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Old 01-08-2013, 02:38 AM   #1
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Question Which dolphins at Cozumel?

So many ports, so many similar excursions. Anybody with a clue to help me understand the difference between "dolphinaris" and "Chankanaab National Park push pull swim?" What do you do at each? Is one better than the other?

Thanks for the help...just trying to decide which bucket list item gets taken off next (leaving in a few weeks on 1st cruise - that's one item already checked).
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:28 AM   #2
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We did chankanaab and it was a blast! Nice area and we liked that it includes access to the entire park if we wanted afterwards
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:16 AM   #3
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Dolphinaris has large pools that are separate from the ocean, so you aren't affected by tides and the waves, etc. I think that's the biggest difference.

You also cannot do the foot push at Dolphinaris.

Personally, I just did Dolphinaris in December, and I found it very commercialized, and just a big, expensive photoshoot. They ran all the interactions as "Go here, stoop down a bit, look at the camera", etc, rather than just taking photos while you interacted with the dolphin. I was very disappointed by that. It was still cool, because the dolphins are so amazing, but not what I was expecting.

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Old 01-08-2013, 01:43 PM   #4
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We also did the "Dolphin Swim" at Dolphinaris, which was basically the full package -- this included hugging the dolphin (loose term, but basically holding one hand over back of head and other hand under snout), being kissed on the cheek by the dolphin, kissing the dolphin face-to-face, dancing (envision patty-cake) and then doing a belly ride (dolphin on back, while dragging you forward, hanging on to its fins -- you're effectively belly-to-belly with the dolphin). There is then some time petting the dolphin as it swims in front of you (the group is lined up shoulder to shoulder in the water, and the dolphin swims by a few times). Once everyone in your group has done each of these things, all the dolphins in your pool come together and do a little jumping show, which was neat.

As previously noted, there is definitely a focus on getting photos, and they take several of each activity (or each pose, if you want to think of it that way)....and do not let you take your own camera into the pool, so you are somewhat of captive audience when it comes to buying photos. However, there is a fair amount of bargaining that goes on with that, too (as in other shopping experiences in Mexico tourism). We paid $215 for four 5x7 prints, a CD with probably 100 digital images, as well as a DVD of our whole experience. Not necessarily cheap, but definitely down from their original "offer" and, if you're doing a bucket list item (same for us) and want to document it, buying their photos is your only real option. Of course, you can buy smaller packages, too.

We had a ball and, although you're basically posing for photos some of the time, you're still in the pool with the dolphins, watching family members have the same interactions and doing something you've always wanted to do (otherwise, you probably wouldn't be spending this much on an excursion!).

I would highly recommend it....once! And for what it's worth, Dolphinaris is only a couple of blocks from the pier, so getting there and back is very quick, giving you plenty of time to spend even more money at the market -- ha!
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Old 01-08-2013, 02:23 PM   #5
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Chankanaab. I have done that one three times and it is wonderful! Also did this in Grand Cayman, same company but in a different location.
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:34 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by WicketsMom View Post
Chankanaab. I have done that one three times and it is wonderful! Also did this in Grand Cayman, same company but in a different location.
What is name of the location in GC?
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