We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Dolphin Quest Experience”
Review of Dolphin Quest

Dolphin Quest
Ranked #1 of 31 things to do in Waikoloa
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Dolphin Quest Hawaii, located at the spectacular Hilton Waikoloa Village, brings people and dolphins closer than ever in fun, interactive dolphin encounter programs for all ages. This unique experience is on-of-a-kind on Hawaii's Big Island and is great for kids, adults or the entire family! Reservations can be made a year in advance. Dolphin Quest's Learning Center Lagoon, opened in 1988, was the first of its kind and inspired a new generation of large, natural habitats for marine mammals. A portion of the proceeds from your Dolphin Quest encounter program supports vital marine education, conservation and scientific study. TripAdvisor Certificate Excellence winner for the last 6 years (2012 to 2017)!
Reviewed 3 August 2014

Absolutely wonderful experience and lots of time with Dolphins. Crew is very educated and knowledgable and friendly. a must do for any age.

Thank HawaiiMom2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review
Reviews (1,631)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
  • More languages

1,294 - 1,298 of 1,632 reviews

Reviewed 31 July 2014

First-this is a very expensive activity. BUT-it's one your children/grandchildren will remember forever! Our granddaughter did the 90 minute adventure-45 minutes of "classroom" and 45 minutes of water time with all the dolphins. She loved everything! The parents can stand inside the dolphin facility...others behind the wooden fence. Either place offers plenty f opportunities for pictures, so make sure you bring a camera!! Plus there is a Hilton photographer there, as well.

Thank wifeofb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 July 2014

This was our 2nd time participating in Dolphin Quest... the other was about 4 years ago. Both times it was wonderful. The guides and trainers are excellent, very friendly, and REALLY provide such individual attention to each of the participants. Typically, each group is 5 - 8 people. One VERY critical area to be aware. If the program indicates 30 minutes, you are in the water 20 minutes. If the program indicates 45 minutes, you are in the water 30 minutes. PLEASE KNOW THIS! They count the 15 minutes of "prep and instructions" prior to getting into the water as part of the "program". The literature could be deceiving and from my understanding when questioning such with a trainer, this is what was told to me.You do interact very closely (touching, etc.) with the dolphins a lot and are able to touch them many times. Even feed them while in the water. There is a videographer and a still photographer taking great photos for optional purchase. MANY photos of you and the group to choose from. It is pricey for the time with dolphins, but an experience of a lifetime. Especially something special for school age children and for families to experience together.

2  Thank Travlin2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 July 2014

There are a few things you need to know in order to set your expectations appropriately. My kids did the Dolphin Encounter Deluxe which is listed in the materials as 45 minutes. The program began at 1:45 and my kids were done by 2:20. I'm not sure how that totals up to 45 minutes. They spent a total of 30 minutes with the dolphins so as long as you are prepared for that, you will be set. The second item to be prepared for is the check in time. Check in time is 30 minutes prior to your experience for the Encounter Deluxe. No where does it say that check in time is 30 minutes prior in the confirmation email you receive or on the website where you book. There is a link titled "summary" in the confirmation email -- it is imperative that you click on that link as it contains some valuable information, including the check in time. Overall, a bit pricey for 30 minutes with the dolphins, but the kids thought it was great.

4  Thank David D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 July 2014

First of all, I would like to set things straight. There is a rated 'terrible' review which criticizes the dolphins environment, and says that their natural habitat is only a barrier away. If the reviewer actually attended the session and listened to the trainers, these dolphins are actually Atlantic Bottlenose, who are coastal dolphins and spend the majority of their life in very shallow waters. Look up Google. These majority of these dolphins are born in captivity, and cannot be introduced to the wild as the chances of survival would be very very slim indeed. So, they are kept for raising funds and to help with research and education. Why not?

Sure it is expensive, but this is one of those experiences which is long remembered after the monies paid is forgotten.

The maximum number of 6 people is OK , but I would recommend doing the 45 minutes package. We had our 6 year old with us, and she thoroughly enjoyed it. She did very well, as she is normally quite passive. To make the most of it, your child should be comfortable with going out to deeper waters (with life jacket provided) and putting his/her head underwater (masks provided but no snorkel).

2  Thank Dbnlau
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Dolphin Quest also viewed

Waikoloa, Kohala Coast
Puako, Kohala Coast
Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Island of Hawaii

Been to Dolphin Quest? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing