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  #41  
Old January 2nd, 2012, 11:31 AM
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blakeamy blakeamy is offline
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Originally Posted by crisvow View Post
I wanted to book this for my husband & 5 year old, who can swim. I am disappointed as on the website it has a minimum age of 8. on the royal caribbean site, it mentions no age minimum. the only thing my son can do is the encounter which you don't even have to get in the water. my 2 yr old could do it. anyone have experience with this? Or know of any other islands that offer dolphin swims that a 5 yr old can do? Thanks!
Did you look into Dolphinaris in Cozumel? It says children 5 and under are free with a paying adult for the dolphin swim.
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  #42  
Old January 5th, 2012, 02:53 AM
haslipe haslipe is offline
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Originally Posted by marcyjane View Post
We are booked with Carnival excursions for April. Does anyone know if you are allowed to take your own camera and take your own photo's. Also are you allowed to walk around Chan(can't spell name of park) the park and hangout after swim?

Thanks,
Marcy
Others have said that they do not let you have your camera with you. It makes sense because they try to sell you their pics for $100+ for a cd. I think someone mentioned that if you have a good zoom lens, you might be able to get some pics from an area outside the pool.

And yes, you can stay and play in the park after your dolphin time.
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  #43  
Old January 5th, 2012, 10:25 PM
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I am planning on booking the dolphin push, pull swim at Chankanaab. The Carnival website has no age restriction but a height restriction. When I contacted Carnival about it they said that my 3 year old could go and do what he was able to and there would be no charge for him because he is only 3.

I do not think that your own camera is allowed. They will take pictures and try to charge an arm and leg for them but I am a sucker for pictures. I will try to get a better deal.
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  #44  
Old January 6th, 2012, 12:02 PM
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Default Dolphin Discount for NCL?

We'll be in Cozumel next month, and are planning on Chankanaab for the day. Unfortunately, with our 5 kids we can't afford to pay full price for the dolphin swim or encounter. I see on the dolphin discovery site that they have a buy one get one for $1 for Norwegian passengers. (We're RCCL)

Does anyone have experience with how they verify how you got on the island? Do they really care? I'd be surprised if NCL was giving them a kickback -- more likely that they have agreements with all the other lines not to discount for those passengers...
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  #45  
Old January 6th, 2012, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by scotte View Post
We'll be in Cozumel next month, and are planning on Chankanaab for the day. Unfortunately, with our 5 kids we can't afford to pay full price for the dolphin swim or encounter. I see on the dolphin discovery site that they have a buy one get one for $1 for Norwegian passengers. (We're RCCL)

Does anyone have experience with how they verify how you got on the island? Do they really care? I'd be surprised if NCL was giving them a kickback -- more likely that they have agreements with all the other lines not to discount for those passengers...
I was just there on Dec. 23rd and booked the day for me and my kids directly with the park. They asked at the time of my booking how I was getting there and where I was staying. I told them we were going to be at a local resort but was unsure of the name. They never asked again, even when we checked in. It wasn't an issue at all.
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  #46  
Old January 8th, 2012, 07:43 PM
new2cruising2006 new2cruising2006 is offline
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I see they are still offering the NCL deal, but I am sailing on Carnival on 2/22/12. Is there anyway I can find out if there will be a NCL ship docked that day and do you think I could try to say I am a passenger on a NCL ship or do I have to go w/ a Carnival excursion?
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  #47  
Old January 8th, 2012, 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by scotte View Post
We'll be in Cozumel next month, and are planning on Chankanaab for the day. Unfortunately, with our 5 kids we can't afford to pay full price for the dolphin swim or encounter. I see on the dolphin discovery site that they have a buy one get one for $1 for Norwegian passengers. (We're RCCL)

Does anyone have experience with how they verify how you got on the island? Do they really care? I'd be surprised if NCL was giving them a kickback -- more likely that they have agreements with all the other lines not to discount for those passengers...
We're sailing with RC in March and was thinking of doing the same thing. Did you end up booking the NCL deal? I checked it out and there will be an NCL ship in port the same day we are.
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  #48  
Old January 8th, 2012, 11:36 PM
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Originally Posted by haslipe View Post
Others have said that they do not let you have your camera with you. It makes sense because they try to sell you their pics for $100+ for a cd. I think someone mentioned that if you have a good zoom lens, you might be able to get some pics from an area outside the pool.

And yes, you can stay and play in the park after your dolphin time.
I sure hate that you can't take your camera.
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  #49  
Old January 9th, 2012, 12:52 PM
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I just returned from my Jan 1 cruise on the Magic. I booked thru Cozumel Tours and used the ecommerce as the name of the ship while booking. I even got the 20% discount for booking thru paypal.

Once I arrived at Dolphin Discovery, no one cared how I got there. There are three places to sign in, the last one being the actual sign in for the Dolphin swim. You have to put your name and what ship you came on. I put Carnival Magic, and there were no questions asked.

You ARE allowed to take your camera as long as it is waterproof. I asked and they said sure as long as it is waterproof. You will need to be with someone that you can pass your camera too when it is your turn, but it is allowed. No one that has not paid is allowed to go that far out on the pier to take pictures, but the actual participants are allowed.

We did the Royal Dolphin Swim and it was great!!!
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  #50  
Old January 9th, 2012, 04:26 PM
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Default Norwegian Discount

new2cruising2006: You can check the port schedule here: http://cruisett.com/ports.php?PortID=155&date=42

So I talked to the people at dolphin discovery, and they require a ticket/booking number from Norwegian passengers in order to get the 2 for 1 deal. I ended up booking through http://cozumel-tours.com/dolphin-swim-adventure.htm in order to get the early booking discount, but just got 15% since I'm only 30 days out. They have a graduated discount based on how far in advance you book. Another thing to note is that if you use American Express they charge you in Pesos, whereas if you book with Visa or Mastercard they charge you in Dollars. I didn't know that until after I booked, and don't know what effect it will have on the price, except for the AMEX currency exchange fee.

If you cancel more than 4 days in advance you can get all but 10% of your fee back. If your ship doesn't dock or is late you have to get a letter from the ship and fax it to them as proof, and then you can get all but 10% back or a 1-year voucher for the full amount. If they cancel you due to weather you get a refund.

Because I couldn't get the 2-for-1 deal, I only booked the swim for my two older kids. They said there's a sea lion show included, but that it would cost the rest of us an extra $15 or so at the park. Anyone have experience with that?

Thanks!
Scott
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  #51  
Old January 9th, 2012, 04:34 PM
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new2cruising2006: You can check the port schedule here: http://cruisett.com/ports.php?PortID=155&date=42

So I talked to the people at dolphin discovery, and they require a ticket/booking number from Norwegian passengers in order to get the 2 for 1 deal. I ended up booking through http://cozumel-tours.com/dolphin-swim-adventure.htm in order to get the early booking discount, but just got 15% since I'm only 30 days out. They have a graduated discount based on how far in advance you book. Another thing to note is that if you use American Express they charge you in Pesos, whereas if you book with Visa or Mastercard they charge you in Dollars. I didn't know that until after I booked, and don't know what effect it will have on the price, except for the AMEX currency exchange fee.

If you cancel more than 4 days in advance you can get all but 10% of your fee back. If your ship doesn't dock or is late you have to get a letter from the ship and fax it to them as proof, and then you can get all but 10% back or a 1-year voucher for the full amount. If they cancel you due to weather you get a refund.

Because I couldn't get the 2-for-1 deal, I only booked the swim for my two older kids. They said there's a sea lion show included, but that it would cost the rest of us an extra $15 or so at the park. Anyone have experience with that?

Thanks!
Scott
That's interesting - I booked last week, and I just had to tell them which ship and what day. I am actually on an NCL cruise, but I didn't have to give them a booking or ticket number.
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  #52  
Old January 9th, 2012, 10:59 PM
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Our experience at Chankanaab: We were there April 2010, and a woman was there taking lots of pictures of her kids the entire time. I was hoping for the same experience this time.
First of all, I booked this online using "ecommerce" and I put in "Elation." The swim was 1/7/12. No one questioned anything when we checked in. I was told several times by each person we checked in with that cameras were not allowed. I had to pay an extra $5 to be able to go on the outside deck with my 12 year old. I kept my camera hidden and took a few quick pics. A grandmother was also on the outer deck freely using a waterproof camera. They told her she could not do that, but the participants could use the waterproof camera and take pictures of each other. I questioned one of the workers about whether or not I could take pictures from the dock. He said only paying participants can use cameras. So, if you can, bring a waterproof camera!!
Also a new change since our 2010 swim, they no longer print pictures. Everything is on the computer. You can pick which pictures you want and they will burn a disc. Single pictures are $30 each to a disc. For one participant, it was about $95 for the disc of all the pictures. They did have a package for the disc and 2 printed pictures. They also had packages based on the number of participants that you want pictures of.
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  #53  
Old January 16th, 2012, 09:07 PM
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I am booked for the Royal Dolphin Swim and am curious about the biodegradable sunscreen policy. Does anyone have any experience with any of these sunscreens? Are they effective? I understand they are sold at the park, but is there anywhere else they can be bought other than online?
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  #54  
Old January 16th, 2012, 09:38 PM
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I just booked the royal swim by phone today, and we are on Norwegian, and I wasn't asked for a booking number. They just asked the ship and arrival date. It sounds like it depends on who you talk to. I knew about the 2/1 deal from their website and the rep gve me the deal w/o me even having to mention it.
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  #55  
Old January 16th, 2012, 11:02 PM
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Another great reason to NOT book on the ship is the flexibility it will give you at this park. Chankanaab is a beautiful beach and a great place to spend the day without being rushed back to the ship. The taxi ride is very short so missing the ship is not an issue. The beach is man made and built on a coral base. This means a great beach with good snorkeling. It's a bit tough getting into the water due to carved out steps in the rock but once in it is devine.

We went a few years ago when there wasn't all this hassel about being a Carnival passenger or not. The dolphin experience was incredible and the professional pictures we purchased were worth every nickle (to us) given the huge smiles on all of our faces (including our teenagers). I locked up my camera in one of their lockers and brought it out later when I went snorkeling.

I'm glad I didn't fool with it as it would have distracted from the experience. You are in pretty deep water and for much of the experience you have to swim out into the bay for the dophin to do it's pushes and rides. For this reason I suggest caution when bringing young children. They won't be able to participate in the exciting events and may be frightened when doing the dolphin kiss or hand (flipper) shake. During our encounter, there was another family that had a young child and he was scared through out the event and was not up to the swim out into the bay.
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  #56  
Old January 17th, 2012, 04:55 PM
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My answer is "I'm sailing in" which is true in a bigger sense. I sail a Cat thru BVI several times a year and regardless of the type of boat we basically are sailing (as in set sail). Unfortunately, they put us in a position of having to scoot the truth in order to have a great family experience.
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  #57  
Old January 17th, 2012, 06:45 PM
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My answer is "I'm sailing in" which is true in a bigger sense. I sail a Cat thru BVI several times a year and regardless of the type of boat we basically are sailing (as in set sail). Unfortunately, they put us in a position of having to scoot the truth in order to have a great family experience.
Ok, I'm jealous now

I have a picture of our approach to Jost Van Dyke from a catameran ride we took last year after sailing in to Tortola on Celebrity on my computer desktop. The island was gorgeous!! Sailing the BVI on a catameran sounds amazing.

As for Chankanaab, the impression I got from the posts here is that the issue is with Carnival - some sort of exclusive deal made with the park for their passengers. We ran into a similar issue in Belize where we went on a "Raiders of the Lost Mayan Caves" excursion (we were also sailing with Carnival at the time). We could only take it if we booked through the ship even though the business offered it privately. However, in that case I didn't mind as the drive to the venue was quite far and the risk of missing the ship was higher than I'm comfortable with. If you're coming in on a private catameran to Cozumel, you shouldn't have an issue.
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  #58  
Old January 17th, 2012, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by rockmegently View Post
Another great reason to NOT book on the ship is the flexibility it will give you at this park. Chankanaab is a beautiful beach and a great place to spend the day without being rushed back to the ship. The taxi ride is very short so missing the ship is not an issue. The beach is man made and built on a coral base. This means a great beach with good snorkeling. It's a bit tough getting into the water due to carved out steps in the rock but once in it is devine.

We went a few years ago when there wasn't all this hassel about being a Carnival passenger or not. The dolphin experience was incredible and the professional pictures we purchased were worth every nickle (to us) given the huge smiles on all of our faces (including our teenagers). I locked up my camera in one of their lockers and brought it out later when I went snorkeling.
I'm glad I didn't fool with it as it would have distracted from the experience. You are in pretty deep water and for much of the experience you have to swim out into the bay for the dophin to do it's pushes and rides. For this reason I suggest caution when bringing young children. They won't be able to participate in the exciting events and may be frightened when doing the dolphin kiss or hand (flipper) shake. During our encounter, there was another family that had a young child and he was scared through out the event and was not up to the swim out into the bay.
By pretty deep water do you mean over your head water depth where you are treading water the whole time?
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  #59  
Old January 17th, 2012, 10:36 PM
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By pretty deep water do you mean over your head water depth where you are treading water the whole time?
There are really two sections. The first section is right off of the pier. The water is about chest deep as you stand on an underwater ledge. It is from here you do things like the dolphin kiss and shake the flipper. The second is where the exciting stuff takes place. For this you swim out about 30 to 50 yards from the other area into the bay. Yes this is well over your head but you have a life jacket on and the trainers are keeping a watchful eye on you. My dw had no problem and she is not a swimmer.

I'm not sure what all is offered now but when we went for the one event you swam out with a flutter board, pointed yourself back towards the main area, and the dolphin came up behind you and pushed you in (very fast) with his nose on the bottom of your foot. For the other event you would swim out, put your arm out, and the dolphin would come up beside you so you could hold his dorsal fin and he pulls you back. It is incredible!!

For adults and older kids I think it is fantastic. Personally I would be reluctant to take younger children in unless they are fearless in water, fearless around strange animals, and you're content to have them do just the flipper shake and kiss as they won't be able to do the swim out. The terrified child I saw was about 5 and his family and the trainers spent a considerable amount of time trying to convince him to swim out and interact with the dolphin. Of course when this happens the adults aren't having a great time either and the experience is a bit pricey if you're not having the time of your life. Of course every child is different.

For our family - 2 adults and 2 teenagers, it still stands out as one of the most memorable things we have done.

I also think Chankanaab is worth going to (or at least it was before all the hurricanes) even if you don't do the dolphins and I would return in a heartbeat.

I should qualify that by saying it is not a great beach for kids (or anyone for that matter) to just run out into the water. As I mentioned earlier in this thread, it has a fantastic sand beach but the water entry requires stepping down through steps cut out in the rocks. Good for snorkeling - bad for just running in.
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  #60  
Old January 18th, 2012, 12:06 PM
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By pretty deep water do you mean over your head water depth where you are treading water the whole time?
You have on a life jacket the entire time. It is required, so it does not matter how deep it is. You stand on a ledge at the edge of the pool while waiting your turn. Very easy.

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Originally Posted by VaTraveler View Post
I am booked for the Royal Dolphin Swim and am curious about the biodegradable sunscreen policy. Does anyone have any experience with any of these sunscreens? Are they effective? I understand they are sold at the park, but is there anywhere else they can be bought other than online?
I use Blue Lizzard. I get it at CVS pharmacy. Works well.

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