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“Not cheap, but a wonderful experience”

Dolphin Discovery Tortola
Ranked #5 of 38 things to do in Road Town
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Dolphin Discovery invites you to live the dream of swimming with dolphins in the Caribbean paradise of Tortola. We offer a range of programs for all ages, a family-friendly adventure you will never forget.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
48 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Not cheap, but a wonderful experience”
Reviewed 4 July 2014

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 :)

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank Alan-and_Liz_Yorks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DolphinDiscovery, Social Media Affiliate at Dolphin Discovery Tortola, responded to this review, 4 August 2014
Hello, thank you for visiting Dolphin Discovery Tortola and taking time to share your experience, we're happy to hear that you had a great time with dolphins, you can be sure that we're going to let General Manager know about your comments in order to improve our service. Thank you for give us your feedback, we appreciate it. We hope that you comeback to visit us in your next vacations to enjoy another good time with dolphins, they're just amazing!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Fun! A must do!”
Reviewed 22 June 2014

I was vacationing in Tortola for the week and was excited to check out Dolphin Discovery and interact with dolphins for the first time. I had a great time doing something new and the trainers were very knowledgeable. I would recommend this to anyone!

The only downside to the day was that I got, what I believe to be, jellyfish stings. With the the movement of the water I brushed into the fence next to the platform. I felt an immediate sting but the trainers just kept saying that it was a skin reaction to the algae in the fence. My skin proceeded to welt up in different spots and bruise while burning, however, all they would say is it was from the algae with no concern that a paying customer was in pain. After the session they did give me gauze soaked in vinegar to put on my skin. (If looked up, This is also something recommended for jellyfish stings...hmm?) In my opinion I believe that they know it was not simply algae but it sounds better than saying it was possibly a jellyfish. I just feel like it is better to be honest about the possibilities in case a customer has a more severe reaction.

But again, overall the dolphin part of the experience was wonderful and should definitely be checked out!

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank emn728
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Orlando, Florida
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“The Experience of a Lifetime”
Reviewed 17 June 2014

OMG this was amazing!!! My family of 6, ages 25-62. went and had the time of our lives. The trainer was very educational about the habitat the dolphins live in and how, contrary to movies and bad press, the dolphins have a better life and longer life expectancy in captivity. They are loved and given great care. The photos were expensive, but of course we had to have them. The one thing that bothered me was that it seemed to be more about a "Photo OP", that they could sell us the picture of, than the actual touch / kiss the dolphins. If someone was not looking right at the camera it was re-done so they could get a pic. It really was fabulous, something that was on my "Bucket List", and we all loved it!!!

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Ann M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hayward, California
Level 6 Contributor
393 reviews
113 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
“Big Daddy took me for a ride. It was exhilarating”
Reviewed 11 June 2014

I flew my nephew out to the British Virgin Islands so he could swim with the dolphins and get a stamp on his passport.

We selected the Discovery Swim package. As a non swimmer, I thought I would sit by the side while my nephew joined the group and did the activities. They insisted that I join and they would accommodate me. We met Maggie (10 years) and Zaid (3 years) and we experienced the Kiss, Belly rub, Hold ball, Shake hands, Splashing us and Belly ride. I went off to a separate pen and there I met Big Daddy. He was so gentle and patient. My thoughts are that he handles the small children and adults who have a fear of the water. This made my day!

We bought the cd with all the pics. It is the better value.
Some people view this as animal cruelty. I did not witness any such actions from the trainers.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank Flounder B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Almere, The Netherlands
Level 6 Contributor
324 reviews
238 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 493 helpful votes
“Once in a lifetime!”
Reviewed 11 June 2014

We did the Royal Swim already in 2008 with our two sons and it was a life time experience for us. When I read all the recent reviews, I am happy to see that Dolphin Discovery still makes dreams come true!

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank tRAVellerOfTheW0rld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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