I want to begin by thanking other reviewers on Tripadvisor for helping me save money and hopefully I can help future readers save money on this activity. Book directly through Dolphinaris online to get the best prices! We were cruising on Carnival and I saw this listed in their shore excursions. When I read the reviews, I knew we wanted to do it and that booking directly would save us money. For 3 adults and 2 children, I paid $262.50 and was upgraded to the dolphin swim experience. Through Carnival, it was going to cost $589.95 and I am not sure that included the swim. WOW! That is some savings.
Now, about the experience...AWESOME! I have done a dolphin experience before and it was nothing like this it. It was basically "get by the dolphin, smile, click and move on!" This experience was about 40 minutes in the water with the dolphin and her baby. Yes, there were many photo ops, but there was a lot of interaction!!! Since we got the free upgrade to the dolphin swim/ride, we actually got to hold on to the dolphin and ride along while she swam. WARNING: I am 43 years old and in average shape and I found this pretty difficult. I advised my 67 year old mother not to do it, but my hubby and kids had fun. The wonderful guide let my mother do a different activity with the dolphin since she didn't do the ride. In addition to getting to touch, kiss, hug, swim with, and shake hands with the dolphin, the guide was super informative! She told us all about dolphins and let us ask as many questions as we wanted!
BONUS: The tour came with all an all-you-can-eat buffet and unlimited drinks (alcoholic, too). There was also snorkeling and kayaking available at no additional charge. I didn't realize this and, unfortunately, we didn't have enough time to snorkel or kayak. So...save time for these activities! They had snorkeling gear available, too!!!
The photos are expensive! But they will negotiate a little. I just look at it as a once in a lifetime kind of experience and figure I am helping the local economy. I gotta' have my photos!!! :)
If you are going to have a dolphin encounter, I would highly recommend Dolphinaris! What a wonderful experience!!!!
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