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“Very nice place, a bit overpriced though”

Sea Life Centre Great Yarmouth
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Attraction details
Owner description: The magical marine world of Great Yarmouth SEA LIFE Centre will introduce you to many beautiful and fascinating creatures of the deep. Prepare for astonishing close views of everything from humble starfish to mighty sharks and giant sea turtles, all in displays which carefully recreate their natural habitats.
Colchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
30 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Very nice place, a bit overpriced though”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 1, 2013

This is a very nice place to visit in Great Yarmouth with a large variety of fishes, well kept aquarium. However I found it a bit expensive. It is worth visiting though.

Visited March 2013
Thank MattLond
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“expensive,dirty,poor customer service !!!!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 26, 2013

went with a friend and her son the children pay the same as adults.... can only described as a "blink and you will miss it experience "with little to do .I work for a gift experience company myself so am more that aware of the competative market ....the place smelt awful the toilets were dirty graffitied and the whole placewas overpriced and unclean & tatty.When complaining to the manager via e mail was made out to be lying paha great customer service .............no thanks never again.......avoid spending your hard earned cash !!

Visited June 2013
1 Thank nataliecind
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maxine C, Manager at Sea Life Centre Great Yarmouth, responded to this review, July 10, 2016
Thank you for taking the time to write your review.

We greatly appreciate your feedback as this gives us the opportunity to improve our guests experience and to thank you for your visit.

We do hope to see you again in the future.

Kind Regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Never Pay Full Price”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 20, 2013 via mobile

Make sure you have a voucher before you visit, there is usually a two for one available. Makes it much better value for money.
We bought a small pack of fish food to feed the giant piranha which was fun.
The giant medusa tank is amazing, but the penguins never seem to do anything.

Visited June 2013
Thank Jason D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
“A Great Day Out.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 17, 2013 via mobile

We had a fantastic visit to SEALIFE in Yarmouth. The staff were all extremely helpful and knowledgeable, not only about their work but about Yarmouth and what days out were good. The price is a bit high but with lots of schemes (I.e Tesco vouchers) it can be cheaper. You can go round as many times as you'd like in the day which is important when you have young ones who need feeding or toilet stops. The food is very tasty in the canteen. The canteen is spacious and has a great soft play area for the little ones while you eat. The new answer scratch card and trump card are fun. The inclusion of nemo's cave is a great idea. The medals for touching a star fish or crab are great and the staff supervising this made sure it was accessible to all, taking the starfish over to a group with a wheelchair. We also love the penguins and my lo had fun showing her new ball to Pitcher the young penguin who wanted to get hold of it. Over all it's a great day out.

Visited June 2013
Thank Clairemt1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gorleston-on-Sea, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Great family day out”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 16, 2013

Outside first appearances - The surrounding area was very clean and nice and bright. But straight away we had a problem getting inside the building, Since we have 2 children that go in the same buggy we struggled to get the “double seater” through the front door. It *did* fit but it required a little wiggle to squeeze through. There was an alternative entrance at the shop (but we only found this when we were leaving) but only one side of the double doors was unlocked making yet another small struggle.

The Reception staff were friendly and there was an information board giving times of certain events going on around the centre. Admission is a little over-priced but there’s tonnes of 2-for-1 vouchers that makes the price a little more reasonable. Once we paid for our admission you were allowed to enter the centre to view it’s inhabitants! A nice little touch I felt was a small tank at the front of house (presumably to keep little ones occupied while adults get the tickets) with a range of fish that are local to the Great Yarmouth area. Small fact about that tank, Inside was a lobster called Ruby who had been there a fair few years and the staff didn’t think much of her but on one of her regular checks one of the staff noticed something strange about her, turns out she was a very rare Blue Lobster! Unfortunately she wasn’t out on show this day but it was still a nice little warm up for the tanks to come! After being handed a small “scratch and reveal” card for the kiddies you’re told there are a set of questions hidden around the centre and a perfect score gets a free sticker or something…

One small problem I have with this attraction is the Photography booth you *have* to walk through with some young employee saying, “Hi guys, welcome to the Sea Life Centre. Right can you juts stand right here and pull this face for me….” I personally would like the option of having the photos taken rather than be pounced upon as soon as I’ve set foot in the attraction. I feel it would be better suited to have a spot actually by a tank or have designated photo “opportunities” within the centre.

The first section is al about cold sea fish and WOW! The size of some of those fish is incredible! I don’t know if it is just me, but when someone says “Fish” I kind of think of things like “Finding Nemo”, small pretty coloured fish or a small portion of haddock on a plate. It is really a nice moment to take a step back and see a 4 foot long Conger Eel! The tanks are HUGE, plenty of viewing room even on a crowded day and next to each tank is a small plaque that gives the name and some info on the residents of the tank. In my personal opinion, you really do get the most out of your visit if you stop and read the signs and just watch these fish and try to picture thousands of the not so little creatures in our oceans! A good 30 seconds at each tank will be a minimum but when you have your little girl standing next to you saying, “Daddy! Daddy! Look FISHIES! FISHIES! WOOOOOOWWWW!” It really does make every penny worth it.

Walking into the next section you come into a blackened hallway with plastic seaweed hanging from the ceiling and UV lighting to make the “Jelly Fish Zone”. Here there are 4 tanks with a small selection of jelly fish. Real nice atmosphere to the section but seriously lacking in number of things to look at. A nice tank is the “Upside Down Jelly Fish”. A great tank for the kids to look at but again it’s just a little disappointing to see only 4 tanks, one of which has Jelly fish Spores in and is, simply put, a rock covered in fluff…

After walking through there you come out into a scene of 2 huge tanks with again some really impressively big fish. Here you can also walk into the Humboldt Penguin section. Unfortunately due to weather conditions the outside observation deck was closed off but there was still plenty of windows to see the penguins through. I loved this part as you have loads to read and some nice little facts about the penguins who live there.

Continuing through, passing a variety of rays and catfish you have some nice single unit tanks and even one about sea pollution. A great thing to point out to your little ones about the importance of recycling! A little further on comes a really nicely laid out “Touch Pool”. A great little corner for your little kids (and big ones too!) to experience what a hermit crab looks like and what a starfish, shrimp and crab actually FEEL like! A nice high tech camera system is in place for those not able to see can be used to show a close up on a big screen just above! A great costume for one of the staff, a mix between presentable and professional. A great pirate uniform with a great knowledge! That guy really knew his stuff! We were treated to a huge array of facts and little quiz questions about the little critters in the tanks.
A little further on comes a really long sloped tank with a small dwarf crocodile! A real nice decorated area for the tank, but unfortunately it kind of take the spot light away from a couple of other interesting tanks which probably get overlooked because of the crocodiles!

As you continue to walk on you come into an 'Dragons Den' section. By this time I think everyone is already entranced by some of the fish you’ve seen so when you see all this room and a couple of small tanks it is a tad lower than what you’ve been seeing… But none the less, fish with no eyes. Check! Axolotls? Check! And other fish I cant remember? Check! There’s still plenty to see and not forgetting those pesky questions hidden around somewhere…. A short walk on and we get to see some awesome little Tortoise in with some really neat little fish! Immediately after you head onto the next section BAM! There it is! Probably the reason you wanted to go to the Sea Life Centre, A GREAT WHITE SHARK’s infamous maw on an info board! YES! I’m sure there was some cool information on that board but knowing what was ahead I couldn’t help but turn into an 8 year old and start to run forward with my little girls…. Only to set foot into a behemoth of a room with an insane tank in front of me stopping me dead with awe! Black Tip Reef sharks, Nurse Sharks, Zebra Sharks and Giant Sea Turtles! Not to mention a myriad of other fish all in a monstrous 250,000 litre tank! I could have stayed there for hours! But it gets even better! A “walk through tunnel” lets you get underneath the tank and see the sharks from all sorts of angles! A moment even the grown ups will be a little speechless about! (Don’t worry if someone in your group doesn’t want to walk through, there is a double door you can skip past if it’s a little too scary!)

Having something THAT incredible is a hard act to follow but coming into a “Pirates Cove” there’s exotic crabs, tropical fish and a superbly decorated room with sound effects, lighting and even an interactive section where your kids can search for Fools gold and precious stones (not real ones though shame!) A little walk further and you suddenly find yourself in a very bright white area with some Sea Horses. It was a bit of a disappointment to see it wasn’t open but a small notice was pinned up saying they’re “Re-developing for a conservation and protection zone” is a promising notice but only one tank with some sea horses was available to view.

Finally we come into the “CLAWS! Monsters of the deep!” zone. This section is all about those curious crustaceans and all I could think of was “Oh my….” there you stand, face to face with a crab bigger than some of the children walking with their parents! Crab shaped lights on the floor, interactive “touch and feel” spots and more information than you can remember swamp you around these amazing tanks!

And There it is folks! The end of the sea life experience! Well the tanks anyway, there’s a nice gift shop with all sorts of nick-nacks, mugs, toys, teddies, a “Hurricane Simulator” (Which I had the pleasure of watching some poor young girl step into looking perfectly presented and stepping out with her hair looking hilarious!) and a restaurant with a Children’s play area. Looking at the prices of your typical “Burger and Chips” style fast food they were a little on the high side but the portions being brought out seemed like, an albeit, small justification of the price charged. The Children’s play area was pretty darn good! 2 sections, one nice padded ball pit for the real young ones and a couple of slides, slopes and tunnels for the bigger kids meant the grown ups could relax with a cup of tea while the young ones burn off some extra energy. A small point I did notice was that there were a few parents strolling in from the doors and going straight to the play area, I don’t know if they had already paid and were coming back but I thought it would be better if you had to have some sort of “Ticket” system to let your children play there. Before anyone gets put off by that, there were plenty of staff to be seen and regularly I would see members of staff walking past delivering food or going in and out of the diner with plates and cleaning products.
The toilets were also well presented and nice and clean! Always a bonus wherever you’re going!

To sum it up in a single sentence, “A great day out if you take a voucher and take your time!”

I think it would be easy to write it off as below par however you get out what you put in, if you rush through and ignore the finer details you’ve wasted your money but really get into the spirit of things and make the most of what there is you’ll easily spend 2-3 hours if you use the restaurant’s play area on top of the centres tanks!

My final word would be make sure you’re prepared to spend about £50 - £70 for a family of 5 as a minimum if you’re eating there as well. But who can put a price on good memories?

Visited June 2013
1 Thank wiredadifferentway
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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