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Florida Departures Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami & Port Canaveral & Tampa
Has anyone done this excursion? The desription on RCCL website says you see dolphins and Manatees? Sounds really nice but would be interested to see if you could book it on your own instead if through cruiseline.
Don't know if this is the same one the cruise line uses, but check out this link:
www.islandboatlines.com After entering the site, click on Tours, and look for the Cocoa Beach Thousand Island Tour. It's a nice little 1 1/2 - 2 hour narrated boat ride through the waterways on the eastern boarder of Merritt Island. (We live on Merritt Island) You'll see (and hear about) Mangroves, Pelicans (on their roosting islands), many shore and waterbirds, probably turtles, manatees, and dolphins. The day we went, we had a dolphin accompany the boat along and in front of us for about 3/4 of the way. It's $20.00 pp with a 10% discount for children, seniors, and military.
If you catch the tour boat from the Banana Breeze restaurant (On S. Banana River Drive - about a 15 min taxi ride from the ship), the tour guide will give you a coupon for a free drink at the restaurant at the end of the tour.
Take the morning tour if you are coming anytime soon, as it is our rainy season, and if it is going to rain that day, it will most likely be in the afternoon.
After the tour, you'll still have enough time to visit the famous Ron Jon's Surf Shop, or even go to Cocoa Beach. Not close enough to walk, but maybe a 5-10 min cab ride.
Or, check out the beach at the Cocoa Beach Pier. (10 min cab ride from the Banana Breeze.) While at the pier, go to Marlin's (out on the pier.) Ask for a window seat and watch the surfers below you as you eat a piece of their Chocolate Khaluah Cake.
We took it from the NCL Dawn last October. It was enjoyable, but do be aware that as with all wildlife tours, you never know. We saw one manatee's nose for about 1 minute and got one quick glimpse of a dolphin. We did see a lot of birds and some beautiful houses.
HAL Statendam-Alaska '97, HAL Veendam-NE/Canada '98, RCCL-Bermuda '99, Am. Queen 2000, NCL Sky-Caribbean '03, NCL Dawn - Bahamas '03, NCL Sun - Panama Canal '05, NCL Dawn-Western Caribbean '06, London/Paris '06 (land), Italy '07 (land), HAL Noordam - Southern Caribbean '07, HAL Eurodam - Transatlantic '08, HAl Zaandam - Hawaii '09, Tauck Land Tour - California '10, Tulip Time River - Avalon Luminary '11, Viking Prestige Romantic Danube/Driving week in Bavaria '11, HAL Westerdam-Eastern Caribbean '12, Tauck Land Tour Canadian Rockies & Glacier NP '12, CIE Irish Tour '13, NCL Gem Canada/New England '13, HAL Eurodam Baltic Adventure '14
Yep - Bigal is right. It's not Sea World, it's the real world - no on-demand performances from these creatures! It's still an enjoyable time. (Heck, we enjoy it, and we LIVE here.)
Manatees are just fascinating. Saw four of them yesterday from a local dock.