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Old 01-10-2013, 02:49 PM   #1
audrey13
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Cozumel - question about Dolphin Discovery and Dolphin Push Pull and Swim

For the dolphin experiences at Chankanaab, if my DH and DS (11) do the dolphin push pull and swim and my DD (3) and I do the dolphin discovery, will we be near each other? Is any part of those two experiences combined? I'm wondering (1) if I will be able to see my DS do his push pull and swim and (2) if my DH will be able to help hold my DD while we are in the water. If the two groups are totally separate, I imagine the answer to both questions is no. But I'm hoping that everyone is in the water together for at least the beginning (and then the push pull and swim folks go off and do extra stuff).

Thanks!
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Old 01-10-2013, 03:29 PM   #2
Amw1064
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If I remember correctly, they are done in different "pools". I don't think you would be together at all.
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Old 01-10-2013, 04:19 PM   #3
HoustonMom1
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We just did the dolphin swim in Chankaab. We loved it!

I booked it myself instead of going through Disney, so that we could get a better swim and for less money. I booked through Cozumel Tours website. My younger son (5) could only do the lowest level swim called the "Encounter" so my husband did that with him. I did the "Royal" swim with my 9 yr old and my mom.

Our swim was at 12pm, and hubby and younger son got to watch us. Then their swim was at 1pm and we sat and watched them. It worked out perfectly. Whoever is going in with the young children (and paying as a participant as well) will hold the child up when needed.

They have each level of swim go to a separate section, they do not all start together. Even those people doing the same swim type get broken into smaller groups, keeping families together of course. The Royal was really great, and I think it was worth the extra money.

Have fun!
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:04 PM   #4
audrey13
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Thanks HoustonMom! That helps me know what to expect. It would be great if we could watch each other's swims. I thought about booking directly with Dolphin Discovery (it is much cheaper) but then I worry about paying ahead of time and then for some reason the ship doesn't dock or is running late and we end up losing that money. Plus it is our first cruise so I think we'd feel more comfortable doing this one through DCL. But the price difference is really tempting.

Glad you enjoyed it!
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(DH) (ME) (DS 12) (DD 4)

1970s and 1980s - numerous trips as a child
Oct 1997 - off-site, May 2006 - CBR, Feb 2008 - CSR, Feb 2010 - AKL, Sept 2010 - AKL and Universal, April 2011 - off-site, April 2012 - CSR, April 2013 - Wonder Western Caribbean

October 11-15, 2013 - princess trip with DD4
April 5-13, 2014 - Wilderness Lodge
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:04 PM   #5
setablaze
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Houstonmom, I was looking into exactly what you did so I am begging you for all the details of how you got around Discovery not booking you if you came off DCL. How you got there and how much to get there. What times you booked to ensure no problems geeting there and back.....all of it.

I have also been on Dolphin Discovery website and it is much less$$$$$$$, so I am super tempted to do it on my own as well. I understand why to do it through DCL but they are such a huge price jump!!!
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Old 01-12-2013, 09:27 PM   #6
txblondie99
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Very interested to hear more about this. Was thinking about doing a dolphin encounter for my eight year old.
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Old 01-12-2013, 10:22 PM   #7
HoustonMom1
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So i booked through Cozumel Tours website. I called the number on the website to ask if we can book even though coming on Disney cruise. She said yes, we should pick "hotel" option and then write "Cozumel". So that is what I did. We took a cab to Chankaab. We got the cab right from the port (after you walk through a shopping area at the port). They charged the 5 of us $16 total. It was a van, but only us in it. There were seatbelts. The drive was about 15 minutes, pretty direct route.

Print out the email confirmation that is sent to you after you book it and take it with you. When you get there you just tell them your name and you will be on their list. We chose the 12pm Royal swim and 1pm Encounter. We split up because my younger son, 5, could only do the encounter per their restrictions. Do the royal if you can, totally worth the extra money.

The earliest time they did the Encounter was 1pm, so that is what guided us to pick those times. We left the boat at 10am I think, and had time to see their Sea Lion show which started at 11am and also swim before our 12pm swim.

We brought some snorkel stuff from home for the kids which they loved. You can rent it there also. The dolphin swims ended on time, and we left just past 2pm and got back with plenty of time to spare.

Hope that helps! Let me know if you have other questions.
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:39 PM   #8
setablaze
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Houstonmom, thanks for the low down. Was EXACTLY what I was looking for to boost my confidence outside DCL. A few more questions, there will be 10 of us, will the taxi van be big enough and did/can you barter the cab fare with the cabbie? How easy/difficult was it to get a cab at the park back to dock and was the fare comparable?

Did you do anything for lunch/food off of the ship? Or wait till you got back onboard?

Last question. My daughter will be 7yrs 8months. I know I have seen min age of 8, how did they verify your sons age or since he was 5 did you decide not to polish the truth? My daughter has been swimming since age 2 and is reffered to as little fishy during the summer, ie she is very comfortable in the water. Was the age 8 seemingly set in stone and did they somehow ask for proof of age? My wife and I have no problem with her doing the royal and she will be very dissappointed if we are in a different group then her. Thanks again you have been most helpful.
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:43 AM   #9
HoustonMom1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by setablaze
Houstonmom, thanks for the low down. Was EXACTLY what I was looking for to boost my confidence outside DCL. A few more questions, there will be 10 of us, will the taxi van be big enough and did/can you barter the cab fare with the cabbie? How easy/difficult was it to get a cab at the park back to dock and was the fare comparable?

Did you do anything for lunch/food off of the ship? Or wait till you got back onboard?

Last question. My daughter will be 7yrs 8months. I know I have seen min age of 8, how did they verify your sons age or since he was 5 did you decide not to polish the truth? My daughter has been swimming since age 2 and is reffered to as little fishy during the summer, ie she is very comfortable in the water. Was the age 8 seemingly set in stone and did they somehow ask for proof of age? My wife and I have no problem with her doing the royal and she will be very dissappointed if we are in a different group then her. Thanks again you have been most helpful.
The taxi van had 3 rows so it would fit 10. We did not try to barter over the fare. It was very easy to get the cab back to the port. The park has cabs waiting. It was also a van cab on the way back, same $16 fare. Note, on one of the directions there were only some seatbelts, so we had the 2 kids sit there. The other way the van had seatbelts for every seat. If that is important to you, pass up a cab that doesnt have full seatbelts because you can find one that does.

We ate a late breakfast so we did not eat there. We had a late lunch by the pool when we got back. For my 5 year old we had some packaged snacks to tide him over, like granola bar and small bag of chips. We bought a few sodas there and brought our kids water bottles that we had been refilling the whole vacation. Food is available though.

For the swim, they did not check the ages of my kids in any way. My 9 year old could easily look like he is 7. I did not recall even seeing the age 8 cutoff anywhere on the website I was on. I just remember that my 5 year old did not meet the requirement of some kind for the Royal. And I do not think my 5 year old would have been ok with the Royal. It would be too scary for him to be in the middle of the water by himself and have the dolphins come to him to do their thing (push you, you grab fins, etc). I was even a tad nervous right when my name was called that it was my turn, but not scared. My 9 year old was totally fine. Everyone wears life jackets too. It sounds like your daughter will be fine doing the Royal.
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:23 PM   #10
setablaze
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Houstonmom, Thanks so much. You have been very informative/helpful. Just seems like DCL trys to molest my wallet at every turn so just looking for ppl that "have been there done that" to make an informed decision. Thanks again.
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:17 AM   #11
Golden Rose
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We've done both the Push Pull and Swim and the Discovery. We did the Push, Pull, and Swim in February, and the Discovery in November. My DS, age 7 did it both times. We booked the first time through the cruise line, since we'd never been to Chankanaab before, and the second time we just did it ourselves and booked through their website.

We were able to book the sea lion interaction and the dolphin discovery for 3 people for the same price as just booking the dolphin discovery through the cruise line. You just have to say on the web form that you are staying at a hotel (not coming in on a disney cruise), and you don't know which one yet.

Honestly, my now 7, then 6 year old, was a little intimidated by some aspects of the Push Pull and Swim. They put us in the large central pool (it is random which pool you are in), which is very deep and wide, and each individual had to swim out halfway into it to be pushed back to the platform by the dolphin. DS is a pretty good swimmer, but he got really nervous. No adult in the party could go out with him, he had to go out alone, although there was a lifeguard in the water (because we and the other family with a youngish kid had requested one.) He ended up deciding not to do the push or the pull (the belly ride) because both required swimming so far out into deep water alone. I honestly think he'd have done them if we'd been in one of the smaller pools on the edges, but he was seriously intimidated in the large one. He also wasn't used to swimming in a life jacket, and it felt very awkward and constricting to him. Anyway, he liked all the closer in aspects of the interaction, but for our second trip, actually requested the dolphin encounter instead.

As far as age goes, when we booked it, I think it was based on a height requirement, not an age requirement. DS is tall, and easily met the height requirement, but I think 6 was too young for the Push Pull and Swim, at least in the big pool. You actually have to be able to hold certain positions and follow relatively detailed instructions; some of the adults in our group couldn't manage to successfully complete both the push and the pull. (You have to keep your legs very stiff during the push, so the dolphin has something to push against. You have to have your body correctly positioned for the dolphin to swim under you to grab on on the pull.) I thought it was an amazing experience and am still thrilled I got to do it, but not everyone in our group was completely comfortable with it.

If you book independently, just be sure you carefully note what time all aboard is! Leave yourself enough time to get to the taxi and back to the port and through the checkpoint lines, and be aware you may have to wait for a taxi if you really need one of the larger ones.
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:26 AM   #12
Golden Rose
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Oh, you asked about food. We bought food there both times. It was a little expensive, but surprisingly good. We kind of enjoyed eating Mexican food in Mexico, sort of as part of the experience. We also brought prepackaged snacks and bottles of water off the ship so we didn't have to rely entirely on the food available there.

There really is a lot to do in addition to the swim. DS absolutely loved wading and swimming in the tidal pool area, and finding fish and urchins and crabs. We watched the sea lion show (free) the first trip, and, of course, he wanted to do the sea lion interaction (sadly, not free) the second time.

Also, be aware, they'll take lots of pictures, and then try to sell them to you for a lot of money. Their pictures are great. They are just expensive. They will sometimes sort of make deals for you, but I understand it varies somewhat.
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:31 AM   #13
lexandme
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Please reconsider doing another excursion. The horrors of the captive dolphin industry are heartbreaking. If people were only aware of how these dolphins are obtained for our amusement I'm sure it would not be as lucrative as it is. Watch the academy award willing film "The Cove" or go to seashepherd.com for more information. The young dolphins are chosen for their beauty and ripped from their families. The older dolphins are slaughtered for their meat. All for our amusement.
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