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Old 11-13-2012, 08:34 PM   #1
janinca
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Join Date: Aug 2012
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Discovery Cove Trip Report!!!

Our big day was creeping closer. The day we had been anticipating for months. What are the chances that I would book it on the coldest day of our two week vacation, well it turns out I did. We were shivering just thinking about it. I called a few days ahead and managed to change our day to the following day, Wednesday October 31. It was definitely warmer that day but still not overly warm. I am used to celcius but I believe it was around 55 degrees when we got there in the morning and only hit somewhere in the low 70's by the early afternoon.

We got there at 7:45 and there were a few people ahead of us. We got signed in quickly and got our complimentary photo taken. We got the first dolphin swim of the day at 9:20. We went to get our wet suits and we asked for full length ones. They were not fun to get into and they were even worse to get out of but at least I didn't have to deal with that at the moment. My husband and I went to pick up prescription masks which was great.



I probably would have been ok without it but he would have had a lot more trouble. The girls tried to eat breakfast while the boys were still dealing with wet suit issues. I was to nervous and excited to even enjoy my breakfast. We went for our pre swim video and then went to the swim area. Our dolphin was Lester and apparently he is in his early forties.

There were no surprises for me. I had read so many trip reports and reviews over the past few months that I felt like I had actually done this before.
My husband had decided not to do the swim and he was very delighted when they called him in to get in the family picture.
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Old 11-13-2012, 08:41 PM   #2
janinca
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We all got our dolphin tows and hugs and kisses and then were taken to look at the pictures. Of course we couldn't resist. We bought the Adventure package at $159. We didn't feel any pressure at all. They didn't seem to really care whether we bought it or not but then again we did decide very quickly.





We were advised to go straight to the Grand Reef because of being used to the colder water so that is where we headed. I got in and was thinking this is kind of neat and then when I really put my head under and saw all the fish and the sting rays I was blown away. It was such an amazing experience. My only regret is that there was so much to get used to. The wet suits, the cold water, the salt water, the snorkel and mask, my new camera, actually putting a camera in the water!!! that I probably didn't take as many pictures as I wish I had but I am picture greedy and want to have every second documented.
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Old 11-13-2012, 08:48 PM   #3
janinca
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Only because of being cold and feeling drawn to look for warmer water did we reluctantly leave the Grand Reef.



We went to the Freshwater Oasis next. For some reason we never saw the marmosets or the otters when we were there. I thought we would go back later and look again so I didn't let it bother me but we never actually did go back there. We had fun in there and really enjoyed the warmer water.



Next we headed for Windaway River. One of the nice things that happened there is that we ran into a park photographer who offered to take pictures of us posing around an underwater cannon. I knew (from reading here) that any pictures would be added to our cd so we happily got our pictures taken. I had a horrible time staying under water though. I could not get a grip on the cannon no matter how hard I tried so I kept floating to the surface.


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Old 11-13-2012, 08:52 PM   #4
janinca
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Now it was time for lunch. Lunch was something we were all looking forward to as it was fun not having to worry about paying for it. At this point I with a lot of effort and help got the top half of my wet suit peeled off and pulled a sweatshirt over my bathing suit to try and stay warm. When we were done lunch we went to the aviary which we really enjoyed. We saw a lot of birds and had fun taking pictures and even had a park photographer take another family shot of us.



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Old 11-13-2012, 08:56 PM   #5
janinca
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After all that it was really hard for me to get back in the water although I really wanted to. I loved the Grand Reef so much I had to go back. I had also wanted to go in the rest of the park again as well but we ran out of time and cold tolerance. So my daugter and I went in the Grand Reed again while the rest went to the Freshwater Oasis. I was determined to get a picture of my daughter with one of the huge sting rays but found it very difficult to do. Apparently this particular sting ray is named Bianca.



One last picture of me petting a passing sting ray and we were out.

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Old 11-13-2012, 09:04 PM   #6
janinca
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All that was left for us to do was to somehow get out of our wet suits, have a shower and collect our pictures. By the time we were done we had 92 pictures on our cd which made the price seem a little more bearable.

By the time our trip was done we all had definite opinions on Discovery Cove. It was the best day of our whole vacation and we want to go back!!

Before I went my thoughts were that I was happy to do the dolphin swim but wouldn't be heart broken to miss it to help make the trip a little more affordable. I did sign up for it as my youngest son is under 12 so needed an adult with him. I am glad I did it. It was a great experience but I would have loved the day without it. I asked my kids afterwards, their thoughts on it and they all say the same thing. They are glad they did it but the dolphin swim and it was exciting but was not necessarily the number one highlight of Discovery Cove. We all want to come back and will be perfectly happy to leave out the dolphin swim the second time. Now I want to do Seaventure!!!! We all did really enjoy the swim but did not feel it is something we would need to do a second time to enjoy Discovery Cove. All I can say now is, Is it time to go back yet?
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