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All reviews biscuits wet suits pope's eye fun activities wild animals an amazing experience these guys fantastic trip staff were amazing deep water great fun marine life making sure morning tour chinaman's hat pod of dolphins port phillip bay
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268 - 273 of 434 reviews
Reviewed April 2, 2013

What a fantastic adventure over the Easter break and the perfect way to show visiting tourists a hidden gem of Victoria. I had brought my visiting friend from Brazil and he loved it too.

The experience of the dolphins is not always guaranteed but the staff do explain this and we were fortunate to have the dolphins come very early in the tour which was unusual. The previous day no dolphins had come so I was thankful that I had indeed changed my mind and opted for Saturday instead of Good Friday.

The staff were great, doing everything from explaining how to get into a wetsuit, to demonstrating how to use the underwater camera and other tips as well. The only thing I felt could have been mentioned was to stretch before getting in! My arm and back muscles were sore for a couple of days afterwards but I may not have heard this instruction as we were slightly late to arrive.

Thanks to all the crew, especially Sapphire who helped my friend as he cannot swim. She provided a floatation device for him to swim along with whilst with the seals. He was a lot more confident than being on his own and it meant that I could quickly go off and look around Chinaman's Hut.

Thanks once again guys,
Luke (Ballarat) and Douglas (Rio de Janeiro)

Date of experience: March 2013
Thank Psychohug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 30, 2013

We had the best time swimming with the wild dolphins and seals. My 6 year old daughter Lily had a brilliant once in a lifetime day and the crew of the boat couldn't do enough for her. A must do day if your ever in the area. A big thanks to all the staff and crew

Thank billyne1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2013 via mobile

My boyfriend and I decided to go dolphin swimming over the Easter break, although we saw the dolphins and seal and visited the bird park.
I was disappointed with the tour. When we saw the dolphins we jumped off the net onto the dolphins and they swam away really fast. We chose to use the net as the back of the boat was really hard to get up onto as it's a wooden plank and an old ladder, so we though it safer to use the side.
When the dolphins swam away we were driven over to them, it was really hard to hang onto the rope and be pulled through the water and see them as the boat was going fast to catch up to them. We saw them swimming and they came over to us. I enjoyed seeing them however my arms are still sore after being towed through the water.
We had lots of turns with the dolphins and on a couple of swims we got really close to the baby which was nice although the mother kept trying to swim away all the time.

The only other thing I didn't like was every time we saw the other boat the captain drove really fast and almost tried to get the dolphins away, he even told the staff to leap over the side and swim like dolphins when we went past this was really strange and made me wonder if we were on a seashephard ramming or a tour. It was clear he didn't like that boat and tried to wreck their tour which was sad. And also made is feel uncomfortable as the captain and crew were very negative towards them. We didn't pay money to hear how much the captain and crew hated the driver and the business. I wouldn't recommend this tour very much.

The boat is really old, and the captain is rude, we felt unsafe and didn't expect to be getting towed around at high speed being yelled at to look in the water by the crew who don't even get in the water when your being towed to see a dolphin. We also felt sad that the dolphin swim was forced and jumping off a boat onto a group on dolphins with babies not really that Nice. The staff were really enthusiastic but not that passionate about the tour or the welfare of the animals.

I would probably try one of the other companies, from a distance they looked more relaxed and it didn't look like they towed their swimmers around after the dolphins.

Thanks nick for helping me at the seals te water was moving fast and hard to swim against.

1  Thank helz99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dolphinswims, Manager at Sea All Dolphin Swims, responded to this reviewResponded April 3, 2013

We were sorry to hear that your tour with us recently was anything less than amazing.

We have looked into what happened on your particular cruise and have discussed it with the crew that were on board that day.

In response to your description of your experience, we feel that it is important to point out that swimming with dolphins and seals is a very complex operation, where many external factors come into play. Not the least of these being the 20 or so excited passengers and crew scurrying around the boat when dolphins are sighted.

Successful swims with dolphins in particular involve observing their moods, predicting their behaviour, and estimating their speed and swimming direction. All this is done against the movement of our vessel in the tide and the movement of other vessels in the vicinity. Once that is factored in, the skipper needs to consider the competency of the snorkelers entering the water from different parts of the boat, all the while maintaining compliance with Dolphin Swim Tour regulations.

It is unfortunate that your arms became sore when the vessel was repositioned. Your feedback has prompted us to review the way in which we brief the swimmers who enter the water from the net.

Our crew and dolphin researcher recall the tour. A juvenile dolphin had separated itself from the nursery pod and was spotted swimming towards the boat after swimmers had started entering the water.

Our boat, the Maureen M, has been purpose built to suit the unique marine conditions of southern Port Phillip Bay. Although it is an older boat, it is very well maintained. It is particularly suitable for the snorkeling tours we conduct in that it's heavier weight prevents it from being blown around easily while there are snorkelers in the water beside the boat.

As opposed to the high pitched whine of a modern super charged engine the steady thrum of our large diesel engine seems to attract the dolphins from a long distance, as they come to the boat to surf in the bow wave produced by the deeper shaped hull.

It is without hesitation that we can assure you that each member of the Sea All Dolphin Swims team is 110% passionate about the truly unique environment of Port Phillip Bay and for the protection of the wildlife that we share it with. Most of our crew have advanced Marine Biology qualifications and are certainly aware of the impact that indiscriminate approaches to dolphins can have.

The shouting from the crew during a dolphin swim is due to the fact that they are just as excited when the dolphins approach as the customers and they don't want the inexperienced snorkelers to miss out on seeing the dolphins in the water, which would be disappointing to everyone.

Sea All Dolphin Swims consistently achieves excellent reviews on TripAdvisor, with many passengers returning year after year to share the adventure with us. We encourage you to try us again in future and we look forward to having you out on the boat with us.

Hank Renzenbrink
Sea All Dolphin Swims

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2013

Just had our first family trip with the awesome crew Nick Sapphire and our Captain Robbie the experience was great. My 11 yr old son was the only one that swam and the crew were great with him. We were lucky enough to see the dolphins straight away up close and everything they were amazing. Overall the trip was fantastic I would totally recommend this to anyone. Next time totally going to swim. Great job guys see you guys next time. Loved every min of the trip!!!

Thank Chanleigh88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 24, 2013

I was the only one that didn't get in the water, but my day was brilliant just like everyone elses. Watching the dolphins racing the boat and swimming around everyone was the best. I had said all along I wouldn't get in the water as I had a cold, but I enjoyed watching it all and taking photos, and everyone had such a great time. The crew are simply fantastic. They persuaded me to put the wetsuit on before we left (just in case) and that was good as I think I was more comfortable in that than I would have been in my clothes. First we went to an area where there were lots of seals and everyone swam with them, then hot drinks & biccies back on board while we went to another area of the bay, and suddenly dolphins everywhere, so everyone (except me) got back in the water and the dolphins swam all around and raced along with us. Such a great day out. Fantastic for all ages and I couldn't recommend this more if I tried.

Date of experience: December 2012
Thank CairnsGirl25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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