Frequently Asked Questions

We have collected a list of questions which we are commonly asked about our dolphin swim retreats in the Bahmas. To make it easy for you we have grouped them into different sections. Just click on the section header and the content will expand.

Travel from Fort Lauderdale to Bimini and back

When can I schedule my return flight from Florida on the Saturday we leave the island?
The return flight from Bimini to the Fort Lauderdale International Airport is on Saturday morning. You should be cleared through customs around 11:00 am.

It is recommended you arrange your flight home*:
From Fort Lauderdale International Airport (domestic flights): after 1:30 pm*
From Fort Lauderdale International Airport (international flights): after 2:30 pm*
From Miami International Airport (domestic flights): after 3:30 pm*.
From Miami International Airport (international flights): after 4:30 pm*
*Please check with your airline if more time is required.

Do you arrange my flights from my home to Fort Lauderdale?
No, you have to arrange your flights to/from Fort Lauderdale or Miami.

What time do I need to be to the Bahia Mar in Fort Lauderdale on Sunday evening?
Check in time is 4.00 pm. Our first meeting of the pod is at 5.30 pm at the hotel on the Sunday. If you can, make sure you arrive before this time.

Is the round trip island charter plane included in the price?
No, it is not included in the price.

How much is the round trip island charter plane from Fort Lauderdale to Bimini and back?
The round trip fare is $320 including all taxes except a Bahamian departure tax of $25 and Bahamian airport tax of $25 to be paid in cash upon departure from Bimini. These taxes are subject to change..

How long is the flight?
The island flight is about 25 minutes.

What time does the flight leave Fort Lauderdale and arrive in Bimini on Monday?
The flight is scheduled to leave the Fort Lauderdale International Airport at 8.30 am, arriving in Bimini around 9.00 am. We meet in the lobby of the hotel usually at 6.45 am. The shuttle bus leaves at 7.00 am to take us to the International airport. The times and details will be available for you when you check in.

What time does the flight leave Bimini and arrive in Fort Lauderdale on Saturday?
The flight is scheduled to leave Bimini on the Saturday at 10.00 am. Due to be through immigration and customs at the Sheltair FBO facility at the Fort Lauderdale International Airport by 11.00 am.

Can I go over to Bimini earlier than Monday before my retreat?
Yes, you can. If you want to fly to Bimini on Saturday instead of Monday, this is possible. The Saturday flight leaves from Fort Lauderdale at 8.30 am. You would have to be there by 7.30 am. You would have to find somewhere else to stay on the island for the Saturday night and you would be welcome to come to our retreat center for the Sunday night. Contact Arlyne in the reservations office if you would like to do this and she will let you know all the updated details.
Just a reminder: All costs of transfers from the airport to the retreat center and back are included in the price only if you travel with the group - to Bimini on Monday and return to Fort Lauderdale on Saturday. If you choose to fly at different times you are responsible for these transit costs. These are around $10 each way from the retreat lodge to the airport in Bimini.

Can I stay longer in Bimini after my retreat?
Yes, you can. You can fly out of Bimini on Monday instead of Saturday if you wish. The flight leaves Bimini on Monday at 10.00 am, due to arrive and be through immigration and customs at the Sheltair FBO facility at the Fort Lauderdale International Airport by 11.00 pm. You would have to find somewhere else to stay on the island for the weekend. Contact Arlyne in the reservations office if you would like to do this and she will let you know all the updated details.
Just a reminder: All costs of transfers from the airport to the retreat center and back are included in the price only if you travel with the group - to Bimini on Monday and return to Fort Lauderdale on Saturday. If you choose to fly at different times you are responsible for these transit costs. These are around $10 each way from the retreat lodge to the airport in Bimini.

Can I book a different flight time to/from Bimini?
We use a charter company and have flights on Saturdays and Mondays. If you want to come at different times it is fine to find your own way to the island and back with a different carrier. Please arrive at the WildQuest Retreat center around 10.00 am on Monday morning. Contact Arlyne in the reservations office to discuss up to date information regarding this.
Just a reminder: All costs of transfers from the airport to the retreat center and back are included in the price only if you travel with the group - to Bimini on Monday and return to Fort Lauderdale on Saturday. If you choose to fly at different times you are responsible for these transit costs. These are around $10 each way from the retreat lodge to the airport in Bimini.

Is it possible to change the return date of the plane after it’s been booked?
Yes, it is possible. There may be a $50 change fee.

What are the baggage requirements?
There is a weight limit for your luggage on Island Air Charters. Each person is allowed a total of 30 pounds/ 14.5 Kilograms for all your bags, including carry on luggage. If your luggage is over this amount, there is a possibility it may have to come on a different flight. There will be a charge of $1.00 per pound for each additional pound over the allowed 30lbs. Soft sided bags are necessary as the luggage storage space on the small planes is limited and not square! No single item or bag may exceed 62 linear inches (length plus width plus height). No hard sided suitcases will be permitted that are larger than an airline carry on.

Do they weigh all of my bags for the flight? Even my carry on/purse/handbag?
Yes.

Do I need a passport?
Yes, everyone needs a valid passport.

Do I need a Visa?
Most people are given a visa upon entry into the Bahamas, including citizens from the US, Canada, European Union Countries and Switzerland. Do double check with your travel agent if you are concerned.

Is there a boat that goes from Florida to Bimini?
Over the past 15 years of operation here on Bimini there have been various ferry services that have come and gone. Crossing the gulf stream is not so far (50 miles) but the seas can get very high and crossing in a boat can be very uncomfortable. Please check the internet for availability at any given time.

How do we get from the Sheltair FBO facility at the Fort Lauderdale International Airport to the main terminals at the Fort Lauderdale International Airport/Miami International Airport on Saturday morning? What does it cost?
There is a free shuttle bus from the Sheltair FBO facility to the main terminal. It takes about 5 minutes. To get to the Miami International Airport you can either get the free shuttle to the main terminals and then get a shuttle to Miami from there, or we can arrange for a taxi for you. Cost to get to Miami airport by taxi can be around $80.

Is there a place for me to park my car for the week? How much does it cost?
At the Bahia Mar the cost for parking is $21.00 per night for self park or $25.00 per night for valet. You can follow the shuttle on Monday morning to the Sheltair FBO facility at the Fort Lauderdale International Airport where you can park your car for free.

Can I stay at the Retreat Center a few days longer after the retreat/ or before the retreat?
No, we do not have facilities for this.

Can you suggest some other places to stay on the island?
Miss Lamour (a friend of ours) has a couple of rooms with kitchen.
• Ashley Saunders has a “dolphin house”.
• Barbara Weech has some cottages.

Theres a couple of bigger marinas “downtown”
The Big Game Club
Bimini Blue Water Marina

WildQuest Program

I am a single person traveling alone, do you have other single people traveling alone or is this mainly for couples?
Most of our participants come here alone and make plenty of new friends.

Do I have to have Travel Insurance?
Yes, you do need travel insurance. Do check out our travel insurance.

When do you post your new schedule each year?
We usually post the schedule for the following year around the middle of September.

Can I come for just a couple of days?
No, our retreats are week long, from Sunday to Saturday.

Is it possible to just go out on the boat for a day or two and not stay at the retreat center?
No, this is not possible. This is a week long retreat experience.

What happens if I cannot swim very well?
This is fine. We have many floatation devices. Our crew members have a lot of experience with people who are aquatically challenged.

When is the best time to see the dolphins?
We have been doing this since 1995 and there seems to be no best time! Or, all the time is best! There is no pattern in the dolphin behavior around Bimini as far as we can see.

What are the chances of seeing dolphins?
We have on average in the past years seen the dolphins 4 days out of 5 per week.

How many hours a day are actually spent with the dolphins?
This is impossible to answer! Every day is different. We can be with the dolphins just a few minutes, or it could last all day.

How many people are in a group?
The groups are usually around 20 people.

Will the dolphins touch me or can I touch the dolphins?
We do not reach out to touch the dolphins. This is a matter of respect. Sometimes the dolphins touch us but this is a rare occurrence.

Do I have to participate in everything that is offered?
No, everything is optional! You can choose what you would like to do!

What is the difference between the different retreats?
There are externally facilitated weeks, and also WildQuest weeks. The externally facilitated weeks usually have a theme and you can check the details page on our schedule. On all WildQuest weeks we offer yoga, various meditations and breath work, as well as sharing circles. Boat/ocean time are the same on all weeks.

What does it mean if the schedule says Private?
This means that the group is not open to the public.

Why do some retreats cost more than others?
Retreats hosted by some external facilitators do differ in price.

Do you offer any student discount?
No, we do not offer any student discounts.

Do you take interns?
We do not have an intern program at the moment.

When is family week?
Children 12 and over are welcome on any week. Children 2-11 years old are welcome any week from June to September.

Are there discounts for children?
2-11 there is a discout of $400. 12 - 17 there is a discount of $200. Check out the children at WildQuest page.

Do you have free wifi at the retreat center?
Yes, we have free wifi at the retreat center. Although we do encourage our participants to go offline during their retreat with us.

Can I bring my computer, iPad, Kindle?
Yes, you can.

Can I use my cell phone? Is there cell phone coverage?
The coverage depends on your provider. You would have to contact your provider and ask if they have a contract with Bahamas Telecommunication Company - BTC - which provides service for Bimini, Bahamas.

What number can my family members call in the event of an emergency and they need to get in touch with me?
You can always call the reservations office and Arlyne will pass on a message to us on the island. Her number is 1-561-964-9466. If there is a real emergency, once you have booked you will have our direct number.

Accommodation

How much extra do I have to pay if I want my own room?
The supplement for a single room is $350 for the week. This includes a single room at the hotel in Fort Lauderdale on the Sunday night, as well as a single room at the retreat center from Monday to Friday. We have a limited number of rooms and these are given on a first come first served basis.

Will I have a private bath?
Apart from two rooms that share one bathroom - all rooms have a private bathroom.

How much are the ocean view rooms?
We have a few rooms with ocean view. The supplement for these is $190 per room per week.

How much are the extra nights at the Bahia Mar Hotel in Fort Lauderdale?
The cost of an extra night at the Bahia Mar is $145 per room.

Can you book this for me or should I do it myself?
We can arrange this. When you book online you can request extra nights at the Bahia Mar Hotel before and /or after your retreat with us, by checking the extra night box.

Do you have hairdryers at the retreat center?
Yes, we have hairdryers in every room.

Do you provide shampoo and conditioner at the retreat center?
We do not provide shampoo and conditioner. We do provide very good shower gel and also hand soap.

How do you decide who my roommate will be?
The retreat price is based on double occupancy. We have many people come as singles and we pair people up as roommates. We have more women than men that come on our retreats so single women will be paired with another woman. This works very well and many long-term friendships are made.

What happens if my roommate snores?
We have ear plugs!

What is the electricity on the island?
The electricity is the same as the US - 110 volts. Same plugs as in the US.

Meals

Do you accommodate for gluten free/dairy free/vegan/vegetarian diets?
Yes, we can accommodate all of these diets. When you book online you can enter your special dietary requirements. If you do have any special favorites, bring some along!

What do you serve for the meals?
Do read the wholesome meals page on the website where you can also see some photos and videos.

Do you have a blender I can borrow?
We do have a blender, and you would have to check with the chef about using it!

Can I use the kitchen to prepare my own meals/special dietary needs?
The cook is usually busy in the kitchen. It would depend on what your needs are. If you need something very special then do connect with us to make sure it will be possible.

Do you have good quality drinking water on the island?
Bimini city water is good for washing and showering etc. For drinking and cooking we have our own Reverse Osmosis filtration system which produces clean and healthy water.

Boat & Waters

Is there shade on the boat?
Yes we have plenty of shade on our boat. Do check out the page about our catamaran DolphinQuest.

Will I get sea sick?
Our catamaran DolphinQuest is very stable in the water. We have ginger pills and ginger juice which help to calm the stomach. It is also possible to bring some travel sickness pills with you such as Dramamine.

How big is the boat?
The boat is a 41 foot Lagoon catamaran. Do check out the page about DolphinQuest.

Do you have life jackets available?
We comply to all boating safety regulations and therefore have the appropriate number of lifejackets on board for any emergency.

Do I need to bring my own towel for the boat?
Yes, it is great that you bring your own beach/boat towel. If it is not possible we do have some to lend to you for the week.

Can I take a backpack on the boat with personal items for the day?
We provide small bags for everybody to take on the boat for your personal items. Of course if you have other gear to take on the boat we do have a dry salon where you can keep larger items if needed.

Can I bring my own snorkel gear?
Yes, you are welcomed to bring your own snorkel gear.

Can I rent snorkel gear?
We do have good equipment for rent. The cost is $10 for just fins, or $25 for the whole set of fins, mask and snorkel.

Can I go scuba diving/ Is there a place to scuba dive?
We do not have equipment for scuba diving. We free dive with mask and snorkel. There are two companies that run scuba trips on the island - Bimini Undersea and also the Big Game Club.

How deep is the water?
The Dolphin Grounds that we usually travel looking for and playing with the dolphins is around 30/40 feet (10-12 meter) deep.

I have to be careful about the sun. What can I wear in the water for protection?
Of course it is good to protect yourself from the sun by using a good sunscreen. On top of this it is good to wear protective clothing like a rash guard or long sleeve T shirt.

What about sharks? Are there sharks?
Sharks live in the ocean like dolphins. They are not very interested in people, so a sighting is a rare and beautiful occurrence. If you have concerns we will talk about it when you are here on the island.

Are jelly fish a problem?
Sometimes at certain times of the year there are some jelly fish but they are not the dangerous type. The sting resembles the touch of a stinging nettle and disappears after a few minutes.

Weather

What is the weather like? What is the air temperature? What is the water temperature?
Do check out our weather page.

What about hurricanes?
In the tropics, hurricanes are possible. Since 1995 we have had to cancel only five programs due to the possibility of a hurricane. It is very unlikely, but a hurricane can happen, so it is essential that you have travel/ cancellation insurance that covers for this eventuality. Check our travel insurance page!

When is your rainy season?
We do not really have a rainy season. Small storms can pass by at any time - and they do not usually last very long.

Does the rain often interrupt the dolphin swims?
Not often. There can be rain squalls but they do not usually last very long.

What kind of clothing should I bring?
It is HOT! You only need a few light clothes and sandals. Bring a towel for the boat/beach, hat, T- shirts, shorts, maybe a long sleeve t-shirt to cover from the sun, sunscreen (non-oily), sarongs, light rain jacket, a journal, special food requirements, vitamins and insect repellant.
If you are coming in April/May or October/November, bring a sweater, maybe sweat pants and you may need a rash guard or small wetsuit if you are sensitive to the temperatures at that time of year. We provide hair dryers.

Do I need a wetsuit?
Do check out the weather page where it tells you the temperature of the water and air at different times of the year. Sometimes if people are sensitive to these temperatures then they bring a small shorty wetsuit in April or November. We do not have wetsuits available for rental on the island.

Are there mosquitoes?
We can have mosquitos, but on the north island where our retreat center is there are very few. If it is totally still and no wind there can be some mosquitos but usually there is a small breeze which keeps them away.

Do you have insect repellant? Should I bring insect repellent?
If you have a certain brand that you prefer then do bring it. We usually have some general brands.