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Shell Island tour with snorkeling and swimming with the dolphins

This was their maiden voyage post Hurricane Michael! We were surprised they were operating at all... read more

Reviewed October 24, 2018
Melissa R
via mobile
Loved it !!! BUT not for smaller kids

WE loved this tour .. We did the Jet Ski tour .. we took our two youngest kids with us .. they are... read more

Reviewed October 14, 2018
Dan37130
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Reviewed May 6, 2016

My wife and I spent our honeymoon in Panama City Beach in 2010. We tried almost everything in the area: parasailing, helicopter ride, jet skiis, discover scuba, pontoon rentals, etc. This (and scuba for me) was the highlight of our trip. We had Captain Mike who is funny, personable and, most importantly, knowledgeable and experienced. There is nothing quite like looking a dolphin in the eye as it checks you out. We saw many dolphins on our tour. We didn't bother snorkeling because we were having so much fun.
Fast forward 5 years to 2015. We came back to Panama City Beach for our 5 year anniversary. Of course we came back to Shell Island Blue Dolphin Tours. Lucky for us, we ended up with Captain Mike again. His incredible knowledge and experience made the trip that much more enjoyable. I understand dolphins do what they want, and there are no guarantees, but once again we were incredibly spoiled. On more than one occasion I jumped in the water and swam among about a dozen dolphins, including a few baby dolphins! Again, this was the highlight of our trip (I also highly recommend Scubatech NWFL for anyone into scuba diving. I had a great trip there as well.)
After our visit last year, we decided we can't go another 5 years without coming back, so we made a quick getaway just last week after Spring Break craziness. We only spent one full day in Panama City Beach, and can you guess where we went first? Shell Island Blue Dolphin Tours, of course! Again, lucky us, we ended up with Captain Mike! Crazy, right? We are just going to request him the next time we go because he has been a big part of our enjoyment. We saw many dolphins...big surprise..but the ocean was fairly empty of boats this time, which was nice. The dolphins seemed more interested in us than in previous years. Thanks to Captain Mike's knowledge and experience, we were able to see lots of dolphins and even stumbled on very small baby dolphins that we chose not to swim with.
When we returned to the dock, we had the pleasure of meeting Ted, the owner of the business, and learned he had gone out of his way to accommodate us on such a slow time of year. He was very nice, and his true passion for helping others experience the ocean came out when he spoke. We will definitely be back again, and there is no way it'll be five years.
TIP: If everyone in your party shows up early, there's a chance you'll get a few extra minutes on the water!
If you want to check out some videos of our experience with the dolphins while on this tour, I have made a video compilation of all the dolphins we swam with the last two times we went.If you go to youtube and type in Blue "Dolphin Tours Compilation Panama City Beach, FL 2016", it'll be the first and second videos.

Date of experience: April 2016
1  Thank TimHarper89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 30, 2016 via mobile

My husband and I went on the dolphin tour and it was amazing! The boat was just perfect. They only put six people on each boat but we only had three. The captain was trying everything he could to get us close to the Dolphins and in the water with them. He did an excellent job doing that. We saw an unbelievable amount of dolphins. Even though it was overcast and cloudy we still were able to see the Dolphins very well. The second part of the trip was awesome too. Shell island was fun to walk around and collect tons of shells. The captain even kept us out longer than the two hours allocated for the tour. It was a fun time and we will be back next year!

Date of experience: April 2016
Thank tomjuliepasch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 18, 2016

This dolphin cruise was awesome! Kevin was our Captain and he couldn't have been a better guide/host, etc. He did everything he could to make this a very enjoyable experience. We raced all over the place to find just the right spot to swim with the dolphins. We had a blast and would highly recommend this tour. And ask for Kevin!

Date of experience: March 2016
1  Thank Marcy G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2016 via mobile

This is the 4th time me and my husband have been on this tour. We drove 15 hrs straight from Michigan for this one thing. These guys are passionate about what they do. We feel like old friends every time we come. The experiences we've had have been second to none. This year being of the the best yet. You can't get a better captain than Captain Mike, he is in my mind hands down unmatched in his skills, he has ALWAYS found dolphins, you will lose count of the number you see. We got to swim side by side with pods of dolphins as a part of their enchanting world thanks to his knowledge and experience . Also for the first time this trip we got to meet the owner who went out of his way to accommodate our very short window to go on the tour. He has a heart of gold and cares about the enjoyment for each and every one of his customers. Such a afforable and wonderful activity for all ages! Highly recommend this place! Once in a lifetime (or in our case four and counting) adventure with some of Panama City Beach's finest!

Date of experience: April 2016
Thank shydolphin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 30, 2016 via mobile

Teenage girls beaming ear to ear wen the dolphins swam right between them. We thought it couldn't get any better and then they were in with a group of four more. Captain Kevin kept us safe and positioned the kids perfectly to swim with the dolphins. The highlight of our vacation.

Date of experience: March 2016
Thank O1980CBdough
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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