Mom And Daughter Hammock
  • On Feb 14, 2023
    Nadia from IL Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    Hello! We have booked the DCL Aquaventure port adventure in Nassau. Is it an option to take my own taxi transportation to Atlantis to arrive sooner than the DCL group? Many people write that they spend hours just waiting around with the DCL tour. Thank you

    Ahoy there Nadia and welcome aboard!

    I'm so glad you've come to planDisney to ask about your upcoming voyage to the Bahamas; I'm not much of a lay-on-the-beach-all-day person myself, so I'm always glad to answer questions about Port Adventures whenever I can! 

    It looks like you've definitely done your homework - and as I always say, every good expedition starts off with some solid research. Whether in a tour group or on your own, taxi shuttles are the main way that Disney Cruise Line visitors head out on their adventures in Nassau. In my experience, they're often very easy to locate just outside the entrance to the Port and will charge a fixed fee for anyone wishing to visit Atlantis Paradise Island. 

    On the other hand, many folks choose to book excursions such as Atlantis Aquaventure (N25) for the peace of mind that they'll be guaranteed transportation there and back without risking the possibility of missing the ship. (After a decade spent at sea you'd be surprised at how often I've witnessed this occur, which is a big reason why families like to play it safe and stick with Port Adventures booked through Disney Cruise Line.)

    The downside is that I've definitely experienced long wait times associated with the process of dispatching tour groups from ship to shore that have been upwards of an hour in some cases. (This is largely due to the popularity of the Port at certain times of the year, and how many other cruise ship travelers you may be competing with as you disembark.) I always recommend searching online for Port schedules to know how many ships are scheduled to be in at similar times along with their passenger capacity; this is often a great way to estimate not only how busy attractions may be, but also the traffic and availability of shuttles.

    Unfortunately, guests are required to stay with their assigned Port Adventure groups after they check in and are given identifying stickers. This is how the guides keep track of the group numbers, and in the past we've had to wait around on excursions due to other guests missing from the overall headcount. While it may be tempting to hop into a waiting taxi and arrive sooner, tour groups may have a separate entrance area where their admission media (wristbands) will be distributed with a set meeting time and location to return to the ship. The only exceptions I've personally experienced are on Port Adventures that are specifically named "On Your Own", but it's worth inquiring with the team on board as policies are often subject to change without prior notice.

    Remember: the piers where the ships dock in Nassau may require a fair distance to traverse, so be sure to pack an extra bit of patience as you might only be as quick as the slowest person wearing the same sticker in your group. If you're feeling very adventurous and want to try to evade the tour groups by going independently, some guests choose to book their day passes on their own but are ultimately responsible to keep track of their time! The closer it gets to "All Aboard" time, the greater the traffic you may experience on the way back.

    Hopefully this was some helpful knowledge for you Nadia - please feel free to come back to planDisney to ask me about any other tips and tricks for exploring destinations around the world.

    Wishing you the best as you voyage to discover Atlantis for yourself!

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Meet the Panelist: Prince, Ontario

Hello, Bonjour, Aloha and Ahoy there! As a performer and world explorer who's been to all of the Disney theme parks around the globe, I'm always happy to provide my best adventuring advice and knowledge to navigate your way to all of the greatest snacks, attractions and entertainment on land and at sea. Find me featured on the planDisney Podcast and on the Disney Parks Blog, discussing Disney Eats at festivals and beyond, holiday events at Walt Disney World Resort and planning my Disney Fairy Tale Wedding! Learn More About Prince

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