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Old 02-19-2007, 04:29 AM
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Hey all, I've read posts back through to about September and found lots of great info. But I still have questions.

We are scheduled for our first ever cruise (hoping to have more if hubby likes it) and I was interested in the Dolphin Swim & Snorkel Adventure in Cozumel. From many things I've read, it sounds like due to Wilma it's not worth it. But then again I don't know if/when we'll ever be able to go again. I would love to hear your experiences.

Also, if we do it some other family members may choose to go. If so, they say it's 'safer' booking through RCCL. Everything from what if the cruise gets to port late (or not at all) to what if the tour comes back late and you miss your ship departure. From what I've read, ya'll have raved about www.shoretrips.com. Everything from cost savings to more one on one, enhanced tours.

Any input, suggestions, warnings, etc... you can share would be great.
Thanx,
Erika
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Old 02-19-2007, 05:39 AM
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BirdLady

I don't know if I will have the best answers for you, but I will let you know what we are doing. I didn't see when your cruise was, but we are going in March and we have booked the Royal Dolphin Swim at Chankanaab. We did just the Dolphin Encounter six years ago there and loved it. I too had concerns because of Wilma's damage but we have worked directly through Dolphin Discovery, who is the company that works in Chankanaab with the dolphins and they have been EXTREMELY helpful and good to us. We have a group of 20 people doing it together and we have had cancellations, add ons and it has been a challenge for me to keep track of everyone, but Margarita from Dolphin Discovery has been more than nice, helpful and efficient. She assures me that, although parts of Chankanaab National Park is still under renovation from the storm, the dolphin excursion part is just the same as it was. I was still a little uneasy until I saw on the Travel Channel one of Samantha Brown's (I think that's her last name) shows where she was on the Freedom of the Seas and they stopped at the same ports and she actually did the Royal Dolphin Excursion right in Chankanaab. This show was recorded in 2006 and the part of the park where the dolphins were looked exactly like it had back in 2001 when we did it. I am getting so excited! As far as missing the boat, just watch what times you book for - it is approximately a 15 minute taxi ride from the park back to the pier if I remember right (someone correct me on this if you know for sure). You will want to allow time after the excursion to stroll into the gift shop as they will have your pictures/video available to sell. There is also some so/so snorkeling right there (though I hear they had a beautiful lagoon in the back of the park that was better snorkeling - I don't know if that is still there post-Wilma.) We decided not to book through RC this time because they were going to Ixcaret (sp?) and travel there would take so long. I intend to do some serious shopping in Cozumel too, so I didn't want our excursion to take that long. Don't miss out on this excursion, though, no matter who you book from. It is a fabulous treat and, though I've not done it yet, I would almost say - spend the extra money on the Royal Dolphin Swim. From what I saw of it on that Travel Channel special, it definitely looks worth it! Have a wonderful trip!
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Old 02-19-2007, 06:30 AM
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Ohio Sports Mom,
Thanx for such a quick response. Sorry, we are booked on RCCL Mariner OTS for a May 6th departure.

So aside from booking through RCCL and shortrips.com, you are saying there's another good choice through Dolphin Discovery? Do they have a website? What is the cost running per person?

Also, In reading some of the excursion info it sounds like a 1 hour excursion. Is this correct?

Also, forgot to ask, do you plan on leaving the ship in your bathing suit or do they have a lockerroom & lockers there to change and lock up your stuff. Do you need to bring a towel or do they provide one? And if you come in your suit, does that mean the rest of the day you're walking around wet?

Suggestions?
Thanx,
Erika
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Old 02-19-2007, 08:42 AM
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Erika,

We have a reservation for April with Dolphin Discovery. Their website is

www.dolphindiscovery.com

Carmen
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Old 02-19-2007, 02:13 PM
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Erika,

If you do choose Dolphin Discovery you will love them. I have used them twice for Chankanaab Park in Cozumel. In fact we are
using them again in May 2007. Just need to book in advance. Their time slots book up fast.

Enjoy.
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Old 02-19-2007, 07:21 PM
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Erika,

Sorry - just getting back in from a busy day. You may have already found most of your answers. Sorry I forgot to give you Dolphin Discovery's web site before. The excursion prices are listed on the web site - for the Royal Swim it is $139 per person - however, with our group they gave us 10% off of everyone - I don't know how big the group has to be. I do believe it is about 45 minutes to an hour you are actually in the water with the dolphins. The last time I was at Chankanaab, they had a changing room and lockers - not sure if that has changed since Wilma. We will wear our swimsuits most likely, however. We are doing our excursion at 3:30 in the afternoon and will head right back to the ship - shopping first!
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Old 02-20-2007, 12:37 PM
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Hi! You got great answers already but wanted to add about Shoretrips.com. We have had tremendous luck with them, they are insured if you get delayed or some such (would probably not apply to dolphin swimming--you take a cab to the park and nothing at the park would really prevent you from getting back to the ship, if you see what I mean). Our swim was the Royal Swim. Definitely worth the extra money. The RCCL group was there when we were--many many more people in the group and way-way less contact with the animals (there were six of us in our group with two trainers and two dolphins). Island time is 1 hour difference from a ship with a Miami departure--leave your watches on ship's time and getting back won't be a problem for you--watch a local clock and miss the boat! We wore our suits there--just a short cab ride. Put coverups and shoes in lockers (I think they were the kind you need to insert quarters to get the key out). If you are in down town Cozumel the cabs are all in a line by where you come ashore (this is a tender port post-Wilma for all but one pier, I believe) and if you come ashore by the old international pier you walk through a small shopping area to the cabs--all very self explanatory or ask anyone in the businesses you pass--they are friendly, helpful, and largely english speaking. Shoretrips refunds all money if you cannot get into port (high seas? whatever?). We received a credit once for a trip before we got home from the cruise. Hope this is helpful--the dolphin swim is not to be missed no matter how you book it, but the ship has 3200+ passengers who all want to do something and will have larger groups than doing this on your own. Also lining up for tender service people with tickets to early excursions get priority getting off, and at least when we did it, RCCL did not make any distinctions between "their product" and tickets purchased elsewhere--we received the same courtesy getting off the ship to make our appointed time as people who had RCCL excursion tickets. Laurie
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Old 02-24-2007, 07:02 AM
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Does anyone know where we can book the dolphin swim other than the cruise line we will be traveling on the carnival Liberty in Feb. 2008, we will be stopping in Costa Mia Mexico, costa Rica, Panama can anyone give us any good suggestions for these 3 ports

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Old 02-24-2007, 07:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Suzie M:
Does anyone know where we can book the dolphin swim other than the cruise line we will be traveling on the carnival Liberty in Feb. 2008, we will be stopping in Costa Mia Mexico, costa Rica, Panama can anyone give us any good suggestions for these 3 ports

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