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Fast Track Your Way to A Career with Dolphins!

dolphin and trainer panama city beach

Many of us, when we’re young, have big dreams about what we’d like to be when we grow up. Some of us want to be professional athletes or singers, others astronauts or firefighters, and still others have a passion to somehow work with animals when we get older.

Nicki LaPierre was one of those kids who knew at a very young age she wanted to work with dolphins. At seven years old her parents gave her a dolphin necklace and she instantly fell in love and set her mind on having a career with dolphins. She had such a love for these graceful animals that nothing was going to stand in her way of making that dream come true. Not only did Nicki realize her dream, but she did it in record time, becoming one of the youngest dolphin handlers in the entire state of Florida.

Dream Big to Become a Dolphin Trainer
Dream Big to Become a Dolphin Trainer

Each and every day when Nicki gets up for work she does so with a big smile on her face because she gets to hang out with the magical creatures she’s been in love with since she was a little girl.

If you also have a passion for dolphins and would love nothing more than to make a living training and interacting with them, then the fastest way to reach your dream is to go to school for a marine biology degree.

Is Marine Biology a Good Career?

If you asked Nicki (and countless others) she would give you a resounding “Yes!”

What most people don’t realize is that marine biology is a term that is used to cover a whole host of disciplines and jobs in the marine sciences. Although they all deal with the study of marine life, they can vary greatly.

For instance, with a marine biology degree you may go on to become a biological technician, marine mammalogist, fishery biologist, microbiologist, and of course, a dolphin trainer, to name a few specific careers. Heck, even economists and sociologists who deal with marine resource issues work within what is considered the field of marine biology.

A Fun and Exciting Career - Marine Science
A Fun and Exciting Career – Marine Science

Getting a Marine Biology Degree

There are many universities and colleges that offer degrees in marine biology, many of them located on the Pacific Coast. A good resource to find academic programs is www.oceancareers.com or look at this book ” How to become a Marine Mammal Trainer“.

Some good schools on the west coast to consider are the University of California programs at San Diego (Scripps Institution of Oceanography), Davis, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz, the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife or Department of Oceanography at Oregon State University in Corvallis; and Humboldt State University in California. On the east coast there are quality programs at schools like the University of Miami, University of Rhode Island, and the University of Massachusetts.

Courses to Consider

For a career in marine biology you can expect to take preparatory classes in basic biology, zoology, chemistry, physics, biometrics, mathematics, and statistics. You may be surprised to learn that you’ll have to take some English classes as well, because marine biologists write a lot of scientific papers with the hopes of getting them published.

You will most likely take courses in oceanography as well as ichthyology and fishery biology. If you hope to eventually have a career where you will often deal with the public or public policies, courses in social sciences are also recommended.

You Must Love Water and Marine Animals!
You Must Love Getting in the Water and Marine Animals!

Marine Biologist Salary

On average, marine biologists earn $37.00 per hour, or $77,630 as an annual salary. These salaries typically start at $39,000 and can go all the way up to $124,680. Pay will vary based on the level of education (get those degrees!), amount of time in the industry, and the size and location of the company.

Train Dolphins for a Living

If you’d rather wear a wetsuit to work instead of a suit and tie, then being a dolphin trainer is the career for you. But you might be wondering what exactly dolphin trainers do each and every day.

Generally, dolphin trainers get to work very early, typically before 7AM, and when they arrive they are instantly greeted by thousands of pounds of frozen fish. So one of your first tasks might be to sort all of these fish into buckets (you didn’t think it was all glamorous work, did you?!) and then weigh each bucket carefully to ensure each dolphin is getting the right amount of fish for the day’s activities.

Training and Taking Care of Dolphins
Training and Taking Care of Dolphins

After a bit of cleanup, you might find yourself heading into meetings with coworkers to discuss all of the animal’s health and well-being. After the meeting everyone grabs some buckets of fish and heads over to the pool to say good morning to the dolphins and give them their breakfast.

You might have a show later in the morning and have to set props and get into your costume and then give the audience what they came for, a spectacular show they’ll never forget.

After the show you and your dolphin pals will take a lunch break, but then head back to the pool for for some training sessions where you may teach the dolphins to do flips and other new tricks for upcoming shows. We would highly recommend that you try a Dolphin Interactions in one of our location and speak with a trainer directly. They will always give you great advice.

Work Hard to Get This Career

Becoming a marine biologist and going on to be a dolphin trainer will not happen overnight, and the work will be hard and often exhausting. But it will be equally rewarding. Like Nicki, you may also want to consider doing an internship at an animal park. Dolphin training is a coveted position and there are only so many in the country, so to have the most chance, go for an internship.

You Too Can Have a Career with Dolphins!
You Too Can Have a Career with Dolphins!

Nicki will be the first to tell you it’s not glamorous, the work is hard and you don’t get paid, but you get a chance to learn from the best and if they see potential in you, they just may hire you like they did Nicki.

If you have the same passion that Nicki has and would love to work with dolphins one day, find a good school and get the right degree, work toward that internship, and never give up!

Your Marine Animal Experience and Feed Back

We would love to hear from you and what you did to get involved with Marine Animals. Did you do any of these suggestions that we have listed here? In fact we are so interested in hearing what you have to say that we will entice you to comment, the first 5 comments will receive a $5 Amazon Gift card by email. The only thing we ask that you comment has something to do about Marine Animal Careers or Marine Science.


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Lemur Experience at Jungle Island

Lemur Experience

Dolphin World has partnered with Jungle Island Miami for many years now because they offer visitors a chance to glimpse land animals that we don’t have in the marine park. Imagine getting up close to lemurs, monkeys, and tigers. Well, you can at Jungle Island.

If you don’t know much about Jungle Island, read on to find out more! After learning about the park, you’ll want to include one of their programs on your next visit to Miami, especially the Lemur Experience.

VIP Tour South Florida

Jungle Island – A South Florida Landmark Attraction

Jungle Island, a favorite South Florida landmark, is an intimate zoological park located in the heart of Miami, between downtown Miami and South Beach.   Building upon a rich tradition that began in 1936, Jungle Island is home to some of the world’s rarest and most exotic animals.  You can enjoy engaging animal shows and informative exhibits while strolling by streams and waterfalls under a lush canopy of tropical trees.  Also, you can choose to participate in hands-on interactions with fascinating animals or go on guided behind-the-scenes Lemur tours.  Jungle Island enriches the lives of park visitors through immersive, real-life jungle experiences centered on adventure, animals, discovery and play.

Jungle Island Park
Jungle Island Park

Lemur Up-Close Description

Play with lovable, rambunctious lemurs during this hands-on experience! Aside from a trip to Madagascar, the Lemur nursery at Jungle Island is one of a very few places on earth where guests can personally interact with these extremely rare and endangered mammals. Learn fun-facts and feed them their favorite juicy treat – grapes. Guests visit in small groups, so everyone gets to participate. Children must be 6 years of age or older. Guests under age 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

cristina-lemur

Jungle Island Park Admission

With your Lemur Experience, you also get to enjoy access to Jungle Island, which includes a fun-filled day exploring the park’s unique shows and animal exhibits. Take part in memorable experiences including a visit down under with the Australian red kangaroos, feeding animals at the petting farm and an exclusive encounter with a surprise critter. Come see the parrots, lions, orangutans, alligators and many more animals, along with spectacular shows! Includes access to Parrot Cove, Miami’s only private, swimmable beach, so bring your bathing suit!

Finally, you can swim with the dolphins and add this wonderful Lemur tour to your day as well – a combination that will be a big hit with your family and friends. Miami’s wonderful beaches and fun animal attractions help make South Florida one of the best destinations for a vacation.

Your Jungle Island Experience and Feed Back

We would love to hear from you and what you did at Jungle Island. In fact we are so interested in hearing what you have to say that we will entice you to comment, the first 5 comments will receive a $5 Amazon Gift Card by email. The only thing we ask that you comment has something to do about Jungle Island and your stay there or the nearby area.


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A Fall Adventure Awaits You in Miami, Florida

Ton of fun Seal Swim Miami

When most people think of Miami, they think of the sultry weather, the nightlife, and the pulsing Latin rhythms escaping from the doors of the innumerable nightclubs. But Miami offers so much more. Visitors can indulge in a mouthwatering meal at one of the city’s celebrity-owned restaurants, hit the beach for some much-needed R&R, or take a leisurely stroll and explore the vibrant architecture in the fabled Art Deco district. Miami is also home to some very high-end shops, boutiques and world-class museums.

But for a really memorable vacation, visitors should head directly to Swim with Dolphins in Miami.

A Video Tour of the Miami Facility

Get Up Close and Personal to Bottlenose Dolphins

Whether you’re nine or 99, you’ll be absolutely thrilled to see these wondrous creatures up close. Dolphin World has swim programs for those seeking a somewhat docile interaction as well as for those who seek an adventure and who want to get in the water and go for a dorsal fin ride. Whichever way you choose to spend your time with these dolphins, you’ll quickly discover how friendly and playful they truly are.

The dolphin swim program in Miami will teach you all about dolphins in a very fun and interactive class, as well as prepare you for the fun to come. Once you get in the water, you can expect to get a hug and kiss from your new buddies, and pet them and rub their bellies. From there it is up to you whether you’d like to go for a swim in the deeper water and even get a ride across the pool while you hold onto a dolphin’s dorsal fin.

Peck Hold Dolphin Swim Miami
Peck Hold Dolphin Swim Miami

And, in case you’re wondering what all of this adventure is going to cost your family – Dolphin World offers swim programs for every size budget. So, whether you’re looking for something new and exciting to do during your summer vacation, or a unique birthday or anniversary event, or maybe an exciting honeymoon excursion, Dolphin World has just the program that will let you and your loved ones easily make memories that will last a lifetime but that won’t break the bank.

Let the Underwater Adventure Begin!

You didn’t think we were done with the fun, did you? Dolphin World offers visitors some amazing combo packages, one of them being the Dolphin Swim and Sea Trek combo. That’s a ton of fun all in the same day.

Once you’re done swimming with the dolphins, head on over to Dolphin World’s manmade 300,000 gallon tropical reef for an underwater Snuba adventure. While wearing a state-of-the-art dive helmet that allows you to breathe freely, you’ll encounter tropical fish, sting rays and a variety of unique sea creatures. And don’t worry – SCUBA certification is not required, so you and your entire family can share in the underwater fun together.

Touching Rays in Sea Trek Miami FL

Also, we have swim with the seals program, you can do this alone or combo with the dolphins too. You would be spending 20 minutes in shallow and deep with water with these amazing sea animal. They are so special and you will have a chance to be really up close with them, where you get to pet, hug, play and swim with them.

Mac and Shak Seal Swim Miami FL

If you’re heading to south Florida in the near future and are looking for something fun, interesting and totally unique to do, you’ll definitely want to check out Dolphin World.

Local Place to Stay & Cruise Capital of the World

Hampton Inn Coconut Grove

Hampton Inn Coconut Grove
Hampton Inn Coconut Grove

Miami hotel in Coconut Grove with free breakfast and outdoor pool
This great value hotel is only 15 – 20 minutes away from Key Biscayne Miami. A smart choice place to stay if you are looking for convenience, location, and nice place in Miami. Along with an outdoor pool, this smoke-free hotel has a fitness center and a spa tub. Free buffet breakfast and free WiFi in public areas are also provided. Other amenities include a 24-hour business center, coffee/tea in the lobby, and conference rooms. < More... >

Why don’t you extend your vacation to Miami and take a quick cruise to the Bahamas or the Caribbean from the port of Miami? Why not… This port is one of the biggest Cruise ports in the world so it could be a great opportunity for those come to wonderful South Florida. < Cruise Ship Travel Info.. >

Your Miami Experience and Feed Back

We would love to hear from you and what you did in Miami and Miami Beach. Did you do any of these activities that we have listed here? What places do you recommend to go stay in or eat at? In fact we are so interested in hearing what you have to say that we will entice you to comment, the first 5 comments will receive a $5 Amazon Gift card by email. The only thing we ask that you comment has something to do about Miami and Miami Beach and your stay there or the nearby area.

There really is so much to see and do in Miami, and most likely you won’t get to see everything you want to on your first visit, which means you’ll just have to come back again and again!


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Tortola BVI Magical Adventure Comes to Life with Dolphins

Dolphin Encounter Tortola BVI

Tortola is an island that offers little in historic sights, but that doesn’t seem to bother the thousands of visitors who flock here every year. That’s because they come for the spectacular scenery and gorgeous beaches – 21 square miles of beaches to be exact. Visitors to the island can spend their days basking in the sun, searching for sea shells, relaxing in a hammock, island hopping, and swimming in the warm, turquoise waters.
Or…
If you love dolphins, then you can have the adventure of a lifetime at Dolphin Discovery in Tortola.

A Video Tour of Traveling in Tortola & BVI Virgin Islands

Try the Dolphin Discovery Swim

Which would you rather do? Buy a bunch of souvenirs you have to lug home or swim with bottlenose dolphins? That’s what I thought you’d say! Bottlenose dolphins are really social animals and love interacting with humans. The Dolphin Encounter Discovery (non-swim) will get you up close and personal to these playful animals. Great for children of all ages, this program is both educational and fun. The certified dolphin trainers will teach you all about the bottlenose dolphins before you get in the water for some frolicking and maybe even a dolphin kiss!

An Adventure in the Water!

Tortola dolphin swim advneutre

The Dolphin Swim Adventure is for those visitors who want to kick their adrenaline up a notch. This program is quite unique and offers a variety of dolphin activities. Dive in and receive a hug or a kiss from one of these playful creatures, and if you get really lucky, you’ll get to experience the thrill of a lifetime when you go for a belly ride. Yep, you’ll hold on to the dolphin’s fins as he swims backwards. No matter your age, this is a thrill of a lifetime.

Be Treated like a Royal

Take part in the Dolphin Royal Swim program and experience the playful interactions as you receive a kiss and a hug and even a handshake. But even more exciting is experiencing the thrilling foot-push, when two dolphins push you by the soles of your feet. You’ll feel like a super hero, arms outstretched skimming atop the water. You’ll also feel what it’s like to hold on to a dolphin’s dorsal fin while they rapidly (dolphins can swim up to 35 MPH!) swim backwards. It is such an exciting ride and one you’ll never forget.

Cruise Ships on Tortola
Cruise Ships on Tortola

Traveling to Tortola

Many guests are staying in the US Virgin Islands USVI) and come over on the local ferry system for a day trip to discover the British Virgin Islands(BVI), this is a great way to get a taste of these islands. Another way guests come here is by Cruise Ship. So you can you find a perfect cruise for 7 – 8 days and make sure to include Tortola as one of your port of call. But if you really want to relax and enjoy these Island, then you need to stay here. Here is one of the recommended resorts to stay on…

Long Bay Beach Club

Long Bay Beach Club
Long Bay Beach Club

With a stay at Long Bay Beach Club in West End (Tortola), you’ll be minutes from Long Bay Beach and close to Cane Garden Bay Beach. This beach resort is within close proximity of Smuggler’s Cove Beach and Soper’s Hole Marina. Make yourself at home in one of the 40 air-conditioned rooms featuring refrigerators and flat-screen televisions. Rooms have private furnished balconies or patios. Complimentary wired and wireless Internet access keeps you connected, and satellite programming provides entertainment. Private bathrooms have complimentary toiletries and hair dryers. < More Info >

More Things to See (Sea) and Do

Even after your dolphin encounters you may find you still have room for adventure. Good, because Tortola has even more to offer. Take a safari taxi to Sky World, home of one of the most beautiful spots in the Caribbean. Stop at Cane Garden Bay for a little beach break and enjoy a leisurely lunch.
Next, enjoy a tour of Carrot Bay and Long Bay making sure to stop for a photo opportunity at the famous Bomba Shack. If you are staying in the US Virgin Islands, A ferry will return you back to St. Thomas or St John, where you will pinch yourself and remember the day wasn’t a dream, it actually happened!

View from Skyworld Tortola BVI
View from Skyworld Tortola BVI

Your Virgin Island Experience and Feed Back

We would love to hear from you and what you did in British or US Virgin Islands. What activities did you do? What places do you recommend to go stay in or eat at? In fact we are so interested in hearing what you have to say that we will entice you to comment, the first 5 comments will receive a $5 Amazon Gift card by email. The only thing we ask that you comment has something to do about the Virgin Islands and your stay there or the nearby area.


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Have a Blast Visiting Orlando’s World-Famous Theme Parks and Dolphins!

Discovery Cove Orlando

Known as the “Theme Park Capital of the World,” Orlando is a destination where both the young and the young at heart can play, explore, activate their imaginations and make memories that last a lifetime. With new theme parks being created often and new rides and attracting being installed at some of the classics, there is always something new and thrilling to be discovered.

Discovery Cove

Discovery Cove came up with a brilliant idea: Restrict guest access to only 1,300 visitors per day. This makes it feel more like an exclusive resort than it does a crowded theme park. Here you can enjoy memorable interactive experiences with dolphins, sting rays, sea otters, tropical fish and exotic birds. Another genius idea the park had was to make the admission fee all-inclusive, so once inside you never have to worry about food, towels or snorkeling equipment.

Discovery Cove Orlando
Discovery Cove Orlando

Islands of Adventure

Universal brings you “Islands of Adventure,” a theme park where some of your favorite movie experiences come to life. Your kids will absolutely love wandering through the world of Hogwarts at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Feel like huge scares? Then experience the thrilling raft ride past the enormous dinosaurs on the Jurassic Park River Adventure. And for a surreally good time, head for Seuss Landing where your children can meet their favorite Dr. Seuss characters, then continue on to the Marvel Super Hero Island and fly through the air on one of its many attractions.

Epcot

Epcot started out as a theme park to showcase the latest in innovation and in the years since its opening it has become one of Orlando’s largest and most popular theme parks. After taking days to explore all that Epcot has to offer, you’d never guess it is only 305 acres large. There’s an aquarium, a promenade around a manmade lagoon, 11 different pavilions celebrating the nations of the world and numerous educational and imaginative attractions like the famous Spaceship Earth.

Aquatica Orlando

Aquatica Orlando seems to have been created by the imaginations of children instead of adults. It’s one of those destinations that have thought of everything. Combining the very best of an aquarium, zoo, water park AND amusement park, Aquatica offers 38 slides and 84,000 acres of white sand beaches that have private cabanas you can rent, so you and your family could spend days here and never tire of it. Did we mention the Dolphin Plunge ride – a clear tube water slide that winds you through the Commerson’s dolphin habitat!

Aquaticia Orlando
Aquaticia Orlando

LEGOLAND Florida

Whether you like LEGOS or not, LEGOLAND is about as cool a theme park as you’ll ever visit. The park features 50 rides plus outstanding shows and attractions spread out over 150 acres. Designed for children between the ages of 2 and 12, LEGOLAND is a great destination for those families traveling with little ones. But don’t expect to leave the park without stopping by the Big Shop to bring some new LEGO toys home with you.

Disney’s Magic Kingdom

Perhaps the most beloved park in all of Orlando, the Magic Kingdom is where dreams really do come true. No trip to Orlando would be complete without visiting and meeting Mickey and all of his pals, or riding the many charming rides based on Disney classic movies. Visitors to the park can enjoy Main Street USA, Adventureland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Tomorrowland and Fantasy Land.

Universal Studios Florida

Universal Studios brings all of your favorite movie characters to life. Whether you’re in your 40s and want to experience the thrill of meeting E.T., or 4 and want to experience the thrill of meeting Shrek, the park is a destination where every age of imagination is brought to life.

Universal Studio Orlando
Universal Studio Orlando

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Disney Animal Kingdom has taken the concept of a zoo and elevated it to something extraordinary; of course that’s what Disney does with everything it creates. Take your family on an African safari without ever leaving Florida and see real live giraffe and elephants and over 1,500 animals representing 250 species. Take a raft ride down the Amazon or ride a train through Mount Everest – this park is beyond fun and thrilling!

SeaWorld Orlando

If you’ve ever dreamt of meeting Shamu, the world’s most famous killer whale, then head to Sea World where you can also meet and watch all kinds of underwater life like sea lions and otters. You can hop on one of their many thrilling rides and roller coasters and catch some funny live action shows as well.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

How to get into show business without ever really trying, that’s what the Hollywood Studios offers visitors. Get a behind the scenes look at Hollywood by enjoying live stunt shows, animation galleries, a backlot tour and a plethora of thrilling rides and attractions like Twilight Zone’s Tower of Terror.

After reading about all of these amazing theme parks, you’re probably realizing that Orlando is indeed the most magical place on Earth and are booking your trip right now.

Gaylord Palms Resort Orlando
Gaylord Palms Resort Orlando

Need a Places to Stay?

The Gaylord Palms Resort and Spa is a breathtaking resort with 4.5-acre glass atrium & tropical gardens and near many theme parks. It is located a half-mile mile from Walt Disney World Resort (Disney’s Maingate East), this resort is near the Arabian Nights Dinner Show and Downtown Disney Area. SeaWorld, Universal Studios Florida, and Pointe Orlando shops are within 10 miles. Gaylord Palms Resort and Spa features 2 pools, 5 restaurants, live gator feedings, and nightly entertainment. And to top it all off, this resort has a 20,000-square-foot health spa which includes 25 treatment rooms, a fitness facility, and a full-service salon. Doesn’t this place sound perfect for a getaway?

Insider Secrets

We would enjoy to hear any of our reader’s insider secrets, if any of you have traveled to Orlando and want to share some of your travel experiences there. For example, Where did you stay and how did you like it? Did you find any interesting restaurants or attractions that you enjoyed and want to write about? How did the locals treat you? Please share your experiences below in the comment section. Our community of avid travelers and dolphin lovers would like to hear what you did and your travel advice.