Dolphin Cove, Montego Bay

Ok, I’ll get straight to the point with this one

If you ever get the chance to swim with dolphins, do it. Do whatever it takes to do it.

Yes, you may not enjoy it, but you can say that you have done it. This was the highlight of our holiday and is the one thing that Heidi always mentions when she is asked about her holiday.

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We booked the visit, including transport, directly with Dolphin Cove and it felt a bit safer and more official doing it that way. The journey took about 40 minutes from Montego Bay and the driver was excellent in making us feel safe on some very unsafe roads. Our guide for the day told us lots about the local areas we passed through.

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Because Heidi is only 4 and not a brilliant swimmer, we booked the Encounter Experience which involved stroking, dancing, singing and generally playing with the dolphins. Each person got a couple of minutes as a time with the dolphins doing each activity and as there were 6 in our group, it was quite fast paced, but not at all rushed. I didn’t feel like we had done a “cheap” option.

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Even though we had lifejackets given to us, I felt that it was best to hold Heidi throughout, so she could have the security of knowing she was safe, so she could enjoy it more, as the water was about 4 ft high. However, at no point did any of us feel unsafe.

The dolphin handlers were amazing and were particularly good with Heidi, especially as she was the only child in our group and took time afterwards so she could feed the dolphins a few more fish!

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The attraction also has a stingray enclosure, a camel, donkey and ostriches (the shark attraction was closed) but let’s be honest, it’s all about the dolphins!

A couple of tips which might help if you go…

  • Take a full change of clothes as the last thing you want is to wear your swimming clothes on the coach on the way back to the hotel
  • Budget for buying photos if this is your first time of swimming with the dolphins. The photos are amazing, as I’m sure you can tell, and if you go into the day knowing you’ll buy them, then you won’t have an awkward decision to make.

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This is our first time swimming with them and hopefully, if money allows, we can do it again. If any businesses want to give us a free dolphin swimming session, I won’t say no!!!


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Rumpelstiltskin – Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield

The national performance by the balletLORENT theatre company made its way to the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield to showcase their latest production – an adaptation of the fairytale of Rumpelstiltskin.

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It’s difficult to write a review of a performance without giving away any particular surprises, especially when the story is well known, so here are a few reasons why you should go to see the performance:

  • It is a professional production. The narrator is from the Game of Thrones, the Artistic Director has an MBE and the composer has worked on Doctor Who – they know what they are doing and it shows in a very polished performance.
  • You don’t have to take the kids! Whilst it is a fairytale storyline, if you’re child free, you will enjoy it just as much as those who take children along!
  • It is just long enough for the kids. The first half is 30 minutes long and the second half is 40 minutes long, with a 20 minute interval. Heidi (aged 4) struggled with the last 5 minutes, but the length was just right.
  • The sheep!! Not wanting to give any surprises, but the acting by the sheep was amazing. I am sure that a few of the audience thought that they were real!!

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The performance is aimed for children 7+ and that feels right as there are a few dark moments in the first half. With Heidi being 4, she struggled in the last 5 minutes of the show (the sugar rush had worn off!), but really understood the storyline, so it depends on the maturity of your child.

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Whilst this is a national production, if you’re going to see it at the Lawrence Batley Theatre and have never been, there is a multi-story car park quite close and as the theatre isn’t huge, it means that the seats generally have good views (and decent legroom!)

Full disclosure: I was provided free tickets for the purposes of this review, but the views are my own and have not been influenced or edited.


To read more of my blog, please feel free to:

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