There are two types of cruise vacations: laying on the beach and sipping frozen concoctions all day or getting out there and being adventurous. Depending on where you go, the oceans are filled with all kinds of sea creatures from giant great white sharks to itty-bitty minnows.
These creatures aren’t looking at humans as food, they actually shy away when they see or hear humans approaching. So if you’re feeling daring on your next cruise vacation, consider excursions that will have you swimming with some of this crazy sea life.
Get your underwater cameras (or a quality underwater case for your phone) ready. There will be some amazing pictures to be taken!
Sea Turtles in St. Thomas
Coki Beach in St. Thomas is one of the most spectacular and stunning views of preserved beaches in the Caribbean. Right next to Coki Beach is Coral World, an interactive and preserved environment that allows you to swim with Green Sea Turtles. Reading a recent review of swimming with the sea turtles in St. Thomas, someone said, “The guide was absolutely awesome! She was well-experienced, well-educated and genuinely expressed knowledge and love for the turtles. She truly made the experience memorable.”
Sharks in Belize
I have a hard time calling sharks gentle giants but if find yourself in Belize City you can take a short water taxi over to Caye Caulker and tempt fate swimming with the nurse sharks in Shark Alley. I had some friends that recently did this tour and they told me that they felt 100 percent safe and there wasn’t anything to be afraid off. “Don’t let the looks scare you,” I was told.
Stingray City in Grand Cayman
These creatures are given a bad name because of the Steve Erwin incident in Australia, but stingrays are the most docile creatures I’ve ever had the opportunity to interact with. Recently I had a chance to head to Stingray City and experience it first hand. This place is like the New York City for stingrays because there are literally thousands of them. Being able to swim among, photograph and touch these prehistoric looking sea creatures is an experience that you shouldn’t miss out on.
Pretty much every island in the Caribbean has a dolphin swim of some sort and rightfully so, these friendly creatures are like giant puppy dogs. Getting to jump into the water with these mammals is the coolest thing as you experience. Depending on what dolphin swim you book, you’ll get to feed, interact and even do the famous foot-push, where two dolphins lift you up out of the water!
There isn’t exactly an excursion for swimming with barracudas, only because they are everywhere in the Caribbean. There isn’t a diving, snorkeling or floating excursion I’ve been on where I haven’t seen one of these curious mean-looking (but harmless) creatures swimming, circling and seeing what’s going on.
There are a lot of shore excursions that allow you to interact with these sea creatures; it’s just a matter of how curious (of bold) you are. Before you book your shore excursion consider doing research through YouTube or by reading the different excursion descriptions so you know what kind of critters you can expect to meet!