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I just took a three day Bahamas cruise with two friends. I looked at the excursions a few days before we left.
Swimming with pigs.
“Allison is going to want to do that,” I thought.
I picked up my friends Allison and Sarah from the airport Friday morning and we headed to Port Canaveral. Easy access to cruises is a Florida perk. Still being in touch with a former high school classmate who is a seasoned travel agent is also a perk!
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We boarded Royal Caribbean Enchantment of the Sea and went straight to the bar for celebratory cocktails. I had a Miami Vice, which is a mix of pina colada and strawberry daiquiri. Then we hit the Windjammer Cafe on the pool deck for lunch. We finished eating right as an announcement was made that cabins were ready, so we headed down to check it out.
Allison picked up the excursion booklet from the bed. Her face lit up.
“SWIMMING WITH PIGS!”
Sarah and I laughed.
“PIGGIES, PIGGIES, PIGGIES!” Allison chanted as she texted her husband her plans, complete with a line of pig emojis.
I told her I’d do it with her.
Swimming with pigs questions
I had questions!
Mainly, DO THE PIGS BITE???
Also, how did the pigs get to the island?
Why was swimming with them a thing?
I did some googling and learned a Pig Beach was featured on “The Bachelor,” helping this weird activity gain popularity. My daughter said someone she follows on Instagram recently posted piggie beach photos. Apparently, this is a thing.
Most of the info I found was from an island with wild pigs. And, yes, it said they sometimes bite.
It also said you’d be swimming in lots of poop.
And multiple pigs died in 2018, they suspect from eating too much sand along with the food humans threw to them on the beach.
Oh, and I read multiple reports of terrible people mistreating the pigs.
I was pretty much sold when I read about pigs swimming up to you like happy Labradors, though. I decided I’d set a good example of how to treat the swine with respect. It was basically going to be a mission trip.
All of the info I found was about Big Major Cay, though, the place made famous by “The Bachelor.” We were going to Treasure Island near Royal Caribbean’s private island Coco Cay. I couldn’t find much about this excursion, so I decided to just jump into the adventure. We bought tickets and were told to be on the first tender to Coco Cay for a 9:30 swimming pigs excursion.
Swimming with pigs review
Our cabin was on deck 2, which made heading to the tender super easy. If you aren’t familiar, a tender is a small boat that takes people from the cruise ship to port. We got lots of giggles saying Tinder instead of tender.
We went right to the excursion hut. Our guide came for us promptly at 9:30. We walked across the island to board two small boats. The ride to Treasure Island was only about 10 minutes. I like to keep my adrenaline low, and while the boats were fast and went over some waves, I was still ok.
This excursion is not for thrill seekers.
We were led to a viewing platform at Treasure Island for instructions. Piggies were in view immediately!
I wasn’t sure what to expect, but these were just regular ‘ol pigs. Like Wilbur in Charlotte’s Web. In fact, one was named Wilbur.
We also met Thicc Boi, Biscuit, Oreo, Chocolate and many others. There were about ten pigs in all.
We were give wooden skewers and apple slices to hold out for the piggies to help avoid accidental finger bites.
Then we hit the water with excited oinkers coming right in after us, ready for apples. They knew the drill.
Pigs are smart. 84% smarter than dogs, one of the guides said.
The guides seemed to genuinely love and take pride in the pigs, demonstrating commands such as stop and sit. A giant boar was branded for slaughter. “No more, though. He’s safe here with us. We rescued him,” the guide said.
These pigs are only to be fed apple slices by the tourists and only in the water. This helps eliminate much of the dangers threatening the pig beach shown on “The Bachelor.”
We were encouraged to make the piggies work for their apples. I enjoyed urging them to follow me in circles. Allison got the smaller pigs to leap in the air for their apple chunks.
I heard one man saying he wanted to wrestle a pig. “I could take you,” he menacingly said to one.
“Why?” I asked. “I just want to,” he muttered.
“That’s not kind,” I said.
He got out of the water.
Like I said, it was a mission trip.
Tips for swimming with pigs
- Wear water shoes. The walk from the platform to the water is a bit rocky.
- Be prepared to buy photos. It’s not safe to bring your phone or camera in the water with you. (For human, device or animal.) A photographer is on hand and you’ll receive a link to view and purchase photos.
- While smart and adorable, these are animals. They don’t have the best manners. They can be unpredictable and impulsive. While no one got bit, Allison and I both left with bruises. Her foot was stepped on in the water. While it would have hurt way more on land, it still bruised. And an adorable furry guy named Oreo jumped right up on me like an overly excited dog because I was taking too long to hold out the apple slice, bruising my stomach.
- These pigs are big and could easily knock over an adult. I would advise not taking young children. I think the official age limit is 5 and up, but I think 10 and up is a better bet.
- Bring water. Refreshments are not provided.
- Also, bring sunscreen and a towel.
- Yes, there will be poop. It’s just fact.
Should you do a pig excursion?
Allison and I loved it. It filled us with so much joy and was truly the highlight of the trip. We’re still texting about it almost a week later. A highlight of 2019 for sure!
If you like animals, don’t mind possibly getting knocked around a little bit and want to do something more exciting than drink out of a pineapple on the beach, but less thrilling than parasailing, swimming with pigs might be for you! It was certainly for us!
And we did drink out of a pineapple when we returned from our pig excursion.
Pop over her to check out cruise vacations of your own!