If you are considering that activity - go for the Dolphin swim, not just the encounter. The swim, in my opinion, is worth the extra money, but the encounter is just a tease and way overpriced. This is the same place that the cruise ships use for their excursion, but done on your own directly through the park - cheaper. If you are interested, don't wait to book - it sells out quickly.
I believe you are required to make a credit card payment in order to reserve. However, if memory serves me correctly, you can cancel within 7 days of the excursion for full refund. I know that they will refund your money if the ship arrives late or is unable to make the port.
Hey there! This is a very long post, but it's just food for thought. My husband and I thought about doing a dolphin swim as well, as soon as I learned they were possible (just a month or so ago). As I was looking into where it was possible I started to do a little research. I actually contacted several dolphin swim outfits...however I did NOT get a response back from Cozumel, so take what I am about to write with a grain of salt. In some dolphin programs, especially those that are not affiliated with preservation groups, the dolphins may be captured off the coast of Cuba. To "train" them, they are kept from food until they realize that people are associated with food. Those are not my main concerns, however. My concerns are with the size of some of the pools the dolphins live in at these private encounter places. I read reports of a place in Jamaica that was shut down after several health violations (apparently both for the animals and for people). There is one company that comes up a lot in complaints (I'm not going to mention the name here because I don't know the rules for the board that well, but you could probably find out with a simple google search) The water was so shallow that some of the dolphins actually had been sunburned. Again, much of what I read came from environmental organizations that tend to be biased towards any captivity, and I am not opposed entirely to captivity...it may be okay when animals cannot survive on their own or a species is reaching extinction and needs help.
I really wanted to swim with them, too, but now I'm so worried that I might be supporting a bad organization that we won't be doing that. Now, if I had a chance to thoroughly check out the exhibit and their practices before hand (yeah, just a quick flight to Cozumel ), maybe I'd change my mind.
I thank you - with all my heart - for your honest and insightful post. I am in love with dolphins and I looked blindly at the whole thing because of my love for the animals. I don't go to circuses because of elephant cruelty - I never even THOUGHT about the cruelty at a dolphin encounter...and I am very ashamed to admit that.
I was worried when I posted that some would take offense. I love them, too, although I've never seen one in person. The dolphins did help us decide where we want to cruise, though . Apparently (sp?) the waters around Dominica, St. Lucia (and I think maybe St. Thomas or St. Vincent) are excellent places for dolphin and whale spotting. Soooo, that's what made us decide we wanted to go to the eastern caribbean! (on some cruises those locations are in the Southern caribbean itinerary). I heard that the stingray swim (which I think is also in Cozumel) involves stingray in the wild. That would be neat. Does anyone know if it is in open water?
The stingray swim IS in the open water...we have been to both Cozumel and Grand Caymen and did the stingray swim last time in Grand Caymen (DEFINITELY worth the money for it!). The rays are wild.
One thing we did - when the tour person was "teaching" about the rays, we still swam with them, thus getting about 15 minutes longer with them instead of listening about them (I can learn about them online...lol).
I'm definitely doing the stingray city again when we go to Grand Caymen...
I have done boththe Royal Swim and the encounter.I highly reccommend either of them but there is more interaction with the dolphins in the Royal Swim program. I did them both at chankanaabpark in Cozumel and the waters are not shallow and the animals are treated very well. They have a web site that you can check it out, dolphindiscovery.com I talked with a few of the trainers at the park and they live a very long and prosperous life even though they are in captivity.They love the interaction with all the people that come in contact with them.If you have any questions feel free to ask and I have pics that I could e-mail; to you. Hope you do this ptogram because it is an experience of a lifetime.
Southern Caribbean on the Golden Princess
Crown PCrown Princess 07-20-2006