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Dig is the underwater world of the ruins of Atlantis. It is
where the once bustling boulevards of the ancient city now reside.
There are corridors of limestone, hallways with murals and hieroglyphics,
city maps and storerooms for 5,000 year old supplies. Here you'll
find a laboratory showing evidence of electricity and astronomy.
In the submarine room is where the Atlanteans launched their underwater
vehicles to explore the ocean's depths. Divers' suits loom at
the edges, accompanied by a diving bell.
The diver's suits really make you stop and stare. The suits are
powerful looking but with a foreboding, almost eerie edge, as
if they knew of the city's impending doom. And the suits are massive.
I wondered if any Atlantean women, put them on, looked down at
themselves and asked, "Do I look fat in this?"
every corner, from behind glass walls, we see the city's ancient
ruins. Toppled statues, artifacts, underwater streets; all of
them surrounded by hundreds of varying species of marine life.
Piranha, eels and iridescent jellyfish and other exotic seas creatures
are found in tanks at nearly every turn. The Dig is truly one
of the focal points of Atlantis. It's really the base from which
all else was built. When you're walking through the darkened tunnels
and see all a the remnants of what was once a vibrant, bustling
society you get a sense of the realness of Atlantis' existence.
You can almost see the Atlanteans hurrying down the street, going
about their business.
Dig can be visited again and again. Each time, you'll see something
new. The iridescent down fish (named so, because their
mouths are shaped in a sad or "down" shape) were my
tonight would be at Murray's Delicatessen. Murray's is
an inviting New York style deli done in a 1950's Miami decor with
pastel booths and terrazzo. The food is typical deli style overstuffed
sandwiches, shakes and good 'ol American cuisine that includes
burgers, fries and hot dogs. After our dinner we walked around
the inside and outside of the resort for a few hours, just admiring
the artifacts and decor and familiarizing ourselves with Atlantis.
The decor, artwork and light fixtures are all amazing and placed
and positioned with great care. Nothing at Atlantis is left to
chance. Every detail has been given careful attention, right down
to the handrails. (See photo
is water day. On the agenda is snorkeling and the Mayan Temple
water slide called, quite aptly, Leap of Faith. The LOF is located
in a re-creation of a Mayan Temple. The slide shoots you down
a 60-feet almost vertical drop at the front of the temple. But
wait! There's more. You get propelled at a tremendous speed, not
just down the slide, but also through an acrylic tunnel submerged
in a shark filled lagoon. I mulled it over... Shot at a nerve-wracking
speed through an acrylic tunnel under a shark filled lagoon? I
am there! I've been dating for 20 years, this is nothing!
is water day! For those of you who love marine life, this is the
place to be. Today we'll spend the morning going on a tour of
the lagoons and all the fabulous sea creatures that inhabit them,
the afternoon will be spent on a snorkeling trip and finally,
a trip down the much talked about Leap of Faith water slide at
the Mayan Temple. First a quick tour of some of the lagoons.
Lagoon - Located outside of the Reef Wing at the Coral towers,
this is the home of the nurse sharks (I'll resist the temptation
to say you can spot the nurse sharks by their little hats with
the crosses). The nurse sharks sleep at the bottom of the lagoon
during the day, and at night they forage around for food.
Lagoon - Here you'll see green and hawksbill turtles. This
lagoon is located right outside the Beach Tower.
Lagoon - My favorite! Baby sea animals born at Atlantis live
here. You'll see baby sharks and rays swimming around until they
are old enough to move to the other lagoons safely. They are so
CUTE! Located outside the reef wing of the Coral Towers.
Lagoon - Here guests can get an up-close look at southern
stingrays. During the stingrays' feeding times, you are given
the opportunity to touch and feed the rays. This sandy, shallow
lagoon is right outside the Beach Tower.
Royal Stingray Lagoons - These are awesome! Here you'll
see the black and white potted eagle rays (that almost have a
leopard-like look to them) and the southern stingrays. These creatures
just glide along as if they're flying in water. Watching them
is mesmerizing. The lagoon is outside the Royal Towers on either
side of the Royal Walk.
Edge Lagoon - Ever see a bonehead shark? You will, along with
bonefish and cownose rays. Located outside the Coral Towers.
Temple Lagoon - This is the lagoon you'll zip through going
down the Leap of Faith water slide. The water is filled with silky
sharks, nurse sharks, and Caribbean reef sharks. The decks around
the temple give you a clear view of all of them. If you're skilled
enough to be able to open your eyes in the tunnel as you're shot
through, you can see them that way, too. The deck is probably
a more leisurely setting. (smile)
now it's our turn to swim with the fishes...
Sailing Adventures, at
1-800-821-4505, offer morning and afternoon snorkeling trips that
leave from the Atlantis Marina on a big catamaran. We opted for
the afternoon trip. It takes about an hour to get to the reef,
and you're given a couple of hours to snorkel. So plan on about
four hours or so from start to finish.
The crew provides all the snorkeling gear and briefs guests as
to safety rules and precautions, and how to don your equipment,
so even if you're a novice, you'll feel comfortable. One word
of caution: wear sunscreen! You get more sun than you may think
and you don't want to spend the rest of your trip on ice.
in the reef was nothing short of euphoric. The gorgeous tropical
fish, apparently used to having humans around, swim uninhibited
all around us, and at times, it even felt like they were posing
for pictures. (Take an underwater camera, it's worth it! Disposable
ones can be purchased at the Atlantis gift shops if you don't
the snorkeling, on the way back, beer, wine and other beverages
can be purchased. We opted for water, since we had yet another
adventure in front of us, that we wanted to experience with a
Leap of Faith at The Mayan Temple and Other Water Wonders
The Leap of Faith water slide cannot be accurately described;
it really must be experienced. But I'll try. First you
must physically climb the steps up the temple. You become religious
as the steps continue: "Please God, let me make it to the
top without passing out." No elevators here. So get ready
for a little bit of aerobics. Once you get to the top, attendants
will instruct you as to the proper way to go down the slide. From
watching other "sliders" you might think the proper
way to go down is "screaming, with eyes tightly clenched".
Well, that's one way.
Peek and Freak
you prepare for the plunge, don't look down. I mean it. The top
of the slide where you initially get on, doesn't readily show
the plunge. It's kinda covered at the top. You sort of have to
lean forward and peek to appreciate the vertical-ness of it all;
that long, long drop. Don't peek. I peeked. I peeked and freaked.
Don't. Or you may never go down. Just fold your arms, lay down
and go with the flow like they tell you. Forget that the flow
is going warp speed. Just do it grasshopper, and you will have
faced your fear. I did. Four times.
first time all I could think of was: Omigod! Omigod! Omigod!
The second time: I'm still ALIVE!!!
The third time: I'm gonna try opening my eyes this time!
The fourth time: I wish these little kids would stop trying to
cut in front of me!
is an exhilarating ride folks and not for the faint of heart.
But so is life. I wish I had one of these things in my back yard.
What a way to start the dayWAKES YOU RIGHT UP!
The next water ride we tried was The Challengers, two high-speed
dueling slides, right behind the Leap of Faith. Although fun,
not as awesome as the Leap and it ends in a plain pool of water.
So if you miss the sharks, grab an inner tube and hop on The
Serpent Slide. As you sit in a rubber tube, this slide spins
you into the darkness of the temple's core before you are deposited
into a tunnel that lets you enjoy a "leisurely shark viewing
pace". I never thought, in my whole life, I would use the
phrase "a leisurely shark viewing pace" let alone experience
it, but Atlantis is full of surprises.
slides aren't your thing, or if you prefer a gentler aquatic atmosphere,
you can also enjoy a half-mile lazy river ride, a formal pool,
a zero-entry pool, a children's pool and of course the ever-inviting
our waterfilled day, we decided to dine at Water's Edge
and enjoy a seafood buffet. We found everything from fresh steamed
mussels to shrimp to lobster tails. Again, everything was ultra-fresh
and plentiful. After dinner we decided to go to Jimmies,
an old-fashioned ice cream parlor serving up all your favorites;
shakes, cones and sundaes. We indulged in a couple of good old
fashioned hot fudge sundaes while letting the wonderful events
of the day soak into our minds. more>>
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