Last week I took my wife and her two sisters along with the kids on a mini staycation at the Hilton Waikoloa Resort. I normally go twice a year and it’s always a special treat going there for my ohana. This time it was even extra special as the kids got to go swim with the dolphins at Dolphin Quest Hawaii.
We met up at 8:15 at the Dolphin Quest Village where the kids were suited up with life jackets while the adults cruised around in the lobby. After releases were signed and a short informational set of instructions from the Dolphin Quest Trainers the kids went off for an adventure of a lifetime!
I had an opportunity to interview General Manager Adrea Gibbs and this is what she had to say about her job:
I had an opportunity to talk to Regional Sales & Marketing Manager Mark DiMartino and he talked about how much he loved his job and working with the dolphins in general.
DiMartino mentioned that dolphins are similar to humans in a sense and that the dolphins are never forced to work with people and some days a dolphin will be in a bad mood just like a person would be and they simply let the dolphins be that day.
The kids played with Noelani and Pele that day
DiMartino also mentioned that each dolphin only interacts with people for a maximum of 90 minutes each day and that they rotate the dolphins through-out the day to accommodate breaks for the dolphins.
At first I was a bit worried because normally for the package that they gave us the kids have to be at least 10 years old and my son was only 8 years old… but they made an exception for him and as you can see… he absolutely had a blast!
About Dolphin Quest:
Dolphin Quest opened in 1988, creating a place where people and dolphins could share the wonder of close personal interaction.
Today, Dolphin Quest is an international organization devoted to the public education and conservation of marine wildlife. We are world-renowned for our creative approach to education, commitment to ocean wildlife research, exemplary animal health care and successful breeding programs. Our innovative encounter programs promote a spirit of connection to the marvels of the oceans.
Dolphin Quest has attracted talented individuals from all around the globe to be part of our unique organization. Our team includes some of the world’s finest dolphin behaviorists, trainers, veterinarians and guest service staff. Working together, we provide nurturing environments, quality health care, and state-of-the-art husbandry practices for the dolphins, while our guest services strive to offer the best customer attention in the world.
Mahalo to both the Hilton Waikoloa and Dolphin Quest for providing my ohana with a once in a life time experience.