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Thursday, June 12, 2014

TRAVEL TO THE BAHAMAS WITH GUEST AUTHOR LILY BISHOP


Lily Bishop writes romances about strong, smart women and the men who love them. She has been writing since she first learned to type on a Royal manual typewriter, and she hasn’t stopped. Her first novel, No Strings Attached, was released last May. She hopes to release the second in the series, Under His Protection, in July. Learn more about Lily and her books at her blog. 

Traveling to the Bahamas
In the past few years, my family and I have been fortunate enough to travel to the Bahamas and several other islands in the Caribbean. The Bahamas is an island nation composed of over 700 islands. I’m primarily going to talk about Nassau. If you take a Caribbean cruise, Nassau is a favorite stop for many of the cruise lines. In addition, located just across a bridge, Paradise Island is the home to Atlantis, a resort known for its water parks and lazy river.

I’d like to tell you about Nassau through pictures.

Cruise Ship Stops
On the cruise ship, we chose to not pay for the Atlantis excursion that would give you access to the water park. Instead, we rode a water taxi to the island, walked around the straw market, and walked through the casino and public areas of Atlantis.

If you are on a cruise, tired of being cooped up on the ship, and want to do something fun with your kids, you may want to consider paying for the Atlantis add-on. The water parks are top-notch. Not only are the water features and rides, fun, the resort water park is designed like Aztek ruins, and the whole operation was very classy.  
If you are more interested in historic Nassau, most cruise ships offer add-on tours of the area. For example, Carnival offers an excursion providing a tour of the area for $50.  This includes such stops as the straw market, Fort Charlotte, Robert “Bob” Marley resort, and the Buena Vista Estate, home of the John Watlings Distillery. 

Atlantis Resort
Having visited the Bahamas on a cruise, I was skeptical when friends of ours wanted to spend an entire week at Atlantis. The Atlantis resort offers many things to make a stay there more affordable, including airfare credits, dining plans, and roomy and spacious rooms. We had a king-sized bed with two rollaway beds for our kids and still had space.

It was a great week. The resort was fun, and the resort fees included the water park and free movies at night. The casino also had live entertainment in the evenings.

The lazy river (at top of blog) snakes around the resort. The lazy river has rapids in it, and it was fun. You could ride it in a double tube or single, but don’t forget to apply the waterproof sunscreen, especially to the top of your feet. Floating around for an hour-and-a-half can result in a serious sunburn, as I found out. There are also areas for all age kids, including a wet and wild play fort.

In addition to the water park, my husband played golf, and we enjoyed walks around the marina to watch the large yachts docked there. There are many sea habitats, and an aquarium designed to look like the ruins of Atlantis. (insert Atlantis man picture here)

We did not stay in the famous “bridge suite”, which some report is worth $25,000 a night. For a look at what you can get for $25k a night, you can take a virtual tour here. Yes, the bridge suite is in the bridge connecting the two towers. 

If you need a babysitter or just want an adult night out, the resort sponsors supervised kid activities for an add-on fee. Other activities include interacting with dolphins, sea lions, and stingrays, and snorkeling.

If you are tired of the resort, many local cabdrivers will provide you with a narrated tour of Nassau or you can contract with a local tour company. You can also take boat tours to some of the nearby islands to see some of the other sights.

I found Nassau to be one of the friendlier islands that we toured. At the Atlantis, we actually hired one of the waiters to take us around the island in his van. He was very knowledgeable, and we received an inexpensive tour. The week we were there, the Barefoot Bandit was being arraigned in court, and we saw some of the photographers camped out for that. We did not, however, see the actual Barefoot Bandit.

Inspiration
Walking along Atlantis’ marina gave me the inspiration for many of the scenes in my novel set on a yacht. I spent a lot of time imagining what it would be like to be out in a ship that small in the open ocean. I’ve been on the big cruise ships, and I’ve been in smaller boats closer to short, but never a small vessel in the open ocean. It was neat to see how some of the “other half” live. At the time, my son was nine, and he became enthralled with the ships, promising me one day that he will have a yacht like that. I just smiled and said he would have to let me ride in it.

No Strings Attached
Laura Todd attends a conference in Las Vegas and meets Fox Thornton, a consultant to the hotel industry. Far away from her normally quiet life, Laura is swept away by her strong attraction for Fox. They both know the score, and neither expects to see the other again. After their hot weekend, circumstances bring them back together in Miami, where Fox is investigating a suspected embezzlement and Laura is the prime suspect. Can their brief romance rekindle in the real world, where suspicions and misunderstandings lurk behind every corner? Will their no-strings-attached affair evolve into a strong relationship, or is it destined to stay in Vegas?

Currently, No Strings Attached is on sale for 99 cents through the end of June.

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4 comments:

Lily Bishop said...

This was fun, and forced me to dig through some digital pictures I had stowed away. Thank you for having me on your blog.

Gemma Juliana said...

Fun blog post, Lily. I've been to the Atlantis long ago.

Love the cover of No Strings Attached.

Which of your stories has the yacht scenes?

Lani said...

Great post! I have traveled a bit in the Caribbean and absolutely loved it! Oh, but I would love to see some of those Aztec ruins. Fascinating!

The blurb of your book sounds great!

Lily Bishop said...

Gemma, No Strings Attached has two or three chapters set on a yacht, and they were definitely fun to write. In fact, I think the origin of the book lies in one of the yacht scenes that just came to me. (I won't give away what happens)
Lani, Atlantis is made to look like Aztec ruins, but isn't actually. I loved the remnants of the old British forts, though.