Hello again! Welcome to my final post about our cruise vacation on the Anthem of the seas. Since I discussed the ship excessively in the first two posts, I wanted to take some time to talk about the ports of call.
Originally we weren’t too excited about the ports as we have been to Florida a number of times and the Bahamas wasn’t on our list of “must see” locations. However, we ended up having a great time off the ship!
Here’s some video we took of the port highlights, including some fun we had on the waterslides.
Cape Canaveral Florida was the first stop. This is about an hour away from the theme parks in Orlando, so many of the ship passengers chose that as their excursion for the day. Brian and I have been to Disney and Universal a number of times, so we decided to stick closer to the port and visit the Kennedy Space Center, which turned out to be an excellent decision.
The ship did offer an excursion to visit the space center that was 8 hours long, but there are definitely other options if you aren’t interested in booking with them. The morning we arrived in port, I used my cell phone to look up rental car prices through hotwire, and secured us a Nissan Ultima for $32 total for the day with Alamo/Enterprise.
When it was time to exit the ship, we made a right out of the gate and the shuttle to the rental car locations was right there. It couldn’t be easier, and I highly recommend renting a car if you are even remotely considering it. It also saved us money as we would have paid an additional $30-$40 or so to visit the space center through the ship. In fact, the rental car location was less than a mile from the port, so we even walked back after dropping off the car.
The space center was about a half hour from the rental car location. We used my cell GPS to get there and it couldn’t have been easier. We paid the $10 to park, then bought tickets on site right through the mobile kiosk. I really felt as though you didn’t need to pay a tour guide as so many tours were already included in the admission price. We listened in on the history of the rocket garden and we also took the bus trip to the launch pads which was very informative.
We also had some fun on the shuttle launch simulator as well as the IMAX 3D theatre. After we saw it all, we made it back to the ship by 5PM in plenty of time for dinner.
Coco Cay is Royal Caribbean’s private island in the Bahamas and was the our second port of call. We had beautiful weather that day and spent a good amount of time exploring the island. At first it may seem a little gimmicky with hundreds of lounge chairs up for grabs, an aqua park, and various water sports for rent. But, if you are in the mood for a good walk, the island is essentially unspoiled if you just keep going past the barefoot beach.
By the time we did all this we had worked up an appetite, and by the time we had eaten lunch people had already started to head back to the ship, so there were multiple lounge chairs available.
Our final port stop was in Nassau Bahamas. We contemplated spending the day just walking around the local area taking in the sights, but felt as though the Atlantis was a must see since we have never been before. Since we were unsure of the availability of day passes, we booked this excursion through the ship at a very expensive $189 per person! I later from out from another passenger than the Atlantis was in fact giving out day passes if you showed up with your set sail pass card that morning, for $155 per person, so if your thinking of going this slightly more affordable option is worth looking into!
The main attraction at the Atlantis, besides the massive hotel itself, is the leap of faith water slide, a body slide with straight down drop through a tunnel that goes through a pool of sharks. This slide was so fun I did it twice! Try to get to this slide right at 10am when it opens as the line was only a few minutes long at this time. You actually go down so fast that the water splashes your face and you don’t really get to see the sharks around you, so if your interested in seeing them, line up for the tube slide that is right next to the leap of faith. This will also take you through the shark pool but at a much slower pace, so you can actually see them swimming around you.
The not so lazy river is also a lot of fun as there are sections of rapids throughout. A couple of the slides were closed until 2pm and one slide lost water pressure and therefore became out of order as we were in line for it, but the slides we did do made it worth it.
As for the rest of the property, there is a beautiful pool area and lagoons all over the place with various activities (available for extra charge.) Since we paid so much to get in, we didn’t partake, but the Atlantis does a good job in keeping this area beautiful. We did notice some wear and tear throughout the facilities, especially in the upkeep of the concrete throughout their grounds.
Luckily for them, the Atlantis is supposed to imitate an archeological site, so they are able to get away with this. The aquarium is pretty cool but we are a bit spoiled in this area since we have visited the newer and more over the top Atlantis in Dubai last year.
Overall, I would say the Atlantis is definitely worth a visit if you have never been, but for us it was a one and done type of experience.
Have you been to these locations? What did you do there?