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.
The dolphin excursion was a mixed bag for us, the Animals are wonderful creatures with amazing personality and you can tell they are actually cared for properly, very clear bond between animal and handler. The staff directly involved with the Dolphins were also amazing and very friendly. I did find much of the staff at the Balmoral island to be a bit rude and caught them floating prices for the private cabana which was disappointing. Nassau itself I found to be my least favorite stop, but this was due to my own personal preference not because of anything anyone did wrong. I'm not a huge fan of big touristy area's, I prefer more of the natural vibe that we got in Grand Turk. Locals were friendly.
The shallow water Dolphin encounter was awesome. You had a good amount of time to spend with the Dolphins, as well as being able to interact with them, and even touch them. We all enjoyed it very much. The downsides were that we had to wait an hour once we got there for our assigned tour time. We had the Dolphin Encounter and Beach Break combo tour. With the time that we were stuck in traffic, and the hour wait built in for the encounter, we had no time to go to the beach or the aquarium.
Dolphin Encounters at Blue Lagoon Island, Nassau - we booked the dolphin encounters (http://dolphinencounters.com/) excursion before the cruise. We were concerned about the reviews we read about the treatment of the dolphins at excursions like this one, but the staff at Blue Lagoon Island was professional and did not force the dolphins to do anything they did not want to do. The first dolphin to interact with our group decided not to return to the area we were in so the staff released another dolphin from its pen to join us for the rest of the program.
Absolute highlight of the entire week! Our morning wasn't so great as we explored Nassau, tried to walk to Dunkin Donuts but it was much too far and walking was difficult on the narrow streets, many without sidewalks and drivers are aggressive. We got soaked in the rain, dried off on the boat and then prepared for our trip to Blue Lagoon for the Dolphin encounter. The ferry ride over was fun, snacks and drinks available for purchase, friendly and enthusiastic staff, and scenic. The session with the Dolphin was great, very interactive, I still can't believe I was able to kiss, hug and dance with a dolphin!! The only downside was that it took a very long time to wait for pictures to print if you order them and we would have liked to enjoy their beach instead of stand around. I would highly recommend this to any animal lovers!
Poorly run dockside and dangerous. We were 2 hrs late departing and there was no water to drink while we waited in the heat. The dockside coordinator didn't seem to care and was either incompetent or overwhelmed. A kid narrowly escaped serious injury or worse when we boarded the tour boat and he fell through the gap between the boat and the dock.
Our time at the actual dolphin experience was cut short by a few hrs obviously and we didn;t get to use the beach but the actual encounter with the dolphins was great for little kids that can't swim.
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