Edit – March 22, 2011
Since viewing THE COVE, I would never support Dolphin encounters, anywhere. See more info here.
Original post starts here.
Recently I took two grandchildren to the Dolphin encounter at Dolphin Quest. We did the Kids Quest for children 5 to 9 years old.
It is quite amazing. They took 17 children into a learning center and sat them on a rug and played games and talked about dolphins. Each child was given individual positive attention and a chance to show what they know about dolphins and to learn even more.
A game showed the children more about echolocation when they tried to guess what was inside different boxes with sound as their only clue.
One grandson was a little bored at times. The other was delighted and knew that Killer whales are the largest dolphin. The facilitator was amazing in her ability to manage 17 children, virtually all in rapt attention. And she spoke Japanese to children from Japan.
After an hour of that, they went out to the water and another amazing trainer. This time they were in groups of six. The trainers live their way of training – rewards for desired behavior, ignore negative behavior. She had the groups’ attention and they were enraptured the whole time. They met three different dolphins, all highly trained. Their routines are fun and funny. Participants get to feed fish to the dolphins, feel them and join in signaling the dolphin’s different behaviors. They heard the different sounds dolphins make and experienced their anatomy. Did you know their “melon”, the bulge at the top of the dolphin’s head is where the echolocation happens?
Pictures are taken, and you can buy a twenty minute video ($65.) of your child’s session. We ordered the video which comes in the mail about two weeks later. You don’t get to see until it arrives in the mail and you prepay. They put a plastic bracelet on your child’s wrist so they know which children will be receiving the videos.
The pictures are worth at least a thousand words. BTW parents have a clear view and are kept a distance away. You can take your own pictures from the distance. You will want theirs because of the beauty of them and because your pictures will be of the back of their head..
I knew I planned to buy all the pictures, ($150). They come on a CD. I went inside to purchase them. A young woman who seemed like she needed a break told me that I had to wait and view the pictures, once they were up on the screens. That took about 15 to 20 minutes wait. We went swimming and came back later.
When I viewed the pictures, I had to point out which ones had my grandchildren in them. It takes a little while. Then I learned the CD would not be ready for 24 hours. If you are staying at the Hilton, that’s easier. We weren’t, so it meant a trip back. We could have arranged to have it mailed but I wanted it sooner than that. I see the pictures are available online for up to six months.
At home I discovered I could look up the pictures on line at my leisure. I don’t think you can order the CD on line. I was a little disappointed that our camera person was shared with another group. We ended up with 22 pictures of my two grandchildren. Many of them are group pictures. On line the group pictures look disappointing, faces in shadow or an arm across them.
The children already want to go back for another encounter.
© 2011 Jeanne Litt, All rights reserved.