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Old 04-19-2009, 08:20 PM   #1
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Disney Excursion Monopoly

I have been reading up on all this dolphin mumbo jumbo. I cannot really fault the dolphin places, as they are just following directions from upper management. But, I am just trying to figure out what the heck is going on.

What does Dolphin Discovery or Dolphinaris or whatever get out of this "deal"? What does Disney get out of the deal? I mean whatever savings there may be, by making these swims an exclusive commodity are certainly not being passed onto the consumer.

We were looking into doing the Tortola dolphin experience out of St. Thomas. We could do it on our own, but timewise, it would be cutting it awfully close. DCL is charging double for their excursion compared to what you would pay directly through the vendor. Does that bother me? Yes, a little bit. But, it does include a meal and a guarantee that the ship will wait for you.

My problem is, DCL offers the minimal experience and nothing more. If they are going to make people book these experiences exclusively through them, then they should A) honor the age ranges of the establishment and B) Offer ALL swims done at the establishment. I would not mind paying an arm and a leg as much as long as I was doing what I wanted to do. But, to pay an arm and a leg, and get the smallest experience available seems crazy to me.

Every single port of call with a dolphin excursion option offers a swim option, except for Tortola by way of St. Thomas. And the markup on Tortola through St. Thomas is insane. It all seems so unfair.

Here is the breakdown: Cozumel directly through DD: $119, through DCL: $139; Cozumel Dolphinaris directly: $155, through DCL $160; Grand Cayman DD directly: $119, through DCL: $125; Tortola directly: $99, through DCL: $159; Now, Tortola via St. Thomas. First of all, they do not even offer the actual swim. They only offer the encounter. Directly through DD, including ferry: $99, through DCL: wait for it, $188! Can anyone explain this to me? It just makes me so mad.

Sorry, just needed to vent. I am considering emailing DCL directly to voice my displeasure ove rthe situation. I encourage others to do the same.
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Old 04-19-2009, 08:31 PM   #2
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The bad news is...they are driving me nuts!!!
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You can email but before you do I suggest that you look into other cruise lines. DCL is not the originator of this process and there is very little that anyone can do about the practice. The cruise ships bring the tourists to the ports and the port vendors know that DCL can contract with anyone there so they are going to do whatever DCL or the other cruise ships want them to in order to keep those contracts.

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