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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Costa Rica: The Catamaran

We took part in quite a few excursions during our trip, using the concierge services at Escape Villas to book them all.  The prices were similar to what we would have paid on our own, and by using the concierge, we were able to make decisions based off of our group.  For example, we brought Gretchen to the catamaran tour with the knowledge that small children had taken the tour before.  Luckily we did, because she loved the boat!

We started the vacation off with the catamaran tour the day after we arrived.  This tour was booked for us through the Planet Dolphin company, and I would highly recommend using them in the future.  Nice staff, safe, clean boat and acceptable bathrooms.

 Gretchen's first boat ride was a blast, she loved it (even though mama wouldn't let her get into the ocean) and her lack of water time was fulfilled by a never ending supply of watermelon.  

We knew that we would be going snorkeling, which was fun, but the water is so salty that it is difficult to see through - and stings your eyes.  What we didn't realize, was that the tour included a full dinner and fruity drinks from the on-deck bar, this was great news for the group!  Gretchen enjoyed the watermelon, fruit skewers, and a delicious kabob, that turned out to be fish even though some were tricked into thinking it was chicken.
Gretchen is ready for the big blue sea - someday...
Our boat "The Tomcat" was also equipped with a super-steep slide, taking you from the 2nd story of the boat right into the ocean - a slide named the "Tsunami".  I did not take the Tsunami... but Jon did, as did most of our group.

Robbie opted for a different way into the water.  Jumping from the 2nd story:

The front of the boat was another highlight for Gretchen.  We saw dolphins, including watching a few of them swim with the boat for a solid 10 minutes, and there were nets to sit on and admire the water below.  She spend lots of time pointing out the agua to everyone.

It was a great way to start the vacation, and despite the fact that Christmas week is one of the most popular vacation weeks in Costa Rica, this catamaran was far from capacity.

We also got to see a beautiful sunset on board.  The sun went down really early, around 6:15pm, so it was just the beginning of the rest of the night.  The colors and the water were incredible, and set the scene for the rest of our vacation. Not too bad for a first boat ride for our little girl!

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