News that the Atlantis Resort in Nassau, Bahamas, will join the Marriott Autograph Collection of hotels piqued my interest, but probably for reasons that are a bit different than others. Nassau is a huge stop for mass-market cruise ships, and a port that I’ve visited so many times that I usually choose to stay on the ship when docked there unless I want two things – wi-fi at the Green Parrot bar near the port, or to hit the super-duper awesome water park at Atlantis.

The cruise lines sell excursions to the water park that include transportation to Paradise Island. The cost is typically $165 per adult, and $119 for children. You can also buy a day pass at the resort on a space available basis. And finally, I’ve previously covered a unique way to obtain access using Ultimate Rewards points. Now, there will be another option.


Image courtesy of Marriott

Of course, all of this is pure speculation until Atlantis actually joins the program, and we learn what category the hotel will be assigned. We’ll know this fall, according to Marriott. Depending on where you are with points balances, and your travel goals, I think it could be possible to make a case for spending Marriott Rewards for a room, even if you aren’t spending a full night. For a family of 4, you could be looking at $568 for a day at the water park, and that’s before food and beverage. It will be interesting to see where Atlantis winds up on the category chart. Then I’ll test whether this will work in practice.

-MJ, August 5, 2014