Review: Atlantis’ Aquaventure Water Park, Nassau/Paradise Islands, Bahamas

In case you don’t know or forgot, I went with family on a 3 day voyage onboard the Disney Dream cruise ship out of Port Canaveral, Florida, down to Nassau, Bahamas, and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. You can click here for a review of the ship and for Castaway Cay Island. In this post, I will be talking about the Atlantis Paradise Islands Resort and the Aquaventure water park.


On the third day of the cruise, I had woken early enough to see the ship slowly backing into it’s place at the docks facing the colorfully vibrant city of Nassau, Bahamas. Joining us later on was the Carnival Sensation cruise ship that docked on our side of the ship, and afterwards spotted the huge Norwegian Gem pulling into the opposite side of the ship.

On this day, we were a bit lazy and ended up getting our day off the ship started later than planned, giving us less time to do the things we wanted. Once we did get off the ship, we visited a few of the local buildings near the ship’s port to do some light sightseeing and speak with a couple of people we knew who worked within the area. By chance, one of those people were able to offer us a ride to the Atlantis resort, eliminating the need to walk or ride a ferry or hire a taxi. They were able to take us across the bridge which links the city part of Nassau to the Paradise Islands and dropped us off on the other side near the ferry’s drop-off point, and from there we did the long walk towards Atlantis.

The Atlantis resort is very closed-in (but free to walk through), and offers higher quality amenities like the many high quality shops offering name brand clothing and accessories, as well as a casino that is required to walk through if you’re heading towards the water park. The main floor within the hotel is very spacious and gives a sense of how wonderfully themed the entire resort is due to the heavy amount of artwork and sculptures located everywhere.

Finding the place to purchase daily tickets for the water park took quite some time as we had some trouble navigating the resort and eventually had to ask for directions. We were eventually led around a few corners and down a large flight of stairs to a desk that offered the wristbands for the water park and was able to make the trek out once we paid and were ready.

I should probably mention that the price for a single day non-guest adult admission to the water park is roughly the same price for a single day’s admission to Disneyland, so I would strongly suggest to anyone to plan ahead if they would ever like to consider making a visit to the water park and are not planning on staying at the resort. But with that said…


Atlantis Resort’s backyard water park, Aquaventure, is one of the highest ranked water parks in the world due to the sheer amount of theming found within every crack and crevice of this brilliant water park. The details come all the way down to the rock walls within the lazy rivers, to the intricate details inside the Mayan temple slide complex, to the dark atmosphere and sounds emitted within the Power Tower slide complex, to the many shark and manta ray tanks beside and around water slides and pools, to the incredible length and features of the action/rapids river, and so on. The level of detail within this water park makes this one of the highest detailed water parks in the world, among the ranks of parks like Aquaventure or Wild Wadi in Dubai, or Disney’s Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon in Orlando, Florida.

But its high ranking doesn’t end at its theming. The attractions located within the water park are some of the most exciting as well! Two of the park’s main complexes house slides that range from 3 action-packed master blaster slides, to four thrilling high speed body slides, to the water playground for kids, and to the smaller standalone body and inner tube slides within the Mayan Temple. This water park has plenty of slides for everyone to be able to enjoy, as well as many standalone pools and an enormously-long rapids river.

Starting with the park’s first and better-known slide complex, the Mayan Temple houses five water slides that ranges from beginner to extreme. Starting with the easiest slide: Jungle Slide is a lengthy slow body slide that starts about 1/3 of the way up the stairs leading to the top of the Mayan Temple and consists of a few easy left and right turns before dumping riders into a pool. Further up the stairs and completely hidden within the temple itself is the Serpent Slide, which is a dark enclosed inner-tube water slide that completes a few turns and helixes before emptying into a lazy-river like section within a long translucent box submerged within a shark tank so that riders can float forwards while seeing all types of sharks and mantas fly above and below them.

At the top of the temple sits the three speed body slides. Challenger Slide is dual speed slides that faces Power Tower and consists of an easy double-down (two drops) before splashing riders into a pool at the bottom. It’s a great transition slide for those who are trying to work their way to the more intense slides in the park. One of those intense slides includes the speed slide sitting opposite of Challenger Slide, the famous Leap of Faith. This is a 60 foot tall freefall body slide that drops off of one side of the Mayan Temple, and levels out before shooting riders at full speed through a translucent tunnel submerged within a shark tank and parallel to Serpent Slide’s tunnel. Riders on Leap of Faith also end beside Serpent Slide in the same pool.

The second and more outstanding complex goes to the Power Tower, which is a 121 foot tall tower that opened in 2008 themed to the Atlanteans’ need to generate electricity to power their city, and is complete with dark ambient noises of gears creaking and voltage hums being emitting from within. The slide complex houses four of the water park’s biggest slides, starting at the top with The Surge and The Abyss. The Surge is an inner tube master blaster water slide that consists of a high speed double-down before rocketing riders back uphill with the assistance of water jets propelling riders all the way, then they enter a tunnel to complete multiple helixes and turns before ending in its own river section. The river brings riders past water falls and rapid sections before spilling them out into the larger main rapids river.
The next slide located beside it at the top is a body slide longer, faster, and darker than Leap of Faith. The Abyss is a high speed enclosed body slide that begins with an initial 50 foot drop into darkness before re-emerging into light for a fraction of time, only to go back into darkness and drop further into the ground. A water curtain rains over the end of the slide, where riders are dumped into a pool inside a hidden underground cave next to tanks with alligator gars and other fishes that swim above.

Both The Abyss and The Surge water slides tend to take the lead with guests and visitors in being the favorites at Aquaventure.

 One level below the top sits two more slides that were only accessible via a conveyor belt that brought riders from the lazy river and into the tower (the stairwell that originally led to these slides was blocked off during my visit, possibly to control the flow of crowds). Once inside, you float in your tube down a slim lazy river to either one of two master blaster slides. The Drop starts riders with a 50 foot drop in total darkness before eventually re-emerging and shooting them up-hill via water jets to complete a few more turns and dumping riders into the river. The Falls begins riders with a similar drop, but not enclosed, before blasting them up two back-to-back uphill sections, completing a few turns, and dumping riders into the river as well.

The Current is the water park’s signature rapids river ride that takes riders in inner-tubes through a mile-long river filled with rapids, water falls, a wave machine section, and a conveyor belt lift somewhere along the way. This enormously long river is something necessary to be experienced because of the amount o distance you cover doing a single lap around the entire course, and the incredible theming around the edges and within tunnels. From this river, riders can enter a separate river (all without needing to get out of your tube!) that will take them to a conveyor lift that brings them into the Power Tower to board either The Falls or The Drop master blaster slides.

Aquaventure is an incredible water park that is highly recommended for anyone staying within the Nassau, Bahamas area. The park is complete with many standalone pools, a water playground, and plenty of bars and restaurants for dining and drinking. If you plan to spend any nights at the resort, then the entire water park comes complimentary with your stay. This is my second time coming to this water park, and out of all the water parks I’ve ever been to, this ranks as my second-favorite (behind the Aquaventure water park in The Palms, Dubai).
Because of the late start the morning while we were here, I only had about 3 hours to kill at the water park before we had to get back to the ship for our departure in the late afternoon. In that time, I tried to cover as much of the water park within 2 hours, and then take one whole hour to photograph the water park. The park was had a lot of people that day and I wasn’t able to reach every slide within that time, so I covered what I thought was necessary (including the rapids river, The Current). I documented my trip around the park in a video that was posted to the Water Slide Database YouTube channel, which you can view below!

Overall, I would highly recommend this quality water park to anyone interested in making a visit to it; especially to anyone planning a cruise that ports into Nassau, Bahamas.

Ratings for slides ridden (N/A= Unavailable):
Challenger Slide: 8/10
Jungle Slide: 6/10
Leap of Faith: 9/10
Serpent Slide: 8/10
The Abyss 9/10
The Drop: 8/10
The Falls: 8/10
The Surge: 10/10!

Overall Water Park Rating: 10/10!

Big Splash Adventure Indoor Water Park Review (October 26, 2013)

Apologies on getting this review out late. I’ve been booked solid for the past month and haven’t had an adequate amount of time to continue on it! But I now have it finished and ready to be viewed!


So, on Saturday October 26, I made an hour and fifteen-minute drive from Louisville, Kentucky, north to Big Splash Adventure resort and indoor water park located in French Lick, Indiana. Once at the top of the hill where the resort is located, you are greeted with the backside exterior of the indoor water park with all of the main water slides poking out. Further down, you see the hotel-portion of the resort, and the entrance to the main lobby to check into the rooms or buy day passes for the water park.


The indoor water park itself has a great amount of space around and above, with the majority of the water park’s walls and roof being made of glass so sunlight can enter through practically any angle, and so park goers can get a good view of the Indiana hills surrounding the resort. The park’s attractions include the Lost River that flows around paths and under slides, the Buccaneer Bay water playground with tipping bucket and small slides, two whirlpool spas, and the park’s four main water slides.



The first of the four major water slides is Pirate’s Plunder. The initial start of this blue body slide is a near-flat straight section and may need a bit of effort for riders to get going, but the slide picks up a bit once inside the dark area of the flume. There’s nothing very intense about this slide outside of not being able to see ahead of you along the way due to the darkness, making some turns sudden. It’s also one of the only two slides that end in the pool that connects to the lazy river.


Sitting to the left of Pirate’s Plunder is Silver Beard’s Revenge, the park’s wide inner-tube bowl slide. It begins with a gradual, yet easy drop into the bowl section where sliders complete an impressive amount of revolutions before coming into the exit in the middle. Exiting the slide involves a steep drop into a dark section and completing a U-turn before splashing into the shutdown lane at the end. The slide itself is quick on the drop, yet very gentle for the entire slide (minus the small drop upon exiting the bowl). It’s the most popular ride in the entire water park, with the longest wait of all slides.


To the left side of Silver Beard’s Revenge is the park’s normal enclosed inner tube slide, Jolly Roger Jetty. The first half of this slide consists of a left turn followed by a right helix in complete darkness. The slide’s tunnel then protrudes out of the water park, shining more light inside, and does two helixes to the left before coming back inside to land in the pool connected to the lazy river.



The last of the water slides is the park’s most intense, Scallywag Scuttle. This body slide was designed to fit the tight space near the roof, which made for a tight and quick initial turning drop out of the platform before continuing the rest of the slide and splashing into the shutdown lane at the end. Thanks to the drop from the station, Scallywag Scuttle has a quicker speed throughout the entire slide compared to the other slides.

Overall, the water park had a very decent collection of water park attractions and slides for a park of its size. I found myself especially enjoying a few laps around the gentle lazy river that winds under the slide structure, around paths, and under different themed fountains and dump buckets and shower curtains along the way. It is far from a water park that would provide thrill seekers a place to get their fix at, but it does have one element that many of the closest water park to it doesn’t have: A roof

It’s a heavy-hitter for families with young children, and made up the majority of goups at the park during my visit.

Jolly Roger Jetty: 7/10
Pirate’s Plunder: 7/10
Scallywag Scuttle: 8/10
Silver Beard’s Revenge: 8/10

Overall water park rating: 7/10

Kalahari Resort Review

  I paid a visit to the Kalahari Resort and indoor water park in Sandusky, Ohio on April 9th. I will have to say, it is a very nice and comfortable resort, which made the 5 hour drive worth it! Clean floors, nice staff, great water slides, and great dining. I also visited the arcade which was also nice. My room didn’t have as much African theming as I thought it would, but it was still nice and comfortable.

   The water park itself was wonderful; clean floors, fun slides, relaxing lazy river, spacey wave pool, and convenient food shop. The only things I didn’t enjoy was the crowds, but other than that, everything went smoothly. On the first day, I rode every slide except Swahili Swirl, Zip Coaster, Tanzanian Twister, and Victoria Falls because of the length of the lines.
   Cheetah Race (Third Picture) was an interesting mat racer slide. It starts in a dark tunneled helix followed by a drop. In comparison to those found outdoors, this version is a lot less intense.
   Leopards Lair body slides are two small open flume body slides that snake their ways out of the water playground. Plenty of tight turns can be found on these slides.
   Rippling Rhino is like any other long and dark raft ride, except you use the four-seater clover leafs and 2-seater whirly wheel inner tubes to ride down it.
   Zig-Zag-Zebra (red water slide on the above photo) is a really fast body slide that completes a g-force inducing helix, and then a U-turn before ending. This slide is known for scratching your back a little more than Zimbabwe Zipper (purple water slide on the same photo). Zimbabwe Zipper is a quick dark body slide that has a lot of sudden turns in it.
   Wild Wildebeest (green) and Elephant’s Trunk (blue) were quite fun inner-tube slides, Wild Wildebeest being significantly faster than elephant’s trunk.

   On the second day, I tried the Zip Coaster and I honestly have to say that I would never recommend the slide to ANYONE with back problems because the ride has a very powerful launch at the beginning and produces a lot of airtime on the hills; other than that, it was the best water slide I’ve been on at the Kalahari water park! Definitely the most thrilling slide in the park too!
   I also tried Swahili Swirl (pictured to the right) which I thought was massive in is ability to be able to fit in the waterpark. The slide was fast on it’s drop, but like any other Proslide Behemoth Bowl, it slowed down quickly. It’s a very fun slide with the only thrilling part of it being the drop into the bowl.
Tanzanian Twister was (unbelievably) my first body bowl water slide and I must say, I was having a blast because of its fast entrance speed and finish into a 6′ deep pool. I must warn you though, I have seen this and many other body bowl slides close and reopen because people are unable to swim when they hit the water because they may have gone in head first or they didn’t know how deep the water would be. So please don’t ride it unless you know how to resurface and swim after entering a deep pool in any direction. Kalahari’s Lifeguards are there and are prepared to help if you do have a problem.
   On my third and last day, I first rode Victoria Falls raft slide, which was the water park’s first raft slide and was quite impressive. The first-half is partially lit inside, before entering the darker-half and completing a set of left and right turns along the way. Even though the machine to bring the rafts back to the top may sometimes stop for some reason, its still worth any wait.
   I didn’t get to try the Flow Rider, but one of my family members did and he said it was fun, just make sure you’re swim trunks and swimsuits are on tightly. The water was warmer in the lazy river than the water slides, but the water temperature in the water slides were never cold either.
^Cheetah Race

The Kalahari is a great place to spend with your family and friends, not because some slides require you to have two or more riders, but because the resort is perfect for a group with kids, teens, and adults of any age. One last thing I want to add is that if you do go to the resort, remember that Cedar Point is just a couple of miles away, you might want to pack to go there too!

Water Slide Ratings (N/A= not available):
Cheetah Race: 6/10
Elephant’s Trunk: 7/10
Leopard’s Lair (2): 5/10
Rippling Rhino: 6/10

Swahili Swirl: 7/10
Tanzanian Twister: 8/10
Victoria Falls: 5/10
Wild Wildebeest: 7/10
Zig-Zag-Zebra: 7/10
Zimbabwe Zipper: 7/10
Zip Coaster: 9/10

Other Rides/Attractions:
FlowRiders: N/A
Lazy River: 6/10
Wave Pool: 6/10

Overall Water Park Rating: 8/10                                                 ^Tanzanian Twister