Friday, August 15, 2008

Wild Side and Ship

Today was another early morning as we needed to be on the west side for our Dolphin excursion with Wild side tours. We opted for a small group (5 total) tour. Tori, oup captain asked what we wanted to see. Dolphins and turtles were high on the list.

Tori took us out and found a pod of spotted dophine. She told us we were going to play with them. She reved the engines and the dolphine has a great time playing in the boat's wake. We had a better time watching. She then took us closer to shore to see the spinner dolphins. We were told the rules of swimming with dolphin. Don't touch, splash or scream. Try to swim parallel. All of this is designed not to stress the animals. Once we spotted the pod, so did a bozo in a jet ski who dropped 3-4 people into the middle of the pod and another fully loaded tour boat. We decided this was more than enough for the poor creatures to deal with as there were several babies in the group. We opted not to add to the mix and headed up the beach to snorkel.

The snorkeling was very nice (and spoiled us for the rest of the week) We saw lots of fish, a large ray and a small turtle. After about 20 min. Tori called and told us to swim to the front of the baot. I guess the pod had had inough of the large crowd and were swimmin our way. All of a sudden, there were dlophine wverywhere, on either side and below us. Mom's and babies just slowly (for them) swimming along passing us like we were slow cars on a highway. You could hear them calling to each other. I did manage two pictures wheile kicking like mad to keep up. It was a magical unforgetable couple of minutes. Wild side fed us a great lunch and then it was on to a turtle cleaning station. This is where turtles come to be clean by small fish. Several kids that had come out on a kayak were trying to touch the turtle (not allowed by law) the turtle was acting stressed so we didn't stay long. Once we were docked we found a small bay with four turtles just hanging out so we got to see lots of interaction.

Returning the car to thrifty was quick and painless. The shuttle driver to the port, Michelle was a riot. I don't think I could be that upbeat 7 hours into my shift even with a bottle of Prozac.

We got to the port and here the comparions will begin for my foolish friends. First off, no porters. Haul your own bags to the inspection station. (hey saved the tip money) The check in line looked long, but moved quickly. You enter the ship throug deck 6. They hand you a glass of OJ or mimosa or champagne (nice touch) and then you notice the place is packed with people. Lines for dinner ressies, lines at guest service, lines at shore excursions. It felt cramped.

Since we already had lunch we hung out until our floor was called as bieng ready. When we got to the room we were surprised to see Hope's bed already pulled out. This did not leave much room for mivng around. Our luggage arrived in short order. I like the shelves int eh closet and the fact there are more outlets than I'm used to. I didn't like the bathroom, the shower is TINY, or the fact we found an unused 3cc syringe. This made be really think about those brown spots on the bathroom sink. Out came the disinfecting wipes and everything got wiped down. Once everything had a place it was time to greet friends and explore the ship. Denise made dinner ressies for all 31 of us at Lazy J steakhouse.

While the converstions was excellent, the meal uas less so. Missing appetizers, underdone potatoes and sides severed "family style" gave the impression they didn't want to be bothered with individual orders. It was also uncomfortable that it too 20-30 minutes to serve each course. Do you eat when the food is hot or wait till everyone is served and it's cold?

We went to bed almost directly after dinner. It had been a long day of wonderful experience and long overdue reunions.

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