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View Full Version : DD wants to SWIM with the dolphins on West Coast Cruise


twinglez
07-16-2005, 11:09 AM
which excursion REALLY does this? It mentions it...but then talks about touching, petting kissing....but doesn't really say if the PERSON swims or just the dolphin swims.

Thanks for any help

kcashner
07-16-2005, 11:36 AM
The best dolphin swim experience we had was at Discovery Cove in Orlando. It is a full day program, although by FL law, you are only in the water with the dolphins for 30 minutes. Ther rest of the time, you can do the lazy river, "coral reef" snorkeling, feed sting rays, feed animals/birds in the aviary, etc. It is about $200 per person for the day, but that includes parking, lunch, wet suits, a family photo, etc.

You don't "free swim" with the dolphins, but the trainer looked at DD and asked her if she wanted to swim fast. She said yes, and the trainer had her hold the dolphin's fin and gave the dolphin a command to really move. DD thought it was a blast. Yes, they did the touching, kissing stuff too, but you did give commands to the dolphins and swim holding on to them.

We did a lot more on this dolphin day than we did on any of the cruise programs we've done.

spellhex
07-16-2005, 12:43 PM
There is an excursion on the West Coast Cruise where you can swim with the dolphins. I should know, I signed up for it. I'm not sure how much you really get to swim with the dolphins, but it does say you get to.

spellhex
07-16-2005, 12:54 PM
Oh, btw, its called "Swim With Dolphins" and at the Puerto Valletra port. Its for those ages 5 and up, but you need to be comfortable swimming in deep pools. There is also Dolphin Encounter, but its for those 9 and up. If you want to go with your DD, but not pay the extra $165, you can do Dolphin Observer for $35.

Dolphin Observer is $35 for all ages, children under 3 are free. The Active rating is Moderate.
Swim with Dolphins is $149 for children ages 5-9, $165 for ages 10 and up. The Active Rating is Active.
Dolphin Encounter is $99 for 9 year olds, and $120 for ages 10 and up. The Active Rating is Mild.

Hope this helps!

Eeyorefan12
07-16-2005, 02:47 PM
which excursion REALLY does this? It mentions it...but then talks about touching, petting kissing....but doesn't really say if the PERSON swims or just the dolphin swims.

Thanks for any help
Our family did this in Puerto Vallarta. My DH, my DS9 and my DD11 did the "swim with the dolphins" and were actually in the water with them. (I did "observer" so I could videotape--then learned that Dolphin Adventure does this for you so I could have gone in. Darn.)

Everyone had an awesome time. We went as a large group to the facility, then were divided up into three groups...all in the same large pool but each smaller group of about 12 had their own two dolphins to play with. The trainer signaled the dolphins to float on their backs through the group so you could touch and rub them. After about 10 minutes of that, they had each person pose in the water with the dolphin kissing them (and took a great photo of it). Finally, they had everyone pair up and the dolphins came up so the people could grasp their fins and be pulled at a pretty fast clip in a half-circle around the pool. At the end, while everyone was still in the water but lined up on the side of the pool, the dolphins all came together (6 of them) and put on a jumping show right in front of the swimmers.

This was all videotaped (even close-ups for each of the dolphin "rides") and offered for sale after the swim. We bought it on DVD. We also bought a few of the "kiss" photos...because the observers are too far away to take those and the swimmers are facing the wrong direction anyway. Hmm. Could have been warned about that part. I did get some photos and video of my own, however, using zoom lenses, and they also look great.

The pool is 15 feet deep but the life jackets you are required to wear keep you well above the water. My DS is not a good swimmer yet and he had no trouble at all. (The fact that my DH is a former lifeguard was what I'd been counting on before I saw those life vests but I didn't need to worry.)

If you do this excursion in Puerto Vallarta, I'd advise you to get into the earliest groups off the ship. Others have told me that there is a second facility they use when the dolphins need a break and I'm not sure it was run as efficiently as ours was, from what I was told.

CB