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Water World

A behemoth in the Bahamas

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I'm standing atop a towering faux-Mayan temple, waiting behind the last of the fidgeting 10-year-olds to take the "Leap of Faith," a 60-foot near-vertical waterslide. Now I’m fidgeting, too, and I can't tell if it’s my acrophobia or my fear of yelping children. I take in the improbable panorama of the 34-acre Atlantis resort on Paradise Island, near Nassau: the 24-story Royal Towers looming over everything; the white-sand Caribbean beaches; the multitude of pools (half are for people, the others harbor stingrays, hammerhead sharks, and giant grouper). Out on the ocean a couple is parasailing, while a group of jet-skiiers crashes through the surf. Somewhere down there, my wife is dozing on an innertube on the "Lazy River Ride," which weaves through the resort on an artificial current. Nearby, there's a Tom Weiskopf-designed golf course, but I can't see it from here. And, after finding myself counting the restaurants (there are more than 30!), I finally give in and jump -- I have too damn much to do. Sharks pass by as the slide empties into an underwater tube, and I can't stop laughing. I'm better off here than on a deserted beach trying not to think about work. Now to find my wife and head for the casino.

DETAILS Atlantis Paradise Island, 888-528-7155 or www.atlantis.com (packages start at $310 during peak times).


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