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Freeport Dolphin Swim & Encounter Excursion Reviews

Home > Member Reviews > Freeport Shore Excursions > Dolphin Swim & Encounter

Spend a day in Freeport swimming and interacting with dolphins in a protected lagoon.

scimprints

1 review

Wonderful Port, Grab a taxi and explore paradise. Snorkle the day away


Provider: Independent Operator

ScottHerman

1 review

It was incredible! We had a good long time with our dolphin. My wife and I got to interact with the dolphin together, which was nice. You could tell the trainers were very kind to the dolphins and they were incredibly knowledgeable. I loved the shuttle ride to the dolphin encounter, because the driver talked constantly about life in the Bahamas. It was a very positive experience. Freeport had a small-town atmosphere, and I really enjoyed it.


Provider: Carnival Cruise Lines

plattwear

1 review

This was our only excursion but it was a pricey one. Having said that I must say that it was worth every penny, I would do it again. Audra agrees. We met our tour group leader outside the gates at the port area where all the other tour groups were meeting as well. We boarded the bus at 9 am for the UNEXSO facility. Our bus driver was annoying however, he did give out some interesting facts about the area. Once we arrived at the UNEXSO facility we received our wrist bands and free tote bag with scratch off discount coupon for use in the gift shop. The dolphin encounter group road with us on the two boats to Sanctuary Bay. Then they split off to go do their excursion once we arrived. The boat ride over was beautiful through the bay area. The driver was cool and did not try to give us "tour talk" which was nice. He did point out an old pirate ship that had "GHOST" on the side when we passed it. Once we arrive at Sanctuary Bay they give you instructions on what will happen next, what not to do etc,, There are only twelve people in our group. Only six allowed in the water at a time. If you can not swim or if you are not a good swimmer you can use life jackets provided. Everyone must use the flippers. If you can swim in ten feet of water I do recommend that you bring a snorkel mask and skip the life jacket so that you can dive under the water. While the first group of six were in the water we took photos for them on the dock area. The trainers were very friendly, patient and informative. Three female dolphins were in the water in our area, Proballa, Coral and Cayla. Proballa was 8 months pregnant and weighed 600 lbs. Note: she does not like the color red. Two men in our group wore red t-shirts and she did not want to hug or kiss them. Cayla wanted the fish the trainers were rewarding the other two with so she would try to swim with the people in the water when it was not her turn. I thought this was too cute. She popped out of the water twice unexpectedly and surprised (scared) both Audra and I as well...we loved it. When it was our groups turn to enter the water for our free swim, Audra swam with Proballa and I swam with Coral. Only two people do the free swim at a time. The trainers told us that the dolphins enjoy diving. I dove under the water five times with Coral. Each time she swam right beside me within arms length distance and followed me back up to the surface. I could hear her making clicking noises underwater as well. This was just incredible to me. I forgot to mention "swimming with the dolphins" was on my bucket list and something I have been wanting to do for over 20 years. We were told to rub their sides to let them know they were doing well, while swimming next to them. They followed us around in a big circle right beside us the whole time. After our free swim, the six of us lined up a cross in a line. We patted the water in pairs to send the dolphins over to us and the trainers gave us a signal to give the dolphin to perform a trick. (talk, turn in circles, wave or splash). The second time we were able to pick our favorite trick when the dolphin came over. I picked talk because it was so cute to hear them talk. Audra picked splash. After the tricks we all took photos with the dolphins. One with the two of us swimming beside the dolphins together, one individually hugging the dolphin and one kissing the dolphin. When it was my turn to kiss the dolphin Coral was sent over to give me the kiss but Cayla (who is Coral's mom) decided to join her. I have a photo with both dolphins kissing me. This of course just put the icing on the cake for me (so to speak). After the photo session we got out of the water for our own little private dolphin show. All three dolphins flipped and did big tricks in the water together. Once that ended we were able to walk around the bay area to see the large Cockatoos and Parrots. A man brought two birds over to us and placed one on Audra's head and her arm. Then he moved the bird to my arm. They were beautiful birds. He said they could talk but they did not talk to us. Bathrooms and small snack bar area are available here if you need to purchase chips, hot dogs or bottled drinks etc., The boat ride back to the UNEXSO was outside the bay in the open water passing the beaches etc., Beautiful scenery. Once back at the UNEXSO facility you have the opportunity to shop in the gift shop and view & purchase your photos. I found the gift shop to be a little pricey but I did purchase a magnet which was $6 but I was able to use a 15 percent off coupon (the scratch off coupon they gave us). We were hungry by this time and decided to eat the Dive-In Marina Bar & Restaurant at UNEXSO. I ordered the conch fritters and Audra ordered a grilled chicken flat bread. They were both good. We also ordered a fruity beverage for $6.50 which was strong and relaxing. I did not think we were going to be able to walk very far afterward because we were about to fall asleep after that drink. (it was funny). we had told the bus driver we would not be returning to the ship with our group because we wanted to go to the beach. Someone told us where we could find the public access to the beach across from the police station. Well... we walked forever it seemed. I stopped to buy a straw fan that had "Bahamas" on it, as it was HOT! Then Audra and I got into a discussion about what time it was and what time we needed to be back at the ship. Long story short even though I knew we had two and half hours left before we needed to be back at the ship, we turned around and walked back to UNEXSO to find the bus driver. He had not left yet to take the second group back to port. We rode the bus back to port (as it was a free ride) and shopped around a bit in the port area. There was a shop that had $1 key chains and $1.99 shot glasses which I was looking for. Back on the boat after that because we were tired. I was disappointed we missed the beach in Freeport but, we still had Nassau left for that. We were very glad we made it back to the ship on time.


Provider: Carnival Cruise Lines

cautious cruiser

1 review

AMAZING READ REVIEW


Provider: Carnival Cruise Lines

Meers78

1 review

Awesome fun...but very expensive ($140 pp) for a 2.5 hour trip with roughly 40-45 mins watching the dolphins and 3-5 minutes one on one time with your family with one of the dolphins. Bus ride was good....this elderly driver "Dez" or "Desmond" i think was very good and shared a lot of info about the culture etc. Too little time in Freeport, had to come back to the ship at 1 pm. The Boat ride was entertaining with 2 young boys (captains) goofing around and also letting kids drive the small boat..overall good fun. Our sons had a blast.

Provider: Carnival Cruise Lines

RealPisces

1 review

My sister & I did the dolphin encounter. From the UNESCO building, you board a boat (small water ferry) to the island. On the way out, the captain took by way of the ocean and on the way in, she took through the waterways so we had a different view. When you go to the island (you can't really tell it's an island), you get off the boat and they separate group going on the swim vs the encounter. You can see the dolphins jumping around in their holding areas. Before you get in, the trainers give you some brief history and go over some instructions. While we were there it was freezing! but it was worth it! You sit on 2 sides of a square pool area. The 2 dolphins will splash & squirt you on command. The 2 trainers will each take 2 people in the water at a time with them, standing waist deep on a platform (climb in/out on a ladder). If you have a child, you will hold them. The trainer calls the dolphin over so you can pet/stroke them, the dolphin will give you a kiss (they have a photographer there too), and then they have the dolphins do some more jumps. You will definitely get wet. Bring a camera that can get wet. Bring a change of clothes and a dry towel--don't take them anywhere near the dolphins no matter how cold you are. Patrick and Phillip do a really good job with the dolphins and the people, both were very patient. A few people in our group spent $12 for a full body wet suit, great investment if you are in the least bit cold. There were 2 kids in the group, both around 3-5yo, one of them wasn't the least bit afraid, the other was terrified so it is probably hard to tell how a child will react. My aunt came, they brought a chair for her to sit by the water and watch. She didn't pet or kiss the dolphins but they did make sure she was soaked by the end (we tried to hide a dry towel behind her). After it was over, there was a fire pit that warmed everyone up in a matter of minutes. We all hung out and talked until the boat was ready to take us back to the main area. After that, we walked over to the market and did some shopping. We missed the bus back to port, so we walked across the street to the casino and caught a taxi back to the port. The taxis at the market wanted $27 but at the casino we found a driver who was willing to take us for only $10.

Provider: Carnival Cruise Lines

soaplady3

1 review

The excursion itself was an experience my girls will never forget. However, we were made to wait at the doc for 45 minutes because the boat never came to pick us up. The cost was $150 per person. So for my daughters and husband it was an additional $500.00. Far more than when we flew to the Bahamas and booked the excursion ourselves.

Provider: Carnival Cruise Lines

ndame4nd

1 review

Was an awesome experience. Underwater cameras aren't allowed, but pictures and video from dock are allowed. This was much cheaper than buying all of theirs.

Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line

Freerein

1 review

The lagoon swim was absolutely outstanding. The boat ride to the facility was beautiful, the guides were helpful and humorous, and the swim was incredible. Well worth the price!!

Provider: Carnival Cruise Lines

stevepd

1 review

My daughter and ex signed up for the dolphin swim. It was everything advertised for. They had a good time. My sons and I went to the over priced carnival run port shops right off the boat. That sucked.

Provider: Carnival Cruise Lines

sparks1093

3 reviews

Everything was fantastic, even saw wild dolphins on the way to the lagoon. Well worth the price of admission.

Provider: Carnival Cruise Lines

Dkarb

1 review

This was simply amazing. We took a cab from the port to Unexso. From there, we took a leisurely ride by boat to the Dolphin area. The dolphin trainers were fantastic. We pet dolphins and had a private dolphin show. The boat was late picking us up, so we had no time back at the port for shopping. I would have liked an hour buffer so we could have done some more shopping in Lucaya.

Provider: Carnival Cruise Lines

Berzle986

3 reviews

Mostly everything I've read about Freeport on these boards was very negative. Are you nuts!!?? This place is spotless, untouched, just absolutely beautiful. We were only there from 7:00am till 2:00pm and I wish we stayed there longer. I am looking forward to coming back here very very soon. The swim with the dolphins excursion at UNEXSO was top notch, a-one, best excursion I've ever done in my life. You take a 20 minute boat ride out to the lagoon where the dolphins are and what a great scenic view. Just breathtaking!! They take 2 people at a time in the water with 2 dolphins and your with them for about 20 minutes petting them, giving them commands and finally getting a ride by holding there fin. They also have many macaws and a tortoise. There gift shop is huge and the quality of everything they sold was very very good. This place is very clean also. Very impressive!!! I recommend this excursion to all.

Provider: Carnival Cruise Lines

LMG62

1 review

Wonderful experience! I was there on Tuesday at 9:30am and I had the most amazing and fun time at the Dolphin Encounter. Highly recommend to all. The entire staff was very professional, knowledgeable, funny and all around great! Excellent!

Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line

Peace at sea

1 review

We enjoyed the five minutes with the Dolphins and LOVED the people. Did not like the 3 hours of sitting and waiting that goes with this excursion. I am glad I did it but wont again. Freeport has great people and try the barbecue shack (its turquoise blue with green coconuts around it closest to the departure areas) and try the jerked chicken and coconut water!

Provider: Carnival Cruise Lines

cmh1976

1 review

Awesome!!!

Provider: Carnival Cruise Lines

Loloschuma2002

1 review

Absolutely amazing excursion out of Unexso, literally assigned one dolphin and just told to go ahead and swim with it. He never left my side and was very curious and fun to swim with.

Provider: Carnival Cruise Lines

CLJ3

1 review

Our family took the excursion to Unexso for the dolphin encounter. (2 adults, 3 children ages 5,8,10) We were greeted by a friendly tour bus driver who provided us with some facts and history about the Bahamas. The ride was comfortable and gave us a glimpse of the island. We were taken to the Unexso resort where we entered through a gift shop and were given a cute t-shirt and the passes to get on the boat that would take us to the dolphin retreat. Once again we were welcomed by the boat captains who were quite entertaining. The boat ride to the retreat was smooth, relaxing and absolutely beautiful. The boat captain also kept us entertained with stories and facts about the island. Once we arrived at the retreat, we were taken directly to the dolphin area to receive information and instructions regarding our experience. The trainers were so patient and knowledgeable which was great considering most visitors were families with young children. I will be honest, I was skeptical about this experience partly because of the price and also because I'm not a huge fan of sea life, however, it was spectacular. Everyone had the opportunity to get in the waist deep water and truly have a close encounter with the dolphins by petting and hugging them. Despite my hesitation, I felt very safe and had no problem with my kids being in the water with the dolphins. There is also a photographer who captured each of us getting "kissed" by the dolphins. The pictures were fabulous and cost less than $10 each but well worth it for a once in a lifetime opportunity. In addition to the dolphins, the retreat has exotic birds that freely fly around. We were also able to have the birds put on our arms to hold, which I took pictures of myself. The return trip back to the ship was just as enjoyable. My husband and kids agreed that this was the highlight of our entire trip!

Provider: Carnival Cruise Lines

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