Travel Tale: Atlantis, Bahamas
Nicole Ciuppa has mutliple allergies to dairy, egg, nuts, mustard, sesame, poppy seeds and coconut. She set up her blog Nutritionally Nicole to share her joy of cooking and help others with allergy friendly recipes. She shares her trip to Atlantis, Bahamas with us.
Why did you travel to the Bahamas?
My family and I wanted to escape the New Jersey winter for some Caribbean sunshine during my spring break from college. When looking at islands to travel to, the Bahamas seemed to be a perfect fit as it was warm in March, not affected by the recent hurricanes, and had a short flight time. My parents had their honeymoon in Atlantis, Bahamas many years ago but I had never been! I could not have been more excited to detach from my intense semester and enjoy the island life for a few days.
What were your allergy concerns?
At the top of my priority list was being able to safely eat meals and participate in dining out while in the Bahamas. I am always very cautious when choosing places to travel to so my mom and I had researched food allergy reviews of restaurants, hotels, and staff before booking our flights to Atlantis.
How did you get to the Bahamas?
We boarded a morning flight with United Airlines and it was a pretty smooth ride. Upon getting settled in out seats, we wiped down all of the handles, trays, buttons, and seatbelts with Clorox Wipes to ensure no allergens would be left over from the passengers before us. Just aswe finished, a family told us we were in the wrong seats and our real seats were across the aisle. Laughing, we told them their seats were completely sanitized. We proceeded to our new seats and wiped everything down once again. No meals were served on the plane; only snacks to which I did not eat. I always bring my own food for the plane. Peanuts were not served on the flight, however, I did see there was a snack that included almonds in it.
What were my first impressions?
The first thing I noticed driving across the bridge from Nassau to Paradise Island was all of the colors! All of buildings were vibrant and seemed full of life. I felt as if I was inside a real life coloring book. The ocean was crystal blue, the hotels a bright pink, the palm trees a deep green- I was mesmerized to say the least.
Where did you stay?
The Reef Hotel in Atlantis, Bahamas.
What did you eat?
I am a simple orderer when traveling. Breakfasts consisted of abundant fresh fruit platters while lunches were a mix of my own food from home and sometimes steamed vegetables. My staple dinner meal was grilled chicken, steamed vegetables including broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower, as well as a closed oven baked potato. I brought non-perishable dry foods such as oatmeal, raisins, pita bread, pasta, olive oil, and canned tuna (I am grateful not to have a fish allergy). As for the exact restaurants and meals that I had experiences with, check out my Atlantis, Bahamas Food Allergy Review over on my blog.
What was the coolest “can’t miss” experience?
I was blown away and fully embracing my fantasy of being a mermaid during the Kayaking excursion in Dolphin Cay! My mom and I got inside of a see-through bottom kayak during golden hour and paddled amongst the dolphins. These dolphins had been rescued from hurricane Katrina and brought to the Bahamas. Some of the dolphins swam right underneath the kayak and popped up a couple inches away to say hello. I wanted to jump in and play with them. It was a dream.
Would you go there again?
I would absolutely take another trip to Atlantis, Bahamas! There is so much to see and do that we could not possibly experience everything in one week. I feel as though we only scraped the tip of the iceberg. Maybe next time, I will try snorkeling.
Any travel tips for visiting the Atlantis, Bahamas with food allergies?
Some of the hotels in Atlantis have kitchenettes or full kitchens so, if it is within your travel budget, I would absolutely recommend choosing to stay at a hotel with those accommodations. Bringing dry non-perishable safe foods with you whether you have the luxury of a kitchen or not is always a good idea. This way, if a dining out experience does not go as planned, which did happen during my travels, you have a back up for what you can eat when you make it back to your hotel.