do the dolphin swim, try out more slides, hang in the lagoon, snorkel, feed sharks (yes, they do this twice a day but we missed both times), etc.  The only thing I really didn't like about Atlantis was the exorbantly long tour upon first arrival and that the park was cashless – I specifically brought cash with me to take care of snacks and stuff but even the snack bars only accepted credit card or payment via room key if you were a guest at the resort.  Which was lame, and now I owe Carrie like $4 for an ice cream lol. 

More photos I stole from Crystal since Katie's laggin'…

Once we were done with the two aquariums as a group, it was pretty much decided that we were done for the day.  Drena was having some energy issues because she really needed to get back to the lockers and take her medications, so Joe & Andrew volunteered to go back to get them while the rest of the group stayed with her at the shark area.  Katie and I had decided that, since we already knew we wanted to go back to the gift shop in The Dig before leaving, we'd head back to the lockers with them and get our stuff and then head back to the port.  Once we got back to the lockers we realized that there was an inlet right beside them for The Current, so since it had definitely warmed a bit, we took one last go-round before the park started reeling people in and we got dressed to leave.  We made our stop at the gift shop, taking another slightly less leisurely trip through the aquarium for me to take better photos with Katie's camera.  We wandered back to the bus area through the casino, taking more photos of their really cool dolphin lighting features and a couple of the big glass sculptures they had. 

Just in time, we ended up getting onto what seemed to be the last or second to last bus, and low and behold the rest of our group ended up on that bus too!  So we all rode back to the port.  I was a bit sad to see when we returned that the Harley shop I'd seen that morning was now closed.  I really wanted to get another shirt for my dad, but I was relived when Linnitt later told me that all the stuff inside looked exactly like what Katie and I had shown her that we got at the one in Freeport.  But later that evening as we went to Senor Frogs I had to take a photo of the store anyway.  It's perfectly placed next to a Nascar store – which means my dad would have been like a little boy in a candy store!

Once again I'm going to tease you to say that the festivities for the evening at Senor Frogs are worthy of their own post.  So stay tuned!

Posted via email from The Midnight Showing of Trisha

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