We went to the Blue Lagoon Dolphin Encounter, not the one on Atlantis. We didn't want to walk all across a giant resort, and we wanted to avoid the crowds. Blue Lagoon dolphin encounter was perfect. We boarded a boat right there by the ship, and took a 40 minute ride out to the Blue Lagoon. It was pouring rain when we started, but it completely stopped before we got there. Even if the rain hadn't stopped, the area we were in was covered, so it wouldn't have mattered. I did the encounter, and we paid for my husband to come and observe. I have wanted to play with a dolphin ever since I was a kid and watched the show Flipper. It was worth the wait. I don't remember being this happy and excited since I got married. They put us in groups of about 8 - 10 people, we had a family of 6 and two singles. Our dolphin, Sean was so fun and he seemed as excited as we did. He loved what he did. He showed off for us and then each of us got to have our own special encounters with him. We got to pet him, we danced with him, hugged him, he kissed us, clapped for us and i loved every minute of it. We were in the water about 15 minutes, and the entire time Sean was playing with one of us. It was great. To me it was worth every penny. Truly a once in a lifetime experience. They took pictures, and a 5x7 was $16.95, of course I bought one, it is a memory I want to have forever!
We didn't book an excursion with the cruise ship for this island, but took one of the many vans that were waiting outside to take us where ever we wanted to go. We chose to take a tour that took us to both the Dutch side and the French side of the island. It was definitely a bus tour, if you take this do not plan on stopping anywhere to actually experience anything. We stopped to take pictures a few places and we did stop at a flea market type shopping area for 30 minutes on the French side of the island. But the ride around the entire island was very informative. We had him drop us off at the downtown area of St. Philipsburg and looked at some stores and then went to the beach that was right there not to far from the cruise ships. There was a casino on the corner so we played blackjack for a short time, and left with money. Good job! I was tired so we paid $3.00 to take a taxi back to the ship. Very nice island, blue warm water, beautiful views. A nice place to visit.
Our excursion was Kayak, Hike and Snorkel. I imagined kayaking around a little bay or area that we could just wander at our leisure, WRONG. When they say kayak, they mean it! We actually had to kayak through mangrove trees over to the tip of the island where we would be hiking and snorkeling. My husband and I haven't kayaked in over 25 years. We had a rough time at first, but finally were able to work together and move that thing the way it was supposed to go. The staff really helped. First thing when we got in the kayak, we leaned over to get something off the dock, and tipped over and landed in the water. I weigh 250 and they had to get a ladder to get me back on the dock, pretty funny. We were last to get to the island, and last to return, but a staff member stayed close, and we never felt rushed of stupid. When we got to the island we each got to pick up a hermit crab, and had a hermit crab race. Mine never even left the starting circle until after the race was over.The hike was nothing strenuous, rather a nice walk over a rock trail to the tip of the island where there was a small blow hole. Beautiful scenery. If you choose this excursion to snorkel and see lots of beautiful fish, don't do it, choose on that just has snorkeling. Snorkeling was nice, the water was really calm. We had life jackets on and actually had to swim out to where the fish were. And there weren't very many. We saw a few and a beautiful stingray and some ship-wrecked pottery. Near the mangrove trees on the way back did see thousands of little tiny fish swimming together. That part was really cool. Overall we had a good experience. Very physical work for me. But I loved it.