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Old 01-02-2013, 10:57 AM   #1
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Feedback on Dolphin Encounter in Costa Maya

Looking for feedback, both good and bad, of the DCl excursion Dolphin encounter in Costa Maya.
10 yo DD wants to have a dolphin experience and was looking at this- specifically how much interaction with the dolphins do you have and can a non-particpating parent come along and take pics?
Thanks for any insight!
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:14 PM   #2
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I realize this does not answer your question directly, but perhaps if you will be in Costa Maya, then you'll also be in Cozumel. In December, we did the Dolphin Swim at Dolphinaris in Cozumel and had a very full, interactive experience -- petting, hugging, kissing, "dancing" with and doing a belly ride with the dolphins. It was incredible -- about as up close and personal as it could get. We had kids ranging in age from 5 to 10, and they all thought it was, by far, the best thing they did on the whole cruise. There might be one in Costa Maya that has a similar experience, but check the details of the description to ensure that you know what you're getting. When we were booking for Dolphinaris, there appeared to be several different packages, and the one we got (intentionally) was the most interactive....of course, you pay for that, but definitely something to do at least once in a lifetime.

As for photos, we were not allowed to take our own cameras into the water, but they were all too happy to sell us photos/videos that they took of us! It is possible that if one of the adults in our group had not also been doing the same activity, we might have been able (with a really good camera and a zoom lens) to get some photos, but you're at the mercy of the trainer in terms of which direction the participant and the dolphin are facing.

Wherever you do it, I highly recommend this sort of excursion, at least once.
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Old 01-02-2013, 02:52 PM   #3
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I traveled as part of a group of 10 in November and 6 of us took advantage of the low rate and ease of no transportation for the Costa Maya Dolphin Encounter. We had a 3 year old, a 6 year old, (3) 50-somethings and a 60-something participating. Two more of us stood nearby and shot photos and video of the entire thing absolutely free.

Everybody loved it!!! They got to pet, kiss, dance and give simple hand commands to the dolphin (like holding your hand up and they reached out of the water and kept their nose on your hand until your dropped it). It was perfect for our crew - everyone was thrilled coming out of it.. except for perhaps the 3 year old. She was a little freaked out by the cool water in the interaction area.

Not only was the fee under $100 for the adults and under $80 for the kids but we did not need to purchase ANY photos after the excursion because my camera caught everything. I have a Canon SX30IS with 35x optical zoom and didn't even need to use it because we were so close to the action and the zoomed pictures were harder to take because it took too long to frame the subjects before the dolphin moved or whatever.

They also have another excursion (I think it is called Dolphin Swim.) They were pushed and pulled and had a deeper water interaction with the dolphins. That looked super fun too!

The Dolphins are located at the end of the cruise pier (then make a hard left). Afterwards, you are right in the shopping zone so go for it or like some of us did, head back and hop on the Aquaduck while the lines are non-existant.

Whatever you choose.. Have fun!!!
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Old 01-02-2013, 02:56 PM   #4
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Also wanted to add that no matter where your group is staged within the Interaction area, non-paying guests have a load of options to stand to catch the action - there is more than 180 degrees of access. Also, the ropes that you need to stand behind are only about 10-12 ft. from the edge of the pool. Not buying photos saved us a load of money. ***Just make sure that you ask your friends/family to look at you - not just their photographer while they are doing each pose. The dolphins held kisses and stuff like that long enough for them to turn and look both ways so that I didn't always get the back of a head.
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