I wanted to update this because I recieved a nice email from someone today asking me about it.
Here is what I wrote back to her:
I have actually decided NOT to do the dolphin encounters. I have thought about it - and prayed about it - and have realized that these dolphins are living in conditions that they are not meant to live in (enclosed/penned). Sure, they may be treated well, but I still view them as prisoners (kind of makes me think of the Planet of the Apes movies).
I have decided that as a silent protest (guess it's not so silent since I'm sharing with you - smiling) that I am not going to support these companies that keep these beautiful animals trapped.
I know many will disagree with me, but that's okay, as this is my opinion, and everyone is definitly welcome to theirs.
When I eventually go to Hawaii, I will do one of the dolphin tours there as they take you out in the open water to swim with real wild dolphins, not ones that have been forced to train.
That's one of my other objections to the whole thing - dolphins are extremely intelligent (some say almost as much as humans, some say more. Did you know that dolphins are the ONLY other speicies in the world that have sex for pleasure?). These creatures are kept in starvation while being trained - learning (quickly because they are so smart) that the only way to get food is by doing what the trainers want them to do.
I learned a lot about the way that they were treated at the following page. I would urge you to read it!
I hope you have a fun and safe cruise. May you see many wild dolphins swimming beside your ship!
Oh, if you're going to be in Grand Caymen, by all means do the Stingray City tour - the rays are wild (yet tame) and it's a wonderful tour!
I pray that anyone still considering doing a tour with dolphins will check out the link above.
Have a great day!