Atlantis

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Aug 16th, 2004, 01:59 PM
  #1
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Atlantis

Going to Atlantis early May 2005. I am staying in the Atlantis Harborside Condos using extra Vacation Club points so I'm not paying for lodging and can eat breakfast and lunch in the unit some days - thank goodness after reading all the comments on the board. We have two kids, who will be 7 & 10 when we arrive. My 10 year old and I will be diving several days (he is Jr Open Water certified). How is the Discovery Channel Camp for the 7 year old? We'll also be doing the Dolphin Encounter on Blue Lagoon Island. I'm also considering doing the Power Boat Excursion to the Exumas, or a day trip by Seaplane or Fast Ferry to Harbour Island. Anyone with experience with these adventures?
Mellyz is offline  
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Aug 16th, 2004, 04:10 PM
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Yes. The Dolphin Encounter program is downright cruel. I went there knowing nothing about these programs and left both disgusted and angry. Please do a little reading before you patronize such horrible business enterprises.
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Aug 16th, 2004, 04:43 PM
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We did the dolphin Encounter and loved it. My son and his wife did the dolphin encounter and the boat excursion and thought both were super. Email me direct if you would like.
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Aug 17th, 2004, 06:12 AM
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Hello, Mellyz. We were just in the Bahamas in June and my daughter and husband did the dolphin encounter and loved it!! It was really neat, and educational. She also did the discovery channel camp and she had a great time. She did it twice, and wanted to go everyday! They do different things everyday, in case they do go everyday, they get to do something different! You will love Atlantis, it is totally awesome, we can't wait to go back!!!
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Aug 18th, 2004, 05:02 AM
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You can't go wrong with the Power Boat Adventure to the Exumas - this is by far the best day trip we have ever been on. Have Fun.
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Aug 18th, 2004, 05:40 AM
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I just can't imagine anyone doing any kind of inquiry on these dolphin programs and then doing them anyway.

Do you have ANY idea how many dolphins DIE every year in these programs and during/soon after capture?

Do you really want your child to have a hand in perpetuating this disgusting practice?

If so, it's certainly your choice and your conscience.

Luckily, more and more places are outlawing this nasty business, and I can only hope we all see the end of it before too many more dolphins are murdered by those wanting to have an "experience."
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Aug 18th, 2004, 05:46 AM
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I agree...please do not do the dolphin encounter. You have no idea what these poor creatures go through. If no one pays for the experience then hopefully they will stop doing it.
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Aug 18th, 2004, 06:03 AM
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All I hve to say is Experience everything you can life is to short not to.
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Aug 18th, 2004, 06:32 AM
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Hey Kimberly. What is up with that?

Could you give me one good reason for doing a dolphin "encounter" that is not a totally selfish one?

So I guess it's OK to do whatever you want if it hurts people or animals just so YOU can say you did something fun?

The OP was asking for info and probably doesn't realize that these programs are cruel.

That you would still endorse it even after others have told you IT'S CRUEL is amazing. You sicken me.
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Aug 18th, 2004, 08:52 AM
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Guess I should have known better than to inquire about Dolphin Programs. I have heard of EXCELLENT programs, such as the Dolphin Research Center in the Florida Keys where they work with rescued dolphins in a natural environment. Not having done that much research yet on the Bahamas, I was hoping to be able to get a reaction from someone who had actually been to Dolphin Encounters, not moral lectures on whether or not Dolphin Swims are ethical - I can make my own decisions about a particular program when I am done gathering info, thank you.
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Aug 18th, 2004, 08:55 AM
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Dolphins are free-roaming ocean mammals, and live in socially highly-developed pods. Babies stay at least 3 years with their mothers to learn how to fit in with the pod social structure, and also to learn how to detect and avoid sharks. As baby dolphins grow, they are "babysat" by teen dolphins. When you pay money to have captive dolphins do tricks for you, you must remember they were indiscriminately snatched from the wild pod, and many were adult females who left their babies to fend for themselves. I do reef surveys throughout the Bahamas, and have encoountered pods of wild dolphins, and have witnessed them leap high in the air, "surf" on the bow and in the wake of dive boat, "walk" backwards on their tails, and smack the water with their fins. Everything you witness a captured dolphin do in captivity is not to entertain you; they perform for food only. And, all the tricks were never taught; they do it in the wild without human bribery. I remember, years ago, wild dolphins captured off of Abaco Island in the Bahamas. They were confined to a small area enclosed by a cyclone fence, off of Great Guana Cay, a small island off of Abaco. Even today, in the pubs around Abaco, some of the middle-aged Bahamians remember a man named Ric O'Barry, who scuba'd to the fence and cut the chains, setting the captured pod free. Turns out, O'Barry was a dolphin trainer and trained the original Flipper in the original TV series, "Flipper." 't always a dolphin freedom fighter. He participated in the capitalistic ventures of tearing wild dolphins from their pods in the open ocean. He was making big bucks, until one day Cathy, one fo a half dozen dolphins that played the title character "Flipper", died due to captivity-related stress. Dolphins are highly-developed creatures, intellectually, and suffer from depression when taken from their free-roaming, wild environments, much like gorillas do. Cathy took her last dolphin breath, and died cradled in Ric O'Barry's arms. Ric has spent, since that incident, his life in freeing captive dolphins and fights the very industry he worked for. I emailed him recently, telling him that some businessmen were thinking of starting a dolphin "program" in Abaco, but they were voted down whole-heartedly, and that his name as the "dolphin saver" still comes up, when they recall his scuba venture off of Great Guana Cay, when he cut the cyclone fence and freed the pod. Try reading one of his books, "To Free A Dolphin" by Ric O'Barry...then think again about paying money for these business ventures to have captive wild dolphins do tricks for you. Robert
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Aug 18th, 2004, 09:54 AM
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Mellyz,

I apologize for coming to your defense. I assumed you didn't know anything about the swtd programs and were just trying to get more info.

And come to find out you THINK you know something about it and want to do it anyway.

Here's some more info for you in addition to Robert's excellent post.

The swtd in the Keys you are referring to DOES NOT use "rescued" dolphins, they use captured and captive-born dolphins. Look at their website. The dolphins are kept in tiny pens and lagoons. A natural environment? I think not.

NO facility that was interested in the welfare of marine mammals would ever condone or participate in this activity.

Looks like you need to gather some more info... I'll make it easy for you:

In order to make an informed decision, please visit:

http://dolphinproject.org/

http://www.hsus.org/ace/11727

(The second site is the Humane Society of the United States' position on SWTD programs.)



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Aug 18th, 2004, 10:09 AM
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Diana: No need to apologize for coming to my defense, I don't need to be defended at all. Everyone is entitled to their beliefs and opinions, including you, me and the other posters on this board. At least Robert was civil in his very informative post. I admire your passion for something you have deep feelings about, however I resent your tone and mean spirited attacks on me and the other posters. I suppose I will go back to other boards where people treat each other with kindness and respect, even if they have different opinions and beliefs.
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Aug 18th, 2004, 05:20 PM
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Mellyz:
You asked if anyone had been to the specific dolphin encounter program near Atlantis.
That's the one I was referring to in my first post. I went naively and curiously without any prior information. No one had to provide me any web-based info to clue me in as to what goes on there. It was more than obvious. It truly did disgust me.
Everyone must make his or her own decisions, but you asked for opinions.
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Aug 19th, 2004, 04:49 AM
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Diana - you just don't get it. You would be much more effective if your posts were more civil. I mean do you really think that you're going to get people to see things your way when you say that they "sicken" you? You should take a cue from Robert, who presents the information in a factual manner without personal attacks.
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Aug 19th, 2004, 04:56 AM
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tom42,

I have been posting for many years on fodors.com and have posted literally hundreds of times on the swtd topic.

I ALWAYS use a civil tone and present the information factually and without editorializing - EXCEPT for this case (and maybe a couple of others over the years . )

There was just something about the two people who obliviously went on to say how wonderful it was that just tripped my trigger and - yes - I was over the top and rude.

People who post regularly on this topic can confirm what I've stated above, and you can easily find my posts on the topic going back years under the Latin America and Caribbean and USA forums.

I guess it is a subject near and dear to my heart and I know there are other posters on here who post about the dolphin "issues" who occasionally "snap" too. (You know who you are )

Sometimes we feel like we are banging our heads against the wall trying to get people to understand, but you just can't lead a horse to water and make it drink.

If someone wants to do something badly enough, the fact that it is wrong does not stop them...
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Aug 19th, 2004, 07:51 AM
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I can certainly understand how you might go a little overboard or "snap" on an issue that you feel passionately about. Just try to remember that people generally get turned off when they feel that they're being lectured to and are less receptive to the information being presented (IMHO).
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Aug 26th, 2004, 10:57 AM
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Enough with the political debate about your views on Dolphins. Theres a place and a forum for that. All Mellyz wanted to know is your expieriences at Atlantis.
MellyZ - I went to Paradise Island on my Honeymoon in 2000 and have been back every year since. I even bought a timeshare at Harborside Resort I love it so much. AND my wife and I went to the Dolphin Encounter on Blue Lagoon and had the time of our lives hanging out with the dolphins. They come up to you and "kiss" and "hug" you and splash water on you. You can even go for a "ride" on them at an extra cost. You can also purchase a video tape of your experience at an extra cost as well. My wife loved every minute of it and so did I. I would highly reccomend it. Hope you have fun!!
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Aug 26th, 2004, 12:54 PM
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Kitrigger; The capture of free-roaming wild dolphins, and jerking them from their pods is far beyond "politics." Marine biologists have been studying dolphins for years, and a growing number of people are becoming aware of what this practice does to decimate pod structures. It is justifiable to post the downsides of this practice on a Caribbean message board, just as it is other issues. Since we all love to visit the Caribbean islands, it is perfectly rational for readers to learn all they can about ways they can make visits to the islands productive, and destructive. The Dolphin Encounter mammals don't interact with you because they enjoy your company; they do so for food, because they can no longer survive alone in the ocean environment. A few dolphins that do try to make it on their own end up begging for handouts from the yatchers along the dock area of Nassau Harbor. Robert
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Aug 26th, 2004, 03:38 PM
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this is just stupid. Civility rules. I see too many PETA idiots in my job. Sorry, I'm a vet. I deal with animals on a daily basis. I love them. I am in a small animal practice. I protect them. But when I see anger against strangers in this sort of situation, sorry, I assume we have a fringe dweller involved.
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