We decided to come to The Dolphin Research Centre based on the great reviews on Tripadvisor. I wanted to treat my teenage girls to a experience they will never forget, a play and swim with dolphins. We didn't book a spot online as we thought we could just drop by on our way through to Key West, how wrong we were, no spaces available on the day but luckily there were a couple of spaces available the day after which we could fit in on our way back up the Keys! The lady who helped us book was very cheery and knowledgeable and even remembered us the next day when we went back, great customer service!
We paid $199 per daughter per dolphin encounter which also gave free admission to the centre and then $20 each for my husband and I for our admission charge although we did find a $5 off coupon in a guide book. To start with I thought that it was a lot of money but at the end of our visit felt it was money very well spent and to see the smiles on their faces was priceless!! The dolphins are very well looked after and happy to be there and this place is as near to their natural habitat as they will get, so good to see this and not in a manufactured aquarium. Some dolphins are rescued while some have been born here and there is lots of information on each of these wonderful mammals. The trainers are great people and interact well with the dolphins.
The girls were in the water for 30 minutes in a group of seven other participants and each had a fabulous time. They started off with a flipper rub and then a dolphin kiss, then progressed on to the dorsal pull with two dolphins and then did several things that the dolphins could mimic like a whistle, a laugh, a jump up and down, dancing and waving. in between time they would swim around and do fantastic jumps and generally having a great time showing off. There is a photographer there all the time and we came away with some fab photos which were put onto a cd, this cost $55 + tax ($30 for one person and $25 for a 2nd) There were 41 photos in total and good value for money.
If you spend time here you will not be disappointed! Just remember this is a not for profit charity and they rely on folks like us to stop by ;-)
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