Sea Life Park- Swimming With the Dolphins

Sea Life Park- Swimming With the Dolphins

Sea Life Park- Swimming With the Dolphins
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Duration: 2-3 hours
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4.0
109 reviews
Excellent
64
Very good
25
Average
4
Poor
10
Terrible
6

Christa L
Coopersburg, PA201 contributions
Aug 2022 • Family
We visited in August 2022 and booked the Dolphin Encounter through our concierge at Aulani. We were a group of 7, ages; 79-4. We paid over $1200 for our encounter. To be frank, I expected much more.

Let’s begin with the park facility’s. It’s a drag! I felt bad for every single animal in there from the second we arrived. The tanks are small and not well kept.

The animals do seem as if they are in good physical health….but are they happy? I doubt it.

When our time slot for our encounter began, we went to the meeting point and got fitted for our life vests. My son had issues with his and asked for a larger vest. We asked one of the female photographers helping our group for another vest (she had very long nails, dark hair and an attitude), but she would not help and in an aggressive tone said “that’s the vest he is wearing.” We then made a second attempt with another photographer who was helping the group get ready. This photographer was very nice and compassionate. She started to check the fit of the vest on my son, when the other woman yelled “that’s the vest he is wearing, I sized it!” Making me and my entire family (I think the other employee) all uncomfortable! She made us feel like if we spoke, we were going to get screamed at! Very poor start to our $1200 encounter.

The encounter went fine. The dolphins were beautiful.

We got some nice photos taken. I was surprised they were not included in the $1200 we paid for our encounter. So I ended up spending another $200 on the photos.

At the end of the day, I would not choose this excursion again, nor would I recommend it.

To the nasty woman who couldn’t speak kindly to us, or offer any compassion towards my son….please take a class in professional communication.
Written October 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Elisher H
Chicago, IL7 contributions
Jul 2013 • Family
My family and I visited the island of Oahu for our summer vacation. My kids wanted to swim with the dolphins which I thought would be a great experience. It was not! I paid $200.00 per kid and they spent a total of 4.2 seconds on the belly of the dolphin. I was under the impression that the ride and the whole dolphin encounter would have been longer for my money. I wasted my money and I do not recommend this activity. My thirteen year old son said it wasn't that much fun and he wish he would have chosen another activity.There are a lot of other fun things to do in Oahu which is not as expensive like scuba diving. The beach across the street from Sealife park, which is free, was more exciting than swimming with the dolphins.
Written July 28, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kirk D
3 contributions
My family and I (2 girls ages 8 & 11) booked the dolphin adventure on 27 dec. Unfortunately my wife had to pull out last minute for personal health reasons. The girls and I enjoyed the dolphins, though the encounter was not as interactive as expected like another reviewer mentioned. Was a unique experience however and the trainers in the water were very good.
Though I knew the policy about refunds, I thought I would ask anyway at the activity check in if my wife could come back another day to do hers. The girl behind the counter couldn't help so had to call her supervisor. Another young girl came over and (without even acknowledging I was standing there) rather bluntly told the first girl to move out of her way as "she couldn't do anything without the details". After looking at the booking details she accused me of lying by stating that she personally counted the group. At this point the photographer stepped in and confirmed there were only 9 in the water. This is when the supervisor lost it. She told me "she shouldn't have pulled out one of the kids should have not gone in!" I was a bit amused as I am not responsible for their health and safety procedures. At this point she just said we can't do anything our policy is no refunds or rescheduling. I understand the policy and did not expect to be allowed to rebook my wife's booking. I do however expect to be treated with respect. I strongly suggest to the management that they invest in some customer service training.
Written January 4, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jesst25
Scarborough, Australia2 contributions
Feb 2016 • Couples
My partner and I travelled to Hawaii from WA and swimming with the Dolphins was on the top of my list of things to do as they are my favourite animal. Once we arrived we were told to remove jewelry, however this was never advertised in their brochure. I explained to them that my helix piercing (cartilage on top of ear) had over grown and the actual backing of the earring was stuck in my ear requiring surgical intervention to remove it. Explaining that it was 100% impossible for the piercing to 'fall out' and offering to tape the ear and keep my head above water the staff refused to compromise and cancelled my swim. The adventure cost $609 AUD and they garunteed no refund and said that the $100AUD it cost to get into the park would not be refunded. When I asked to speak to a manager to get a physical inspection we were told that they are 'at a meeting'. Distraught and disappointed was an understatement. Tearing up at the front desk with surgery being my only option (clearly extreme and unrealistic) there was absolutely no empathy, compassion or professionalism. We were sent back to our hotel (an hour drive on a city bus) and wasted a whole day of our holiday. An absolutely horrible experience. Not to mention the park itself was run down and not at all welcoming. Will not ever be returning. I hope no one else is never treated so poorly.
Written February 1, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nutsm
melbourne16 contributions
Oct 2019
Paid about $80.00 US each for my daughter and grand daughter to take a picture with a dolphin in secret, away from the rest of the family so they don't take a picture with their phones! ! The park is small not many attractions with some of them being shut.This park is dying a Sloooooow death! and very expensive!
Written November 5, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CatzzzzByyyy
Huatulco, Mexico17 contributions
Mar 2017 • Family
We are an extended family of five visiting Hawaii. Two kids in our group wanted to do the swim with the dolphins, and we reserved their tickets in advance expecting to pay $380 total for two kids to do a 45 minute swim with a dolphin.

The confirmation email we received stated "Family and friends can watch and take photos from outside the pool." This is an exact quote from our confirmation email.

Since there are other family members in our group, we thought it would be fun for them to watch and take photos from outside the pool, as stated on the confirmation email.

We all drove for 45 minutes to get to the park. When we arrived we told the woman at the ticket booth that the other family members just wanted to watch and take photos from outside the pool as the email had stated and we showed her the email we received.

She was extremely rude as she informed us that family members were welcome to watch and take photos from outside the pool, but they had to pay $42 per person to go through the gate to get to the pool.

There was no mention in the confirmation email that watching and and taking photos from outside the pool would cost $42 per person.

We were extremely disappointed because the family members who came to watch and take photos would have done something else with their day if they had known about this exorbitant fee ahead of time. Afterall, vacation days in Hawaii are very precious.

But when we saw that a bottle of coke or water at Sea Life Park costs $3 and that each individual photo of a kid with a dolphin costs $18, we knew what this attraction is all about: money.

To us, the confirmation email we received constitutes false advertising, and this park is a total rip-off.

Our warning to other families that have kids who want to swim with a dolphin at Sea Life Park is this:

Don't take any one in your family to see your kid swim with a dolphin unless they are willing to pay $42 per person to pass through the entrance gate, regardless of any come-ons you receive from them via email.
Written March 22, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ramjet21
Festus, MO62 contributions
Dec 2013 • Couples
What a great time, my wife wanted to do the dolphin encounters, you will need to call ahead of time don't think you can just show up and get to go in the dolphin pool. I didn't really think it would be that great but it ended up one of the best things I did when in Hawaii I loved it too....The park is small you'll only need a couple hours before your dolphin swim or encounter, just to get in park with no dolphin event $30.00 but its all about getting in a pool that cost is $115 encounter $185 swim (that is for all park not extra) - look for a coupon when on island then make reservation I found 1 for free parking and free lunch for two with encounter or swim ($20 value) After pool time if you want pictures $16 and or dvd $40 of you're dolphin encounter you'll have to wait about 1 hour in small area, I got both the dvd is great to have its not only pool time it also has some of the dolphins shows. Get the dvd you'll be glad you did, my wife said not to get it but she is so happy we did.
Written January 26, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

lauriesz06
Lahaina, HI15 contributions
Oct 2016 • Family
Let me start of by saying...yes, swimming with the dolphins is expensive and yes, the pictures are expensive, but this is hawaii, everything is expensive. The cost is posted on the web site, too bad people don't read before they write and a bad review because they feel ripped off by the picture prices.

My daughter and I purchased the royal dolphin swim and I'm so glad we did. It was an amazing experience. We arrived 30 minutes before our scheduled swim, they had us watch a video which really didn't have anything to do with the dolphin swim. After the video someone came to get us and led us to an area where we were fitted with life jackets. The dolphin pool is deep so you won't be able to touch the bottom of the pool. Once we had our life jackets we were led to the pool area where we received some instructions. Then we were led to the water...the water is pretty cold!

The dolphin foot push is by far the best experience ever, you lay flat in the water, chest down and feet flat, you don't have to do anything else, just lay there. The dolphins come up behind you and pick you up, they know exactly what to do and do all the work, it's beyond amazing.

After the swim, there's a bathroom with changing stalls. We purchased pictures and our CD, I don't remember exactly what we spent but whatever it was it was well worth it.

If you've ever thought about swimming with the dolphins, do it, you won't regret it.

Last thing, I read a review where someone was upset because the park charged each person in their party that wasn't going to swim with the dolphins a park entry fee when all they wanted to do was take pictures of the dolphin swim. Do you really think the park is going to let 4 or 5 people into the park for free, even if their intent is to only take pictures? No, it's not reasonable to assume you'd get in for free to take pictures, like you're not going to look around once you're inside?

Do the royal dolphin swim, you won't regret it.
Written May 1, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

rheabrownjr
Westland, MI76 contributions
Aug 2019 • Couples
Since my wife and I were in Honolulu for our anniversary and she has always wanted to swim with the dolphins I surprised her with that package. She had the best time. There were about 10 people in her group and everyone came out of the pool with a big smile on their faces. If you are in Honolulu and this is one of your most do's, then Sea Life Park is the place.
One thing you need to know is the website will not give you all the information you need to know. We had no idea that they offer shark and turtle encounters. We spent about 5 hours there so be prepared.
Written August 29, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

crazedndazed
Algonac, MI14 contributions
Jun 2019 • Family
Was very disappointed with this experience. I paid the price for swimming with the dolphins but only received the kissing dolphin package. The other exhibits were disappointing as well and closed very early
Written June 21, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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