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“Great experience”
Review of Dolphin Quest

Dolphin Quest
Ranked #22 of 527 things to do in Oahu
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Dolphin Quest Oahu, located at the world-famous Kahala Hotel & Resort just minutes from Waikiki, brings people and dolphins closer than ever in fun, interactive dolphin encounter programs for all ages. Dolphin Quest Oahu's intimate and lush setting is the perfect place for a dolphin experience for everyone from kids to honeymooners. Reservations can be made up to one year in advance. A portion of the proceeds from all Dolphin Quest encounter programs supports marine education, conservation and scientific study. TripAdvisor Certificate Excellence winner in 2017, 2016 and 2015!
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Greensboro, North Carolina
Level 5 Contributor
43 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Great experience”
Reviewed 11 October 2011

I really enjoyed the Dolphin Quest experience and recommend it despite the expense.

My only problem is that the trainers speak to everyone like they are in elementary school. Our group consisted of four adult women, and although we enjoyed interacting with the dolphins and learning about the various behaviors and signals, the trainer never acknowledged that. Her entire "script" was almost condescending in tone, suitable for nine-year-olds. Exasperating.

The photos are horribly expensive, and mine wasn't very good. Get someone to take photos of you with the dolphins from the side of the lagoon and just skip the ones from the professional photographer.

Now, don't get me wrong - it was a good experience, and I enjoyed it a great deal.

The Kahala Resoft has sea turtles and a Pacific Brown Ray there "on campus" in other lagoons. I was fortunate to have a casual conversation with one of the trainers as she tended to the ray. This was a much more rewarding and enjoyable conversation than the rote speeches by the trainers in the dolphin lagoon.

Visited September 2011
Helpful?
4 Thank nocalady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Las Vegas
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“The people and the dolphins were awesome!”
Reviewed 4 September 2011

We arrived shortly before closing time and were informed that is was too late to swim with the dolphins and that they were booked the whole next day as well. The desk person must have seen the disappointed look on my face, because he said to wait for a minute. He had a quick talk with the trainers and said they would do a quick "meet and greet" for $80 before they closed for the day. It was only then that I told him that I was a cancer survivor, that this trip to Hawaii was something I had promised myself while I was undergoing treatment and recovery for two years, and that swimming with a dolphin was a dream come true for me. I was in the water with this amazing dolphin for about 7 minutes and the trainer spent another 10 minutes talking to me. They all could have been going home, but they genuinely feel they are ambassadors for the dolphins and their enthusiasm matched my own. I will never forget the experience.

Visited August 2011
Helpful?
4 Thank lovetoplan57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Las Vegas, NV
Level 5 Contributor
41 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Expensive but worth it....”
Reviewed 27 August 2011

If spending about a grand for a 30 minute experience with your family is within your budget, it is certainly a "must do" event.
Very professional and personalized. Fun for the whole family. No big crowds and especially convenient if you are staying at the Kahala.

Helpful?
3 Thank stanj98
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Champaign, Illinois
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“An Experience Beyond Description!”
Reviewed 10 August 2011

Our granddaughter did the1/2 hour Dolphin Encounter. She was in a group of four. It was amazing to watch all the activities that the four guests were able to do with the dolphins - but much more rewarding was to watch our 14 year-old light up as she went through the 1/2 hour. She was attentive (and you know how hard it is to impress a teenager). She got to touch, interact, and swim with Hoku and the other boys. She learned to do this with respect and responsibility for the dolphins. This was the highlight of her trip.

Visited August 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank tomatosal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Awe-inspiring”
Reviewed 30 June 2011

I booked for a one hour dolphin experience and it was truly worth every penny (It cost $308). After being fitted for a life jacket we all sat and had around a 20 minute talk with a couple of the trainers about the dolphins they care for, how they train them, why they train them etc. This was really interesting, although I think the children in the group got more out of it than I did.

There were 6 of us in the same session (the maximum they allow) and when it was time to meet the dolphins, we were split into two groups of three and taken to different pools, which I liked as it meant the each person in the group could spend more time interacting with the dolphins. The group I was in, met and interacted with Kolohe, meaning Rascal in Hawaiian, and he was just such a character! The experience consisted of us assisting the trainer in helping to train Kolohe by giving him various hand signals and rewarding him when he got them right. We did things as a group and also indvidually; I got the chance to 'dance' with Kolohe and give him a hug. We were always asked if we were happy to do something with him and were given plenty of opportunity to touch Kolohe and reward him with fish.

The dolphins aren't forced to do anything; they simply swin away if they don't want to do something. The trainers are also very careful to let you know not to touch the dolphin's heads but are really open in letting you feel and stroke their backs or belly's.

You can tell that the trainer's love and care for the dolphins' in their care so much and the dolphins seem so happy and content; after the experience, we stayed a while to watch them and they were constantly jumping out of the water and playing with each other.

The experience defintely had the dolphin's wellbeing in mind; there were no 'dolphin rides' allowed as they informed us the dolphin's fin is made up of cartiledge and humans hanging off of this area can hurt the dolphin. We also discussed ways to reduce your impact on the environemnt and changes you can make to the way you eat seafood so there is defintely an environmental angle to the experience too - they're not just concerned with taking your money and running.

Dolphin's are beautiful, intelligent creatures and I feel so lucky to have had the experience I did with Dolphin Quest., I'll treasure those memories forever.

Visited June 2011
Helpful?
3 Thank CarolineCatchpole
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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