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Old 03-28-2013, 05:19 AM   #1
tinkerbell 766
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Tortola Dolphin Experience - any experiences?

We are considering this excursion on our upcoming Eastern on the Fantasy. We seem to hear different things about it. Anybody got any comments on this excursion please?
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:10 AM   #2
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I absolutely loved this excursion when I did it...but many years ago...I think we went in 2004. I am obsessed with Dolphins so I had to swim with them and it was amazing. For me, it was worth the cost, as it is an expensive excursion.

I remember that you do an introductory safety briefing then get into the water, waist deep with the dolphins with a trainer. They have you do various "training" exercises and then swim out 20 feet and the dolphin brings you back to the others via his or her flippers. They video the event and take pictures. We just bought one of the pictures.

But I absolutely loved the island itself. Tortola is my favorite BVI that I've visited. It's mountainous and green. I fell in love quickly. We also did a "treasure island" snorkel earlier that day that was amazing. We saw turtles, barracuda and what seemed like hundreds of different fish.

I was not cruising with Disney though, I was on Carnival.
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:25 AM   #3
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I did this back in 2008 with NCL. It was ok but I will never spend my money on something like that again without researching. The pens they put the dolphins in we're horrible. Sooooo tiny!! This one pen was no bigger then my bathroom at home. The poor dolphin had no where to go. I felt horrible. Those poor animals had no where to swim.
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Old 03-30-2013, 04:01 PM   #4
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Reported this port adventure to DCL management

My advice... do NOT do this!!! We just got off the Fantasy and my niece, her husband, father, mother and son did this excursion. The "fast-ferry" was filthy and not in good repair. The bathroom on board was beyond dirty and even someone that had sea sick child refused to let the child use it. The site that held the dolphin excursion was dirty, garbage all around and not appealing in any way. The "beach" was about 8 feet of bland beach for a total of 2 tours (approximately 100+ people) there at the same time. Their second ferry broke down... causing them to wait until a replacement could be sent. There was no shade available while 100+ people waited in the hot blazing sun for over an hour... then the back up ferry broke down on the way back... and could not return at any speed... it crawled back to the customs area. My niece reported this to DCL and apparently many other families did the same. They received a partial refund. The refund wasn't the intent in reporting it... this excursion was NOT up to DCL standards and was not worth almost $1000 and should be removed!!! The 1/2 hour in the water with the dolphin was awesome, but arriving to such a dumpy site... a beach that was small, a less than mediocre lunch on top of unreliable transportation... it was not what one would expect with a DCL approved excursion. Hope this helps you decide!!
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Old 03-31-2013, 11:53 AM   #5
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This is my response to another inquiry about this excursion:

If you're doing the Tortola Dolphin Encounter, you might want to re-think it.

We were on the April 28th sailing of the Fantasy and did this excursion. It was not good.

The instructional/informational video was not working, the life jackets were falling apart, and the locks on the changing rooms were so rusted I almost got stuck inside!

Even though we were group A, we were left standing in the sun in life jackets watching other groups go into the lagoons for a good half hour.

Once we finally got in, we were taken out to stand and wait again for another ten minutes before being allowed back in.

Our time with the dolphins was rushed and staged - it was all "Look at the camera!" the whole time. We honestly felt like we were there only to have pictures taken that they could sell to us for $25 each later on.

The worst part was that a little girl was bitten by one of the dolphins - twice! - and none of the staff even came over to check and make sure she was ok!

Additionally, we never received the island tour that is supposed to be included and lunch was horrible as well... the advertised hamburgers and fries would have been heavenly compared to the hodgepodge of cheap dishes we were served!

(We also filed a complaint with Disney and received a partial refund - we would much rather see the tour removed.)
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Old 03-31-2013, 12:00 PM   #6
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Unhappy Watch The COVE

I went to swim with Dolphins when I was young, but after reading and seeing The COVE I will never support this business AGAIN! You should see how these creatures are caught and treated. It's so sad. "it's not that the dolphins can't understand us, it's US that doesn't understand them"

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Old 03-31-2013, 08:02 PM   #7
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Thank you for this thread. I just booked an Eastern on the Fantasy and was about to book six for this. Will look at Atlantis instead!!!
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Old 04-04-2013, 08:21 AM   #8
tinkerbell 766
If I can't fly, let me sing. Or, in other words if I can't be in Disney, let me talk about it !
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Bump
It looks like we will be rethinking our options on this one!!!!
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Old 04-04-2013, 09:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thehighprincess44 View Post
Thank you for this thread. I just booked an Eastern on the Fantasy and was about to book six for this. Will look at Atlantis instead!!!
You don't go to Nassau on the Eastern Carribbean so no Atlantis
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