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“Better than Disneyland” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Capt. Dave's Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari

Capt. Dave's Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari
24440 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point, CA 92629
949 488 2828
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Ranked #1 of 16 Activities in Dana Point
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Owner description: Whale watch with Capt. Dave's Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari in Dana Point on our hi-tech sailing catamaran year round, with exclusive Eye-to-Eye Underwater Viewing PODS™. Daily trips to see dolphins, up to 10,000 strong, leap and play right off our bow, migrating Gray whales December through April and Blue Whales May through November. Go underwater with whales and dolphins without getting wet during your whale watch in our Eye to Eye Underwater Viewing Pods. Listen to dolphins during your whale watching safari with our underwater Hydrophone. Celebrity and certified naturalists make this exciting Dana Point whale watching excursion educational and entertaining too. Homemade triple-fudge brownies make this a one-of-a-kind dolphin and whale watching adventure unforgettable. You can see a live broadcast from our boat, the first and only place in the world where you can go dolphin and whale watching LIVE right from your computer during our daily dolphin and whale watching excursions!
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Tucson
1 review
“Better than Disneyland”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2014

My two grandsons ages 6 and 7 have been saving their money for two years to go out whale watching. Finally, this winter we planned a trip and went out on the 18th at 9 am we saw dolphins as far as the eye could see. The boat was great and everyone had a good view. We finally saw 1 gray whale off at a distance (other boats had been on him all morning) and the captain was kind enough to take some extra time so we could watch. We also saw bottle nosed dolphins who played in the wake. We saw many other California attractions on our trip but our 7 year old says the dolphin safari was the best even better than his time at Disneyland. Thanks we will be back.

Visited January 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ArielleA, Owner at Capt. Dave's Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari, responded to this review, January 27, 2014
Hi Tammy,
Wow, that's very high praise, especially from a 7-year old! Thank you! I am so happy the kids had fun and grateful for you taking the time to leave a review. I hope we'll see you again soon.
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Date | Rating
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English first
Los Angeles, California, United States
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
31 attraction reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
“Unforgettable experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2014

My boyfriend and I went whale watching with Captain Dave's awesome crew this past weekend. We had an amazing time at sea and even got to watch a mom and baby grey whale swim side by side. The crew was so nice and knowledgeable and the boat was very clean and spacious.

Check out our post for full details and photos of the adventure:
http://mrandmrsadventure.com/2014/01/15/captain-daves-whale-watching-safari-hiking-to-the-top-of-the-world-sunset-at-the-cliff/

Visited January 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ArielleA, Owner at Capt. Dave's Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari, responded to this review, January 27, 2014
Hi Brittany,
Thanks so much for joining us! I'm glad you had a great time and were able to see a gray whale mom and her little calf. I hope you can join us again so we can show you our most frequently seen animal - dolphins!
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Zurich, Switzerland
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
17 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Caution, one-way "non-cancallation-policy"!! Don't accept that!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2014

Be careful, because they might try to cancel the trip due to less participants!!

we knew about the strict non-cancellation-policy of capt Dave and we agreed. The only reason for cancellation is bad weather, they said. So we rented a car, made reservations, planned our trip, got up early (we had a 3h drive one way to dana point!) and so on. And when we were just about to leave, we received a call and were informed that our trip might be cancelled because of not enough participants. I was asked, at what time we have to know if the trip would be operated or not. I told the lady, that we need to know it immediately, and we wouldn't accept a cancellation due to their strict "non-cancellation-policy". She became rude and said she would call us back later. 30min. later, she called my friend and tried with him to cancel the trip. He told her the same, we wouldn't accept a cancellation and finally she agreed to operate.

Since we left 45min late, we didn't have enough time to have a good lunch, just ate a burger while being in a hurry. but nevermind, I just wanted to share my experience about cancellation-policy with you, so you can be prepared. And this was the only thing I have to complain about, because...:

THE TRIP WAS GREAT! We had a good captain, we had a good atmosphere, there were good instructions, a lot of background information, we saw 5 whales... what else should we expect? Ah dolphins, but I didn't care about them too much ;-) Anyway, eventhough they have a 92%-chance to see dolphins (as they said), we didn't see any. But as I said, I wanted to see whales and we did see them! GREAT experience!

Visited December 2013
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ArielleA, Owner at Capt. Dave's Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari, responded to this review, January 20, 2014
Hi Michael. Thank you so much for joining us on a safari last month and for taking the time to write a review about your experience. I'm so glad you were able to see gray whales and fin whales and enjoyed the boat, although it is unfortunate that we weren't able to show you our most common marine mammal, dolphins.

In regards to our cancellation policy, yes it is true we do not allow passengers to cancel their reservation. And it is also true that, on rare occasions, we have to cancel a trip because we do not have enough people reserved. However that is standard policy for most, if not all, tour companies. What is not standard policy for most tour companies though is for the owners to agree to allow a trip to go out, even though it may not have enough passengers, just to accommodate a few guests who cannot go another day. Most other tour operators would instead tell you "sorry, we haven't met the minimum" and send you on your way. When I learned you were making the drive and had rented the car I made the trip a go immediately even though we hadn't met the minimum. The delay was in reaching me because I was in a meeting...not in making a decision. We take great pride in providing top notch customer service and I'm thrilled we were able to share with you some of the amazing Southern California marine wildlife. With that in mind, I'm very sorry you did not have an excellent experience with our reservation staff. Our goal is that you have a truly outstanding trip, from start to finish, and I'm sorry it did not begin as it should have.

I hope you enjoyed your lunch at the upscale Harbor Grill Restaurant here in Dana Point Harbor, where you said you were eating when we called. You mention just eating a burger so I hope you have the opportunity to try their excellent sea food menu if you visit Dana Point again.
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Clearwater, Florida
1 review
“Wonderful Experience of a Lifetime!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2014

My daughter and I went on Captain Dave's Whale Watching Safari this month. It was wonderful! We saw several grey whales, dolphins and sea lions. The whole experience was top rate from the beginning clear down to the homemade brownies we received at the end of our safari. The crew was very knowledgeable and shared their passion for the animals we were seeing. They wanted to educate their passengers as well as give them the best experience possible. This was my third trip on different whale boats in Hawaii and California, but Captain Dave's was by far the most enjoyable! They deserve their top rating!

Visited January 2014
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ArielleA, Owner at Capt. Dave's Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari, responded to this review, January 20, 2014
Hi Janet,
Thank you for taking the time to leave us a review. I'm so happy you enjoyed all the animals, our crew, and the brownies! I hope we'll see again soon.
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atlanta
Top Contributor
112 reviews 112 reviews
31 attraction reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
“Amazing Trip”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2014

We booked this trip based on previous reviews. We were not disappointed at all. Seas were very calm, boat very comfortable and crew extremely knowledgeably about area, whales and dolphins. We saw migrating Gray Whales, dolphins and sea lions. Trip was around 2 1/2 half hours however our trip was longer due to following a nice gray whale. Everything was first class, the experience was memorable, this trip would be well worth taking even if not marine life is spotted. The views of the coast are spectacular, crew pointed out several interesting areas along the coast, ever provided names of property owners. This trip is a must, we were staying in Pasadena for the BCS National championship game and had about a 2 hour drive. I'd do it all over again. Price is very reasonable too.

Visited January 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ArielleA, Owner at Capt. Dave's Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari, responded to this review, January 20, 2014
Hi Bill,
Thank you for leaving us feedback about your dolphin and whale watching safari! I'm thrilled we were able to share our love of whales and dolphins with you. I'm glad you enjoyed the tour of our coastline too. I think that's one of the features that makes Dana Point whale watching trips standout above others. We have a breathtaking coastal view! I hope you'll come back and see us again soon.
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