Learn about and interact with dolphins while at this non-profit educational and research facility, which is home to a family ... More
Dolphin Research Center
Learn about and interact with dolphins while at this non-profit educational and research facility, which is home to a family of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins and California sea lions. The Center is open to the public seven days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST.
Although the Dolphin Research Centre is a friendly and informative place about dolphins, we were very disappointed with the "Dolphin Dip" we paid for $120 per person. As a group of 10 we were divided into 2 subgroups and each group had about 9 minutes of interacting (stroking the dolphin and giving instructions) with the lovely animal. And the staff was more concerned with taking professional photographs (of course you need to pay for extra!) than anything else. The experience is not worth the money and I think the research centre has got too much into making money than trying to live its philosophy!
We went to the DRC on July 15th, 2010 and had the best time ever. My grandaughter is seven years old and we did the dolphin dip. It was well worth every penny when you think that of the amount of opportunities there are to actually "pet" a dolphin. To think that the oil spill could very well offset the balance of these magnificent creatures I believe I would have paid double the amount requested to give my grandaughter that opportunity. She wants to grow up to work with marine life. We (our family) wants to support her dreams, and who knows, someday she will get there. The staff could not have been kinder or more informative. We all learned alot.
My parents & I recently took my daughter for a visit,something she has wanted to do for several years. I felt that the amount of time each participant spent with the dolphins should have been longer for the price. $180.00 for approximately 7 minutes contact is a little steep. I understand the money helps keep the place going but, which is fine, but it wouldn't hurt to allow more time swimming with them. :(
The Dolphin Research Center is a nice place to see dolphins in their natural habitat. There re plenty of viewing spaces in the park to watch the dolphins and other sea life while they are not performing for the people. Guests can call ahead to reserve a swim with the dolphins as well; however, you may want to do this a few months in advance. The thing that I find interesting about this place is that the money that is generated goes into taking care of the animals, not a big profit pool. Another thing that I think is neat is that the dolphins seem to stay there out of their own free will. If you go, you will notice that there are no huge fences or nets in place to keep the dolphins in the center. Of course, there are fences underwater, which separate the dolphin swimming area from the open water, but if the dolphins wanted to, they could easily jump over the fences, which only stand a foot or two out of the water. This exemplifies the fact that the dolphins are there by choice and not by force. There is also a nice gift shop at the entrance of the center that has some really nice stuff. Not like a good majority of the junk stores that you will find along the Overseas Highway. Have fun!!
WE ARE IN MID 60'S AND FRANKLY THOUGHT OUR VISIT WAS A DISAPPOINTMENT.NOT MUCH ACTIVITY AND GROUNDS WERE UNIMPRESSIVE.PERHAPS IF YOU ARE INCLINED TO SWIM WITH THE DOLPHINS, THE EXPERIENCE MAY OFFSET THE NEGATIVES.
CHILDREN PROBABLY WOULD ENJOY. SEEMED PRICEY FOR WHAT IS THERE.
I've always wanted to 'swim with the dolphins' and my dream finally came true on December 8, 2007 while visiting Florida with my husband for our 40th wedding anniversary. We truly enjoyed our visit at The Dolphin Research Center. It was well run and very informative and the staff was great! I loved meeting and getting to know 'Tanner'and 'AJ' and I will never forget the feeling I had swimming with them! Can't wait to visit again. Barbara M. Hufnagel
I don't mind paying a high price to further the study of these wonderful mammals but I think the Center could be run much more efficiently. Obviously the management are tied up in petty bickering and the steering committee, if steering an actual boat, would go in circles heading nowhere.
The Dolphin Research Center is a lovely place with wonderful animals and the founding precept is great. That said, I must also say that I was terribly disappointed with my last few visits to the facility. I have been a member of the Center for several years and visit it quite frequently. My last visit was last year and I was appalled by the actions of several of the staff memebrs. Two men in particular were loud mouthed, rude and outright disgusting.(Both blonde, one with a beard)The were smoking cigarettes which were being tossed onto the ground with no regard for the environment, commenting on the female anatomy of their co-workers and of guests and being generally obnoxious. This facility should be a place for learning and families. These peolple had no place being there let alone working there. Obviously the management needs to be changed at this facility because the cader of employees is a reflection of the management. As a Keys inhabitant, I always wondered why there is always a 'help-wanted' ad for the Dolphin Research Center. Now I know why. It's really too bad.
My 3 year old son had a blast with this experience! The trainers are very patient with newbies and the entire park exhibits all that the Keys are all about. We loved our time there so much that we now sponser a dolphin there. Thank you DRC for a memorable time!
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