Now, I’ve never been to the Bahamas. Which, if I’m being honest, is unacceptable. I feel very strongly that the me and the Bahamas would get along VERY well. I have dreams to taking a nice solo vacation, but then one of my kids come screeching into the room, and I’m brought right back down to reality. But lately, since I wrote about those amazing Caribbean resorts for families, I’ve been dreaming of a Bahama trip for all three of us! And then I did a little bit of research into Atlantis Paradise Island, and I’ve got to figure out a way to just move there. This place may be, hands down, the coolest place for an island family vacation in the world.
Atlantis Paradise Island has taken the family vacation and turned into an actual life-changing experience. Let’s start with their new family-focused accommodations, The Coral.
The Coral has everything you could possibly want or need in resort accommodations. Rooms come in standard, deluxe, and premium, and they’ve all been newly-renovated. One of the trickiest parts about vacationing with family is getting from one place to the next, but The Coral has made that all a Bahamian breeze. It’s located just steps from one of the resort’s amazing pools (swim-up ice pops or cocktails, anyone?). Plus, it’s closest to The Marina Village, which the whole family will love exploring. There’s even a cafe in the lobby, Sun & Ice, serving up island flavors.
The best part about The Coral? THEY HAVE A KIDS CONCIERGE. In other words, someone who is literally dedicated to planning activities that appeal to little people. Tell them what you want to experience, and let them do the rest. Also, there’s (ahem) babysitting services on-site. So … use it.
In addition to the swanky new digs, Atlantis Paradise Island has developed an entirely new marine program for families and kids.
Sure, vacation should be about relaxing … for the grownups. But if you’re going to fly your kids to the Bahamas, you best believe there are going to be learning experiences! Atlantis has gone above and beyond to create programs, experiences, and activities that are incredibly fun, but also provide an education about the gorgeous ecosystem of the islands.
Kids 8 and up can explore the underwater habitat of giant manta rays, sharks, and tropical fish at dusk during Twilight Snorkel of the Ruins. For older kiddos 10-14, Atlantis has developed an amazing Marine Adventure Camp. Campers will become junior aquarists and marine mammal specialist and work alongside the resort’s marine life experts. I know it says 10-14, but like, can I do that too??
If you’re not sold on the resort yet, hand onto your butts: THEY HAVE BABY SEA TURTLES.
Female green sea turtles lay their eggs in the resort’s Hibiscus Lagoon, and hatching takes place in the late summer and early fall months. You can actually sign up to assist the marine life experts guide these adorable little guys to the ocean at dusk during hatching season. The baby turtle experience is $130 per person, and worth every damn penny. I’m assuming they check your pockets to make sure you don’t try to steal one and love it forever. But holy crap, just look at these things.
In addition to the baby sea turtle launch (which I will be dreaming about for months), Atlantis Paradise Island has developed another turtle program. Guests can sign up for the Sea Turtle Adoption Program, and adopt a juvenile sea turtle to release into the ocean. You get to choose a name and everything! You’ll join the Atlantis Marine Team for an interactive snorkeling experience at the release point. You even get a certificate and pictures and everything. This one is on the pricey side, at $1250 for up to four people. But like, you get a turtle? So.
It’s official: I have to make Atlantis Paradise Island happen for my family next year. What an amazing experience that would be! I shall name my turtle Shelly.
(Image: Facebook/Atlantis Bahamas)