It's always a great day at Castaway (as long as you can dock! Sometimes, weather doesn't permit.) For us, the seas were calm and the sun was shining, A LOT! This was one of the hotter days. The water was perfect, compared to last year in mid April when we had to count 1-2-3 and then convince ourselves to get in it. It was not cold this year. Last year, we didn't book an excursion because there was SO much to do with volleyball, water slides at pelican's plunge, crab races, etc. This year, we wanted to go with Dad on a snorkel catamaran (and originally we were supposed to run the 5k on the island first, but then they moved our 1:15 to 9:30 so we didn't get to run on the island, but we did run several miles on the ship track.) Our catamaran was really nice, some had equipment problems, but I always say bring your own. The water was very salty, which also meant it was REALLY REALLY clear. The reef was a good depth, meaning you could see lots of fish from the surface or you could dive a bit and get closer to them without damaging the reef. It wasn't the most spectacular reef area, but we saw much, much more than we would have if we had just snorkeled out from the beach, and that would have been very tiring (as we learned last year, because its a strong current to get out to the fish, so you are already tired before you get to the fish. A catamaran is a great value because you get a nice boat ride AND lots of time and energy with the fish.) Speaking of which, the staff never once hurried us, perhaps because there was no second excursion planned for the day. They let everyone snorkel as much as they possibly wanted, and that was a first for me. Normally, I can't get enough, but eventually even I got tired. Can't wait to see my underwater photos today! The fish were not completely afraid of us, so that was nice. I could get fairly close. And I've never seen a Barracuda until now, boy was it shiny! This one seemed quite relaxed. I also appreciated that the free diving, spear fishing captain did not insist that we use a life vest, although us 3 mermaids shared one as a photo taking platform. But I HATE wearing those things, and he didn't bat an eye. Than again, in our florescent hot orange and pink mermaid tails, we could be seen very, very well even a distance from the ship. I haven't ever had one catamaran snorkel that I didn't like. They are always a great day for us. We had a youngster with us too and it wasn't too challenging. They will help if you need it.
Enjoyed the ferry again, even saw dolphins in the water. Island was beautiful, trainers were great. They allowed us to pose for one additional anniversary couple photo with the sea lions too. As mentioned above, the encounter was changed up slightly as they are training Jack since Maggie was recovering from an ailment. Bonnie took our deck photos, she is SO cute and personable! Jack was the one we had in the water, and he shook our hands and did a lot of the typical things but he did not have much contact with us (versus hugging in the water, kisses, and lots of petting back and forth, we didn't get that this time.) Still, they gave us lots of time with 3 different sea lions and it was still wonderful and delightful. The trainers really care for their babies and our group still enjoyed it a lot. Equally as enjoyable was the rest of the day on the island. We swam both in the lagoon and on the reef, and the adventurous ones played on the inflatable water park literally for hours, talk about your $15 value! The food was just as good as it always was, and the virgin and adult drinks as nice too. We really enjoyed our laid back day at Blue Lagoon and enjoyed the ferry back too. It is a wonderful island to visit, and I would go back again for a third time. Watching the dolphins play in the marine area was awesome too. There is something for everyone on this island, and also plenty of shade.