Distracted Tip: Platinum Castaway Club members and Concierge Guests are eligible to begin booking their excursions 120 days prior to sailing. Gold Castaway Club members are eligible at 105 days, and Silver Castaway Club members are eligible at 90 days. First-time cruisers may begin booking excursions at 75 days. To become a Silver Castaway Club member, one has to have sailed one time on DCL. For Gold, one has to have sailed on 5 cruises, and for Platinum it is 10 prior cruises.
When booking the excursion, we had a choice of two times: 9:30 a.m. or 12:45 p.m. We chose the 12:45 p.m. time. The information on the DCL website indicated that those on the 9:30 a.m. excursion would be able to stay on the island and relax and play on the beach after their dolphin swim. It also indicated that the return time for the 12:45 p.m. excursion was approximately 5:00 p.m., which may affect early dinner seating. We had the late dinner seating, so we weren’t worried. The cost when we booked was $219 per person.
Distracted Tip: There is an age restriction for this excursion – no one under six may participate. There is another excursion at the same place that welcomes little ones as young as three. It is the Blue Lagoon Island Dolphin Encounter, and the cost of that excursion is $19.00 for 3-year-olds, $124.75 for ages 4 through 9, and $140.75 for ages 10 and up.
When we arrived in our stateroom the first day of the cruise, there was an envelope with our excursion tickets on the desk. The tickets indicated our meeting time and place on the ship. On the appointed day, we arrived at 12:45, checked in, and got our wristbands and towels. We waited about 30 minutes for everyone registered to show up, and then we were led off the ship and taken on a 5 to 10 minute walk over to a waiting catamaran for the ride over to Blue Lagoon Island. The ride was about 45 minutes total, and we did stop at one other place to pick up other passengers. The scenery was breathtaking along the way.
When we arrived on the island, we were shown where to go. We were able to put our things in lockers and were given a history of the Blue Lagoon Dolphin program and information about dolphins in general. We were told that pictures and video would be taken and that we would have an opportunity to purchase these after we were finished. We also were able to use our own cameras if we wished. We were given life jackets and then we were led to our lagoon area. We went down a short ladder to a floating deck, and were told to sit with our legs crossed, because one of the baby dolphins was in the lagoon and he liked to nibble on toes! One of the other dolphins swam towards us and looked up at us with one eye. She seemed to be checking us out.
The trainers came down and explained what we were going to do. We all got in the water in a straight line (there was a total of 10 of us). First, the dolphins swam past us, and we were told to put our hands out flat so that we could “pet” them as they swam by. There were two dolphins in the water with us. They made a few passes this way. The trainers then called each person forward, one by one, to get a dolphin “kiss” and have a photo taken. Once the kisses were over, we were called up a couple of people at a time to have some more interaction with the dolphins. We got hugs (they put their heads on our shoulders and we could hug them), and we got to feel their teeth and give them some fish to eat. We also danced with them while holding on to their fins and bobbing back and forth. After everyone had their individual dolphin time, we all lined up again for more petting as they swam by.
The last thing that we got to do was incredible. Each person (if they wanted to; some declined) was instructed to float on their stomachs and lock their knees. Then, two dolphins came up behind and put their noses on our feet and pushed us across the lagoon. They swam so fast that we rose up out of the water and were able to put our hands up in the air. It was amazing.
After everyone was done, we returned our life jackets and retrieved our belongings from the locker. We proceeded into the shopping area and looked at our photos. We decided that we wanted the package that included the video, and they told us they would get it completed as soon as possible. It was now about 3:30 p.m. We knew that we had a 45-minute boat ride back to the ship, and we knew that our onboard time was 5:15. We waited. And waited. And waited some more. Finally, we got our things and walked back to the area where the catamaran was and attempted to get on. This is when we started to get nervous.
Since a lot of the people who had experienced the early excursion had stayed to play on the beach, there was quite a line waiting to board the catamaran. Also, there were three other cruise ships in port that day, and some of those passengers had also come to Blue Lagoon Island for their excursions. It was now 4:10, and we started to get worried that we wouldn’t make it on the catamaran and would miss the Dream leaving port.
Fortunately, the people running the catamarans knew of the Dream’s early leave time, and they began restricting the passengers to Disney-only. We had to show our room keys, and were able to make it on the catamaran. We left at 4:20 and made it back to port by 5:00 p.m. We had to walk a little ways again to get back to the ship, but fortunately we made it back onboard at 5:10. Whew!
I would definitely do this activity again, but I would make sure to do the earlier time and come back to port right afterward. For me, that was a little too close for comfort.
Have you ever done this excursion? I’d love to hear about your experience.