Beach on Great Exuma Island in the Bahamas Those looking for quality family fun won't go wrong with a trip to the Atlantis' Aquaventure. This is a terrific water park that is great for families or couples looking to feel like kids again. I'm not embarrassed to admit, I was laughing uncontrollably as I splashed through waves on my tube while riding the Lazy River.
When the kids go to bed and you want a little late-night wagering, a casino is also located at the Royal Towers. Although be aware; if you're a blackjack fan, on most nights the casino only offers $25 minimum tables. There are a couple of $15 tables, but good luck getting a spot at one—the waiting crowd is usually pretty large.
Crowds aside, the cocktail service is great. I suggest giving a $5 tip right off the bat. Your servers will be sure to come back every five to 10 minutes if you do.
The Cove, Atlantis on Paradise Island Also worth noting, about a month ago I was in Great Exuma, where I stayed at the Grand Isle Resort and Spa.
In general, Great Exuma was so much different than Paradise Island. I was particularly fond of snorkeling here—the coral reefs are located just a short distance from the rooms. In fact, I only swam about 20 feet or so into the ocean before I was swimming over a reef, allowing for a bird's-eye view of an array of exotic fish.
For an extra fee, Grand Isle offers boat rides throughout Exuma. I had the opportunity to take a speedboat ride to Chat 'n Chill, a small, casual bar and grill on Stocking Island, about 30 minutes away from the resort. It was low-key and, as the name indicates, a very chill place.
Case in point: Lawn chairs were set up in the shallow part of the ocean for guests to sit and lounge with a cold beverage and get their feet wet.
Just a Reminder
The thing to keep in mind is that during all of these different experiences, I was still in the Bahamas. You might be in the same destination, but the experience you get from one property to the next can make you feel like you are in a different country altogether.