“I want to see the dolphins!” I yelled, feeling peevish and poutish, into one of the gazillion pools at Atlantis, another of our Disney Cruise excursions. A pool we’d started at, our boys’ favorite, with Daddy back in the water with them, taking more pool pics of them coming down the water-slide.
Don’t get me wrong, I had fun too! I myself went down this slide, about as big as any slide you’ll get me on (not very big):
But we’d been pool-hopping all day, from slide pools to sunburst pools:
… to big-TV-screens pools:
… and my feet hurt from all the pool trekking. Flip-flops had seemed appropriate attire, though before the pool-trekking, I hadn’t anticipated the long trek from the bus, through a casino, down winding paved paths from pool to pool to pool. Us trekking, Daddy always a few feet ahead to snap trekking pics:
Along our treks, we had glimpsed some wonderful marine life: giant stingrays, other giant fish and some kind of small shark things in their own pools:
And, after lunch, we’d trekked over to the Digg, a small underwater aquarium. We all loved the glow-in-the-dark jellyfish! Trust me, they’re glowing there in the dark:
There was another bigger underwater aquarium, and I wanted to see that one too, Since so far this trip had been all about pools. On the first day at sea, it seemed all 2400 passengers descended on the ship’s pools, transforming them into huge bathtubs:
Where Kenny got kicked in the neck because someone actually tried to swim:
And now our first land excursion was about pools again.
“The boys love the pools,” Daddy said in their defense, though I knew he was sick of the pool thing too, going in only waist high to keep cool and keep dry his camera.
I was growing more peevish and poutish. “But there’s real marine life here! And we’re going to miss it!”
Then he showed me how far away on the map the other larger underground aquarium was. It was all the way across Atlantis – which meant more trekking in 100 degree heat (yes, in recent posts I do hype on heat).
Hubby’s feet hurt too, as we were both in flip-flops. I’d smartly dressed the boys in their supportive Stride Rite waterproof sandals, and the thrill of this pool heaven made them forget any possible physical discomfort.
I grew silent. With blistering toes, I examined the map:
Then I saw it. The dolphin arena! It didn’t look far at all!
Not on the map, anyway….
But then we couldn’t get the boys out of the pool. Until I started yelling loud about how much I wanted to go see the dolphins now! Loud enough for other pool worshippers to look up at me in wonder.
Reluctantly, the boys got out of the pool.
“You’ve never seen a dolphin!” I said, to rouse their interest, as we began our walk. Our trek – the dolphin arena actually turned out to be much farther than it looked on the compact little map.
And as we trekked, the boys began to droop and I realized they were realizing how tuckered out they were after a day of pool-hopping.
I was grateful when I saw the bright blue sign pointing “This way” to the dolphins! And we were there!
“There” turned out to be a small walled-in patio, about the size of our (small) kitchen where we could stand and overlook a beach:
“Why can’t we go on the beach?” Ryan whined.
Because, as it turned out, it costs $30 a head just to sit on the beach; reason there were few on it perhaps. And what was the difference? We were practically on the beach anyway, except for the stone wall the boys leaned their chins on to see the dolphins.
“And guess what that costs,” Daddy said, about the huddled groups of people actually in the water:
He’d researched all the excursions, and per person “swimming” with the dolphins costs several hundred big bucks. (Though I hoped at least the “swim with the dolphins” fees went toward their care and conservation as evidently our less expensive but still pricey “swimming with the sting rays” excursion the next day did….)
“Swimming,” with these beautiful intelligent creatures, however, meant merely standing in a row, as a dolphin clapped its fins in front of each group. Then did some twisting spins up into the air! Quite magnificent, and I was sure to point out every performance to the boys who were impressed but still dumbfounded that they were stuck behind this stone wall.
We started our trek back from the clapping dolphins once the show was over, back toward the busses, and gave into the boys begging to go into one more splash pool.
My damn flip-flop feet hurt so bad, I was glad to lay down in the boiling heat anyway. (Gosh, hubby just takes the most flattering pics!):
As disappointed as I was about the dolphins, what was I expecting? Not sure. Until our last day, cruising back home, when by pure chance, I would see a wild dolphin out in the ocean. Yes, merely its fin as it surfaced once or twice. No great performance. But because of that, it seemed far more real than the clapping ones. And turned out to be one of my most memorable moments (Outside of our first seasick night and Kenny’s traumatic Disney Ride), one I couldn’t wait to tell the boys about, and when I did, their faces lit up at just its mere telling.
And no extra charge.