Before I start about our day let me just say....in Australia we have a saying...."You bloody beauty"! Well this is exactly what today was!!!!! Ten fold!!!! Okay now on with the report...
Up at stupid o'clock!! 6:15 to be precise haha. Ready & out the door just before 7am. Great run in to Seaworld area & got a park at Discovery Cove pretty close to the entrance.
There was a little bit of a line for check in but it went quickly. We got a dolphin swim time of 11:25am. Happy with that :-) Gave us time to have breakfast & check the park out.
We walked in, had our photo on the way in & went straight for Breakfast. There was (from memory) ham, egg, potatoes, sausages, waffles, French toast sticks, yoghurt, fruit, cereal & milks, orange juice, sodas & water. It was good & filling. Our Cabana host Todd took us to our cabana which didn't officially open until 9am. Todd was just great! So friendly & our service was amazing ;-) the cabana was lovely. Funnily enough it was the same gazebo type thing as Aquatica but the set up was far better here. So private & the chairs & loungers seem nicer.
We walked all around waiting for opening time of 9am. All the pools don't open until then, but it gives you the chance to check things out & get your bearings. The park opens at 8am but we were let in by 7:45! Breakfast was ready immediately.
Once our area opened, we went to the Cabana, checked it all our properly then went into the Lazy river. We also visited the Marmosets, & otters & went into the aviary. DH & DS had the birds landing on them...even on their heads lol. DD didn't want them on her & I was the photographer!! (I'm not into birds on me either) hehe
After this we went to the Grand reef for a snorkel. I decided to leave the snorkel at the cabana....after the battle I had on Castaway Cay I just wasn't interested in even trying. Anyway it was a really good area. It's very cold in here & the dolphin swim area & obviously both of these areas are sea water....the other pools are chlorinated. It's freaky having stingrays as wide as we are with arms fully stretched out, swimming next to you or below you!!! They're so tame!!! You can pat them. You are not allowed to chase after them though ;-)
It was time for a brief relax before our Dolphin swim. OMG!!!! What an experience. Made me cry :-) we were lucky enough to have two dolphins to interact with....Cindy - 50yrs old & boss lady!!! She bosses all the dolphins around apparently lol & CJ who is a hybrid dolphin...meaning he is two breeds of dolphin. His dad Cooper jumped a fence to get to his mum Jenny!!! That's how he became a hybrid & that's why he is named CJ. There was us 4 & an English couple with their little girl & another Floridian couple. So 9 in total. We had the Elite package today....so at the end of the interaction dolphin Cindy bought DH a buoy saying "Our family trip 2014". He had no idea what was going on & the trainers made it seem like he was randomly picked!! So good :-) :-)
Straight after the dolphin swim you are taken to view your Photos. They take loads of pics of your whole group & they video it too! It is $219 for the top package. $159 for next package down. That's all I can remember sorry. With the Elite package we got the full top photo package...so worth it!! Such a unique experience ;-) Lunch was next. There was Hawaiian chicken & rice, pulled pork & fries or salad, tropical burger (mango in it) & blackened fish. Kids had penne pasta, chicken tenders & hotdog. Desserts - fresh fruit, choc cake & 2 types of cheesecake. Drinks...beer, wine, coke sodas, root beer, lemonade etc. there was also snack huts set up around the park & they had slushy like ice cream - banana or white cherry. Cherry tasted like cough medicine!!! Potato chips, muesli bars, trail mix, goldfish, salted or unsalted pretzels, choc chip cookies & probs more I can't remember!!! Also coffee & hot chocs. We felt like we had loads of food & a wide variety of offerings!! The banana slushie type thing was awesome!!!
I went for a relax at the cabana while the rest of the fam went to the lazy river!! Whole family agreed it was totally worth the money & the dolphin swim alone was worth it :-) Such a relaxing day!! Dolphin swim is a highlight of the trip!!
Rest of the day was spent sitting in the seated area in the water (food & drinks are allowed in there), the lazy river, snorkelling in the grand reef or just chillaxing in our cabana. We got most of our photo package delivered (by cabana host) & we just ordered our cd when we were ready....to ensure we didn't miss out on any pics ;-)
We stayed in the pools until the last second!!!! (Which was 5:30pm). It was such a relaxing, awesome, dream filled day!!! It was the kind of day that made us reflect on our trip & dream of our next trip (we can't decide where to go next lol). Honestly this day is up there with our cruise!! This is the day, since arriving in Orlando that we would duplicate if we could. Again the cabana is by no means necessary but we thoroughly enjoyed having this as a base & for us it was worth every penny. As was the look on DH's face when he was 'chosen' to collect the buoy from our dolphin!! Priceless!!!
We opted not to have showers before we left...even though I desperately wanted to try their products that I've heard so much about...but it was SO crowded waiting for showers, so we just left. It was nearly 6:00 when we left :-) The biggest bummer for me is that while I was in the shower washing my straw like hair (at home) I realised that we forgot to leave our cabana host a tip :-( He was so amazing to us & I hate to think that he might think we weren't happy with the service!! We are off to Aquatica & Seaworld Tuesday & I think I'm going to swing into Discovery Cove & ask someone at the front desk to take a tip for him. Will they do that...does anyone know?
After we left we made the decision to pull into Logan's on the way home for dinner. There was a 15min wait for a table & we specifically asked for the same server as we had the other night...he was awesome!! Seated & voila we had Jose again!!! Yippee!!!! Once again, amazing service, amazing food & super amazing price!!! It was even cheaper than the other night! Total $47!!!! Wait till you read what we had....DS had full rack of ribs, DH had ribs & shrimp, I had ribs & steak & DD had kids corndog meal. We had 1 beer, 1 sprite & 2 waters. You also get a basket of warm bread rolls...super yummy!!!! OMG peeps....go to this restaurant!!!! You will not be sorry!!!! $47 for all that & it is all SO good. We left $70!! Just felt like we were ripping them off otherwise ;-)
Now home all showered & ready for bed (DH already snoring on the lounge...beer all day long will do that lol). We have another big day tomorrow...Busch Gardens!!
Discovery Cove is a major highlight for us!! If you can afford it, do it!!! Leave other things out to do it!! It's the best day!! It isn't inexpensive I will say, but before lunch my family had all thanked me loads of times & my usually very tight DH told me it was already worth every cent...& we got the Elite Package!!!
Thanks for reading guys. Look forward to filling you all in on Busch tomorrow night ;-)