Just thought I'd post a few tips about the new 'Seaventure' at Discovery Cove.
First off, it was AMAZING. The dolphin swim was absolutely amazing too but the two are totally different experiences and I wouldn't want to go to DC without doing Seaventure.
The 'nominal' fee for the Seaventure is $59 each, which is pretty expensive if you had a family of 4. (Price is accurate as of the 15th of July 2011)
You can't take part if you are extremely claustrophobic (I am quite claustrophobic and I was fine, as a guide Mission: Space is about my limit for small spaces), if you have back, neck, heart or breathing problems.
You are given a time that is based around your dolphin swim so that you can do both. It takes place over at the grand reef and you are expected to arrive over at the grass hut in the middle for check-in about 5 minutes prior to the start of your Seaventure experience.
Once you have been checked in, you are taken to a safety briefing where they give you instructions on how to use the equipment as well as the various hand signals that will be used underwater. You sign a release form/waiver and then you start the experience.
The helmets that they give you are 70lbs which is quite heavy outside of the water, but underwater they only feel as though they are 15lbs and smaller children can request to have a float attached to their which makes them a lot lighter
You cannot take your own digital underwater cameras in there because of the depth. You are supplied with digital cameras and you get the photos loaded onto a CD for $30 (Accurate 7/15/2011) at the end of the experience. We had a party of two so we split the cost and just made copies of the CD as you are given full copyrights to the pictures. A professional also takes pictures of the group as you go along and these are included on the CD.
The experience lasts around 25 minutes to half an hour and whilst under there you see the different stingray (the biggest being 6ft), the sharks in the shark tank, lots of tropical fish as well as getting the chance to hold a sea urchin and a starfish
Our group (about 8 people) was accompanied by three scuba divers who were able to write messages telling us about the different species of fish available to see in the Grand Reef
I think the Seaventure would be ideal if you had a family that were split in opinion on the dolphin swim, for example if Mum & Daughter wanted to swim with dolphins and Dad & Son did the Seaventure instead.