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Grand Cayman Dolphin Swim Excursion Reviews

Home > Member Reviews > Grand Cayman Shore Excursions > Dolphin Swim

Enjoy a dynamic dolphin swim enclosed in the pristine waters that surround Grand Cayman.

bwohlgemuth

1 review

So the last day in this marathon is Grand Cayman and seriously, it’s the best for last. Love this island, and will hopefully be back. Because of the lack of addresses, the average person won’t know exactly where the Dolphin Excursion place is. It’s WAY THE HECK AWAY FROM THE SHIP. The tender ride in is less than five minutes and bus ride is about 40 minutes. Plan accordingly and book your time based on that. Also remember that Grand Cayman is on Central time, so everything is one hour later than ship time. My recommendation would be to book the 11:00 dolphin swim which really is 12:00 ship time. If the boat gets in at 10:00, you will have plenty time to get in and grab a bus.

The buses on Grand Cayman are large vans that run routes around the island. The #2 bus will get you there for about $5US per person. Far cheaper than a taxi in most cases and you get to see more of the island than just West Bay Drive. We had to stop for air for a tire on the way up, so just keep that in mind as well. :-)

Got to the site way early. Also, this is the place to get online…the Caymans are wired up far better than any island so if you want to upload pics, update FB, etc…go to any local restaurant and grab 30 minutes of sweet wi-fi. The wi-fi is free in the dolphin overlook area and there is a restaurant there. The food they served the workers looked far better than what they offered, didn’t ask if they sold it to the general public.

We got there very early and our admission included a trip to the turtle farm across the street. The turtle farm is well laid out, but it was a bit sad to see these large animals clawing over each other for a few morsels (kind of like carp near the beach). Lots of sad shaky video of that as well. My kid was in heaven finding spotted geckos and all sorts of other critters “LOOK DAD, CHICKENS!”.

The turtle farm did have some small turtles which you could grab out of their various pools. The smart ones just sat under the water while the ones that weren’t so smart swam near enough to get grabbed by little hands. Yes the 11 year old loved that (although I’m sure PETA somewhere is planning a large turtle heist).

Back across the street to the dolphin excursion and walked in waiting for our time at 1:00 (2:00 ship time). Plenty of lockers in there but be warned the locks are all keyed the same. Better to leave the really expensive stuff you might worry about elsewhere. The dolphin place is large and has 11 dolphins to work with. We had Darwin and Constantine for the Royal Swim which is a combination of various photo poses and a few rides that you only get to see the trainers do at Sea World.

So, to those rides. Whoa. Seriously kiddies, if you are going to spend the $$$$ on the Dolphin Encounter, spend the extra $30 and get the Royal Swim so you can do the dorsal swim and the Superman pose. Damn…kid and wife had a great time and there’s something unsettling to see two very LARGE dolphins coming at full speed to put your stinky feet on their heads and push you down at 20+mph. Kind of like what someone thinks when a cruise missile is about to obliterate their tank… “Oh $%#@ this is real and it’s heading right towards me”. One side note for guys, make sure that set of trunks is really tired down well. No wardrobe malfunctions allowed at the dolphin swim.

Great staff there and they were constantly making sure we were having fun. Seems a bit scripted at times but I’m sure that’s done to ensure a consistent experience. Got done in about 40 minutes and ran over to shower, change and get out the door. Of course, you can’t just leave after 40 minutes of “smile here!”. We were offered “all the pics on CD” for $120 which we took quickly. Even though there are pics that should never see the light of day on there, it’s easier just to grab the disc and go. Also Gus & Family who was there at the same time, if you happen to read this by any weird chance…contact me. Got a few of the kid which you might want.

Took the bus back which took far longer and was busier than the morning ride up. PLAN ACCORDINGLY. We got back to the port with 10 minutes to spare (left at 3:40 ship time from the part, got back at 4:50 ship time). Didn’t have time to enjoy the sweet wi-fi, but that’s what awaits the millisecond we are back home.


Provider: Independent Operator

BabsGo

1 review

We went to Dolphin Cove and Stingray City. The Dolphin Cove portion was nice and very informative but the dolphin encounter/swim was somewhat short and highly controlled. They wanted $150 for a CD of the photos which was ridiculous but my husband got them to cut the price by 50%.


Provider: Carnival Cruise Lines

vintagemaps

1 review

The dolphin swim was fun but went by fast. It was worth the money and the instructors were nice.


Provider: Royal Caribbean International

danamp

1 review

AWESOME!!! Loved swimming with the dolphins and seeing the sea turtle farm. The staff at the Dolphin site were very friendly and you could tell they love their jobs. The dolphins are powerful but gentle and loving. What a great experience


Provider: Holland America Line

subo123

1 review

I will never forget "Cappy" our dolphin and the opportunity to swim with him. Feeling his nose touch the bottom of your foot and propel you through the water..still brings a smile to my face.
I would do this one again in a heartbeat. The staff was very concerned about your safety and the dolphin's safety. All jewelry must be removed, so leave it on the ship!
I loved it!


Provider: Holland America Line

cocoandstephen

1 review

Dolphin Cove personnel seemed to be a little stressed out and a man named Jeremy was the rudest I've seen in a while. The trainers are wonderful and seem to love their jobs. Try to book at 1:00 or 2:00 for ease.

Provider: Independent Operator

Rosethorn40

12 reviews

Dolphin was great (Nemo-very gentle), Stingrays were neat was able to purchase good photos of both expierences.

Provider: Carnival Cruise Lines

Sun and Fun Cruiser

1 review

One of the best experiences of my life. Got to spend a good amount of time with the dolphin. It was very interractive. Definitely got my money's worth and will repeat if I have the chance.

Provider: Independent Operator

gaccr

1 review

Wonderful experience!! Again, no cameras allowed, so you have to buy their photos, but there would be no way to take photos while you're doing it anyway. The swim takes place in a small cove where they said the water was 25-30 feet deep. This was just so much better than doing it in a pool. The dolphins swam by for us to stroke them, "danced" and "sang" for us. Then they had them swim up into our arms for us to stroke their backs and stomachs. Then we swam out probably 50 feet from the platform and the dolphin came out to us, we grabbed hold of their flippers and they pulled us back toward the platform. Wonderful experience and combined with the stingray swim is definitely worth the money!

Provider: Carnival Cruise Lines

quizak

1 review

A quick bus ride got my grandaughter to the dolphine swim site which she thouroughly enjoyed. Her mom and dad were able to watch her and take pictures from the stands. Her brother even got a chance to interact with one of the dolphins as a bonus.

Provider: Independent Operator

ggtu

1 review

Both overrated and maybe because of the holiday crowds. Stingray City was a bust. Too many boats and not as natural as I thought. The dolphin swim was fun but again, I expected a more natural habitat and it was not. Sort of felt like massive amounts of time in transportation for two quick overpriced photo opportunities. Not what I thought it would be. However, Grand Cayman was a beautiful place.

Provider: Carnival Cruise Lines

rkb1970

1 review

My daughter wanted to do this - she is 7 1/2 and minimum age was 8, so it was a bit of a production but the ship got permission from Dolphin Cove as long as I went with her. We have done the encounter before at Atlantis in Bahamas, but this was so much better! We kissed the dolphin, pet her, and then got a belly ride. My daughter giggled the whole time! Definitely recommend, especially for kids.

Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line

mbshrekito

2 reviews

Dolphin swim is OK - photographs are poor quality and overpriced at $140 for a dvd with photos and poor quality video after paying $154-99 for the tour.

Provider: Carnival Cruise Lines

tchicpup

1 review

Great experience not to be missed. They put us in a small group and we got to get lots of pictures kissing, shaking fins and swimming with Darwin.

Provider: Disney Cruise Line

sirpitster

1 review

Grand Caymans you were tendered to shore from the ship. We had an afternoon Royal Dolphin Swim we had booked through another agency prior to sailing. We had to take a taxi to the Dolphin Park. We got done a bit late and were in a hurry to get back to the ship. I thought we were getting on a taxi from the part, but it turned out to be the town bus. We stopped at every bus stop to drop off or pick up passengers. Make sure you get a taxi. We almost missed the boat!

Provider: Independent Operator

cruisefan123

1 review

A wonderful experience.

Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line

NotSoRealMcCoy

1 review

Since the ship had to tender guests to the island, we had to be ready to go an hour before this excursion actually started. Once ashore, we had to wait about 30 minutes before the mini-coach took us on the 20 or so minute ride to Dolphin World. They then gave us about 35 minutes to walk across the street and visit the Turtle Farm (which is more than enough time unless you are really into turtles). Afterwards, we gathered back at Dolphin World and waited another 30 minutes or so for further instructions. Our group of about 50 was broken up into four groups of about a dozen or so. We were given life jackets and told to get into our swim suits (there is a changing room and free lockers to store your stuff). There is a lot going on at this point as other groups are finishing up their tours, getting into their lockers, and changing out of their swimsuits. Each smaller group was first taken one at a time into a pool where an employee was holding a small stingray. Each person was given a few seconds to pet the stingray while their photo was taken. After getting out of the stingray pool, our group was taken into a larger pool where we stood along the edge on a submerged platform. We then spent about 20 minutes with a dolphin, getting to pet her several times, posing for photos with her, and having two 10 second rides with her (one where you hold on to her flippers and one where she pushes you on a boogie board). Afterwards, we were led out of the pool to rinse off and change out of our swimwear. We then had about another 90 minutes before our mini-coach arrived to take us back to the tender port. This was plenty of time to view and purchase our photos and visit the gift shop. There were four of us and we purchased a CD containing 160 photos for $159. The photos were professionally done. We were all sunburnt by the end as they don't want you to wear sunscreen while with the dolphin and it was a very sunny day. The entire excursion from the time we needed to be ready until we arrived back at the tender port was about 5 hours. It certainly is a unique experience and my entire family enjoyed it very much.

Provider: Holland America Line

makgga

1 review

We loved this and it is completely worth the money you pay. Got to touch and swim with the Pepe the dolphin and he is a real charmer. What an experience. Shopping is also really great near the port.

Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line

Nascar21n8

3 reviews

Was so clean and great Captain Don who did the small tour of sea life before the dolphin swim was great? The dolphin swim was great and fun. The facility for the dolphin swim was clean and great a lot of fun! A must do !!!!! Cant brag enough this was clean, nice and great. pictures were a little over priced but that's to be expected the staff was great friendly and clean place. Really a must do swim with the dolphins. Captain Don who showed the sea life and the 6 pointed starfish was great with the kids and knew his stuff he really did well in the aquarium with the guests!!!!

Provider: Carnival Cruise Lines

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