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“The best 'Sealife' I've been to...”

Sea Life Centre Great Yarmouth
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: The magical marine world of Great Yarmouth SEA LIFE Centre will introduce you to many beautiful and fascinating creatures of the deep. Prepare for astonishing close views of everything from humble starfish to mighty sharks and giant sea turtles, all in displays which carefully recreate their natural habitats.
Canterbury
Level Contributor
32 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“The best 'Sealife' I've been to...”
Reviewed 12 August 2014

The morning we visited there was a technical problem with the 'chip and pin' payment terminals and so there was a delay getting in, (as only one till was working). However, the staff were explaining the problem and interacting with the queue so as we knew the cause of the delay, (& making sure those with online pre-paid bookings could go straight in). However, once inside we were glad we waited :)

Like life itself, you get out of it what you put in to it! Even though it was busy we went around at our own pace and enjoyed the sights. I think if you come along to wonder at the creatures you will have lots of fun... but if you come along expecting to spend just 10secs at each fishtank, and expect the contents of each fish-tank to pose for your i-phone before you rushing onwards for your burger and chips... then you'll miss ever so much! We spent about 20minutes looking at the rays and they were adorable! Seeing the flatfish 'merging with the sand' was amazing... but I fear most of the visitors spent about 1 minute at this amazing tank and couldn't recall a fraction of what was inside!

Other than the staff at the entry we only interacted with the chap at the 'starfish and cleaning-shrimp' place and the shop... but everyone we dealt with was cheerful, genuinely friendly and made us feel welcome. I didn't use the loos, but my friend did (who is a professional Mystery Shopper), and they didn't pass on any concerns, (as they normally do!), so all must have been AOK.

This was one of the high-points of our (slightly out of season) trip to Great Yarmouth... and when I take my youngest to a Sealife I will be driving the several hundred miles from Kent to Great Yarmouth rather than go to the London one.

p.s. Get a '2 for 1' voucher, or other deal before you go... they're easy to find :D

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank Darren W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sealifeuk, Manager at Sea Life Centre Great Yarmouth, responded to this review, 15 August 2014
Dear Darren W,

We LOVE your review and thoroughly appreciate that you have taken the time to review all aspects of our attraction.

We are sorry that you had a slight issue with one of the tills, we can assure you that both are now up and running.

We are pleased you had a great time overall and do hope you return to sunny Yarmouth in the near future!

Kind regards,
George
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
York, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
34 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Total rip-off Worse 28 minutes of my life”
Reviewed 10 August 2014

After 5 years of putting our daughter off we decided to "cave-in" and visit Great Yarmouth Sealife Centre. OMG after waiting 10 minutes to pay. 2 adults and 2 children £30 that was with a 2-4-1 voucher, we then had to queue whilst a member of staff took our photos in front of a green screen, we were not allowed to bypass this and go straight to the attraction. Upon finally entering the main attraction it was too hot. Too busy, the children could not get near the fish for people pushing and shoving. Before we knew it we were in the gift shop/cafe and outside. We paid to enter at 3.02pm and left at 3.30pm a whole 28 minutes to visit the attraction. I would tell anyone stay away it was horrible. NEVER AGAIN!!!

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank CKobsessive
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sealifeuk, Manager at Sea Life Centre Great Yarmouth, responded to this review, 12 August 2014
Dear CKobsessive,

Thank you for taking the time to review our centre.

I was sorry to read that you did not think we were great value for money. We think that £5 per person seems to be a very generous offer!

Unfortunately it sounds like you came on one of our busiest days of the year, the centre can get a bit busy at times but that's why we allow you to enter the centre as many times as you want throughout the day.

We do hope that you visit us again in the near future, perhaps on a day when we are less busy.

Kind regards,
George
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lancing, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Complete rip off!”
Reviewed 9 August 2014

We came here expecting to come for a good couple of hours but spend half an hour queing to get in and 45 minutes to walk around it all! It was very expensive for something that didnt last that long, we spent the same amount of money for a full day out! There is not that much to look at, it is very small, on a warm day it gets very stuffy and the only place to get air is the outside penguin bit. It got very crowded and as it was so narrow and small you didnt get much time to stand around and look at the animals as you got in peoples way and other people wanted to look at it. We watched the shark talk but it was very crowded and there was only a few seats, the talk was intresting but the room needed to be bigger. There were some things i enjoyed about it though, as soon as you walked in you had your pictures taken and you could buy them at the end. There was a hands on experience where you could touch a couple of the animals and you got a medal which was good for the children. There was a big gift shop at the end. We didnt eat in the restaurant but we looked in there and it looked ok apart from the que was massive. Overall i did not have a good time here and i would not recommend coming here.

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
Thank Freya C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sealifeuk, Manager at Sea Life Centre Great Yarmouth, responded to this review, 15 August 2014
Dear Freya C,

Thank you for your comprehensive review. We really appreciate when people review all aspects of our business.

We were sorry to read that you had a less than great time with us. We do endeavour to ensure that our guests have a good time with us and this is a vital aspect of our business.

When it comes to queuing, unfortunately there is not much we can do about this. When families want to visit us we would never be in a position to turn them away from discovering thousands of creatures.

We are glad that you enjoyed some bits of the attraction and do hope you give us a try on a less busy day.

Kindest regards,
George
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Norwich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
63 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“OK But a bit overpriced for what it is”
Reviewed 9 August 2014

Bit pricey if you have kids/grandkids younger ones soon lose interest not enough here to keep them occupied for more than an hour at most, Go to the pleasure beach much better value for money!

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank lee b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sealifeuk, Manager at Sea Life Centre Great Yarmouth, responded to this review, 15 August 2014
Dear Lee b,

Thanks for dropping us a review!

We're sorry that you thought we were overpriced. If you do return in the future, a little tip from us would be to do some planning in advance and make sure you get the best value by either purchasing your ticket online in advance for a 30% saving or alternatively find one of our many promotional vouchers that are currently in the market place.

We do hope you return and fingers crossed that you get a bargain... If you do want pointing in the right direction, give us a call on 01493 330631 and we would be more than happy to help.

Kind regards,
George
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“One of the smaller Sealife centres.”
Reviewed 8 August 2014

We visited in August. Queues were outside the centre but moved reasonably quickly. No pre-booked ticket / annual pass entrance so you have to queue with everyone else.

Once you have paid you get funnelled through the obligatory 'photo point', which slows down entry as only one family group at a time can go through and you have to wait for the people in front to finish before you can pass. Don't bother trying to decline the photos - by the time you've argued with the staff its quicker to just have them done and forget about them. If you want to view your snap you take your ticket to the booth at the end.

Inside, the corridors are narrow and were very crowded when we visited. Progress around the centre was slow but that's probably a good thing or we would have been through in less than an hour. The penguin area is tiny and they look miserable. None of them entered the water whilst we were watching. The pool area is visible from outside and from the level below so you can see underwater.

There is a 'touch the creature' area where you could prod a starfish and receive a medal - kids loved it, the starfish probably not so much. There is the fairly standard bay of rays (small) and underwater shark tunnel (again, small but has 2 turtles). There is a Jellyfish exhibit and some seahorse, some "nemo" fish and some small turtles. Pretty much in line with all the other centres but on a smaller scale. We recently visited Birmingham sea life and that felt much bigger.

On exiting you are pushed through the gift shop (one of the largest areas) and into the café and soft play area. The soft play is included in admission but there is a height limit of 110cm (seems harsh when you have a 121cm 5 year old). Kids eat free with a paying adult in the café.

Value for money - door price for 3 of us was £38.70. We have Merlin passes so paid nothing on admission. There are various coupons available in the local tourist brochures. We were in and out in around 90 minutes on a busy day, so its quite an expensive trip. You can return later in the day for free though. It's within walking distance of all of the Great Yarmouth attractions.

Overall - possibly the least impressive Sea life we have visited (and we have been in most of them) and expensive without an annual pass of some sort or Tesco vouchers.

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
Thank sarah943617
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sealifeuk, Manager at Sea Life Centre Great Yarmouth, responded to this review, 15 August 2014
Dear Sarah943617,

Thank you for taking the time to write a really comprehensive review. We really appreciate it when people take the time to give us feedback across all departments of our business.

We are sorry you feel our corridors are narrow - we want to ensure that we are using every available to space to display as many wonderful creatures as possible for the enjoyment of our guests. With regards to the Penguins, they are more than happy in their display! We are sorry that they didn't enter the water for you, it would be cruel for us to make them perform... This is just nature!

The touchpool area is one of our favourites and we have a great team there running the show!

We are glad that you enjoyed your visit on the whole and, once again, thanks for taking the time to be thorough.

Kindest regards,
George
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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