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“Deep Water Dolphin Swim”
Review of Dolphin Cay

Dolphin Cay
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Sometimes the best way to describe something is by saying what it isn't. Dolphin Cay isn't an aquarium, it's not an entertainment facility, and it doesn't stage marine shows. Opened in 2007 in response to a need to provide a safe haven for 16 stranded dolphins whose home was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, Dolphin Cay is one of the world's largest open-air, man-made marine mammal habitats. Located on the west side of the Atlantis, Paradise Island property, the 14-acre environment includes an 11-acre lagoon complete with coves and sandy beaches, 7 connected "residential" pools, a state-of-the-art education center, an animal rescue-rehabilitation hospital, an animal pharmacy, a quarantine, and a separate sea lion center. Dolphin Cay is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums (AMMPA), and the International Marine Animal Trainers' Association (IMATA). Through its partnerships with the University of Florida's School of Veterinary Medicine and University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, Dolphin Cay plays an active role in the development of the advanced research and knowledge about marine mammals. Every visit to Dolphin Cay supports the Atlantis Blue Project Foundation, creating and promoting solutions for a wide range of marine conservation challenges from coral reef degradation to marine species in decline.
Useful Information: Lockers / storage, Activities for older children, Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities
Hilton Head, South Carolina
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Deep Water Dolphin Swim”
Reviewed April 23, 2013

While taking a cruise to Nassau, I attended this experience based on the recommendations of several different people. Needless to say, it was worth every minute to be able to get acquainted to these amazing creatures. Not only did I have a great time getting up close during the photo session with the dolphin, but the deep water swim and "foot push" across the lagoon to finish the experience were absolutely amazing! I would recommend this excursion to anyone of any age as it truly was an experience of a lifetime! It is certainly something I will never forget!!

After the swim, I also enjoyed the well manicured grounds of the Atlantis Resort while also taking advantage of the amazing see life that can be found at the open air aquarium on the property as well.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank KRUPdeVille
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Toronto, Ontario
Level 5 Contributor
49 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Dolphin Experience excellent.....customer service HORRIBLE!”
Reviewed April 22, 2013

Just returned from a week long stay at Atlantis. As part of our package, we were given a free shallow water Dolphin Encounter at the Dolphin Cay. When we arrived, we booked our interaction and were expecting a great experience.....or so we thought. We stayed at the Beach Tower which is at the other end of the resort from the Dolphin Cay. Getting there for our 9:00 AM encounter required lots of time to get my 4 year old down there. We caught the shuttle and arrived 45 mins early for our experience.

When we went up to registration, I confirmed our details and then was asked for our free Dolphin Encounter card given at check-in. The problem was, the representative at Atlantis Adventures took our card and never returned it to us when we booked our time! Explaining the situation politely to the staff, I was told "too bad, it's not our problem, if you don't have the card, you have to pay for an additional person". I requested that they call down to the desk at Atlantis Adventures where we booked our experience but they refused. I was told that I would have to straighten it out first. Meanwhile my 4 year old son was devastated he did not get an opportunity to see the dolphins that day.

So I trudged back on the shuttle with my son to Atlantis Adventures at Coral Towers to straighten the whole situation out. The representative there acknowledged that they had taken my card and would make a note in my file to ensure I would not have an issue. They re-booked my encounter for the next morning and told me I would not have a problem.

Guess what? I wasn't about to have a repeat of events and upset my poor son. I went back to the Dolphin Cay to verify and to my surprise, they had no idea what I was talking about.....they still needed the physical card to credit me my free dolphin encounter! I was incredulous at this point and finally convinced the representative to call Atlantis Adventures to discuss it amongst each other. After 10 mins of animated discussion, the representative verified that it was "taken care of".

The entire situation was poorly handled and ruined what was otherwise a wonderful experience for my son and I. Management should really review the policies and staff that work at the Dolphin Cay.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank ChiroDoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cheshire, Connecticut
Level 5 Contributor
39 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Wow - amazing experience at Dolphin Cay”
Reviewed April 21, 2013 via mobile

We booked the Shallow Water Experience through our cruise ship as a shore excursion. Having read the reviews, I was curious to see the whole thing as many said the time with dolphins was not worth it.
For us it was worth it! I thought the whole tour was very well organized - an air-conditioned bus took us from cruise ship port to Altlantis. We were dropped off at Coral Towers. From there it was a bit of a walk to Dolphin Cay - very pretty walk and not strenuous, but for those that cannot walk at a faster pace to keep up with guide, it might be a problem.

We were then brought into an area to get wetsuits and shown lockers where to lock our stuff. After all had wetsuits on, we were then shown a 5 minute movie and were given info about the dolphins.

Then it was into the water in groups of 10. We each had individual picture and family pictures kissing and hugging dolphin. After pictures we were shown various parts of the dolphin (eyes, ears, tail, "mustache") and given info of how the dolphin swims, hears, life-cycle, eating habits. We were given numerous opportunities to touch the dolphin. We were in the water for a good 30 minutes - much longer than I expected.

Pictures were pricey, yes, but look at all the packages - we got one that included 2 frames, 10 different prints, photo album and all pictures on a USB for $160.00. Stuffed Dolphin for our son was $7.50.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank Starfish423
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fairfield, Connecticut
Level 4 Contributor
20 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Sea Lion Experience exceeded expectations”
Reviewed April 20, 2013

We did the dolphin experience last trip and decided to try the Sea Lions this time. Sea Lion experience was amazing! We met Sunny and our guide was Edrin. I'm forgetting Sunny's trainer's name... started with an S too. Everyone had a blast... highlight of trip. Save your money on other souvenirs until you see the photos -- you will want to buy them all and they are not cheap!

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank Tara1994
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Union, Kentucky
Level 6 Contributor
126 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“great experience but overpriced”
Reviewed April 16, 2013

One would think that petting a dolphin twice, and kissing it, would be worth the price, but it appeared that the staff were just lining you up to sell photos, which were very expensive. The cheapest photo package was $70, and it was $150 per person, for the encounter.
The trainers were very nice, and accommodating, however the photo people were not very warm, and assembly line like.
The people were the rudest of all people that we encountered at Atlantis. You can watch them for free, and your money would be better spent on the stingrays, and snorkeling the ruins.
FYI. It's more expensive to purchase on site, than on;line before you get there.This is for all encounters, not just dolphiins.

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

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