Did the "power snorkeling" trip. Driver was very informative, giving a history of the island on our way to the snorkeling site. Staff was very helpful showing us how to run the propelled machines for the snorkeling. They made sure everyone knew how to run them. It's an outstanding experience for those who have difficulty snorkeling, because the machine does the "kicking" for you. But it's also great for experienced snorkelers and divers, because you can direct the machine to propel you underwater, which enables you to have a great "free diving" experience. I highly recommend this to everyone.
Our group for the Sea Lion Encounter was brought to a location with others who had signed up for Beach Escape, at about 10:00 a.m. The Encounter, although quite expensive, was little more than a gimmick to get us to spend even more money to buy a DVD of pictures. A photographer first established who you arrived with, then grouped you with that person, and constantly snapped pictures, First you met a female sea lion. While the guide answered some questions, one person in your group got to hug the sea lion while the other person sat there as part of the photo. You were not allowed to have an individual photo with the sea lion. Then you stood in the ocean for a few minutes with a male sea lion. Same thing. Shooting group photos. The gotcha? A group of 2 people got charged $10 more than if the photo was of one person. Even more $$ if there were 3 people, etc. However, each group only got ONE DVD per group. The person I arrived with lived thousands of miles from me, and I never requested to be "grouped" with that person. But they kept insisting on charging extra because there were two people in each photo. It was still morning when we were done with the Encounter, and everyone - including the Beach Escape people asked to be taken back to the ship. We were all informed that we would have to stay until 3:30 p.m. Furthermore, we would all need to buy our own lunch, since nothing was provided by the ship nor excursion staff. Not only did we have to buy our own lunch, but also put up with vendors constantly trying to sell drinks and trinkets until the 3:30 p.m. departure. Bottom line, this overpriced Sea Lion Encounter only lasts long enough to snap a bunch of photos, and the rest of the time you're stranded for hours on a beach, and left to buy your own lunch.