For as long as I can remember I have always wanted to swim with dolphins yet I didn’t want to do it in a place where I felt that the dolphins were not well looked after. We have been to other countries that have these facilities but every time I researched I felt that I didn’t want to give them my money. The one place that I had heard was the exception to this rule was Discovery Cove in Florida so when I knew we were going there on holiday I looked into booking it straight away.
Discovery Cove is an all-inclusive day resort that provides breakfast, lunch, snacks and refreshments until around 5 pm including alcoholic beverages for those over 21. You can choose to visit the day resort and have a dolphin encounter or just visit the resort without the dolphin encounter. With beautiful beaches, lots of sunbeds, a huge snorkelling pool full of hundreds of fish including a variety of rays and even a lazy river which takes you through the aviary and to see marmoset island there is enough to keep you occupied all day long.
You are given suncream, towels, a snorkel and mask as well as a wet suit or wet jacket which you have to wear for safety reasons. This means that you don’t have to think about taking loads of stuff with you.
The whole place is like a hidden oasis and you wouldn’t think that you were a short distance from Interstate 4 and the thrills of the major theme parks.
We had a private cabana which gave us our own space as well as a fantastic view over one of the dolphin pools. The Cabana had a hammock, sunbeds and our own mini-fridge that was stocked with drinks and snacks. We also had an amazing lady to look after us and she was so brilliant all day. She made she we had everything we needed and looked after us from the moment we arrived until the moment we left. Having the cabana made a huge difference to our day and we loved every moment.
As well as swimming through the lazy river in the freshwater oasis to see the aviary from that perspective you can also walk through with some food to tempt the many birds down to eat from the cups. You also get to see otters and marmosets but I didn’t have my camera with me when we saw those.
The pool without fish is a lot warmer and there are pool noodles and buckets and spades for the kids to use. We enjoyed using this pool for more of a lazy swim and splash around but obviously, the main attraction was the dolphin swim which was just amazing. We got all of the photos and a DVD of our swim (which we have yet to watch but really must) and had a great time stroking our dolphin and getting him to do tricks. We were in a group of 8 with another family and it was the perfect size group for what we were doing. This experience will stay with me for the rest of my life and I would happily pay to go back again as it was the best day of the whole holiday.
Both of our girls are really good at swimming and they absolutely loved snorkelling in the grand reef pool. I did try to take some photos but they didn’t really work so I thought I would share this video with you instead. I hope it helps you to see just how amazing the whole experience is and if you ever go to Florida you need to put this on your MUST DO list, you won’t regret it.