This weekend, we took a quick (and much needed) mini vacation to the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort in the Bahamas. While my husband has been there a couple of times, it was my first. I don’t know if we have a black cloud following us when it comes to expensive hotel stays, but we are now 2 for 2 with some ridiculous shit. More about that in a minute.
I did the usual rigmarole of packing and mental prep to get on a plane. That’s right folks…I am THAT passenger. And let me be clear that the flight to Nassau is like 25 minutes from Ft. Lauderdale. But that does not matter. To me a flight is a flight and I need to be medicated.
At the airport, and with my pre-flight regimen kicking in, an announcement is made that the whole airport is now “closed” due to weather. We have now been in the airport more than 3 times the duration of our actual flight with no indication of when we are leaving.
As if I am not already annoyed, I have an abnormally loud woman asking her baby over and over and OVER, “Are you my baby?” in that stupid babytalk voice. It was never-ending. I was waiting for the infant to yell, “Obviously, I’m your effing baby, have you lost your everloving mind, woman?”
I was going to need another Xanax if she was on my flight and anywhere near me.
The weather started to clear and when Jason pointed out a rainbow, I was hoping it was a sign.
Finally we board, have a bumpy flight, arrive safely and the flight attendant says, “If you look out the left side of the plane, you’ll see a Jet Blue flight (also from Ft. Laud allegedly, which is NOT what an already nervous flyer needed to know) that made a crash landing just a few hours ago.” She said it like we were at Disney on a guided tour. (Everyone on that flight was fine FYI.) The plane’s front landing gear apparently crapped out and the nose of the plane was directly on the ground and all I wanted was to nosedive into a glass of malbec at our hotel. We arranged for transportation through Atlantis, found our shuttle and got in. The driver tells us he needs to wait for the entire airport to “clear out” to make sure there are no other people waiting for him. WHAT THE WHAT?!?!
And he proceeded to get out of the van and shut the door, but not before LOCKING us inside with gospel music about needing a little more Jesus, blasting at full volume. No sir, I do not in fact need a little more Jesus…I need you to kindly get your ass back in the van and get me to my hotel. For the love of god (pun intended).
This was right before the lock in.
When we realized we were locked in, Jason was literally banging on the doors, having a valid meltdown and nobody heard (prob because of the stupid music), until he started blowing the horn a million times. Some other guy let us out and put us in another van. He was super nice and apologetic, but after a 20ish minute ride, I know WAAAAAAAY too much about his life.
- He was allegedly one of Anna Nicole’s drivers and gives the official Anna Nicole Smith tour in Nassau.
- He has 6 kids from 3 baby mamas
- He was headed to a date with a “real exciting lady” after dropping us off. I told him to be careful or he’d have 4 baby mamas, but he assured me he uses “prophylactics” because he’s just “making ends meet with the ones he has”.
- His grandfather was deformed in a moonshine explosion and he’d never seen him in person but spoke to him on the phone. (This is my fave fun fact of the evening)
When we arrived and got to our room, the craziness continued as we were greeted with a bathtub filled with water, a non-working TV and the piece de resistance…what appeared to be bullet holes in the wall. Two to be exact. I know what you’re thinking…Rachel, cmon, they probably tried to hang something and it went awry. But I’m familiar with that look…I have a husband who likes to try to hang TVs and other large objects and puts a handful of holes in our walls before he’s willing to admit defeat and call in a professional. These were NOT that. And here’s the thing…when Jason called to talk about these issues, nobody was phased by the sentence, “there are what looks like bullet holes in our wall”. Not only were they unphased, they couldn’t/wouldn’t do anything to any part of the situation.
This guy wasn’t happy about it either…
Thankfully, we woke up to this…
The next morning, before breakfast, we went down to talk to the front desk and they offered to switch our room but we would need to hang out for an hour or so and then go inspect the room, etc. Listen, we are pretty reasonable, but we have ONE full day here and you are insane if you think I’m going to spend a couple of those hours inspecting rooms to meet our approval. So on we went to try and enjoy our limited time.
After carb loading at breakfast, I was ready to flaunt my post-breakfast buffet bod (thank god one-pieces are in right now) at the pool. The minute we headed down the (not so) lazy river, we were giddy and finally in vacation mode. Maybe from here it’s smooth sailing.
Because when we got out to get a drink for 5, some tiger mom told security we were hoarding tubes and her kids wanted them. For the record, Jason and I got down there at 9am and the tubes were plentiful. But when the kids invaded around lunchtime, it was like vultures circling every time you passed lounge chair areas, asking if you were done with your tube. And some of them were aggressive…did I need a shiv? OMG…is this where the bullet holes came from??? Was there a falling out over the tubes that took a turn? Moral of the story – Atlantis, you desperately need more tubes if you are going to fill your hotel to capacity and then make people crazy searching for them.
Anyway, the security guard starts harassing us, telling us we need to give the tubes to these kids, and he’s sure we understand. Let me tell you what I understand…we got out here early to enjoy the pool, lazy river, slides – all that require tubes. If you think we are turning them over after we just spent $25 dollars on pina coladas/rum runners while we step out of the water for literally 10 minutes to reapply sunscreen and knock back our drinks…you are crazier than the driver who held us hostage with gospel music. An onlooker (there with 5 kids of his own btw) was hearing the whole thing and gave us a brilliant idea – go sit at the edge of the pool, IN your tubes..finish your drinks and that’s that.
We did exactly that while we got glares from the pissed off tiger mom. And when we were done, decided to give the tubes to some really sweet and non-abrasive kids waiting patiently, instead of going back in ourselves. Right in front of her. When you tattle on me to security instead of maybe asking nicely if you can have our tubes…you lose sweetheart. Honey = More bees.
From there we went to Dolphin Cay to hang with some dolphins, and I was literally jumping out of my skin with excitement. Only two downsides – 1) a wetsuit is not really a flattering look…for anyone. 2) There was a crazy 20something, obnoxiously loud girl in front of us asking the group of tweens she befriended if they knew how to dab and trying to connect with all of them on every social network possible. I just kept saying, please god don’t let us get grouped with her. Please…haven’t we been through enough?
We weren’t and could breathe easy and enjoy one of the most magical experiences I have ever had. We got to interact with the dolphin, touch her, KISS HER. It. Was. Everything.
I know it’s not cheap, but if you EVER have the opportunity to do this, save your shekels and make it happen.
I was elated, but so ready to get out of the wetsuit. I was already thinking about how many people wore it before me and wondering if any of them peed in it while in the water – yes that’s where my head goes and yes I’m aware I’m turning into my mother.
It was such a great ending to the day after such a rocky start with hotel staff. Please let the TV be working or my husband is (rightfully) going to lose his shit. So, the good news is that the bullet holes were patched (my only regret is that I didn’t get a picture before, because that shit probably would have gone viral, accompanied by some crazy title dripping with alliteration like, “Blogger Goes Bananas Over Bullet Holes at Bahamas Resort”.)
But, the TV was a no-go. And I could see Jason’s forehead vein pulsing. At this point it wasn’t about the lack of TV intake, it was totally about principle. How hard is it to swap out a TV when we have been gone for HOURS. Do you have the same problem with TVs that you do with inner tubes? He calls downstairs again..they tell him they can fix it Monday (guys, it’s Saturday and we leave Sunday). Finally they tell us they are switching our room and will call in 10 mins to arrange. At 30 mins and counting (with a dinner reservation rapidly approaching), still no call so he calls back. They tell him that a bellman came up and knocked but we weren’t there…he’s barely holding it together at this point and I can see he’s about to foam at the mouth. They say they are sending someone up. Just FYI, it’s now 740 and we have an 8pm res.
Bellman knocks. We are ready to move and he says 8 words that I thought might give my husband a coronary.
“You have the keys for your new room?”
Are. You. KIDDING??!?!?! Do you effing think if we had the keys to our “new” room, we would still be here?!? Jason called the front desk…again…they woman gets nasty with him and says, “We sent someone up and you weren’t there the first time!” To which he replied, “That’s bullshit! We have been here the whole time!!”
She hung up on him.
I’m no customer service expert, but I’m pretty sure that is NOT what you do. He wasn’t being abusive toward her. He didn’t call her any names or act in a disrespectful way. At all. This is the kindest, most docile man I have ever met. I mean he deals with my special kind of crazy on the daily and loves the shit out of me, so if he’s fired up, there’s a reason. All he did was say this was “bullshit” because it was exactly that…BULLSHIT.
We all took a field trip together to the front desk, bellman and bags included, Jason politely told a different Atlantis manager what happened. He handled it the right way, took our stuff and we went off to dinner to get really drunk and eat overpriced (but yummy) Sushi. Yolo.
On the way, I basically destroyed the skin on my heel on my loubs (I mean it’s my fault, they really are curb to car shoes and not run around Atlantis shoes). Lesson learned (not really though – I’m still gonna wear them all the time). I scored Band-Aids from our waiter (I’m sure people have asked for weirder shit) and rectified the situation.
Our new room was bullet hole free, with an empty tub and working TV, PLUS a cool view of the sting rays.
And we did Sunday morning pretty much the same way. Starting with bingeing at the breakfast buffet like it was our last meal before a trip to the electric chair. We did not get into any fights over tubes and I even chuckled as we walked by families with literally PILES of tubes hoarded on their lounge chairs. No doubt prepping for tubepacolypse.
After getting our stuff together, we made the decision NOT to take the transportation we booked from the earlier company, asked for a cab instead, and up rolled the most ghetto fabulous stretch white limo with leopard floor mats and all I could do was smile. Dreams do come true.
Was Atlantis amazing? Absolutely. The grounds are beautiful. There is so much to do and I already want to go back. And in the interest of full disclosure, after nonstop annoyances for 2 days, a manager did review everything and give us a nice credit, which was the right thing to do. The problem is, we shouldn’t have had that level of aggravation at all and it should have been addressed when we first brought it to their attention , especially during a two night stay. If I wanted that level of customer service, I’d stay at a Motel 6.
So please Atlantis…I want a do-over. Because we want to come back and be superfans. We really do. All I want is NOT to be held hostage with gospel music in a van booked through you, a clean room sans bullet holes or bathtubs filled with water, a working television, to be left alone about how/when we choose to use our tubes at the pool/lazy river and not guilted into giving them to children (adults like to have fun too and FYI as a mom myself, I would have handled it totally differently), bellmen who have the right keys and front desk staff with a little bit of empathy that we have spent A LOT of hard earned paychecks to visit your amazing resort and would like to enjoy it instead of dealing with ridiculousness.
Let’s try this again real soon because it was almost paradise.