Packrat generally abhors Sentosa. It's too artificial, too crass and too crowded. We have never stayed at Resorts World and now with the whole dolphin mania there, I have reason to join him in his reluctance.
But JED do not have our hang ups. They see genuine enjoyment in some of the places around Sentosa. I got dragged there when Packrat was away because they wanted to go the the Butterfly Park and Insect Kingdom. I didn't have fun looking at creepy crawlies pinned and preserved but Evan thought it was great. Jordan just wanted the butterflies to land on her hand. That was enough Sentosa for me for a while but evidently, they didn't feel that way.
We went back yesterday, with Muffin and grandma. Thankfully, no insects. Evan's obsession has moved on to rays. Not UV rays but sting rays, eagle rays, manta rays and every other ray, part of the family. Coincidentally, the Underwater World was running a promotion. $15 for an adult and a child or a senior gets in for free. So for $45, 6 of us entered the Underwater world. I remarked while parking, because parking was per 3 hour blocks that it wouldn't be worthwhile unless we had lunch there. Packrat assured me that we would not have a problem spending 3 hours in the aquarium.
He was right.
Evan was once again in heaven. Whatever the aquarium lacked in terms of size, they made up in the sheer number of rays and sharks. He looped the under water passage about 5 times, not one bit fazed that the glass tunnel could have a dizzying effect on visitors. We stepped off after the third round, slightly green and disoriented and were happy to stand at strategic points to keep an eye on him.
|Even the photo is slightly green, reflecting how we felt.|
Jordan, the ever tactile person loved the ray pool where you could put your hand in and stroke the gentle rays as they swam by. Once they figured that someone was playing with them, they flapped and splashed the side of the wall, thrilling her to bits. For half an hour, she cajoled and coaxed the rays to her, first with a $3 tub of cut fish that could be fed to them, then with just the scent of the fish and eventually, from sheer tenacity as she stuck her hand in there for so long that the rays thought she was part of the scenery and became comfortable with her.
Muffin was happy just shrieking at every fish that looked like Dory, his knowledge of fish coming from Disney or Pixar movies. Sharks awed him as well as splashing water in the ray or sea star tank. His arms weren't long enough to reach the marine creatures.
We loved that they were so engaged and so entertained. We loved that they were so excited and were vibrating on the spot.
Was there anything that we didn't love?
Yes. We couldn't figure out how despite the fact that we were there for under 3 hours, we got charged more than the 3 hour parking and the amount did not make sense.
We also didn't like the fact that the first thing we saw on our way in was the dolphin and sea lion show. While I haven't been the most vocal about the new marine park and the plight of the dolphins, I have never been able to bear any of the suffering of dolphins, sharks, seals and every other creature that has suffered from our excesses. So I squirmed a lot as we sat through the show and I tried to talk to the older of JED about how dolphins and the sea lions belonged in the ocean or Pier 39. They don't understand it totally but hopefully they will one day.
In all though, it was a great day and I don't often do reviews of places because enough mums out there do it, but this is different. It really was a great success with them and they still talk about it (Evan), draw it (Jordan) and insist on watching Finding Nemo (Muffin).
pre-schoolers, Sentosa, Underwater World