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Dolphin Encounter Curacao

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Jan 15th, 2010, 05:42 AM
  #1
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Dolphin Encounter Curacao

We are interested in possibly doing the dolphin encounter swim when our ship stops in Curacao. The cruise ship charges $250 including transfers. The dolphin academy charges $159.

2 Questions:

Is it worth the price to do this?

The website for the academy states that cruise passengers must go through cruiseline... How do they know if you are on a cruise or not? It is a lot more expensive..
How much is a taxi from cruise dock to the sit.
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Jan 15th, 2010, 06:10 AM
  #2
KVR
 
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We did a land vacation last May in Curacao and did the Animal Encounter intro dive at the Sea Aquarium. It was less expensive than the dolphin encounter. You do not have to be certified to dive (we're not) and we got to feed the fish, sting rays and sharks. For us, it was a better experience than the dolphin swim. It was one of the best activites we have ever done on vacation.

The cruise ships have contracts with tour operators on various Islands, which is why some tours must be booked through the ship. It's a crock and the way cruise ships makes more money on their passengers. Unfortunatly, as a cruise ship passenger your stuck. The tour operator will know because they ask if your on a cruise or what hotel your are staying in. I remember showing them my hotel key card.
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Jan 15th, 2010, 06:46 AM
  #3
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Is it snorkling or tank?
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Jan 15th, 2010, 06:48 AM
  #4
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Cant you just take a taxi and show up? Is it there business where u are staying ?
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Jan 15th, 2010, 09:03 AM
  #5
KVR
 
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You have to pre-book to get a spot. You can't just show up and expect to do the swim or encounter. Our dive was just us and the staff. The dive took place in a cove. There are several fish and sting rays in the cove and then there is a chain link fence and plexiglass between the cove and the ocean. The sharks are on the other side of the plexiglass/fence. They were dolphins also. It is a tank dive, and you do not have to be certifed to dive to do it. This was our first and only dive to date.

Here's the pictures that they took of our dive that we purchased:

http://travel.webshots.com/album/572141510pfxUnR
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Jan 15th, 2010, 09:11 AM
  #6
KVR
 
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Also, if the cruise ship has a contract for certain excursions with a tour operator and the tour operator books people outside of that contract and the cruise ships find out, then the contract will be recinded. The tour operator will lose out on a lot of money as many are dependant on cruise ship tours. The tour operators aren't going to chance it. Just one of the many reasons why we don't do cruises anymore. We prefer land based vacations.
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Jan 15th, 2010, 09:37 AM
  #7
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It is obvious that the cruise lines are making a killing on the excursions. $90 difference between the cruise line and booking on your own is highway robbery. I am sure a lot of people book separate and the cruise lines do not find out.
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Jan 15th, 2010, 10:23 AM
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How do you think cruises can be so inexpensive? They don't make their money off the price of the cruise - they make it from all the extras like shopping, excursions, etc.
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Jan 15th, 2010, 12:11 PM
  #9
KVR
 
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I booked the tours we did on the following web-sites before we went. Maybe they can help you:

http://www.tourism-curacao.com/tours/index.htm

http://www.curacao-actief.com/


I agree with Tom42. Our last cruise in 2007, our on-board ship account was more than the cruise tickets. Granted we didn't have to purchase all the stuff they offered, but it really wouldn't have been a vacation if we cheaped out. They will nickel and dime you death.
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Feb 24th, 2010, 04:32 PM
  #10
 
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We were just at the Seaquarium two days ago. You can definitely reserve ahead of time and then "walk on" without going through a cruise line (else how do the fly-in tourists get to take part?) For me the price wasn't worth it even given the uniqueness of the event; I'd rather book the day trip on the Jonalisa sailing catamaran to Klein Curacao (in fact, we go tomorow). On the other hand, the Seaquarium does have some fairly costly overhead and so they do need to keep the cash flowing in.

Fortunately we're visiting long-lost relatives here in Curacao for two weeks so we have time to try just about everything that's on offer without having to go through tour operators or cruise line systems.

On that last topic, there are stories that a certain cruise line wants to purchase the whole Caracas bay area and turn it into a "private enclave" where they can dock their ships and keep their customers "captive" to spend their money in dedicated shops and restaurants and bars. That will do a great job of wrecking some more reefs (burying them in sand) and not letting passengers get to see the rest of the island's attractions. Won't do much for the island's economy neither... hope it never comes to pass.
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Feb 24th, 2010, 06:41 PM
  #11
KVR
 
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Just one more reason why people should avoid cruise ships. They are ruining perfectly good Islands with their greed and destruction.
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