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“Expensive but okay” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Dolphin Cove Cayman

Dolphin Cove Cayman
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Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Dolphin Encounter Program: This program is specifically designed for young children, non- swimmers and those keen to get an up close encounter with a dolphin. Guests stand waist high in the water and interact with the dolphins. You will get to touch, kiss, dance, sing and learn all sorts of fascinating facts about your dolphin. The dolphins will also perform some high energy behaviors guaranteed to thrill and delight. No minimum age – however for safety reasons, young children must be accompanied by one adult per child. (Children under 11 years of age must be accompanied an adult). Dolphin Swim Program You will receive a life vest before getting into the deep water, where guests will get to interact, touch, kiss and enjoy an up close experience. You will get a thrill out of our famous belly rides, where you ride belly to belly with one of our amazing dolphins. At the end of your program, see your dolphins fly high in the air with their spectacular jumps. Minimum age 5 years or older and must be strong swimmers– however for safety reasons, young children must be accompanied by an adult. (Children under 11 years of age must be accompanied an adult).
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase, Lockers / storage, Activities for young children, Activities for older children
California
Level Contributor
101 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Expensive but okay”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 9, 2013 via mobile

We decided to swim with the dolphins in the Cayman Islands while we were in Port visiting on a cruise. It was by far one of the priciest attractions we have ever gone on but wanted the experience so we did it. We spent more time in orientation than actually interacting with the dolphins. It was a bit dissapointing, but I guess I can understand the trainers not wanting to hurt or overwhelm them. After our tour was complete we spent a lot of time just waiting around for the bus to come and pick us back up. If there was a bar or restaurant I wouldn't have minded as much but soda and chips don't cut it when you're hungry. There was a gift shop but the prices for the pictures were outrageous. You're kind of in a bind since you can't take your own camera into the water even if it is water proof so they get away with robbery charging $25 for "one" 5x7 photo. I probably wouldn't do it again but it was one of those things that you should experience at least once in life.

Visited December 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
North Little Rock, Arkansas
Level Contributor
28 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Checked off my bucket list”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 6, 2013

This was one of the "must do" items for our recent visit to GC and although we really enjoyed it, I have to say that I came away somewhat disappointed. The interaction with the dolphins was thrilling and, certainly, that is really all that matters. But, the staff we were exposed to seemed bored and completely unenthusiastic the entire time we were there. This surprised and disappointed me given the cost involved. The exception to this comment is the trainer handling the dolphins we interacted with who was much better than the rest of the group. With better over all staff attitude, this could be a truly exceptional experience. I cannot imagine the overhead involved with keeping and training the dolphins, but understand that this is an expensive experience for the limited amount of time you actually spend with the dolphins. For our family of three, the dolphin experience was just short of $500 and then if you add a photo CD at $100 and any souvenirs, it adds up rather quickly. Again, it is one of those things I'm glad I did and don't regret it; but, is truly a bucket list experience that I would not pay to repeat.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
Thank Blitzt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dover, Delaware
Level Contributor
193 reviews
151 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
“Another Checkoff on my Bucket List”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 1, 2013

Pre-booking was very easy with several emails. When we arrived at Dolphin Cove, there was a problem with my Expedia "buy one get one free" coupon. The staff was very friendly and let me use their computer to try to get a different coupon (with a bar code on it). My email never did let me access my email account on their computer, so after about 15 minutes I gave up. I stayed at the Sunshine Suites Resort and got a 40% discount anyway so I decided to just use that. (Do the math, buy one get one free is a 50% discount on two tickets so I didn't lose that much.) The staff member who tried to do the 40% discount wasn't as good with the math and had a problem with the correct amount. She initially charged my credit card more than $100 more than it should have been. I challenged this amount and she changed it but it took about half an hour trying to undo the initial charge and enter the correct amount. It was an honest mistake but annoying at the time. The briefing for the Ultimate Dolphin Experience took place just outside the gift shop. We were then told we could leave our "stuff" on the picnic table and go to the dolphin area. Most people are honest but I'm not going to leave my wallet, car keys, etc. on a picnic table just outside the gift shop where anybody can enter. I asked one staff member if I could take my "stuff" which was all in a butt-pack to the pool area. He said yes and I did. Two others said I couldn't but when I told them another member said I could, they let me. There was no reason not to take it. There was plenty of space and I would recommend that anyone in the future do so. We were given vests much like rubber wet suits. They kept you floating but not as well as a life jacket does. Mine was too tight (chest, not waist) so they gave me a larger one. It was still a little tight. We entered the water and swam about 50 yards to the other side of the pool (really a fenced cove using the sea water). Half of us did the foot push and the other half did the fin pull. Then we switched. We got to touch the dolphin and even kiss them. It all happened quickly but it was a lot of fun. I wouldn't pay to do it again but I'm glad I did it once. Well worth the fee. The gift shop was very nice and the prices were reasonable, and they were marked in US dollars. Most places mark the prices in Cayman dollars using the $ sign. This means you really pay 25% more; it's like a 25% sales tax. It's a little presumptuous of me to think the prices in the Cayman Islands should be marked in US dollars, but most of the tourists are from the US and it's just nice to have the prices in US dollars. You aren't allowed to take a camera in the water so the only photos are taken by the photographer there. Someone with you not paying for the dolphin swim can take photos from the shore but they will be about 50 yards away. The photos taken by the professional are good but $100 for a CD or $25 for one 5 x 7 print is a little exorbitant. All in all, I'm glad we did it. Well worth the cost.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
Thank gsm1121
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Fun”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 1, 2013

I wasn't particularly excited on visiting, but my wife insisted. It was lots of fun to be with the dolphins and I had lots of fun interacting with them. The pool is 20-30 feet deep, and the dolphins seem well cared for. Pictures were pricy (as was to be expected), but sometimes they are willing to cut deals with the prices. They also had secure lockers where we could lock up our belongings which was a nice touch. They do not allow jewelry, hats, or footware in the water so it's best to leave those things in your hotel if possible. Also, they make you buy a glasses strap if you want to bring glasses or sunglasses in the water (these are safeguards for the dolphins). The straps themselves are flimsy and not too effective, so buy them before you get to the Caymans. Overall, though, we had a great time.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Dave C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fairfield, New Jersey
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Amazing experience!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 30, 2013

My family and I visited Grand Cayman the first week in November. We had reservations for the Dolphin Encounter at Dolphin Cove. It was an amazing experience. Everything was very well organized. The employees were courteous and very informative. They provided us with so much information about the dolphins while we were waiting for our encounter. Everything from the dolphins' names and ages to their behavior and how they are cared for. The encounter was so much fun. A photographer takes pictures and you can buy the CD which we did. This really was the highlight of our trip. Unfortunately, as we were getting on the airplane to go home we realized the CD was left in our rental car along with t-shirts for our kids. We panicked!! The rental car company said they never found the bag. Luckily, the staff at Dolphin Cove was so accommodating (we spoke to Neisha). She immediately took care of us by allowing us to download all our pictures from their website and shipping replacement t-shirts. Thank you Dolphin Cove! We'll be back!!

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank Bel96
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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