Sunday, December 12, 2010

Gator Park

Post Cruise Shore Excursion - Gator Park

Everglades National Park

Gator Park
in the heart of Florida's Everglades National Park was our post-cruise destination for a few hours before heading to Miami International Airport.   The shore excursion was arranged during our West Indies cruise on Azamara Journey.   Since our flight wasn't until 5 PM,  instead of going directly to the airport, we opted for the shore excursion.

Gator blends in with surroundings
Alligators, Birds, Crocodiles

Florida Everglades is home to hundreds of bird species as well as thousands of alligators, and crocodiles.  During a visit to Gator Park, you'll get up close views of alligators and bird species for certain and you may have an opportunity to see some of the other inhabitants in their natural setting.

Airboat Ride

The highlight of the excursion to Gator Park is a 45 minute airboat ride through the Everglades.  Each airport holds up to 20 people, 4 per row.  Every seat is a great seat. While your guide will be pointing out alligators and other things of interest along the way, each person has the opportunity to be on the lookout.  You never know what you'll see during your boat ride.  

You'll be able to stand up when the pilot / guide slows down to point out alligators or other marine life.

One of our group holds an alligator
Weather plays a role in how active the alligators and other wildlife are in the park.  The weather had been on the cool side for several days, and the alligators were a little sluggish.   That was fine for us since that provided plenty of opportunities for us to see them coming out for some sun on this gorgeous day.

We've been to Gator Park before but still enjoyed our visit there.   Following the airboat ride, we had some lunch, which we ordered when we arrived at the park.   Then we watched a wildlife show which included alligator wrestling and if you were feeling brave, you could actually hold an alligator and have your picture taken with it.   Actually, you didn't have to be too brave as the alligator's mouth was secured so that you didn't have to worry about being its lunch.

There are more pictures on our Facebook Fan Page.  If your flight leaves after 3 PM, consider a shore excursion to Gator Park if your cruise offers the tour.   Another option on our cruise was a Miami City Highlights tour.  Both tours concluded at Miami's airport about the same time.   We still had plenty of time before our 5 PM flight, but did enjoy our little diversion visiting the gators of Florida.

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