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Old 10-04-2012, 10:41 PM   #1
PiMCTaylor
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Dolphin Encounter and Turtle Farm in Grand Caymen - thoughts?

My partner and I are thinking about doing this one in January, but aren't seeing a lot of people talk about it. Has anyone done this excursion? Also, does anyone even know if it would be offered that time of year? We live in FL, and I'm wondering if it would be better to do discovery cove? But if its a great excursion, then.....

Any assistance would be appreciated.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:51 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PiMCTaylor View Post
My partner and I are thinking about doing this one in January, but aren't seeing a lot of people talk about it. Has anyone done this excursion? Also, does anyone even know if it would be offered that time of year? We live in FL, and I'm wondering if it would be better to do discovery cove? But if its a great excursion, then.....

Any assistance would be appreciated.
We really enjoyed both. At the turtle farm, you can get deep in with the turtles and hold them...and take all the pics you want for free. You can't take pics at the Dolphin experience and they are very, very expensive to buy. However, we had a great time!
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:58 PM   #3
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We did this, my older teens did the dolphin part, while DH, ds4and I enjoyed the turtle frm and watched the older kids... I would not recommend nor do it again... It was an entire day of "hurry up and wait!" we waited for the tender boat, then for bus tickets, towels, etc... Then we waited for/on the bus, then there was more waiting at the bldg across from turtle farm... Then we were give 20 mins w/turtles til we had to be over by dolphins... Where we waited hours for the kids to get in the water... The time with the dolphins was as promised... then we waited to get the cd of pics, but our bus had to leave as the ship was scheduled to sail, so no pics (big disappointment), then on the bus to the tender where we had to wait some more... Finally got back on ship after a lonnngggg day w/minimal entertainment!

I would opt for dolphins at a non-tender port next time.
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Old 10-05-2012, 01:30 AM   #4
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Our favorite Grand Cayman excursion is the "Island Tour with Stingrays". It stops at the turtle farm (didn't feel rushed) and then a boat ride out to the Stingray Sandbar to interact with the stingrays. Totally fun!
We did Dolphinaris in Cozumel for a dolphin encounter, which we loved.
Good luck deciding!
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:28 AM   #5
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We did this in Sept. and loved it. We waited maybe 15 minutes for the group to get organized and on the buses. Once there, we were given basic instructions, then life jackets, and walked over into a sting ray pool. Then we walk around to our spot. We spent probably 45 minutes in the water with multiple interactions with the dolphin. Everyone was able to hold a ball on the dolphin's nose, get and give a kiss, dance holding flippers, do a belly ride and a boogie board ride. The photographers took 7 or 8 quick succession pictures of each activity. It was truly an amazing experience.

We didn't have any issues except the photographer missed my belly ride so we got a $40 discount off the picture CD. The picture pricing was similar to Shutters pricing for individuals. I think $25 each print but the cd for my family of 3 was only $140 ($100 after we noticed the missing pics). I didn't think that was too bad and there were some really great once in a lifetime pictures.

We walked across the street to the Turtle Farm and spent maybe 30 minutes. My DS is 13 so after about 5 minutes of holding a turtle he lost interest. We wandered around but there really wasn't anything to do. I could see where the younger crowd would spend more time there.
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:43 PM   #6
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We have the Dolphin Experience booked for our coming cruise in December. The question I have is that I know the person interacting with the dolphin can not have a camera, but can another adult take pictures/video? I have found a few videos on YouTube videos showing this exact thing. I have read the excursion information as well as the dolphin encounters website and it says no cameras during interaction.

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Old 10-06-2012, 06:41 AM   #7
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Whether or not you can get good pics is totally dependent on which pool they put you in... The close one would have been great for us to watch and photograph, but my kids were in the furthest one so we could barely see!
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:50 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by gigi1313
Whether or not you can get good pics is totally dependent on which pool they put you in... The close one would have been great for us to watch and photograph, but my kids were in the furthest one so we could barely see!
I should have mentioned that we will all be full participants and not observers. Seeing it on YouTube I can see what you mean about which pool though.

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Old 10-06-2012, 11:08 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PiMCTaylor View Post
My partner and I are thinking about doing this one in January, but aren't seeing a lot of people talk about it. Has anyone done this excursion? Also, does anyone even know if it would be offered that time of year? We live in FL, and I'm wondering if it would be better to do discovery cove? But if its a great excursion, then.....

Any assistance would be appreciated.
We did this in November 2010 and while we loved the time with the dolphins, it wasn't a "great excursion."

The groups in the vans were split up with 1/2 going to the dolphins first and the other half going to the turtles. We had to go to the turtles first. My kids were 9 at the time and while it was interesting, it didn't take up too much time at all.

We got to the dolphin place and were told our group would be called in about 20 minutes. THREE HOURS LATER it was our turn to go in with the dolphins. There was NOTHING to do but just watch other groups while we waited. The food was extremely expensive and the only thing they offered us was a free beverage. The dolphin place had overbooked and were behind in the groups.

As I said, we loved the time in the pool, and I was able to use my waterproof video camera to film my family when they were with the dolphins (and yes, I was a participant as well). We had NO time to see the videos/photos they took as we were immediately rushed to the vans to return to the tender. They were holding the ship for us.

Our excursion was supposed to be from around 11 AM to 1:30 PM, so based on that, participants would have had time to shop after the excursion. But due to the overbooking, that wasn't possible. We had shopped before the excursion, but others we met there had not, and spent their entire day just waiting around at the dolphin place.

Now, I have never been to Discovery Cove, but it is on my list of things to do. That is an all day "excusion" and for me, that would win, hands down, against any dolphin excursion that lasts about 30 minutes in the water with the actual dolphin.
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Old 10-06-2012, 11:52 AM   #10
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I have this excursion booked for next month. Now I'm really worried after reading this thread. DD is 3 and there is NO way that she can sit around and wait for 3 hours for something. I'm considering switching and doing the Dolphin Discovery in Cozumel instead and just hit the beach in Grand Cayman.
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Old 10-06-2012, 03:26 PM   #11
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We did this tour through DCL and LOVED it!! We had a great day and didn't feel rushed at all! We did the one that had the Dolphin Extreme Swim and it was amazing!! Loved the amount of time we got to spend with the dolphins. We went to the turtle farm first and had a such a blast checking out and holding all the different turtles, really a cool experience. We would do it again anytime!
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:27 PM   #12
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I have this excursion booked for next month. Now I'm really worried after reading this thread. DD is 3 and there is NO way that she can sit around and wait for 3 hours for something. I'm considering switching and doing the Dolphin Discovery in Cozumel instead and just hit the beach in Grand Cayman.
DS4 was with us (but not doing the swim) and we were happy to find a small swing set past the snack bar that saved the day!
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