After arriving at the Port of Nassau, Emily and I joined the group on the Disney Cruise that had signed up for the Atlantis Aquaventure. As background Emily and I had talked about doing the Aquaventure pretty much since we had seen Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson's movie, Holiday in the Sun decades ago. *smiles* So we saved up our pennies and chose this as our "major" thing to do on the cruise when we arrived in Nassau.
I have to say first that the way that Disney does Port Excursions was absolutely lovely. (But if you aren't on a cruise and just looking to experience Atlantis and the Aquaventure park this review will give you lots of helpful information too!!) Having been on other Port Excursions on other ships, this was really a dream. When we arrived on the ship we had our tickets waiting for us in our stateroom along with clear instructions on where and when to meet - on the ship. For this particular excursion we gathered in the Walt Disney Theater (which was cool and air-conditioned and allowed everyone to comfortably sit while the group gathered) where we watched the spectacular shows every evening. They had maps for us and also a map up on the screen and clearly and easily explained how the day would work.
After everyone gathered they led us off the ship and connected us with the Atlantis Aquaventure leaders who gave us our meal vouchers, further information, and walked us to waiting taxis for us to go to the resort. Once at the resort we were all shown where the water park started and given towels and given clear instructions on how and when we needed to meet the taxis to get back to the ship. It really was simple yet like everything else we experienced on the Disney Dream, brilliantly done.
As we walked to the Aquaventure we saw several parts of the Atlantis Resort. It was lovely to be back (the last time that I was there was in 2014 on a different cruise) and see the beautiful property and get to explore the area with my sister.
The Atlantis grounds and aquaventure area is absolutely beautiful. You have not just stepped into a water park but have stepped into a Caribbean dream when you pick this shore excursion.
The beautiful tall palm trees that surround the property are absolutely stunning.
The aquaventure is a unique and fun water park that features lots of different slides (including some "tamer ones" and ones that are not for the faint of heart- hello the one that drops straight down!) and a unique twist on a lazy river that has some fun surprises.
The Aquaventure park is divided into four different parts- the Lazy River and the Current, the Mayan Temple, The Power Tower, and the Swimming Pools area.
We started with the Lazy River and Current as our first part of the Aquaventure. It was really fun! The Lazy River is a 1/4 mile loop through the tropical landscape.
There are different places where you can get off and on the Lazy River to go to the other three areas of the park or you can ride the entire thing, including the Current.
The current continues to take you along beautiful lush and gorgeous landscape while at the same time propelling you through a mile-long river via water escalators, rolling waves and extreme rapids. We really enjoyed the Lazy River and it was definitely one of the highlights of the day!
After enjoying the Lazy River and the Current we headed next to the Power Tower.
The Power Tower was so much fun! We spent a lot of time in this area because of the fun different rides that were offered. The Power Tower is a 120-foot tower with four different slides. It has The Abyss- which is a 50 foot vertical drop with a 200-foot-long body slide, The Drop- which is a single or double inner tube ride that starts with a "drop" into darkness, The Falls- where you are propelled through a water roller coaster ride, and finally, The Surge- which is an inner tube ride with a drop into a cavern followed by being "dumped" into the white water rapids of the Current.
It's hard to pick our favorite water slide rides, but definitely the Drop and the Falls were some of our favorites! Both my sister and I love the opportunity to be able to do rides together and these were two of our favorites! One of my favorite memories of the day and I am giggling as I write this, was my sister who would scream things like, "drop" every time a drop was coming to help warn me. I am laughing out loud remembering this as it really did give me a warning but it made me laugh really hard all at the same time so I definitely was swallowing a ton of water!
After spending a fun morning doing the above rides we decided to take some time to eat by one of the pools, and rest for a few minutes. As mentioned above you will receive a meal voucher with this port excursion to use. You will have the option of choosing from a few different quick service places that basically all serve the same thing: (Salad, Caesar Salad, Hamburger, Veggie Burger, Chicken Sandwich). My sister chose the Hamburger which she said was really good and I chose the Caesar Salad which I really enjoyed. The last time I was in Atlantis and had the meal voucher I chose the Veggie Burger which was also really nice.
All of these places are by the different pools that Atlantis has. For a bit of reference there are more than 20 different swimming areas and 11 different pools in Atlantis - all with different offerings including an adults only pool, a children's pool, etc.
The views that surround the Atlantis Resort and Aquaventure are absolutely stunning. At different parts you could clearly see the ocean and it was just breath-taking.
After lunch we headed to the Mayan Temple section of Aquaventure. The Mayan Temple features five different slides in its tower: The Serpent Slide-a five story corkscrew slide which ends with a slow ride through a clear submerged tunnel through a shark-filled lagoon, The Jungle Slide- where kiddos can take a safari like slide through different caves and jungles and two different Challenger slides- where you can challenge friends for a splashdown race and finally there is the Leap of Faith Slide- which is the tallest water slide drop the park offers - at almost 60 feet straight down which is followed by a high speed ride through a clear tunnel submerged in a shark-filled lagoon. (Let us be honest- if you are a girl and saw the Olsen twins and Holiday in the Sun you know that this ride was shown approximately 3000 times. *hahaha*)
We spent time doing the Serpent Slide and my sister who loves all things shark related loved the ending to the ride. You really do go extremely slow at the end of the ride and there is plenty of time to see different sharks, including one who was sleeping above us on the tunnel we were in! After riding the Lazy River one more time we were ready to head back to the ship. We were so surprised that we ended up spending about 7 hours on this port excursion. It was a fun and delightful filled day!
Here are a couple of tips and thoughts about the Aquaventure Port Excursion if you are interested in choosing this on your Disney Dream Cruise:
1. If you are like us and were wondering which water slide (with innertubes) is the "highest" in the park - then the answer is definitely "the Drop" ride. We were so grateful when a staff member explained this to us as I couldn't do huge drops due to health reasons and this helped us easily enjoy our time at the park without worrying about future rides.
2. A word of caution though for those who are traveling in the "hotter seasons"... the Lazy River and the Current Water was hot. At one point in the day - near the end of our time there we were hoping to be a little refreshed but instead started to feel a bit sick due to the fact it was so hot outside and the water felt even hotter. Just a word of caution about this part of the aquaventure!
3. Traveling in September like we did was an excellent time to enjoy this port excursion. The park was not that crowded and we never waited more than 3 or 4 minutes to go on a ride. It was truly a wonderful time to go visit if you can!
4. The cost of this port excursion is $185 for those who are 10 years old and up. For those who are 3 to 9 years old the cost is $135 and for those who are infants through 2 years old the cost is free. Like I said it was definitely the most expensive thing that we chose to do, but at the same time as I mentioned in my Disney Dream Cruise Ship Review Post you can save up and pay once you are on the cruise. It is not like other cruise lines where you have to pay before. This allows you lots of time to save for an expensive port excursion like this and you do get lunch and many hours at the excursion. Once I decided to do the cruise I had approximately 9 months to save for this excursion and so I put aside about $18-20 each month to save. On the flip side it is definitely expensive so it might be something to think about for a future cruise if you are strapped for money.
5. Wheelchairs are allowed to be in the pool and beach area but they are not allowed in the water slide area just to give you a heads up. Also wheelchairs must be collapsible as no electric wheelchairs are permitted.
6. Each guest that is participating in the water slide rides must be 48 inches tall where rides require it. There are different things that children who are less than this can participate on, but for the majority of the rides this is the height limit and they are very firm on this. We saw several different sets of parents who were trying to convince staff members that their children had done the rides already, that they really were that tall, etc. and the staff was kind but firm on this rule. There is also a height limit ruler and they will make you measure so keep that in consideration when purchasing this shore excursion.
I hope you enjoyed reading this review of the Aquaventure Port Excursion. It was such a delightful day that I want to go back and do it all over again! Please let me know if you have any questions!