This intimate aqua park is truly an island treasure and a must-see when introducing the kids to Caribbean life. Kids too young to snorkel appreciate climbing down the stairs of the park’s submerged observation tower to view schools of tropical fish swimming past the underwater windows. Young children also enjoy feeding the park’s colorful birds known as lorikeets. For older kids and adults, sign-up ahead of time for interactive animal encounters. Sea Trek enabled us to get a diver’s eye-view of the fish without learning to dive. We donned helmets that had oxygen pumped in. Other adventures include swimming with sea lions, turtle encounters, semi-submarines and encountering sharks. Sea Lion Encounters give families a chance to pet and interact with sea lions, and various pools across the park provide other interactions, such as a chance to feed to the stingrays in the Stingray Lagoon. (Watch out for Spazz, who seems to want to “fly” out of the tank during feedings!) To avoid crowds, try to visit when cruise ships are not in port. The park offers various feeding and talk schedules, and visitors can grab a bit at the Beach Cafe or Shark Bar & Grill, both offering sandwiches, pizza, burgers and other kid-friendly foods.
Coral World Ocean Park
6450 Estate Smith Bay, St. Thomas, 00802