By Nancy Schretter
Nassau is a popular port of call for cruise passengers and it’s one of four ports of call for guests on this October’s Blake Shelton Cruise. While the Blake Shelton Cruise will feature two performances by Blake Shelton plus shows by Trace Adkins and over 20 other country music entertainers, the Caribbean ports on this October 14-21 cruise are also a huge draw. Although Nassau has its own charm, many passengers are likely to head straight over to Atlantis Paradise Island on one of the many shore excursions offered in conjunction with the cruise.
Atlantis Paradise Island is one of the most popular resorts in the Caribbean. This ocean-themed destination property was named as one of the top resorts in the world by Conde Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure Family and Parents magazines – and it’s easy to see why. This fanciful resort is a vacation paradise for those who want to escape the real world for a while and indulge in a wide variety of activities.
Here’s just a glimpse of what’s special at Atlantis:
- AQUAVENTURE, a 141-acre waterpark that includes a seven-acre snorkeling lagoon, a mile-long lazy river with high intensity rapids that make it anything but lazy, thrilling giant Mayan-themed water slides, and Splashers – a children’s water play area for kids under 54 inches and their parents. Over 20 million gallons of water are used in this extravagant development. A limited number of AQUAVENTURE excursion tickets are available for purchase through the ship.
- Dolphin Cay, a dolphin interaction and education center where guests can interact with dolphins. A small number of cruise passengers are able to interact with the Atlantis ‘Katrina’ dolphins for 30 minutes in the water. This is one of the most popular attractions at Atlantis, so make sure to get your shore excursion tickets early.
- The resort’s incredible marine habitats – the largest of their kind worldwide – including 14 lagoons and giant aquariums filled with over 50,000 sea creatures as well as The Dig, a maze of underground passageways with sea life views. All of the Atlantis facilities, including Dolphin Cay, are accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. Cruise passengers on the “Discover Atlantis” tour have the opportunity to see all these marine habitats and other areas of Atlantis as well.
Cool entertainment for families can be found at the Atlantis Resort, including playing video games at Gamer’s Reef Arcade, making pottery at Earth & Fire Pottery Studio, building and racing remote control race cars and monster trucks at Atlantis Speedway, and creating special stuffed animals at Atlantis Pals.
- The resort’s dazzling architecture, decorations and larger than life scale. Think Disney meets Vegas – on steroids. Check out 2.7 million gallon aquarium and the 70-foot ceiling in the Great Hall of Waters and the amazing glass sculptures in the casino.
- Atlantis’ Royal Towers is home to the Caribbean’s largest Casino. This 100,000 square-foot world-class casino offers a wide array of gaming options including over 850 slots, a Race and Sports Book, and 80 table games including blackjack, baccarat and craps. It also contains millions of dollars in art.
Looking for something a bit different than Atlantis? Take a shore excursion to Ardastra Zoo, Gardens and Conservation Center to walk through four acres of tropical gardens and see some of the Bahamas indigenous species. Here you’ll see marching pink flamingos marching and you’ll be able to feed colorful lorry parrots by hand.
If getting out on – and under – the sea is more what you have in mind, take the Athol Island snorkeling tour. You’ll board a motorized catamaran for a short trip out to a lovely snorkeling site near Athol Island, where you’ll be able to view the sea life found in the Bahamas. Guests must be at least six years of age to snorkel and must be able to swim.
For more information on the Blake Shelton Cruise, visit https://www.blakesheltoncruise.com. Several stateroom categories are already sold out and many others have just one cabin left, so make your reservations soon. If you have questions or are seeking more information, contact the Blake Shelton Cruise hosts, Flying Dutchmen Travel, at 800-248-7471 or 707-546-1212 or by email at [email protected].
Article contributed by Nancy Schretter, Managing Editor of Family Travel Network.
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