We booked the Balmoral Island Dolphin Encounter since it was cheaper than other options during the cruise. It's about a 30-minute ride to the island. Other people did dolphin swims or stingray encounters or even just a beach break. Our encounter was fun and we certainly will remember it. The problem was that to purchase a photo, you have to pay $89 for a CD of all photos. After getting this excursion when Royal had a 10-20% off sale, we paid $89 each. So getting a photo(s) was just as much as the excursion. We declined. But we also got about 2-3 hours of beach time with free chairs and umbrellas, and the island has great drinks and food. It shares the island with Sandals.
Excursion-Dolphin beach break
Boat ride over was about 45 minutes. No safety drill, no communication until we got back requesting a tip.
Beach was beautiful, plenty of chairs.
Water was freezing! Got to spend 10 minutes with the dolphins. Which with the water feeling like you stepped into a cooler full of ice was more than enough time. Perhaps going at a different time of year would be better.
Blue Lagoon Island Pleasant ferry ride out to Island. I've done the Dolphin Swim in Cozumel twice. This one was a better experience. The water wasn't as rough and easier for children. My 7 yr old grandson did the foot push with ease. More expensive than Cozumel and the water was a bit chilly in March as well. Nice beach and play/water toys for the kids.
It was okay. The water was cold and with so many people, the time with the dolphin was limited. We got to pet it while it swam around us, dance one time with it and then later got a kiss and photos with it (for 76 bucks for a digital CD)...! They tried to make it as fun as possible. I have done dolphin swim before and got to actually swim and be pushed by the dolphin, but still, this excursion wasnt that expensive (much cheaper than dolphin swim I had done prior) so seemingly worth the money.
Best part of the cruise. Balmore Island swim with the dolphins. Cheaper than booking with Royal. They did not allow cameras so they could sell you their pictures and videos, 79.00 for pictures or 129.00 for pictures and video, a little pricey
There are two Dolphin Encounter excursions, one at Atlantis, and the one we did, at Blue Lagoon. I can absolutely recommend the one at Blue Lagoon. The staff is friendly and courteous, the dolphins are beautiful and amazingly well trained, each person spends a meaningful amount of one-on-one time with the dolphins, and gets to hug, kiss, dance with and feed a dolphin, among other activities. Appropriate for guests of all ages and even those who can't swim or don't feel comfortable in deep water, as all interactions take place at a shallow submerged platform where guests can stand or kneel comfortably, to be at the right level with the dolphins for the different behaviors and activities. Plenty of time to explore the Blue Lagoon area and beaches after the dolphin encounter, if one so chooses, but also hourly departures back to the ship for those who prefer to have their relaxation in the air-conditioned comfort of the ship.
Great watching the dolphins before my excursion-however-you only have access to the beach and chair-under no exception can you enter the water. Shower only if you get hot! You can only be in the water when its your turn. Try not to get with a group with kids. Lots of photography and i believe the other groups had more dolphin time. I booked it myself with Atlantis online for a cheaper rate. Group taxi to the hotel-4.00 per person-coming back private taxi 17.00-super pricey.4 cruise ships in Nassau at the same time so crowded especially trying to get out of the port area. I can't stand the hawkers trying to get you to buy something from them or the taxi crazies!
This was my second time visiting Blue Lagoon Dolphin Encounter and in two years, the excursion has really gone down. Originally, the pens where the dolphin encounter occurred, were much larger and seemed to be better suited for the Encounter. In this case, the enclosure was small and crowded and only allowed 6 or 8 people in the water (there were 18 or 20 of us) at a time.
Our trainer was so "mailing it in" that she clearly had lost our attention and definitely could not keep the attention of the two dolphins that she was trying to perform for us. Definitely not as well organized, or polished a performance as I( had seen two years prior.
We finally were moved to another pen where a different trainer and dolphin were introduced and they did great, but we had already checked-out and it really was a waste of money for us to be there.
Awesome dolphin experience! We were disappointed that we couldn't take pics and the encounter would not sell single photos. The price for the disc was $75. Too much for us. The food was very overpriced as well. Worth it to meet the dolphins.
Be prepared for a 30 minute walking tour of Atlantis that they don't advertise. The Atlantis staff was rude and bossy and unfriendly. We waited for 30+ minutes in a room for a trainer to come speak to us before our dolphin encounter. The actual encounter with the Dolphins was a lot of fun. Be prepared to pay a lot for pictures with the Dolphins if you want them.
We did the shallow water experience because our daughter was too young. The dolphin was a little ornery but we still got to do everything. They do not let you take any of your own photos unless someone else in your group not doing the excursion is available to take pictures from the beach. The pictures they take are nice but too expensive.
The dolphin encounter was great. Be warned they take you to an island 30 minutes by flat bottom type ferry thing (double decker) 30 minute away. The boat holds a lot of people AND I didn't see life vests. I mean I think you could have asked for one. Anyway, a thunderstorm built up right before we left and we were all out on this little ferry in the middle of the ocean and storm surge, wham! Rain ice cold hits all of us. Not a life vest on a one of us. We put along at 15 mph because that is as fast as that thing goes. Lightning popping everwhere, waves, rain! Crazy then you disembark and in the pooring rain had to run to the boat through water that smelled awful bad. Anyway, you take a chance riding out that far. The excursion itself was good. The dolphins were great. Be warned they DO NOT take sign and sail cards. You cannot take dolphin pics yourself. But this excursion was fine. We got the special price.
We went to Balmoral Island, next to Scandals on a private island, and the water was very cold. Walked in about waist deep and played with the Dolphin
tummy rub, kiss, etc. did not look at any photos, since we have done this many times. Bought a hamburger to spit and a Coke, about 25 dollars, but very good.
Plenty of room to spread out and two large pools.
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