We purchased the trip from Thomson Cruise. It covered the transport to the dolphin centre, on a comfortable coach, which was only about 15 minutes :)
On arrival we were given the safety talk, asked if we wanted to upgrade to include a dorsal fin pull or a foot push for extra cost and split into groups, issued with good flotation jackets and each group went to a separate sea pool. Those not swimming with the dolphins went to an observation area at the side of the pools. This allowed them to watch, take photos etc.
The pools are connected directly to the sea.
Once in the pool, we lined up on a metal grid, (not the most comfortable thing to stand on, but it is needed), and our guide called the dolphin over.
The experience proper started with the dolphin being asked to swim along the line, so that everyone could stoke it. This was the star of the dolphin displaying its character, it cheated!
It missed the end couple of people. The guide however, made sure that everyone got the full benefit of the experience and it just added an extra little amusement to the whole thing.
By this point it was evident that we wanted the maximum from the event and I asked to upgrade to the other two swims. Sorted in a flash :)
Now was the time for the 'Dolphin Kiss'
This is fun to do and funny to watch, each of us got time alone with the dolphin holding it gently under its beak and kissing it!!
At this stage one of the visitors admitted that she was not happy with being in the deep water. No problem, the guides just organised for her to go to a different group where she could be helped by a guide and get the full experience still.
Next up is the 'dance', where we separated ourself from the group and stood vertically in the water touching the dolphin's pectoral fins, whilst she 'stood' on her tail with us.
A little more interaction and then the grand finale! We each took a turn swimming out to the end of the pool, where the dolphin flipped upside down so that we could hold the pectoral fins and be pulled, belly to belly, through the water.
That concluded the standard experience, all but looking at the photos and buying if you wanted to.
We changed pools for the additional stuff. This time we had two dolphins with us.
First off was the dorsal fin pull, with both dolphins. Awesome! It starts to show just how powerful swimmers they are.
The real grand finale, of course, is the foot push. One dolphin pushes against the sole of each foot, you raise your arms and up you go, just like the dolphin shows. The higher you raise your arms the higher out of the water you go. Do it right and for a few seconds you are travelling with just your feet in the water! This is beyond awesome.
Throughout the photographers do a great job of capturing the various elements of the experience.
These are an extra cost, but to my mind well worthwhile.
Overall this was a really enjoyable experience, which I am happy to recommend to anyone. Including those not happy in deep water or non swimmers, just speak to the guides and they will ensure you still get the most out of it :)
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