We enjoyed the dolphin encounter. Each person got to kiss a dolphin and dance with it. The dolphin went by us several times and we got to touch it. We missed orientation talk because our guide forgot our group after the turtle farm.
Our kids did the Push, Pull and Swim with Dolphins and we purchased the Observer tickets as we have done it before. Our excursion also included the Turtle Farm and that was fantastic. Really want to go back to the Turtle Farm. The Dolphin Facility was fairly new, clean and nice.
after a short bus ride we entered the dolphin facility, put our things in lockers, and met our "guide" we were herded to one side of the pools for a "photo op" but the camera was broken so we waited for a while while the switched it. By then were staring straight into the sun. We were then herded to the other side of the pool and got in to interact with our 38 yr old dolphin Luna. We had been told that no sunscreen was allowed with the dolphins and no jewelry either but almost all of the others on our tour used both. We stood int he bright sun as the dolphin swam in front of us so we could reach out and feel her glide beneath our hands. Then she came back and "posed" with each of us for another photo opportunity. We were told to look at the camera the whole time so we couldn't really even see the dolphin or what she was doing when it was our turn to "interact". It felt like one long photo shoot with an old tired dolphin. Then we were herded back out. When we saw our pictures were were shown the package prices. Since there were four of us we could buy the whole package for $250 or we would be 4 poses of the same person for $120 or we could buy one print of one person for $38.
They had told us that cameras were not allowed, but there were several people sitting inside the facility outside of the pool area taking pictures of the people interacting with the dolphins.
The whole "experience" was not about enjoying time with these amazing animals but was an assembly line to shuffle tourists through and then trap them into purchasing pictures for outrageous amounts of money.
We did a similar experience in Jamaica a year ago and it was SOOO much better! I was very disappointed in this experience and wouldn't recommend it to anyone!
There were a set number of tricks that the dolphins did with us: let us hold their fins to pull us, kiss us on the cheek, let us pet them. All of these were photo ops. We were not allowed to use our own cameras. They even took one guy's camera from him. The pictures were $40 each!!! Needless to say, we have no pictures.
I was disappointed in that the dolphins are corralled into an area, it's like an assembly line of photos ops and I felt very ripped off by the photo prices. The quality of the pics was very poor and as we were not allowed to take any of our own photos, we were forced to purchase the overpriced ones that they took. Not recommended.
Our worst rip-off excursion was the Dolphin meet & greet on the Cayman Islands.
The meet & great with the Dolphins was actually nice. But You were not allowed to video or take pictures yourself. They did this for you, consequently the price of 1 photo started at 50,- USD (just for one!). A few photos and the CD (with the video) would set you back a whopping 150,-USD. Considerable more than the high price you paid for the excursion in the first place.
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