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Review of Bali Dolphins

Bali Dolphins
Ranked #11 of 34 things to do in Sanur
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Attraction details
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Reviewed July 23, 2013

This was our second visit to Bali Dolphins and agree with other posters that booking was a bit cumbersome. I emailed our preferred date/time and after a few days got an email saying they were full, I then emailed back all our dates in Seminyak and they were able to offer us a session. Perservere and you will get through.

We had our own driver so were early at the compound, quite a long wait as Bali time appears to run more slowly than GMT! As other reviewers have said you are taken by boat to the dolphin enclosure and then split into groups. I was disappointed that we had to share our dolphin with strangers -we had a dolphin just to our family the first time - but my daughters thought we had more interaction with our dolphin (Pluto) this time than last time; there were 7 in our group.

My daughters loved it. The dolphin appeared to enjoy himself and seemed happy but as my only point of reference for a happy dolphin is the TV programme Flipper, I'm not really qualified to say! The trainer seemed to really love Pluto and the dolphin seemed to reciprocate. The trainer also showed us some sharks and rays in another tank which he said the fisherman brought to them and they kept them until they were bigger and then released them back into the sea.

All in all a pleasant- albeit pricy - experience and although our trainer hung round in anticipation of a tip, we did not feel the least coerced to tip but did it out of appreciation for his expertise.

Yes it is probably not pc, but the chance to interact with such a beautiful, intelligent creature in such close proximity is an experience to treasure and remember forever.

1  Thank Julesj70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 11, 2013

We also had hassles booking online so prior to leaving Aust., we asked our hotel to book for us and within a day we were booked in. On arrival, we were ushered into the efficient yet mellow Dolphin Lodge and given cool drinks and life vests then walked down the floating jetty to the open boat. The beach and water were so unbelievably littered- not sure if it is always like that or if it was because of the massive amounts of rain had washed it into the ocean but it was literally shocking. Short boat ride later, we arrived at the pens. Ok this is Bali remember so it's not going to be pristine and there wI'll always be the dodgyness factor so be prepared for first world meets third... It's not Dreamworld Dolphin Extravaganza... The water in the dolphin pen was really murky but the dolphin and the other marine life in the pen (little colorful fish and crabs) seemed ok with it. Our dolphin was a ten year old named "Triton" and he was anticipating our visit. He performs 3x45 minute show daily. "Richard" our guide and Triton went into routine-mode and played up to each other - each knowing their part well. Each of us (7) were given ample time to interact with each part of the performance and the staff on the deck above took every opportunity to take photos for us using our cameras. Interacting with the dolphin was extraordinary - very humbling and unforgettable. Triton seemed happy and the reward snacks we each fed him were snapping fresh. I can't speak dolphin so selfishly, I hoped his squeaks meant he was happy. The staff seem to really love the dolphins and the dolphins seem to respond in kind. Remember, these are animals which can kill a shark if threatened. A full 45 minutes later, we hopped back onto the boat to the compound to have fresh fruit kebabs and tea, coffee, soft drinks. They provide clean towels and showers. Four obligatory hawkers were waiting at the gate but as they actually had crafted their dolphiny trinkets, we splurged the $1 for each piece. So yeah, dirty water, a feeling of being part of some Sinaporean investor's money making machine and of not being 100% sure if the dolphins are captive or willing participants as suggested notwithstanding, my family and I truly loved this encounter. I think all visitors to Bali should be aware of their contribution to pollution and attempt to be as gentle on the environment as they can so that it will remain a special place to visit and a safe healthy place for marine wildlife.

4  Thank Gigi J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 10, 2013

Imagine how disappointed my 11/13year old boys were when they didn't turn up at the hotel for a pick up and then when I rung them the could not find my confirmation...Found their level of communication impossible. I guess its the attitude of having ownership of a popular attraction and not giving a rats if things don't go right. Not very flexible or accommodating. Really peeve off and angry ...nice one Bali Dolphins

5  Thank Andrew M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 2, 2013

I tried to book this trip about 6 weeks prior to our trip and heard back within 48 hours but unfortunately they were fully booked. My subsequent queries were all responded to in a reasonable time and I asked to be notified of any cancellations. We got a phone call at our villas the day we arrived to let us know that there had been a cancellation, the next day the representative came to our villa to organise the payments and pick up times. Everything went really smoothly, the staff were wonderfully friendly and our trainer Edu and the dolphin Pluto were excellent. Pluto had been in a scuffle with another male dolphin so the first thing that was done was treating Pluto's scratches, the dolphin trainer showed obvious concern and caring for Pluto and explained what happened and showed us how to handle Pluto to avoid hurting him. There were six in our group which was a perfect number and we got to get up close with Pluto who was so accomodating, Edu was very informative and we had the most amazing encounter. I would recommend this trip to anyone, it was superb, the best experience I've had in Bali so far. Thank you Bali Dolphins!

Thank Talinellana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 17, 2013

This was the best experience of my life!!! We too had some problems with the booking system but I just kept emailing them until I got a confirmation email! But that was the only problem we had, staff came to our hotel the day before and confirmed details and accepted payment. The following afternoon we were picked up and transferred out where we were briefed and given our life jackets, we then transferred to the pontoon via boat (about 10 minutes) when we arrived I was quite surprised by the condition of the dolphins and the pontoon after reading many reviews on here. The reality is the pontoon was in good working order and the dolphins were in EXCEPTIONAL health, they all seemed very happy and healthy, the dolphins regardless of what some people say on here ARE LET OUT and are free animals many whom have been saved and are the babies of older dolphins who are all very happy to interact with the public !!! They happily attend the pontoon daily to see their handlers and get a feed. Many of these dolphins seek sanctuary here for the birth of their babies so many of the dolphins see this area as their homes. We entered the water with our gorgeous little girl nemo a 4 year old absolutely beautiful dolphin who instantly took a liking to our 8 year old daughter kissing her and playing with her!! We all had one on one time and also enjoyed our experience as a family group, we were taught many things about dolphins and were able to see nemo do her tricks both under water and above the surface, she especially loved belly rubs!!! As a group of 5 family members we all ABSOLUTELY LOVED this experience and weren't able to wipe the smiles from our faces after this magical experience!!!! I would not hesitating in encouraging EVERYBODY to do this tour and would happily do it again and again :)

2  Thank Skelts02
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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