On the 12th May we visited ocean world and decided to do both the Royal dolphin swim and the shark encounter.
Although this is an expensive option if you are going to take the plunge I would recommend you take the full hour swim as we felt we would only ever do this once and wanted to swim with the dolphins for many years.
We were not disappointed, the experience exceeded our expectations. We were glad we did not take the shorter 30 minute option as in the full hour you get a lot of interaction with two sets of dolphins.
Couple of points that made the full day such a success for us
1) we arrived early just before 9am and think we must have been virtually the first in the park. This gave us a swim slot of 10 am which was the first of the day. We liked the fact the park was so quiet and we were the first to swim for the day. I think the slots are issued first come first served bases.
2) As this is not high season the park was not too busy. We were in a group of 6 for the first half hour and in a group of 4 for the second. This was for us ideal, as you get a chance to share the experience with others but have a lot of interaction time with the dolphins.
3) The trainers were excellent and are very careful to look after the 15 + 2 babies dolphins in the park and make sure you don't put them at any risk.
4) you get plenty of interaction and are just amazed at how gentle and careful they are when they are so powerful.
5) The professional photographer take lots of pictures which you can purchase or not. As this was a once in a lifetime experience we bought the lot but you may want to just pick a few of the best to save money. To search though the pictures does take time so this is bit of a limitation. The PCs they use are not quick. So to save us time we just purchased on a CD all 100 or so photographs.
6) Feeding the Stingrays was an experience as they are well aware when you arrive it is lunch time and they become very active. You do not need to go to them they will come to you!
7) the Shark encounter was interesting and a difference experience but not in the same league as the Dolphin swim for us but glad we did it for sure.
Couple of tips, take waterproof sun creame and best apply before you leave for the park or just on arrival. Any newly applied sun creame will be washed off in the showers you need to take before you get into the pools.
The lockers are good but quite small, ok for a couple of towels and change of a few cloths.
Included lunch is between 12.30 and 2pm so I was glad we completed our dolphin and shark swims before lunch. You may like to plan your schedule on arrival to the park.
Make sure ladies have a single piece swimming costume when swimming with the dolphins.
We had the full day in the park from 9am to 4pm and still did not see all the shows and complete all activities. So plan for a full day.
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