Which Dolphin Excursion is best for a 5 year old (with parents)?

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by labdogs42, Feb 12, 2010.

  1. labdogs42

    labdogs42 DIS Veteran

    Dec 2, 2005
    I see they have dolphin excursions on the Eastern and Western itineraries, so feel free to evaluate any/all dolphin encounters! I haven't picked an itinerary yet! My son will be 5 when we cruise and it looks like he is old enough for most of these excursions. I think he'd like to meet a dolphin and I know I would! So, what did you like or dislike about any of the dolphin experiences? Any suggestion of which is bette rmight help me determine which cruise I want to do, too! Thanks!
  2. HallsofVA

    HallsofVA DIS Veteran

    Feb 24, 2005
    We did the Dolphin Excursion in Grand Cayman in December on the Western. Our kids were 3 and 5. My 5yr old loved it! (It took awhile for my 3yr old to warm up to the dolphins, but she ended up having a great time too!)

    We were impressed at the amount of time we spent in the water, the number of times we got to touch the dolphin, the pictures from our "one on one" time to kiss and dance with the dolphin, and the ability to swim in the water with the dolphin (this was just an encounter excursion, but we got a chance to leave the platform and be "swimming" or treading water while the dolphin swam past several times where we could touch him.) We purchased the pictures and video and watch it frequently.

    We selected that one on a combination of reviews and cost. Plus it seemed like it was in a more controlled pool so water levels weren't as much of an issue (though we did have to hold the kids or guide them while they floated in their life vests since the water was still somewhat deep.)

    While the stingrays were the big draw in Grand Cayman, we figured that was too much for the 5yr old so we opted for dolphins instead. We really enjoyed ourselves!!!
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  4. sdjen

    sdjen DIS Veteran

    Feb 27, 2009
    Thanks for posting this. I am wondering the same thing. My DD will be five at the time we sail on a western next year. I am trying to decide between the dolphin excursion in Grand Cayman or Cozumel so I am interested in what everyone has to say ;)
  5. sayhello

    sayhello Have Camera, Will Travel

    Oct 28, 2006
    I haven't been myself (had to cancel :sad1:) but a lot of people loved the dolphin program at Dolphinaris on Cozumel. It's an enclosed pool, so you don't get the tide issues of the program at Chankanaab.

  6. stlkeeler

    stlkeeler DIS Veteran

    Jan 23, 2008
    We did this one last summer and loved it! We picked the swim thru DCL as it was more involved than the encounter and DCL put the kid's age starting at 5 yo. Some of them don't start until age 8. When I was researching this I think their own website said the age was older than 5. Can't really remember but my DGD wouldn't have been able to do it as she was only 7. A downside is that there isn't anything else to do there, like a beach or anything. Just the dolphins and that's it. But still a great time!
  7. jlwhitney

    jlwhitney DIS Veteran

    Dec 8, 2009
    We did the one from St. Thomas...you actually go over to Tortola (need to bring passports or birth certificates with you). It was a blast just DH and myself. It was a dolphin encounter and the company upgraded us to the swim :). With just the encounter you still get the dolphin kiss and dance with it, just no swim. It was fun seeing the dolphin do tricks right in front of us and getting to pet it and such.

    We were like the very first group of the ship in the am and they took us over by ferry (can sit up on top outside or down under) and it takes like an hour.

    You then either go to the dolphin part first or a bus tour around the island with a few stops for photos (beautiful island) then you go to lunch and do the part you had not done.
  8. Rominet

    Rominet Mouseketeer

    Dec 12, 2007
    the swim on Tortola during the Eastern cruise last May.

    The ride over on the ferry was pretty yucky. Not only because one of the 4 yo and myself got seasick (very, very rough water), but because it was the most disgusting nastiest bathroom I have ever seen in my life. The water was brown, well wait, it wasn't water because the toilets don't flush while moving. They flush them later with water. So the toilet was full and OMG it stunk. By stunk, I mean one of those bathrooms on the interstate that hasn't been cleaned in a century at an old ratty gas station. Wet toilet paper was stuck everywhere, pee, poo, etc. I had to hold my breath and then try and hold the 4 yo over the disgusting toilet. In all fairness, if he had never gotten sick we would have made the hour ferry without going to the bathroom and I never would have known, but as it was, when his stomach got churned he thought he had to go. Also, the seasickness subsided as soon as we touched ground. Oh, and also, Disney had tried to give everyone seasickness tablets before we left and I hadn't accepted them. I didnt realize they weren't just a "courtesy" but a necessity. Doh! I figured we didn't need them because bc I've never been seasick!

    The dolphin swim itself was pretty nasty and stinky. The dolphins were pinned in a stinky stale fish tank type lagoon. I was picturing something like the little island at Nasseau. It smelled very fishy and the water was pretty murky and nasty. Picture a zoo with cages vs. a zoo in natural habitat. We got the "free" swim, but I had they impression they do that for every group.

    The kids loved it the whole thing start to finish. They didn't care how dirty/nasty anything was, of course, I made sure not to let on that I thought so! I will never go back on that excursion again.

    Another bummer was it took the whole day so we didn't have time to see anything of St. John, which was a bummer. Oh and it cost over a thousand dollars for our family of 5, which is so not worth it on so many levels.

    Sorry to be a damper,

  9. scootch

    scootch DIS Veteran

    Jan 6, 2005

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