Disney Cruise: Dolphin Encounter

dolphin encounter 4Probably one of the most memorable parts of our summer Disney Cruise vacation was undeniably our shore excursion to Blue Lagoon Island for the Dolphin Encounter.   Scott and I had done it before many moons ago on a previous cruise to the Bahamas and we knew that we wanted our son to have the same experience we did, since this was a special vacation.  We booked the excursion directly through our Disney Cruise Line account, as the price of booking through them was not much more than booking independently, and because it was booked through DCL, we knew that if there were any troubles with returning back to port to embark the ship, the cruise line would be aware.

We knew that this excursion would be a bit more pricey given the nature of the 123experience, but in our honest opinion, the price paid is well worth the amazing experience of being able to connect with dolphins and learn about them in very safe and memorable way.  The current rate through Disney Cruise Line is $158.00 per person age 10 and up, and $143.00 per person age 4 to 9.   This includes transportation to and from  via boat to Blue Lagoon Island,  access to the island’s beaches and on site water activities, access to the facilities, and of course, the dolphin encounter, life vests, and locker rental.  In addition, the boat ride to the island is quite an excursion in an of itself.  During our ride over, the boat captain gave a mini-tour of celebrity homes and history along the way and another boat crew member got the on board guests moving with a mini Macarena dance party!

dolphin encounter 3The day of our excursion, thunderstorms threatened Nassau and the surrounding area, but we were fortunate that Blue Lagoon Island was far enough out that we only experience sunny, pleasant weather!  Debarking from the Dream and getting to the excursion was a snap, armbands were provided to guide you to where you needed to go in order to board your shore transportation and the process was seamless.

Once we arrived to our destination, we rested on the beach and snorkeled and played in the water while we waited for our excursion time.  The water at the island was so clear that you could see fish all over swimming around you.  The water was also very still and not deep, so children could play freely without much worry.   There were paddle boats, inflatable amusements, etc. available for an extra fee as well.  Dolphin Encounters at Blue Lagoon also offers a Dolphin Swim and a Sea Lion experience as well!

Before we knew it, though, it was time for our excursion.  We were able to lock up our dolphin encounter 1valuables in a small locker at no extra charge and we were required, of course, to sign a waiver.  Life vests were provided and required for everyone’s safety.  Groups of 10 were typically included in each area devoted to the encounter and a photographer and trainers were available to teach guests about the dolphin’s habits, life span, intelligence, etc.   We were able to feel their bellies, teeth, feed them, and the best part, give them hugs, kisses, and even dance with them.   It was incredible to see these magnificent animals up close and personal.  Seeing the joy on my son’s face with a giant smile was probably the best part of the whole experience!   After we were done,  the staff gave us details on where we could go online at a later date to download and order pictures.  We were with a group of friends and we all split the cost for the photos. The photo package was around $100-$150 and it even included videos and digital images of everyone in your group.  It was well worth it, especially if you are with a large group that can split the cost.

My son is STILL talking about his experience with the dolphins and he keeps asking when we can do it again.  If you are taking a Disney Cruise (or any cruise for that matter) to the Bahamas and you are debating a shore excursion to Blue Lagoon for a Dolphin Encounter, we highly recommend it, as it was a wonderful experience that will remain in our memories for years to come!

A few tips for your visit:

  • Bring the bare minimum needed in your bag.  The lockers are small and can only really hold your wallet, phone, camera, etc.
  • Cameras and phones are not permitted during the encounter.
  • There are bathrooms, showers, etc. available if you need to use them after the experience is complete
  • Unless you plan on buying a few snacks, etc.  do not bring a lot of $$.  You also do not need to pay for your photos up front.  They upload them to a server and give you a slip of paper with your download info.  When you go to download them, you pay!
  • If you have a small child you think may be freaked out by the dolphins, there is an option for them to just be a “viewer”  or “guest” – the website has more details.

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