One of the biggest reservations I had about going on a cruise was being on someone else’s schedule. You arrived at port whenever the boat docks and you have to be back on time or you will get left. Not only that but traveling with 5 other girls made the decision with what to do with our limited time extremely difficult. As a seasoned traveler I’ve learned that if there is something I want to do then I had to speak up and not be afraid to do it, even if it means going alone. My sorority sisters wanted to enjoy a rum and reggae tour when we landed in Nassau Bahamas, but honestly that wasn’t for me. At first I was going to do a walking tour and try to get some photos by the Parliament building and the Queen’s stair case, that was until I stumbled across the Carnival cruise Blue Lagoon animal lovers excursion which offered the opportunity to touch a dolphin, snorkel with stingrays and get a kiss from sea lion! Even though it was a pricier excursion, costing $216, it was the best decision ever! Because life is short and who knows if I’ll ever get the chance to do any of these things again. Even though solo travel can seem a little daunting, it can be well worth it to check some life long dreams off your bucket list.  Here’s a run down of what the Blue Lagoon excursion entailed: 

Dolphin Kisses

After our refreshing dip it was time to head over to the first part of our animal lovers experience, a meet and greet with the dolphins!  We were lined up an underwater dock as the dolphin swam past and allowed us to gently grace their bellies.  Then we were able to touch the flippers and teeth before being given not only a kiss but a hug too!  It’s amazing to feel just how strong these animals are while seeing their playful side as well.  It was up there on my ocean animal experiences. We also were able to spend some time observing their three pregnant dolphins as they enjoyed meal time. The trainers were very nice and and provided a lot of information on their facility as well as the dolphins. My only wish would have been to actually swim with the dolphins.  I’m not particularly interested in having them push or pull me around but I’d just love to swim next to one and feel how they move through the water.

 

Sea Lion Hugs

.The most anticipated part of the excursion for me was definitely the sea lion. I’ve always loved watching them on Animal Planet and the Discovery channel growing up. And they really are as playful as they seem. The sea lion experience was similar to the dolphin experience where you stood on an underwater platform as the sea lion allowed you to touch it’s soft skin. We also got to hold her fins and even feed her fish. Afterwards they had her come onto land and take pictures of her giving us a kiss or a hug. She even stuck her tongue out for some photos. I really enjoyed this part the most. Again my only wish was that we would have been able to swim with them as well. But a girl can dream.

Beach Time

 

For the first part of the excursion our guide led us on a small walk across the island to a more secluded part of the Blue Lagoon beach. The scenery was breath taking and soft sand squished gently between our toes providing a mini foot scrub as we waded into the most beautiful aqua colored water I’ve ever been in. The water was the perfect temperature and amazingly clear so you could see all the fish swimming about, curiously circling our legs.  It was such a great way to start off the trip with a little sand, sun and sea.  I also met a mother daughter duo from my cruise who was also doing the excursion and got to experience the mom’s first time in the ocean.  And she definitely wasn’t disappointed!

 

Snorkeling with Rays

The next stop on the excursion was to play with the rays. While this isn’t the first time I’ve swam with or held stingrays it was still a lot of fun. It’s sad that these creatures get a bad rap because they really are amazing to watch. I love that they move so gracefully and are surprisingly soft yet they can be dangerous if they need to be.  What I liked most about this part of the excursion what that you got more individualized time with the stingray and you also got to snorkel with them in their enclosure. It really allowed you to appreciate these animals in a different way than stumbling across them in the wild.

 

The entire excursion was an amazing experience. Our guide provided a lot of entertainment and energy while doing a great job of pacing the trip so nothing felt rushed. He even stopped off to get us apples, oranges and water during the day. That being said I do wish that for the money we spent that some other things were included. I know for the dolphin only experience lunch was included in the price but for ours it was not even though the dolphin experience was cheaper. So it would have been nice if we weren’t going to have lunch to have had some local fruits instead of things we could get at home. Also they didn’t allow you to use your camera for the animal portion of the excursion, which I’m sure is partly for the safety of the animals. To give you a rough idea I paid $66 for 6 photos, it would have been around $150 for all the photos and about another $150 for all the videos. So overall I chose to just spend a little extra for the photos but if you wanted everything that would have brought the excursion price up to roughly $500. Personally I think that’s just way too much money. Other than that I really have no major complaints, the experience was definitely worth the money in my opinion. If you’re interested in learning more about my experience on the boat, then be sure to check out my Carnival Sensation Cruise post.   Otherwise check back later in the week for a recap of the excursions I did in Half Moon Cay and Grand Turk! 

Photos by Jordan Bowens

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