Sea Lions, Sea Urchins and Rays, Oh My!!!

While visiting the beautiful island of St. Thomas, my daughter and I went to a local marine reserve and enjoyed a fabulous Sea Lion encounter.  We not only got up close and personal with some adorable sea lions, we also learned a lot about how these animals ended up in St. Thomas, how they were affected by the hurricane 18 months ago and how that has changed their approach to care. Here are some fabulous photos of the Coral World facilities graciously provided by Coral World.

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We planned our sea lion adventure about two months out – I love to do research about our ports of call and find unusual and unique experiences that really make a memory.  Our sea lion adventure was about 30 minutes away from our cruise ship port.  We simply disembarked and sought a taxi!  We headed to Coral World and along with our sea lion encounter, we got to enjoy other aquatic life including urchins and star fish in a touch pool, a ray pool, an underwater viewing area, a huge indoor coral reef and an aviary where we could feed birds from the US Virgin Islands.  We also became intimately acquainted with some natives….iguanas!!!  They wanted our lunch, but don’t worry – we didn’t feed them!

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Now on to the encounter.  I won’t say this was an inexpensive experience – it cost just under $200 per person, but I have to say it was worth it!  There was a small group of 10 of us – some people off cruises ships and some who were vacationing on the island.  We were first introduced to a lovie of a sea lion named Omar.  We learned about his diet, how he is taught “tricks” and how he is cared for and loved.  We gave this gorgeous fellow a nice rub down, got our picture with him and saw him smile, wave and clap!

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After meeting Omar, we headed up to the pool area where we met another handsome fellow name Romy (Romulo).  He was considered the handsomest of the 3 males at the marine reserve – although I thought they were all pretty adorable!   Half of us jumped into Romy’s pool to enjoy a few swim-bys while the other half got a sweet picture taken with Romy to treasure!  This experience was so wonderful – to be up close and personal with such a loving and fantastic creature is a memory that my daughter and I will not soon forget!  I encourage you to engage in such experiences and share them with your families!  Char and I have this memory forever and I am so thankful for it!

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Keep an eye out for more posts about my most recent family vacation aboard the Symphony of the Seas and Disney World!  My brain is still on vacation but I’m getting around to it:)

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