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Currently at Harborside.

Discussion in 'Vistana Signature Experiences (formerly Starwood)' started by emeryjre, Feb 7, 2018.

  1. komosatp

    komosatp TUG Member

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    Yes, full access to Atlantis without additional cost. The one thing you won't get by renting through an owner is internet access. That's part of Atlantis' $50/day 'resort fee'. Harborside owners (or renters from owners) don't pay the resort fee but if they want wifi they have to pay for it, something like $25 a day. You can prepay for 7 days or buy day by day.
    I think you can buy the meal plan, but it doesn't make financial sense. Its doesn't really offer any discount versus menu prices. And since you have a functional kitchenette at HRA, most people do breakfast in their
    unit. The meal plan is priced as if you were going to eat a full breakfast buffet every single morning and a full three course meal every single night. If you take it easy just one meal of the week, you're usually better off paying ala carte.
     
  2. Sea Six

    Sea Six TUG Member

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    That was exactly my opinion the one and only time we tried the meal plan. By the end of the week I felt like a pig because we were eating so much more food than normal. And every dinner is appetizer, entree, and dessert. One of the restaurants on the plan was the place (Carmine's) that serves family style, meaning a couple gets enough food for 6. You can't even take it back to your room to eat later because you're always stuffed and going to a different restaurant the next day anyway. I couldn't handle it again. Plus, it limits you to certain restaurants so there may be a few places you can't even go to. So many nice restaurants there I want to be able to see them all.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2018
  3. elleny76

    elleny76 Guest

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    Where is Murray located? thanks
     
  4. Sea Six

    Sea Six TUG Member

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  5. SandyPGravel

    SandyPGravel Guest

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    Anyone currently or recently at Harborside. We're arriving tomorrow. (It snowed here todayo_O, so not soon enough)

    Anything new or exciting to report? Any restaurant closures? We need to pick someplace for our anniversary dinner.

    Thanx, Gina
     
  6. CalGalTraveler

    CalGalTraveler TUG Member

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    Do you need a car for Harborside? Are there places to drive and see or do most people stay at the resort the entire time?
     
  7. Sea Six

    Sea Six TUG Member

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    NO WAY you need a car at Harborside! The shuttles take you all over the Atlantis property, and if you want to go to Nassau there is a water taxi to the cruise ship area where all the shopping is, or you can just take a cab if you go to Arawak or other areas. The vast majority of your time will be spent right there at Atlantis - the place is HUGE! I also suggest taking the resort van to the grocery store on Monday morning. They give you an hour to shop, then bring you back. I think they charge $8, which will be one of the cheapest things you get there! Everything you buy has a 7.5% VAT, and for food they add a 17% gratuity (even counter service!). For the most part, whatever you buy, add 25%. The BAD thing about the Bahamas is the COST! Harborside is probably our most favorite Vistana Resort, but the food there is $$$$$
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
    CalGalTraveler likes this.
  8. andysnovel

    andysnovel TUG Member

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    I have been to Harborside three times during different times of the year, here is what I have learned.........
    1) Make sure you look up Sandra's Taxi(family owned business, so friendly and nice), they are one of the cheapest taxis from the airport to Harborside and on the way to Harborside, for an additional fee, they will take you to a supermarket where the locals shop and there is also a liquor store right next to this supermarket, this way you are all stocked up with food and beverage at the beginning of your stay. They will also arrange a tour for you, you must do the Rum Factory and the Rum Cake Bakery, if you have little kids, they will love the local zoo, Ardastra Gardens, trained flamingos put on quite a show and the little kids love it and they have parrots that the kids feed etc.
    2) When you check in, ask to make a reservation at Montagu Gardens Restaurant, which is located across the bridge, they will pick you up and when finished with dinner, take you back to Harborside, at no cost to you, free cab rides, the food is varied and delicious, seafood, steak and the prices are very reasonable and everyone is so friendly. This restaurant made the top ten local restaurants.
    3) Murray's Deli/Restaurant, Carmine's are very good value for the buck, NY style deli food and NY style Italian Food, ample portions. Within a few blocks walk, Margaritaville has reasonably priced menu items and live music on the weekends. The Pointe Restaurant and Bar at Harborside.........other than breakfast, very reasonably priced and extremely convenient when you are tired and just want to hang at the resort, especially if you have kids or grandkids with you, their menu is family friendly, pizzas, chicken nuggets....hamburgers etc.....reasonably priced........make sure you visit Ben and Jerry's for their delicious icecream, within a few minutes walk in the little village next to our Harborside Resort or you take the shuttle bus, and get off at the first stop and walk into the village, live music there and many restaurants and shops...........Best Time of the year to visit.....Winter Time, Everything is open, all the attractions and rides and restaurants, if you go in the fall, I noticed all the cheaper restaurants are closed and some of the attractions are closed as well.......there was such excitement in the air in the winter months.........everything is going full tilt............

    One more thing, if you have little kids with you, you must do the Dolphin Encounters, it is very pricey but worth it, my granddaughter had a blast, such a good time............
     
  9. SeaDoc

    SeaDoc TUG Member

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    To have full access to all the slides at Atlantis make sure all the kid's height exceed 48" - they are very strict on this...
     
  10. DeniseM

    DeniseM Moderator

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    - YES

    It's very expensive: https://www.atlantisbahamas.com/dining/diningplans

    You will have a kitchen - you can save some money by buying groceries.
     
    Sunshine10 likes this.
  11. SandyPGravel

    SandyPGravel Guest

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    Back from Harborside, our last visit was in 2015. VAT is now 12%. I had read last year that "The Current" water ride at Atlantis had changed. Such a disappointment. That was one of my favorite rides at Atlantis. Now it is barely more than a lazy river...and you have to get out and walk around to get back in. More like a 3/4 lazy river!!:( We snorkeled at the Cove Beach. Saw a couple fish, water was nice, beach was nice. We have always visited in November so the water is usually quite choppy. The red flags were out by the Beach & Coral towers. Saw people snorkeling in The Dig, that was new since our last visit. During the day I noticed a lot more personnel asking to see your room key than I had in the past when walking around the resort. We noticed a couple Stuart Cove boats in the Marina. Asked about it. Apparently Blue Adventures is owned by Stuart Cove so they keep a couple boats at Atlantis. Prices for Blue Adventure are higher than for Stuart Cove. We did the Shark Adventure Dive through Stuart Cove. Really liked it.
     
    komosatp likes this.
  12. Sea Six

    Sea Six TUG Member

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    In addition to the VAT, they also add a gratuity (I think 17%) to all food orders. THIS INCLUDES take out and counter service, where you might not normally tip, along with table service. There you go - just add 30% to any price you see for food.
     
  13. CalGalTraveler

    CalGalTraveler TUG Member

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    Would 4 or 5 days be sufficient for this location? or is a full week needed? e.g. a week at Disneyworld is needed because there is so much to see, but 4 - 5 Days for Disneyland is sufficient. How does this resort compare?
     
  14. GrayFal

    GrayFal TUG Member

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    Coming from NY I find 5 days enough. But it is a quick direct flight from NY. All depends on your travel times.
     
    CalGalTraveler likes this.
  15. andysnovel

    andysnovel TUG Member

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    The last two trips to Harborside we did 6 nights, more than enough. 5 nights should be fine........especially if you want to keep the eating out expense down. If you are paying a lot for airfare and traveling a great distance, then try for at least 5 or 6 nights............
     
    CalGalTraveler likes this.
  16. komosatp

    komosatp TUG Member

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    I hate paying taxes just as much as the next guy, but a 12% VAT really isn't that far from typical in many tourist destinations.

    For comparison, here are the various tourism sales tax rates you pay in the capital of the USA:
    • 10% - Restaurant meals, liquor for consumption on the premises, and rental vehicles
    • 18% - Parking motor vehicles in commercial lots
    • 14.8% - Hotels (transient accommodations)
    https://cfo.dc.gov/page/tax-rates-and-revenues-sales-and-use-taxes

    And at the Greenbrier in West Virginia, you pay a 6% sales tax, a 3% occupancy tax, and 6.5% to its Historic Preservation Fund.
    Barely more than a lazy river??? What Happened??? Have they shut the waves off and/or closed the rapids parts of The Current???

    The change from being able to ride continuously to having to exit and give up your tube was concerning to me at first, but I've found it really isn't that much of a hassle. I found it to be decent compromise in the interest of allowing guests to have a single place to wait to be certain of getting a tube in a timely fashion. As an annual visitor, I knew where to go to find the empty tubes, but I also know cruisers in particular often had to wait ridiculous amounts of time to get a tube.
     
  17. SandyPGravel

    SandyPGravel Guest

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    I liked the ride because when you got into the narrow section ("the current" after the power surge of water) big waves would propel you along. You can see where the water line was before the ride changed, it is a huge difference. Now, IMO, you barely float along. I noticed that a lot fewer people were on this ride. The section that was shut down had hundreds of tubes in the queue. I used to float around the circuit a couple times, I didn't stay on the ride for hours, this time once around was enough.

    As for the VAT, maybe the comparison prices you quoted are similar. The prices were already high, then they added 7.5% VAT, then VAT was increased to 12% on top of the mandatory 17% gratuity. It's probably because I don't live in a high cost major metropolitan area that I find the prices extreme.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
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  18. buzglyd

    buzglyd TUG Member

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    I'll be going in May for 5 nights. We like off season because the lines are shorter for all the slides.
     
  19. komosatp

    komosatp TUG Member

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    Did you ask anybody about the change you noticed? From your description, it sounds to me like the wave machine was down. In my annual visits over the past 10+ years, there have been times when the waves weren't on. And that sounds like what you experienced.

    In my visit in April 2018, the waves were as big as they've ever been....my 7 year old son discovered the joy of getting dumped out of a tube when a big wave comes, and he's now a strong enough swimmer that I don't have a heart attack when he falls out.
     
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  20. LisaH

    LisaH TUG Lifetime Member

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    We were there in May 2017 and although we had to get out at the end of the ride, the waves and current were just as big and rapid as I remembered from a few years back. Could the lack of big waves you experienced be just temporary?
     
  21. SandyPGravel

    SandyPGravel Guest

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    IDK if it is temporary, the employee(life guard) we talked to when we were going through the ride agreed that the ride used to have more water volume. He pointed out the high point on the wall near his perch point.
     
  22. SandyPGravel

    SandyPGravel Guest

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    Maybe that's the case. The life guard didn't say it was temporary, just pointed out where the water used to go. I hope that was the case, really used to be my favorite ride.
     
  23. komosatp

    komosatp TUG Member

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    Slight tangent: I've always wondered when/how Atlantis will close the river system for maintenance. I wonder if it was designed to stay open while elements were replaced, or if they'll have to close it for an extended period (weeks or months). I don't think I've heard of an extended closure in the 11 years its been in operation (On my vacation in March 2007, the river system and power tower slides had just soft-opened a few days earlier).

    If you think about how many water pumps, wave generators, and water escalator machines they have been operating in that decade, you'd think there'd have to be times they close the entire thing to do heavy duty maintenance. In the 17 years I've been visiting Atlantis, I've seen every pool be closed and emptied for a re-surfacing, but haven't seen the same thing for the current.
     
  24. Sea Six

    Sea Six TUG Member

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    IMG_1132.JPG

    I've seen the little Lazy River closed. No doubt The Current will need to be resurfaced sooner or later.
     
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  25. CalGalTraveler

    CalGalTraveler TUG Member

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    Thanks for the info on Harborside. It sounds like we can do everything at Atlantis in 5 days.

    Since we are flying from California we would spend at least a week to 10 days in the Caribbean. What do you suggest as a good next stop for 3 - 5 days? e.g. Miami, St John, Barbados, Aruba, or other? I am asking in terms of ease transfer flight schedules and cost from Nassau.
     

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