Curaco Sea Aquarium/ Sea Lion Swim

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#1
Southern New Jersey
364 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Just got back from the Sea Lion swim and it was fantastic!!

Unfortunately you do have to book through the ship on Wednesdays. They have a contract with the cruise lines. $109 compared to the $69.00 admission directly through the facility. However, that does include you r/t taxi (it's not real close.) It includes admission to the rest of their aquariums as well as beach admission & a beach chair afterwards to their beach or Mambo beach next door. Then the taxi's run back every hour until 4pm to the ship. If you can do the morning Sea lion or dolphin swim you can make a day out of it.

We got to shake the sea lions flipper, get a kiss, pet, play with and learn about them. Then we got to jump in the roped off section of ocean and snorkel with them. It was lots of fun and I highly recommend it. I've never seen the sea lion program offered anywhere before.

They only take 6 people at a time, three times a day. It's a nice small group. So, that's only 18 people a day so if you want it I recommend booking early.



http://www.Curacao-sea-aquarium.com/


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#2
Laurentides,Quebec, Canada
397 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
glad you made it! and had a great time!

Tell me; the price of 69.00, does it include the swim with the sea lion?

Thank you

Francois
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#4
CT
408 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
I will be 5 months pregnant... do you think there would be any restrictions in participating?

Jen
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#5
Ontario Canada
596 Posts
Joined Apr 2004
Six of us grabbed a taxi and arrived early. Two of us where able to booked a scuba dive for $57.00 each and that included entrance fee. Taxi was $14.
The other 4 paid a $15. admition fee and had a good 3 hours there.
The Aquarium is a good adventure. Much cheaper to arrive by yourself and not tell them your from the ship. Also if you want to do a Time Share tour for an hour right next door you can get free entrance into the Aquirium.
Ed
#6
Narvon, PA
1,447 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Are these prices total? Or pp?
Taxi $14??
Does the $15 admit fee let you use the beach and all too or just walk through the aquarium???
What about a price for kids? Same 15??
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Chrissy
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#7
Texas
725 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Admission for adults is $15 and kids ages 5-12 $7.50. They have a website and it is at: http://www.curacao-sea-aquarium.com/...rid=1&headid=0

Just in case that doesn't get you to where I hope it does, their site is www.curacao-sea-aquarium.com . There is a menu on the left side of the screen. Choose "Pratical Info" and lists their hours and admission fees.

I believe your admission to the beach is included in the price of admission, but I am not sure where I read that. It has been a few years since we were there and it was part of our shore excursion. We didn't get to spend enough time there and are cruising the end of April and will be going to Curacao again and may go back the the Aquarium. When we went, they were "building" the beach, so that is why I am not certain on the admission.

Susan

(P.S. Depending on which cruise line you are with, pay attention to any ship shore excursion that goes there. On RCL, the excursion you can book through the ship doesn't include transportation and they want about $10 more per person than what it would cost me to buy an admission ticket at the Aquarium itself.)
#8
Narvon, PA
1,447 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Since my husband and I will have our 2 kids with us we reserved a car through Avis for 50.00 for the day. Was this a good move?? How are the driving conditions there? Is there parking available free at the Aquarium? And then do we need to drive to the beach or stay parked there?? What kind of activities does that beach have? How far from port to aquarium?
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#9
Texas
725 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
When we were there, we were on a shore excursion, so I don't know about the car prices. I did see on one of their websites that it indicated car rentals would run $40-60, so what you paid is certainly within that range.

As for the beach, the site says it is within walking distance from the aquarium. I do not recall seeing anything or reading anything talking about paying to park, so I would say it's free. I really don't recall many of the places we have visited in the Caribbean charging you to park anywhere.
#10
Coral Springs, FL. USA
720 Posts
Joined Sep 2003
We are intrested in doing the interactive thing with the sea lions. We will be on the AOS. It looks like our options are to pay $109 per person through the ship or get our own transportation to the Aquarium and not tell them we are with the ship, but only pay $69/ per person...that sounds like a no brainer.

John & Shari
#11
Long Island, NY
24 Posts
Joined Aug 2006

We just got back from RC Adventure of the Seas cruise late last night! The Sea LIon Swim/Snorkel was INCREDIBLE! Well worth the $109. I am not sure about trying to save the $, since if it is all booked up by the cruise line, then you won't get a spot. We did book online before the cruise through RC. The trainer was very knowledgeable. Everyone was so friendly! We didn't know about the beach - that's one things I'd recommend to toehrs- bring all of your beach stuff in a backpack, and a towel. They take pictures of you (not underwater though) the whole time, then sell them for $10 each (5X7) or $45 for a CD of all pics - we got the CD. The aquarium itself is beautiful, but small. I'm spoiled by huge US aquariums, but the touch tank was so cool - because you got to touch sea cucumber, sea urchin, conch snail, etc. The beach right by the Seaquarium is beautiful! Swimming/snorkeling with the sea lions was so cool! The sea lions are playful and the youngest one sniffed my hair a few times, so cool! Then you get an interactive session, with only 6 people there. The sea lions are so close. I'd HIGHLY RECOMMEND this excursion. Transportation was included, but they didn't make it clear to us that we can stay there afterwards and leave later.
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#12
Rockford, IL USA
41 Posts
Joined Mar 2003
It sounds great! We did a sea lion swim in Cozumel and it was awesome! The animals are unbelieveable.
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#13
Orlando, FL
145 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
We just did the sea lion swim, and it was great. We were on a Holland America ship, which did not offer it as an excursion. We contacted the Sea Aquarium directly beforehand, and were told that the Celebrity ship that was in port the same day had priority for bookings. They wouldn't know if there would be any openings until the day before arrival. Fortunately, there were some openings for the 9am swim.

So if you're on Royal Caribbean or Celebrity, it might be safer to book this excursion through the ship.

The Sea Aquarium also had some other fun things to do. We enjoyed touching and feeding the nurse sharks. Also liked watching the sea turtles get fed. While we were there, they were testing a deep sea submersible that can go down to 1000 ft. They may buy this and offer it as a "ride" in the future. It can hold 1 pilot and 2 passengers.

There are some great resorts next door, and after the Sea Aquarium, we walked over and used their beach and lounge chairs. Fortunately, we didn't get thrown out.
#14
New York, NY
503 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
sumfun2-
I'll be on the Volendam in less than a week and I noticed that HAL doesn't offer the sea lion encounter even though they offer the dolphin encounter at the Sea Aquarium. At this point I am more interested in going with the sea lions so I have a few questions for you if you could please help me out.

How much were you charged booking directly through the Sea Aquarium for the encounter itself?
How much did it cost for transportation over there?
#15
Orlando, FL
145 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
Lindsay,

We were on the Volendam, too. It cost us $39 each for the sea lion swim, and $15 taxi fare each way. The program is offered at 9am, 11am, and 1pm, and there are only 6 slots in each session. Fortunately for us, only 2 people from the Celebrity Zenith signed up for the 9am session. With the 2 of us, there were only 4 people in that session. I was told that the other 2 sessions were full.

Here's the web page that lists all the programs at the Sea Aquarium: http://www.curacao-sea-aquarium.com/reservations.php (go to the "Choose Activity" box to see the prices). You can contact the Sea Aquarium directly to make a reservation. The cruise coordinator/salesperson there is Maria Williams, [email protected]. If there are no Royal Caribbean or Celebrity ships in port that day, then you should be able to get in. Otherwise, you'll have to wait until the day before to find out if there are any vacancies. We had internet access on the Volendam, so we were able to check email.

They have a photographer for each of the programs. You can buy a print for $10 or a disk of all the pictures for $45. The disk was a better deal for us. The dolphin programs looked fun, too. But dolphin swims are offered at lots of places, and this was the first sea lion program we've seen.

Also, our taxi dropped us off at the Sea Aquarium beach, which is about 200 yards away from the actual Sea Aquarium entrance. Make sure your driver knows where you want to go. (Hint: the beach has a huge unpaved parking lot, while the Sea Aquarium drop-off is at a paved round-about, and you have to walk across a bridge to get to the Sea Aquarium itself).
#17
Orlando, FL
145 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
Lindsay,

Sorry, but I posted the wrong price for the sea lion swim. The $39 is for the sea lion encounter program, which does not include the swim/snorkel. The sea lion swim program is $69. Cab ride to the Sea Aquarium is about 10-15 minutes, and I'm pretty sure it's $15.

If you like animals, may I also suggest the horseback riding on Half Moon Cay. You actually get to ride the horses in the sea! The water was crystal clear, and it was a great adventure.
#18
North of Boston
13 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
We are going in February 2007. Do you have more info about the horse back riding? How long was the trip? How much money? Did you book through the ship?

Thanks for any info you can provide.

Mary
#19
Orlando, FL
145 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
The horseback riding on Half Moon Cay was about 45 minutes long. You ride single file along the beach, then they take you up on a hill that is the highest point on the island. Mostly the horses are walking, but you if you fall behind, you have to go a little faster to catch up. Then you return to the stable where the horses are refitted with water saddles. Then you get to ride in the sea. The water comes up almost to their shoulders, and we actually got to trot a little bit. That was the fun part. The beach was sugary white and the water was crystal clear, so it was a beautiful sight.

Since Half Moon Cay is owned by Holland America (and Carnival), you have to reserve through the ship. It cost us $79 each, but was well worth it. There are very few places here where you can ride on the beach, and none as beautiful.

The stable has about 20 horses, but they were only taking about 8 riders at a time. We were the only ship at HMC, so there was room for everybody. I heard that it can get quite crowded with 2 ships in "port".

You may want to look at the HMC section to get more opinions. Also, here's a picture of the horses in the water from HAL's website: http://www.hollandamerica.com/dest/halfMoonCay.do
#20
695 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
Originally posted by x lindsay x
Thank you SO much for the information. There are no other ships in port with us so hopefully it won't be hard to get a reservation.

Everyone spoke of the cab ride to the aquarium being so very expensive, in my mind $15 each way is not too bad.
We were there last week and paid $20 for a van for 5 to the sea aquarium. We did the animal encounters (booked through the aquarium) and thought it was well worth the money.