Which dolphins at Cozumel?

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by t4w, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. t4w

    t4w Time for Everything

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    So many ports, so many similar excursions. Anybody with a clue to help me understand the difference between "dolphinaris" and "Chankanaab National Park push pull swim?" What do you do at each? Is one better than the other?

    Thanks for the help...just trying to decide which bucket list item gets taken off next (leaving in a few weeks on 1st cruise - that's one item already checked).
     
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  3. jennab05

    jennab05 Mouseketeer

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    We did chankanaab and it was a blast! Nice area and we liked that it includes access to the entire park if we wanted afterwards :)
     
  4. sayhello

    sayhello Have Camera, Will Travel Moderator

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    Dolphinaris has large pools that are separate from the ocean, so you aren't affected by tides and the waves, etc. I think that's the biggest difference.

    You also cannot do the foot push at Dolphinaris.

    Personally, I just did Dolphinaris in December, and I found it very commercialized, and just a big, expensive photoshoot. They ran all the interactions as "Go here, stoop down a bit, look at the camera", etc, rather than just taking photos while you interacted with the dolphin. I was very disappointed by that. It was still cool, because the dolphins are so amazing, but not what I was expecting.

    Sayhello
     
  5. Kimosabe

    Kimosabe DIS Veteran

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    We also did the "Dolphin Swim" at Dolphinaris, which was basically the full package -- this included hugging the dolphin (loose term, but basically holding one hand over back of head and other hand under snout), being kissed on the cheek by the dolphin, kissing the dolphin face-to-face, dancing (envision patty-cake) and then doing a belly ride (dolphin on back, while dragging you forward, hanging on to its fins -- you're effectively belly-to-belly with the dolphin). There is then some time petting the dolphin as it swims in front of you (the group is lined up shoulder to shoulder in the water, and the dolphin swims by a few times). Once everyone in your group has done each of these things, all the dolphins in your pool come together and do a little jumping show, which was neat.

    As previously noted, there is definitely a focus on getting photos, and they take several of each activity (or each pose, if you want to think of it that way)....and do not let you take your own camera into the pool, so you are somewhat of captive audience when it comes to buying photos. However, there is a fair amount of bargaining that goes on with that, too (as in other shopping experiences in Mexico tourism). We paid $215 for four 5x7 prints, a CD with probably 100 digital images, as well as a DVD of our whole experience. Not necessarily cheap, but definitely down from their original "offer" and, if you're doing a bucket list item (same for us) and want to document it, buying their photos is your only real option. Of course, you can buy smaller packages, too.

    We had a ball and, although you're basically posing for photos some of the time, you're still in the pool with the dolphins, watching family members have the same interactions and doing something you've always wanted to do (otherwise, you probably wouldn't be spending this much on an excursion!).

    I would highly recommend it....once! And for what it's worth, Dolphinaris is only a couple of blocks from the pier, so getting there and back is very quick, giving you plenty of time to spend even more money at the market -- ha!
     
  6. WicketsMom

    WicketsMom Mouseketeer

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    Chankanaab. I have done that one three times and it is wonderful! Also did this in Grand Cayman, same company but in a different location.
     
  7. Illini_Fan

    Illini_Fan Mouseketeer

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    What is name of the location in GC?
     
  8. t4w

    t4w Time for Everything

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    Thank you for the help. For the push, pull, swim - how far was the taxi ride? For someone prone to motion sickness in a car - is it doable?
     
  9. STLEdge

    STLEdge Mouseketeer

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    The taxi ride to Chankanaab is about 10-15 minutes.

    There's nothing unusual about that drive that would make one more or less prone to motion sickness than in a taxi ride anywhere else.
     
  10. setablaze

    setablaze Earning My Ears

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    Hello. Absolute 1st post. I have been researching extensively on a Dolpin adventure and we are in port in Cozumel the longest of any stops so I started there. I have been all over both websites for Dolpinaris and Dolphin discovery. Seems most ppl recommend discovery so I called today and they said they WILL NOT take any outside reservations from ppl on DCL or Carnival, that I HAD to book excerusion through Disney. I can book the trip on their website for 2 adults and 2 kids for $282 vs through Disney for $505!!!! Difference of $223 ALMOST 1/2 OFF!!! Well 44%. I also checked Dolpinaris and there price was $413, still a nice savings.

    So has anyone booked outside of disney with any success? And for seasoned cruisers how would they know how I got there/prove I came off of DCL.

    Is it worth the risk to book myself and save bookoo or will I get shut down. I am aware of the fact that if I book through disney and we dont make it there for any reason I have recourse for a refund through disney but thinking I am willing to take the chance considering the savings.

    Any help/insight greatly appreciated.:confused3
     
  11. t4w

    t4w Time for Everything

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    Is it the same package? I can only find the same rates that Disney shows...
     
  12. Magic3forme

    Magic3forme Grand Slam club members

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    we did Chankanaab too... great place for the entire family. :)
     
  13. setablaze

    setablaze Earning My Ears

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    t4W, on the website dolpindiscovery.com click on Cozumel. When I called the girl told me that the DCL package was the same as there Dolphin swim adventure. They are having 25% off if booked online. You have to select the package are go to check out where you will see the discount. That is where I saw the $282 for 2 adults and 2 kids.
     
  14. havaneselover

    havaneselover DIS Veteran

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    Others have recommended telling them you are staying at a hotel. When they ask for the name tell them you are undecided. I booked on Black Friday and they were offering half off. I paid $178 for two adults and one child (royal swim). Of course I have to pay round trip cab fair and if the ship doesn't dock, I am out $178.

    I totally get why Disney and Dolphin Discovery do this. But it stinks. In my case, I really can't do the push pull swim through Disney because I'm a single mom and each child needs to be accompanied. Dolphin Discovery has a work around (book one child as an adult).

    Anyway, I wish there were a simpler way and I find it annoying that DCL seems to have a contract with all of the dolphin places everywhere.
     
  15. t4w

    t4w Time for Everything

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    First time cruiser with NO CLUE! Would insurance (if purchased through company other than Disney) cover the expense if ship didn't dock or was late or whatever?
     
  16. t4w

    t4w Time for Everything

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    Also - on their website, the cost is the same as disney's for the swim, park admission, and transportation - I think those things are included w/ disney package. Does it cost that much to taxi? I wouldn't think so...but
     
  17. sayhello

    sayhello Have Camera, Will Travel Moderator

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    Technically, since your money would be non-refundable, yes they would. You'd need proof that the ship didn't dock, and that you didn't get a refund. However, if the proof that you didn't get the refund states "the customer did not show" vs "the customer was on a Disney ship that didn't dock", then you're out of luck, because just choosing to not show is not covered. How could you have missed the excursion because the ship did not dock if you weren't on a ship? Once you start fibbing, you set yourself up to possibly not getting reimbursed. It's all a calculated risk.

    Sayhello
     
  18. t4w

    t4w Time for Everything

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    Thank you sayhello - that was my question. I didn't/don't know what cruise insurance covers/doesn't cover. I don't even know how you would file a claim - and hope I never have to.
     
  19. setablaze

    setablaze Earning My Ears

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    You booked but have you actually gone yet and if so were there any problems? I am most interested to talk with someone who has done what I want to do to see how it went. I will be on the hook for the cab, $10-$15 each way Ive seen and am aware of the refund issues due to whatever reasons. I believe that since we have chosen DCL in the 1st place does not imply that they can/should hold my wallet for ransom once we are on board.

    WHile @ CC I will bow down to all that is disney because it is their island and they run it but to use their bully power on other excursions that they do NOT own/run or administer is criminal, REALLY it is. It is basic extortion, think like a mobster that demands money for protection from the local business man! This is what DCL is doing, selling ppl on some very small chance of not going into port or something similar convincing them to pay the excessive:mic: price they demand!
     
  20. WicketsMom

    WicketsMom Mouseketeer

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    The one in Grand Cayman is also Dolphin Discovery. It is across the street from the Turtle Farm.
     
  21. WicketsMom

    WicketsMom Mouseketeer

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    When we cruise, my excursion is generally scuba diving. With the exception of my first cruise, I ALWAYS book directly with the dive operator. A couple of times we were on trips with a large group, so we booked our own boat and didn't have any problems.

    Check your trip insurance documents very carefully. We were on the Dream during Hurricane Sandy and trip insurance would refund NOTHING because the ship sailed, even though we went straight into the hurricane. We called repeatedly before sailing to try and reschedule and were told if the ship sailed that we would lose our money, period.

    But, on that same trip we had a dolphin excursion scheduled at Blue Lagoon and did get our $$ refunded because they were closed. We were actually informed that they were going to be closed before we even boarded (which really made us wonder why they attempted to get into a port when everything was closed anyway).

    Chances are that if the ship can't get into port, the weather would have closed the dolphin swim anyway, but possibly losing your payment is a chance you take if you decide to book outside of DCL.
     

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