I have wanted to go to Discovery Cove since it opened and it FINALLY happened! Our family spent the day in paradise. Before purchasing our tickets, we discussed the different packages and the availability of private cabanas as a family and we decided that this is probably a once-in-a-lifetime event. We decided to splurge and purchase the Elite package (more on packages in a different post) which includes a private cabana.
A friend told me to “arrive when it opens and stay until they put you out” – she was right!. Although the waterways do not open until 8:30, breakfast is served early and the doors open at 7:15 am. We arrived in the parking lot by 7:30 am and the line to enter was very long, we must have been one of the last people to arrive since the line was not very long behind us. We stood in line for about 30 minutes but it was always moving and the foliage was beautiful. Although the park was almost full to capacity, it was the only line we stood in all day long.
An excellent variety of good food was available for breakfast. The empty coffee
A client is traveling on a Fall Foliage cruise in late September. She asked me about some of the excursions and as I was reviewing the options and began researching Bar Harbor, some stunning photos appeared on my computer screen.
All of these fantastic pictures have made me want to pack my bag and join them on this cruise – and this is only the First stop!
I called the Chamber of Commerce and they sent me some great photos to share with you.
Most of the information I found was from the Arcadia National Forest so I jumped over to YouTube and found a videos from the National Parks Service as well:
On Tuesday as the Safari Explorer transited from Lanai toward the island of Maui through the National Humpback Marine Sanctuary everyone was watching for humpback whales. While we did see humpback whales that will be the topic of another blog post. What else we found that day is our current subject. Continue reading Hawaii UnCruise – Ocean Cleanup Event
The Ohana at Walt Disney World’s Polynesian Village Resort is a table service restaurant located on the second floor facing the Seven Seas Lagoon. All the food at Walt Disney World is expensive so is it worth while to splurge with table service? On our last visit (more here) we decided to celebrate a birthday with dinner at Ohana. We looked at several other restaurants but the menu and atmosphere interested us. We did make a reservation. None were available online for the dates we were on property so I called and talked to an agent. They found us a table and while the 8:30 p.m. time was later than we normally eat it worked out fine. Continue reading Walt Disney World – Ohana Dinner Feast Review
After leaving Molokai we sailed for the island of Lanai. The distance between the two islands is only about 20 miles, so this wasn’t a long transit. One of the very different things about cruising with Safari Explorer is the open door policy on the bridge. If you go to the bridge and the door is open then cruisers are welcome at go on the bridge and talk to the crew there, look at the charts to see where we are going and use the binoculars to scan for whales or other wildlife. If the door is closed, the crew needs to concentrate and you should come by again later. This is very different than other Cruise ships where the bridge is off limits at all times. We visited the bridge often and enjoyed visiting with the crew. Continue reading Hawaii UnCruise – Lanai
We love trying out different Disney Resorts. Staying on property is always fun and offers great benefits like free parking and Extra Magic Hours (Each day of the week, resort guests can enter a park one hour earlier or stay in a park up to two hours later than normal park operating hours.) As Florida Resident Annual Passholders we are often able to get special discounts on rooms. For this trip of three nights we chose the Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness. Continue reading Walt Disney World – the Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness
One of the best excursions UnCruise included was a night time snorkel with Manta Rays off the coast of Maui.
They provided full wet suites for this one because of the length of time we were going to be in the water and that the water was a little cooler after dark. After a light dinner our guide for the dive, Ian, came aboard and talked to us about Manta Rays. Manta Rays eat plankton, tiny little organisms floating in the ocean. This dive is done at night because lights are used to attract the plankton, which attracts the Manta Ray. The Manta Rays swim up and barrel roll with their mouth open to scoop up the plankton in order to eat. The Reef Manta Ray we saw are black and white with wing spans of 9 feet – 14 feet. Manta Rays are uniquely identified by the markings on the belly of the Ray. Very much like the Fluke coloration of a Humpback whale uniquely identifies a specific whale. In order to view the Manta Rays feeding, a surf board is outfitted with rope loops for each person to hold on to while they have snorkel gear and the surf board is pulled along by the guide.
While we were snorkeling the guide was able to identify 8 different Manta Rays by coloration. The largest Manta Ray is “Big Bertha” who has a wing span of 14 feet. Normally the guide says she does not barrel roll to feed. While we were there viewing Big Bertha did come out and barrel roll to feed for us. The guide saw about 2 – 3 other Manta Rays which did not display their coloration so they were not identified by name.