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Old 07-17-2012, 02:39 PM   #1
riley2008
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Question Dolphinaris at Cozumel vs. Dolphin Cove at Grand Cayman

First, oh, how I wish there was a sticky for "Everything Dolphin".

I've read Trip Advisor and done all kinds of searches on here. I'm up to my eyeballs in GREAT information.

My boys want to "swim with the dolpins" on our first cruise. DH said okay. DH is likely going to do the two-tank dive at Grand Cayman. He's the only one in our party that is scuba certified, so through DCL is felt to be safest for him.

I can't for the life of me decide between Dolphin Cove at Grand Cayman and Dolphinaris at Cozumel. Either one I think I'd book directly so that I could afford pictures. If we do Cozumel, DH could observe. (He doesn't care one way or the other.)

Grand Cayman day is our longest port day and only ship in port. Cozumel, we're there 7:00am to 3:30pm?, but there are 3 other large cruise ships also scheduled. Also, I want to do the chocolate factory tour in Cozumel - have to schedule on our own and take a taxi. My worry in Cozumel is the masses of potential people. Ideally, I'm thinking Dolphinaris first thing in the morning (9:20) and then the chocolate factory at noon.

What do you think? All opinions and feedback welcome!
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Old 07-17-2012, 03:06 PM   #2
C8eOg
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We are going in September too (out of Port Canaveral) - we're considering the dolphin excursion out of Grand Cayman. Have you checked their websites? Also, I read the reviews through Passporter and CG seems like the better choice to me.

How do you feel about booking outside of Disney? I'm a little nervous to do so - how do you get to the location the Excursion is at? Taxi?
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Old 07-17-2012, 03:20 PM   #3
riley2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C8eOg View Post
We are going in September too (out of Port Canaveral) - we're considering the dolphin excursion out of Grand Cayman. Have you checked their websites? Also, I read the reviews through Passporter and CG seems like the better choice to me.

How do you feel about booking outside of Disney? I'm a little nervous to do so - how do you get to the location the Excursion is at? Taxi?
I'm a bit nervous too about booking outside of DCL. The Cozumel Dolphinaris appears to be close to the port - I think I read about 5 long blocks. Also, if I get to do it first thing in the morning, I won't be a nervous wreck the rest of the day.

What do you like about the Grand Cayman Dolphin Cove excursion over Dolphinaris at Colzumel? Just curious, as I can't decide between them.
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Old 07-17-2012, 04:59 PM   #4
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I posted a couple of days ago in an answer to a question about Dolphin Cove vs. Dolphin Discovery in Grand Cayman. Here is what I said:

We used Dolphin Cove. We used this company because we had a three year old and a one year old at the time, so they were able to do the encounter (they would have been too young with Disney). It was definitely less expensive than doing it with Disney. The other good thing was that since they don't have a contract with Disney, they don't hesitate to book you privately.

We were happy with the experience. We were traveling on our cruise with another group, and they did Dolphin Discovery. From what I saw of their video, it seemed like the dolphin swim was slightly better at Dolphin Discovery. My husband and eldest child (eight years) did the dolphin swim at Dolphin Cove, and it seemed like the part where you hold onto the dolphin while it swims was longer at Dolphin Discovery.

We were able to travel to Dolphin Cove by arranging it with the company. They charged for this service (sorry, I can't recall how much), but it was in a bus/van, and they met us right where we entered Grand Cayman after getting off the tender. The tent from the company was close and easy to identify.

We bought the CD of both the encounter and the swim, but only the DVD of the swim. They considered us to be from two different groups (even though we are one family) since we three of us did the encounter and two did the swim. I was able to convince them to put the pictures together of the encounter and the swim on one CD and only charge us for one, but they refused to put both the encounter and swim on one DVD.

We combined our dolphin experience with a trip to sting ray city through this company, which also is not possible with the Disney excursion. We liked Sting ray city, but would rather do it when our kids are older (our eldest liked it, but it was hard with the younger two in the ocean).

If you have any other questions I might be able to answer, please ask! The one other note worth mentioning is that we were allowed to wear sunscreen. The group we travelled with that used Dolphin Discovery was not allowed sunscreen, and they got very, very burnt.
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Old 07-17-2012, 08:40 PM   #5
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We did Dolphinaris in Cozumel and LOVED it! I have swam with dolphins in Cozumel, Nassau, and the Florida Keys, and the experience in Cozumel was the best of the 3 for sure.
I have 2 daughters, ages 7 & 10 at the time of the swim, and they also thought it was awesome.
I am partial to doing the "Island Tour with Stingrays" in Grand Cayman...it goes to the sea turtle farm and also out to the Stingray sandbar.
If you have other questions, please ask!
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Old 05-11-2013, 08:50 PM   #6
dswatik
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at either place dolphin cover or dolphin discovery can you NOT swim with the dolphin and do say a encounter? How deep is the water for a encounter? I am nervous to do a encounter as I cannot swim.
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