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Grand Cayman Dolphin Swim Excursion Reviews

Grand Cayman Dolphin Swim cruise excursion
Overall Rating
Enjoy a dynamic dolphin swim enclosed in the pristine waters that surround Grand Cayman.
Member Image phelp1ma
1 review
Jan 2016
The Dolphin Swim and Stingray encounter was awesome but with all the waiting around the excursion will take up all of your time in the port.
Read phelp1ma's full Norwegian Getaway cruise review
Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Member Image ommax2
1 review
Dec 2015
Other than the usual complaint of price gauging at photo purchase time, it was great!
Read ommax2's full Freedom of the Seas cruise review
Provider: Royal Caribbean International
Member Image JChoudhary
1 review
Dec 2015
Daughter did this, she really enjoyed it, although the staff there was a bit rude. Because I did not go in the water, it was dirty lagoon water, I got a refund.
Read JChoudhary's full Freedom of the Seas cruise review
Provider: Royal Caribbean International
Member Image jennywenny
1 review
Nov 2015
exciting experience and enjoyed also the sting ray sandbar. beautiful
Read jennywenny's full Norwegian Getaway cruise review
Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Member Image IanB74
1 review
Aug 2015
After riding a tender from the ship, you take a bus out to Dolphin City. Our excursion did the Stingray Encounter first....so you then get on another boat where they take you out to a shallow spot where the stingrays are and let you off the boat to pet, kiss and get a back rub from a Stingray. We had done a lot of Stingray encounters at Sea Worlds and Zoos we have been to, so other than the back rub, it was "old hat". Still, it was a beautiful spot, and just getting out and swimming in the water was awesome. They have photos for sale, you can get a couple of prints or just get them all e-mailed to you for $60, which sounds like a lot, but continue reading. Then we rode back to Dolphin City for our Dolphin swim. The experience was amazing, a once in a lifetime type thing. You get to pet the Dolphin, touch it's belly, and then it will pull you through the water on it's belly. Very fun, something the kids will always remember. No cameras are allowed, so you have to buy their photos. You can pick and choose the photos you want, or get them all on disk for a whopping $160. I expected to pay an exorbitant amount, but not quite that bad. Of course, I hadn't yet priced photos on the ship at this point, and realized how expensive getting photos of this vacation was going to be! I had promised to get the pictures, though, so I went through with it. Overall, we really enjoyed it, though.
Read IanB74's full Carnival Magic cruise review
Provider: Carnival Cruise Line
Member Image leejero
1 review
Jul 2015
Captured dolphins taking pictures kissing and riding with you. Will NOT do this ever again. Feel sad for these dolphins that are captured. Some had scratches on the sides and don't seem happy. They also want you to buy their photos to make more money off you, won't let you take your own photos.
Read leejero's full Disney Fantasy cruise review
Provider: Disney Cruise Line
Member Image Rachcamey1
1 review
Jul 2015
Dolphins swim was really nice, you get to do a belly ride, touch the Dolphin, and kiss and be kissed from the Dolphins.
Read Rachcamey1's full Carnival Glory cruise review
Provider: Carnival Cruise Line
Member Image hampcb
1 review
Jun 2015
Dolphin Discovery Grand Cayman We visited Cayman on Royal Caribbean, I think our visit to Dolphin Discovery was enhanced because we booked it ourselves instead of going through the crise line. The cruise line greatly discourages doing this “you could be left alone”, ect, many other warnings. However we had no problems. Getting a taxi to the location was easy & safe. We arrived well before the tour buses & got to start before the crowds. We stayed ahead of the crowds all day & did not even eat lunch with the crowd. The cost was much cheaper, watch for the specials. Booking it on our own helped us to afford the top dolphin experience package. I found the people at Dolphin Discovery were kind and helpful. I noticed in the gift shop a man with a cane told a clerk he needed to sit, there was not a place to sit anywhere around. I expected her to tell him to find something outside but she gave him her own stool from behind the counter, & then just stood while he sat. I was in there multiple times asking for things, free bag for wet swimsuits, ect, never a problem. At lunch we tried to save a little by just getting two bottles of water for four people, without asking the waitress brought us four cups. The kids loved the snorkeling with the turtles & the dolphin experience, being that close to the dolphins is a once in a lifetime experience. We had read they were overcharging for pictures, but they have come down it seems. We paid $79 for all pictures on a CD plus 2 prints. I thought that was reasonable. This was for two kids, we made sure they knew they were together. Also I took my own pictures and videos, but the ones they took were much better.
Read hampcb's full Freedom of the Seas cruise review
Provider: attraction web site
Member Image Jasonwipf
1 review
Jun 2015
This was expensive but fun. They gave us two rides and a chance to kiss and play with dolphins. Photos were ridiculously expensive. Try to get a friend or family member on land to take pics as they are worth doing.
Read Jasonwipf's full Disney Fantasy cruise review
Provider: Disney Cruise Line
Member Image Mommyof3sweetboys
1 review
May 2015
I can't even begin to describe how neat it is to touch a real dolphin! Such amazing, intelligent creatures. Something that everyone should experience at least once!
Read Mommyof3sweetboys's full Freedom of the Seas cruise review
Provider: Royal Caribbean International
Member Image dmindy22@yahoo.com
1 review
Apr 2015
My daughter and I had a wonderful time. Discovery cove was pricey, but worth the money and experience. This excursion is a must do at least once in your life. Bring extra money for the pics. They were $140 by themselves.
Read dmindy22@yahoo.com's full Independence of the Seas cruise review
Provider: Royal Caribbean International
Member Image tangoangel67
1 review
Apr 2015
This excursion was a DREAM COME TRUE! I have always wanted to swim & interact with dolphins and this excursion exceeded all of my expectations! Being able to kiss the dolphin and swim on her belly literally brought tears to my eyes! I definitely want to return and bring our boys to experience this for themselves!
Read tangoangel67's full Norwegian Epic cruise review
Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Member Image Amy Natt
1 review
Apr 2015
We did a combined sting ray and dolphin cove tour. The trip started out organized, but once we got on the bus it fell apart. There was no real guide. We got dropped at dolphin cove and were let off and not told what to do. So we all sat in the pavilion and waiting. Someone came and let us down a trail where we had to wait in line to take photo's with a bird. My kids were hot and ready to get to the water, so we walked around the line and through a gift shop out to some picnic tables. We asked a couple people what we were supposed to be doing and they just kept saying sit and wait. After about 45 minutes some guys showed up to take us to sting ray bay. We waited another 30 minutes to get everyone on the boat to depart. Once back we asked about lunch (as we were told there would be someplace to eat) and there was nothing, one snack bar with pizza that looked nasty and $4 bags of chips and bottles of water. We than sat and waited another hour to do the dolphin encounter. The dolphins were very cool, but basically very trained to create photo ops to sell photographs. They rushed each person through the 2 poses and would get upset if someone did not turn the right way or smile for the camera. I wish we had skipped this one! It was a long day, very little action and no reasonable food or beverage options. They a long bus ride back.
Read Amy Natt's full Disney Magic cruise review
Provider: Disney Cruise Line
Member Image jgshively
1 review
Mar 2015

Dolphin swim was a lot of fun. Kids loved it. We did one before where we just got to pet the dolphins and it is definitely worth the extra money for the swim. Pictures are were they get you on cost but I think it was worth it.

Read jgshively's full Celebrity Reflection cruise review
Provider: Celebrity Cruises
Member Image barnumrcg10435
1 review
Not Rated
Dec 2014

his was the one and only great excursion. Highly recommend. It was 149 per person. This cruise line did not give nearly enough time on land. Really regrettable.

We were a group of six. We did both the dolphin swim and the stingray swim. Fabulous:)

Read barnumrcg10435's full MSC Divina cruise review
Provider: MSC Cruises
Member Image rich8862
1 review
Not Rated
Dec 2014

Simply amazing, an unforgettable experience.

Read rich8862's full Zuiderdam cruise review
Provider: Holland America Line
Member Image bwohlgemuth
1 review
Jul 2014

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.

Read bwohlgemuth's full Carnival Legend cruise review
Provider: Dolphin Excursion
Member Image BabsGo
1 review
Jun 2014

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%.

Read BabsGo's full Carnival Legend cruise review
Provider: Carnival Cruise Line
Member Image vintagemaps
1 review
Not Rated
May 2014

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

Read vintagemaps's full Freedom of the Seas cruise review
Provider: Royal Caribbean International
Member Image bruceo2
1 review
May 2014

It seems with excursions that the only reason to book with the cruise line is to "guarantee' you will not be left behind if you get stuck on an excursion and cannot get back to the ship in time. Otherwise it seems like there is not quality control or full disclosure. When we booked our kids to go on the dolphin swim, which was very expensive and they saved their own money. It turns out that they required an adult to be with each child and must pay full price, the encounter was with a fairly large group and was a lot of time dedicated to have a very short actual interaction with the dolphins. What is worse they would not let you anywhere near the kids so you couldn't watch or take pictures because they take pictures and charge $60 for a small pic and would follow you all the way out pressuring you to buy and telling you that the pictures will be deleted. Felt extremely scammy. For the same price we could have went to Discovery Cove and had an amazing full day experience with dolphins and sea life.

Read bruceo2's full Freedom of the Seas cruise review
Provider: Royal Caribbean International
Member Image danamp
1 review
Not Rated
Mar 2014

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

Read danamp's full Nieuw Amsterdam cruise review
Provider: Holland America Line
Member Image subo123
1 review
Not Rated
Dec 2013

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!

Read subo123's full Nieuw Amsterdam cruise review
Provider: Holland America Line
Member Image cocoandstephen
1 review
Mar 2013
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.
Read cocoandstephen's full Mariner of the Seas cruise review
Provider: Royal Caribbean International
Member Image Rosethorn40
16 reviews
Mar 2013
Dolphin was great (Nemo-very gentle), Stingrays were neat was able to purchase good photos of both expierences.
Read Rosethorn40's full Carnival Magic cruise review
Provider: Carnival Cruise Line
Member Image Sun and Fun Cruiser
1 review
Feb 2013
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.
Read Sun and Fun Cruiser's full Navigator of the Seas cruise review
Provider: Dolphin Adventure

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