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Old 05-08-2012, 11:01 PM   #1
CyndiandChris
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REVIEW - Dolphinaris at Cozumel

On our recent 7 day on the Wonder, I booked the Dolphinaris Kids for our 7 yo DD. The online description for Observers (at least one adult is required) said you may have to get in the water if your child is scared. Since my child isn't scared of anything, I didn't plan for me or DH to do so. On the day of the excursion, I asked the Dolphinaris rep ONBOARD if one of us needed to get in the water and was told no. Fast forward to Dolphinaris and we were told as she was walking to the platform that one of us would have to get in the water. When I protested vehemently, they relented and my DH and I watched DD from the viewing area. When it was over, I walked immediately to where I dropped her off AND SHE WAS NO WHERE TO BE FOUND!!!!! The handler knew she didn't have her parent with her and he walked off without looking for us. Somehow she slipped past us and within a minute or two, we found here, but my heart neary stopped beating in the meantime. If you want to see dolphins, I highly recommend ANY other port for doing so. I understand from other travelers that GC is a much better choice. This was the most disorganized un-Disney experience we could have and it wasn't just the missing child. The whole thing outside of actually being with the dolphins was disorganized chaos.
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:21 AM   #2
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Under additional information on the Disney Port Adventures website, it states "Parents may accompany their children to the poolside observation area but do not interact in the water with the dolphins." This statement is separate from the statement regarding the parent should "bring swimwear to enter the water to assist children that are uneasy with the water level of the platform". Perhaps, this might have been a way to avoid the whole mixup.
I have a DS 8. He has gone swimming with dolphins before. He has also been to Dolphinaris when he was 5. At 8, I personally would not feel comfortable dropping him off and going elsewhere to watch. DH would watch, and I would stay. I would not get into the water, but I would be there for when he finished. That is just me. I also do not give my DS sign out privileges. This is not a comment on you. Every parent does things differently.
I am sorry you had such a terrifying experience. I hope the rest of your cruise went very well.
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Old 07-02-2012, 05:33 PM   #3
CyndiandChris
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Thanks for perspective.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eeyoremommy View Post
Under additional information on the Disney Port Adventures website, it states "Parents may accompany their children to the poolside observation area but do not interact in the water with the dolphins." This statement is separate from the statement regarding the parent should "bring swimwear to enter the water to assist children that are uneasy with the water level of the platform". Perhaps, this might have been a way to avoid the whole mixup.
I have a DS 8. He has gone swimming with dolphins before. He has also been to Dolphinaris when he was 5. At 8, I personally would not feel comfortable dropping him off and going elsewhere to watch. DH would watch, and I would stay. I would not get into the water, but I would be there for when he finished. That is just me. I also do not give my DS sign out privileges. This is not a comment on you. Every parent does things differently.
I am sorry you had such a terrifying experience. I hope the rest of your cruise went very well.
My daughter was NEVER out of my sight until I went to pick her up and she slipped by me. We watched her the entire time. The Dolphinaris person WOULD NOT let me go down to the pool area without a life jacket AND would only let me if I got into the water with her. Not at all what was implied on DCL or directly said to me when we were still on the ship and we could have changed into a bathing suit.
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Old 07-02-2012, 05:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CyndiandChris View Post
My daughter was NEVER out of my sight until I went to pick her up and she slipped by me. We watched her the entire time. The Dolphinaris person WOULD NOT let me go down to the pool area without a life jacket AND would only let me if I got into the water with her. Not at all what was implied on DCL or directly said to me when we were still on the ship and we could have changed into a bathing suit.
Have you told DCL about this? Disney needs to know if the providers are not living up to the agreements they have with DCL.

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Old 07-02-2012, 06:12 PM   #5
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I love Dolphinaris, however, with that being said - I agree that the description of the excursion on the DCL website is not entirely correct. I know this because when I signed up my 4 year old daughter to be able to go on the Dolphin Kids excursion, I wanted to get in the water with her to ensure she was OK. I was told by DCL reservations that this was not permitted and that I would have to get special accommodations in order to do that. It wasn't until I got to Dolphinaris for the excursion that I realized that ALL the parents that were on the excursion were getting in the water with their children and that was the norm. For me, that was a huge relief that I was able to be in the water with her b/c she wouldn't have been able to touch the bottom at all where they were. I had her balanced on my knee/leg most of the experience except when they stand on the white platform.

I agree that the description needs to be re-written in the DCL information because it is somewhat confusing and a little misleading. Other than that, I have to say that compared to Dolphin Discovery - Dolphinaris is MUCH less chaotic and much smaller of an environment and was a better experience than we had at Dolphin Discovery. Can't say much about the other options at another port, but if I go back to Cozumel, I'll take my DD and DS back to Dolphinaris hands down but I'll be in the water with them b/c I enjoy that type of thing as much as they do.
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