We did the dolphin touch at Ochos Rios at Dolphin Cove last week and were very impressed. Dolphin Cove is well run and has a pretty little beach, a nature walk with people explaining and showing animals like iguaas and snakes -- a craft village that is not really pushy, a gift shop you can browse in -- after reading about being hassled in Jamaica, we were very pleased. The advice to stay with your ships tour is good -- we could have stayed happily at Dolphin Cove all day. We chose to do the dolphin contact there, because we had other things we wanted to do in Cozumel. Staff at Dolphin Cove was friendly, well informed and gracious.
I did the Dolphin swim in Cozumel in September. It was expensive ($170) but worth every penny. I loved it!!!! Some of my friends on the ship we're flabbergasted that I would spend so much money to do it. But most of them spent more than that on SPA treatments alone (not that I don't love the SPA) but I gaurentee that my memories of the dolphins will last longer than theirs of the facial and massage. Have fun!
Your actual time with the dolphin (ours was named Mitch, just like our travelagent) is 20 to 30 minutes in a group of 10 people whether you are swimming or touching. You are welcome to stay all day and watch, but will not be in the water with the dolphins. We were at Dolphin Cove early, so I do not know how crowded it got later.
We are swimming with the dolphins in Cozumel in December. We booked independently from the ship and the cost per person is $119 plus cabfare and entrance to the park. A lot less than the ship's price. I believe the website states that it is in groups of 8 with 2 dolphins and swim time is 1 1/2 hours. The ship's tour is with 1 dolphin. Just looking at the pictures on the website is so exciting! My kids are really looking forward to it. We are in Cozumel all day so I wasn't worried about getting back to the ship in time since we booked it on our own.
My family and I did the dolphin swim in Cozumel with Dolphin Discovery. We booked independantly of the ship for fear we might not be fast enough to get the excursion. We did the dolphin encounter for $75, but they had other packages. If you don't want to actually be in the water with the dolphins, they will let you stand above and take as many pictures as you want. I also took my underwater camera in with the dolphins and took pictures. There was also the taxi ride to Chankanab park and the entrance fee. The park was good for snorkeling and had a nice resturant. We enjoyed our entire day there and are ready to go back in April on Rhapsody OS. It will be memorable at either place.