Day 10 – Thursday: Discovery Cove

We booked to go to Discovery Cove about 9 weeks ago. We knew you needed to book as they limit numbers but also discovered that they have a promotion at the moment for a 10% discount if you book 60 days in advance so we were just in time.

With a dolphin
On arrival you check in and get your dolphin swim time, and then are free to spend the rest of the day as you please. You are given a bag containing mask, snorkel (which you can keep), and suncream and either a wetsuit or a swim vest and then its off to choose where you’d like to make your base for the day. We then headed over to the restaurant where breakfast is served. Absolutely everything including meals and snacks are included all day at Discovery Cove which makes it really relaxing. For breakfast we had a selection of pastries, yoghurt and fresh fruit.

Our dolphin swim was booked for just after 10am, so after breakfast we decided to just have a wander around and see where everything was, and save the activities for afterwards. When it comes to your turn to swim with the dolphins you first have a welcome talk and they tell you about what is going to happen, then you get put into groups of 8 people and are taken off to meet the dolphins.
Me swimming with a dolphin
We first got to meet a new baby dolphin. She was really soft and rubbery to touch. We got a chance to stroke her and feed her, and she did a few tricks for us. Then we were introduced to a much older and larger female dolphin and it was surprising how different her skin felt. We then got to kiss the dolphin!

Next we swam out into deeper water, and took it in turns to swim with the dolphin. It was amazing! You held onto her fins and she pulled you through the water with ease. Finally, they did some tricks for us before waving their tales and heading off for a rest.

Feeding Time
After our dolphin swim we decided to float gently around the tropical river. It took us through caverns, under waterfalls and even through the aviary. At one part you could dive under the water to watch the fish and rays in the coral reef area. In the aviary you got to feed the birds and they were quite happy to come land on our arms and even heads!

For lunch we got a choice of food, and opted for the burger! There was also some lovely desserts but we didn’t have room to finish them.

RayWe then headed over to the Coral Reef area and Ray Lagoon. The water by comparison was rather chilly! It was full of beautiful fish and graceful rays. My favourite were the Spotted Eagle Rays which have an unusual shaped face. There was also an area where you could swim beside some rather large sharks but they were behind a pane of glass.

Our day as Discovery Cove was amazing. It was done very beatifully and everything thought of. Even the bathrooms had small individual hand towels to dry your hands on instead of paper ones! All the animals seemed very well cared for and the dolphin staff were very good at helping us to learn about the animals as well as ensuring we were having a great time.

More of my photographs from Discovery Cove can be found on my Florida Flickr set.

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